Sunday, September 16, 2007

Hey, you never know!

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I was surprised to discover that I'd won the SMIRK contest for the 2nd call area. Originally, I hadn't even planned to submit my log, but Larry, N4VA, talked me into it, and I'm glad he did. I also learned a lesson, which is to always submit your log. Not surprisingly, Larry's not the only one who recommends that.

This month, Scot, K9JY, has been running a series of contesting tips in his blog. Some are pretty obvious, some not so, but all are worthwhile reading. Today's posting is about exactly what I discussed in the first paragraph, always submitting your log. I won't rehash what he posted (read the link for the details) but as I've mentioned, my experience is that it's easy to do (since other than about my first 5 or 10 HF contacts, I've always logged electronically) and every now and then, you might find that you actually win something.

Those of you who know me know that I'm far from a serious contester, though I do occasionally get involved enough to want to try to reach some self-set goal. Sometimes that goal is make a certain number of contacts, sometimes to better my score from a previous year (which can be a real challenge as the solar cycle bottoms out, or in a 6m contest when there is good sporadic E-skip one year, and none the next), or sometimes to hit a target set by the contest sponsor at which point you'll automatically receive a participation certificate. I've done that a bunch of times, and have gotten nice certificates from several contests, including the California QSO Party, the Kentucky QSO Party, and even won (again, unexpectedly) for NJ in the Virginia QSO Party.

I agree with Scot: If you go to the trouble of making the contacts, go ahead and submit your log. As the ad for the New York Lottery says "Hey, you never know!".

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