Operating notes: CW Open
I’m not a big contester, but I am a member of CWops, and the CWops host a contest every year
called the CW Open, and this contest takes place on Labor Day weekend. This year, I decided to
My participation actually got started in a funny way. One of the things that I do for CWops is to
manage the website. Just before the contest, there was some question as to whether the form
used to submit teams rosters for the contest was working properly. So, to test the form, I
submitted a team called Team Website, consisting of me and Theo, SV2BBK, who is also one of the
When the list of teams was first published, Team Website was included in the list. Theo mentioned
this and suggested that Team Website be deleted. I thought about this for a second and suggested
just the opposite. I thought that we should not only keep Team Website on the list, but recruit
other CWops members who might also be casual contesters.
I’m happy to say that this was a big success. Theo and I had six other CWops join us on Team
Website. I think that these folks had always wanted to be a member of a team, but didn’t want to
feel obligated to operate the entire contest or who—like me—don’t have a fancy contest station.
As I told the team members, we have no goals or expectations, so it’s very easy to meet them!
The contest is split into three, four-hour sessions. I operated for about two hours, about a half
hour in the first session and an hour and a half in the third session. I made 20 contacts in the first
session and 95 contacts in the second session. I spent most that first 20 minutes getting used to
using N1MM again and doing search and pounce.
I started out the second session doing search and pounce on 20 meters, where I made 20 contacts
before the signals began to fade. Then, I switched to 40 meters, where the signals were quite
strong. I still operated mostly search and pounce, but towards the end switched over to running a
That was and really upped my score. As you can see, I made a little more than one contact per
minute in that final session. That’s pretty good for me.
Read the rules!
I could have made a couple more contacts had I read the rules beforehand. In most contests, you
can only make contacts once per station per band. In the CW open, you can make contacts once
per session per band.
So, what happened is that several stations called me during the third session who I’d already
worked on 40 meters in the first session. N1MM flagged these contacts as dupes and I refused to
log those contacts. This happened several times, so I decided to read the rules. That’s how I found
out that I was doing it wrong. In fact, the CW Open web page says, “May contact for points only
once per band, per session. Note: do not remove dupes from your log.”
Anyway, I had fun. I haven’t heard back from my other team members, but I hope they all had as
much fun as I did.
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