This 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: Go on a contesting DXpedition.
For as long as I have been an amateur radio operator, I’ve wanted to go on DXpeditions. Fortunately, with the Cinco Nueve Contest Group, I’ve been able to go on a couple where I’ve gone out of the country and operated in contests.
But, you don’t have to leave the country to go on a “DXpedition.” While living in the Midwest, people took a trip to North and/or South Dakota to help put a needed multiplier on the air for Sweepstakes.
Last year, the Cinco Nueve Contest Group drove from Washington and Oregon to Idaho to put Idaho — a unique multiplier for the CQ WW RTTY Contest — on the air for the deserving.
Here are some good reasons to go to that relative rare one for a contest:
- The other end of pileups. Yes, they ARE different on the other end from where you’ve been calling for your entire ham radio career. How to handle them is a skill you will need to quickly learn.
- Speed of operation. Because you are rarer in the contest, the activity stays up longer and operates faster. If you are familiar with “speed” in sports, then you’ll be able to relate that DXpeditions up your speed game.
- Logistics. Picking up everything and going somewhere to operate provides a completely new set of challenges. Going through the logistics experience helps you understand what is important for operating — helping you set priorities for your own station back home.
- Motivation for the contest. You made the trip. You are more likely to be committed to the contest then if you were surrounded by all of the comfort — and tasks — of home.
Going on a contest DXpedition aren’t for everyone, of course. But if you get the opportunity, my suggestion is GO. You’ll learn a lot.