30 Ham Radio Contest Tips — Schedule your contests

Scheduling ContestsThis month, I’m providing a ham radio contest tip-a-day (along with other posts) to help you trigger your own contesting activities.

Today’s tip: Schedule your contests.

After you have been contesting a while, certain contests stand out for you as ones that you really like to do. Maybe it’s state QSO parties. Or the great DX contests. Or VHF/UHF contests.

Whatever your favorites: schedule them on your calendar.

Here are four great reasons to schedule your contests:

  1. Scheduling your contests defines your time commitment. Whether it be what days to take a vacation day from work or in working with your family for the time, scheduling clears up what the time commitment is for contesting.
  2. Scheduling increases your commitment. By placing the contest on your calendar, you’ve psychologically made a commitment to the contest. Usually this will result in more time “in the chair” working contacts.
  3. Scheduling focuses your efforts on your favorites. By doing so, it should increase your satisfaction with ham radio and contesting because you’ve decided this is the one to schedule.
  4. Scheduling tells you when you should start marshalling resources for the contest. Need to go to that mountain top for the UHF contest? Scheduling tells you when to start preparing for the trip. Need to have that antenna project completed? Scheduling helps give you that extra push to meet a deadline.

The great thing about contests, say in comparison to DXing, is that contests are regularly scheduled events. You can fit them into your life through a little bit of planning.

Working in any non-scheduled contests then become fun additions to what is already planned.

Scot, K9JY