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.