Stay in the seat
The answers varied slightly but came down to these points:
- Sleep - do it before and after the contest but not during. How? What is the secret for getting your sleep schedule aligned with the contest? The answer was Ambien, a sleep medication. After a rush of horror passed over me at the mere thought of this, I confess I see the point. I am not tempted to try this, but neither am I likely to attempt a full 48 hour stint.
- Nature's call - People eat. Later, people need to deal with the consequences. So, how does one deal with 48 hours without that bowel clearing exercise? The answer was to avoid fiber in the days prior to the contest in hopes that nothing would need to be moved. This idea was introduced as delicately as possible during discussions and raised more than a few chuckles. Given the sleep remedy suggested, I had wondered if there would be a suggestion of Imodium or other medication that would slow the digestive system. It never was. (I wonder if they've not thought of it, or if it wouldn't work as I hypothesize?)
- Water - You need to drink water to stay alert. The suggested remedy is just as simple as you might imagine, and it includes a bucket. This idea drew far fewer laughs than the fiber idea, and it seems many in the audience had already given this a try. For the record, I did not rank among them (yet).
- Caffeine - It was strongly suggested that you give up any stimulants in the week before the contest. That way, when you really need that kick late in the contest, the big cup of coffee, tea, or soft drink will do the trick. Of course, I was also thinking that caffeine, being a diuretic, also contributes to one of the problems mentioned above and should be avoided for that reason, too.
I was not particularly ambitious during my 2006 trip to St. John seeking only 500 contacts in the contest. Neither were we particularly hard-core on Montserrat (I made fewer than 1300 QSOs from there). I am planning on pushing hard during my St. Kitts trip this Fall. While a 48 hour effort during the CQ WW DX SSB is almost certainly out of the question, I may attempt something approaching a 36 hour effort. I've not formalized my goals for this trip, but that level of effort is intriguing--especially after being energized by Contest University. I'll have much more about this as the departure date for this trip draws near.
It seems to me that there is a significant overlap between contesting and DXpeditioning. It is not unusual, for example, to see famous contesters also on big DXpeditions. The crossover of experience is often mentioned. This message was recently passed on the Yankee Clipper Contest Club email reflector in response to the plethora of hyper-expensive radio offerings in recent years.
Date: Mon, 21 May 2007 13:46:28 +0000
From: "Donald J. Toman"
Subject: Re: [YCCC] Megabuck Radios
To: "Jordan, David"
It should be added that, with the experience of one DXpedition under an operator's belt, with that $1000 radio, small amp AND G5RV, he may perform at least as well as he did with the $3000 antenna system.
The missing ingredient in any station setup is the operator. There is no substitute for experience and training in developing an operator.
A DXpedition pushes the learning curve better than any other training I know, and it doesn't need to be a large investment.
I couldn't agree more.