Contesting ... 2008 Geminids meteor shower
- For some, this will be the first NAHMS (North American High Speed Meteor
Scatter) contest scheduled since starting this madness. For others who
have not had the opportunity or interest to operate the contest, I hope
you will join in and help make this contest successful. The contest
starts Dec 11 at 0000 UTC. If you haven't found or don't know where the
rules are located go to http://www.ykc.com/wa5ufh/default.htm and find
the link to the HSMS Contest Site.
If you plan to operate the contest, you must decide if you will run
Regular or Random Only. The Random Only Category is a little more
difficult but QSO's receive additional points. I generally operate
Random Only because I enjoy calling and answering CQ's plus I get a
break from Ping Jockey. Stations starting off Random Only can always
decide anytime during the contest to change to Regular. So I recommend
starting off Random Only and change over if you're not satisfied or get
bored without the green PJ screen.
The Regular category operators can and should turn off the PJ
occasionally and monitor the calling frequencies to increase their point
total plus locate additional stations. You can expect to work more
stations running Regular and each time zone has awards for Regular,
Random Only and Rover categories. If you enjoy the Random Hour format
you might consider random only.
For all stations the required exchange is your grid square. The standard
report of 26 or 27 report are not used. I suggest you enter your grid in
the "Rpt" pane or go to <Options> and select the radio button "Grid"
instead of "Report". Only use the first four characters of your grid!
When calling CQ use the "Offset Method" on the designated calling
frequencies of 144.140 or 50.260 MHz. Since random contacts will be
occurring during a time of heavy band usage you probably will be better
off using the Appended Messages for TX3 - TX5 messages especially if you
are hearing other pings on the frequency. For the scheduled Random Hour
Sessions during the contest period, operating simplex is acceptable for the
RH time period.
For those operating Random Only here is a good way to make back-to
-back contacts. If you know a stations is active on both bands use the
"QSY" procedure to move that station from Band A to B. This is the
best way to ensure contact with him instead of hoping to hear his CQ
later on the other band.
For stations operating in the Rover Category I strongly recommend making
several postings to the group prior to the contest start; especially if
you will be operating without PJ. By doing this other stations will
know of your plans. The rules allow for two entry logs if you operate
Rover. This promotes those who have the ability to set-up rover
operations in rare grids etc. plus to operate as regular of random only.
The NAHSMS contests have been scaled back to only the winter event. With
the huge influx of new operators and new interest we should "bust" all the
old records. Many in the past have operated the contest and not
submitted a contest log. I don't know the reasons and 100% log submission
will never be achieved or expected. However we should have many more
submitted. Contest logs are a Key Indication of whether the contest was a
success or failure. They are used as feedback for the contest managers
as they use data for decisions on future events. So turn in a log!
Now is the time to make preparations. I have known of stations actually
scheduling vacations for the NAHSMS contests! Now is the time to make
station improvements and add that second band. Hope to see you all in
the contest. Become familiar with the rules, mark the calendar. No doubt
there are many other tips and suggestions which should be shared? What are