Working the CAS contest

This morning i heard a lot of stations from northern Europe on the air calling contest.
Personally i don’t like contests, but it’s a good way to make a lot of contacts and to practice your operating skills so i decided to give it a go for a while.

So how do you work a contest?
First of all you need to know what the contest is about. You need to know the rules. Listening to the operators in the contest i heard somebody calling “CQ Contest. <callsign> in CAS Contest”. So i went to Mr. Google to find out if there was a page made about this supposedly CAS Contest.
I ended up on http://sactest.net/, the web of the Scandinavian Activity Contest. There is a excellent section with the rules of the contest.

  1. Scandinavian stations will try to work as many non-Scandinavian stations as possible and vice versa.
  2. Radio amateurs all over the world are invited to participate.
  3. Start en Endtime.
  4. The 3.5 – 7 – 14 – 21 – 28 MHz frequency bands
  5. SSB only
  6. Lots of rules regarding operating modes
  7. Lots of rules regarding how to log, where to send it, etc.
So now that i know this i can start participating in the contest. First thing i do is, now that i know the rules, listen how the contest is progressing. 
Some operator is responding to a call with “<callsign>, 59, 1563”. <callsign> is the callsign of the station he is contacting, 59 is the signal report, 1563 the progressive number. This is the 1.563th contact this operator is making. And i am just starting!! I don’t think i will win this contest…

I call and on my first call i make the contact. “<mycall>, 59, 1564”. I respond “Confirm 1564. You’re 59, 001, 73” “Confirm 001, 73”
Today i enjoyed a lot moving across the bands listening and working some stations.

There are a couple of things to remember when you are participating in a contest:

  • Before calling, listen to the contest rhythm and adapt to this rhythm. 
  • A contest station wants to work as many stations as fast as possible. Make it short and sweet.
  • Never give your callsign twice when calling a contest station. Once is sufficient;
  • If the contest station copied your complete callsign, do not repeat your callsign and just give him the required contest report;
  • If the contest station returns to someone else: DON’T CALL! WAIT!
This article was like the contacts in the contest itself, short and sweet. If you need to know more, if you have any comments, please let me know.