Friday, October 15, 2010

Stop dipping my toes in the water

When it comes to CW contesting I feel it is now time to stop dipping my toes the water and just jump right in !!! A few years ago I began my journey into CW contesting and to increase my code speed. For me a CW contest was getting on N1MM logger and using the macros for all the reply's during a contest. Now and then I thought I would step out of the comfort zone and dip my toes in the water and not use the macros, I went LIVE!!!!! That was the beginning of the train derailment I would start to send my report at the same time telling myself not to mess up. If I messed up I felt I would throw off the calling stations rhythm not to mention those in line after me in their shacks just rolling their eyes.  Then there is the self talk that is spinning  around in my head as well " ok Mike it's just a report 5NN and a serial number"  "did I send a H or a 5"  by this time the serial number is a distant memory. Now self talk moves to panic. My eyes are wondering around the monitor looking at the N1MM screen......"the serial....where is the serial..." I have now fallen into the state of a deer in headlights.  As for my fellow contester's in line after me, I have given them the opportunity to refill their coffee or take a much needed washroom break or maybe BOTH!!!!
Then it's over the report and serial are out there my contact says to them self  " thank god" and for me it was like a trip to the dentist.  I now just embrace the macros of N1MM and tell myself that the next contest will be different I will give it ago then.  This weekend is the ARCI fall QSO party I have not taken part in this contest before and it is my first QRP contest. This will be my first contest were I am jumping in the pool..... no dipping of the toes. I will be using N1MM logger to score and record the contest but no macros. I feel the only way to get this monkey off my back it to get in there and just keep plowing at it. Julie is out and about most of the weekend with photography stuff so it's contest time.


  1. Hi Michael,

    Jump in, the water is fine.

    I started contesting long ago using only pencil, paper and a key and I still do. I have tried most of the logging programs looking for "the one" and have settled on the N1MM program for the time being. I will use the macros to send CW but I also have a keyer or straight key hooked at the same time if needed.

    I will be on the QRCI QRP test this weekend as well. There is also the NY QSO Party and the Iowa QSO party as well. N1MM will be used to log and work the QRCI test and I will log the other QSO parties by hand on paper. Try working more than one contest at a time - that is fun to and adds another challenge. The key is get and stay organized and learn to recognize when you need to take a break away from one of the lesser contests and concentrate on the one of most interest. I am not a super competitive contester but I rather like to challenge myself in different ways, that is how I grow. It is the journey that I find the most fascinating, the destination is only secondary.

    Hope to hear you on participating in the ARCI QRP test.

    cheers, Graham ve3gtc

  2. Hello Mike, it does sound strange but I did take part in a few CW contests in the past. I don't know a word of CW. Everything is done with the computer. The problem though is that the computer does decode computer CW (N1MM macro) very well. But if it is send by hand, well that's more difficult...73, Bas

  3. Hi OM,I think the best chance next month on cqww cw 2010.

  4. Hey Mike, good for you. I'm sort of in the same boat as far as being new at contesting but I will be making full use of the macros in the N3FJP logging program.

    This contest is a good precursor to all the upcoming DX contests that will be coming up for th enext several months.

    Hope to work you,

    John AE5X

  5. Well I'm in the thick of things now not to busy...I even took a step onto the dark side and was calling CQ test...:0