Endless Contest Pileups…

I have been contesting since I got on the air in 1958, some 58-years ago. Back then it was paper logs, sending exchanges with the right hand, and copying them with the left. It took a good while to even change bands. This was way before the computer age! I sure wish I could roll my age (not the clock) back with today’s modern contesting software and hardware systems.

Fast forward to today. Instant band changes and copying two bands simultaneously in stereo headphones plus being on the DX end of the contest, and this is what the possibilities are:

CQWW 2016 CW N6MJ Running 15m and 20m Simultaneously

Comments from Reddit:

  • He’s an alien. I can barely handle SO2V, never mind SO2R with dueling QSOs on separate bands. Mad respect.
  • BTW, This guy along with KL9A won WRTC in 2014. Here he is doing SO2R while texting on his phone.
  • What’s going on here? He’s decoding simultaneous QSOs on different bands in his head, and then he’s responding with macros on his computer?
  • Pretty much. He sends CQ on one band on one radio, and while he’s listening to what comes in on that radio, he sends CQ on the other, bouncing back and forth to reply. Most likely has the audio split so the left radio is in the left ear and the right radio is in the right ear to keep them separate. If you can do it, you effectively double your QSO rate as a single-op. And then he does this for 48 straight hours.
  • Insane skill.
  • Usually, SO2R operating involves Calling CQ on one frequency while chasing multipliers on the other radio. It allows you to hold your run frequency while finding more points. There are cases (like in VHF/UHF contesting) where dual CQ is acceptable because the contacts usually trickle in compared to HF. Also, operators in VHF/UHF contesting don’t mind being told to hold on. In HF, if you were to do dual CQ, it could work but if two people come back, you will have to favor one or the other. By the time you make the other exchange, the op might be gone. In most contests, Single ops can only have one signal on the air at a time. It’s a careful balancing act.
  • There was some discussion of this on the CQ Contest mailing list, where N6MJ himself posted the video. He’s running dueling CQs.
  • Geeze, if there were piles on both ends, I wouldn’t know what to do. I’ve done SSB SO2R and it was very interesting. I don’t contest enough to feel comfortable doing dual CQ.
  • Right? I haven’t operated from anywhere set up for SO2R, but I have done SO2V on SSB looking for mults (or, in Sweeps, dear god anyone new to work on Sunday afternoon) when my run frequency gets boring. Timing that is tricky enough, I can’t imagine doing it with alternating CQs.
  • This guy is an amazing talent. I’m curious whether people who are, say, really good at video games would be able to come close, even with a few years of practice.
  • I think it has to do with starting at a young age and having the want and need to do it. Just like those people who do speed runs and 1B points on arcade games. Hams are always trying to find a way to get the youth involved. Contesting is overlooked in a lot of cases and I think it would get a lot more involved. Younger people see ham radio as antiquated. They are not aware of the competition side of amateur radio because people scare them with the cost barrier. Contesting doesn’t involve needing acres of aluminum.
  • True, I keep wanting to start some sort of project where high schools get a small ham station (donated gear) and the stations compete in some sort of regional competition. One great thing about contesting is that it’s both a competitive, stimulating activity and it correlates with lots of useful engineering and propagation knowledge. How awesome would it be to have students running beverages across the sports fields late on a Friday night in hopes of beating out the competitors? Kids these days aren’t lacking social interaction, so radio isn’t going to appeal in the same way as the latest app, but the competitive aspect of it (I think) is far more fun and real than any video game.
  • Another video in-line with this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42TCOtmJuEI
  • This feat can also be accomplished in a Phone contest: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOWhUovz1Kg

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