I enjoy contesting, especially CW Contesting. My Station is modest – no towers and no yagis, just wire antennas and a ground-mounted vertical. There are many domestic contests that are fun, but ARRL Sweepstakes is the Big One. The CW SWEEPS Contest is coming up on the weekend of Nov 7-8 and the Phone Sweeps are 2 weeks later. It is a very challenging contest, with a complex exchange, but that is what makes it fun. Activity levels are always high, and this Year might break records (given participation in other recent contests)
My plan is to beat my own personal record, and maybe I finally get the elusive “Sweep” (all US Sections and all Canadian Provinces). I have missed sweeps by 1-3 Sections a number of times in the past. It has to happen someday – right?
I will be active on CW running Low Power and will NOT be using Spotting. So I will be RUNNING as much as possible, if the Bands permit, and using S&P enough to pickup those stations that only RUN. Popular wisdom is that you should RUN as much as you can. “The Sections will come to you.” Well, I have had mixed results, but that will be my approach this year.
If you have time, get on the Air and give us some Points. If you are new at Contests, or a little shy about getting into Sweeps, get on the Air late in the contest. Since you can only work each Station once (regardless of Band), Stations will be dying for your QSOs. An easy way to make some QSOs if you are uncertain about copying that long exchange – just listen to a RUNNING station long enough to get his whole exchange, then you just need to get the serial number correct for your contact.