No. 25 November 16, 1997



(Low Impact, Vegetarian, Environmentally Safe DX)


Here at LIVE, we're busy gearing up for the CQ World-Wide CW DX Contest, November 29 - 30. The reason we always have the "edge" in the contest is that we prepare differently. Others are outside tuning their antennas, replacing feedlines and greasing their rotors. Inside, they tape fresh fuses to amplifier panels, carefully mark tuner settings for each band, defragment their hard disks and load contest exchanges into keyer memories. HAH!

Before we promulgate this extremely valuable information, we must bring up a most important matter: As you can see, LIVE has entered it's second year, and imitators have sprung up everywhere! Accept no substitutes, you are reading the one-and-only, original bona fide L.I.V.E. DX. To protect yourself from brain-numbing rip-offs, memorize this PIN number, you will only find it on the genuine article: XRN22987166540332GRBZZ##. There will be times, of course, when the PIN number may be hidden or encoded, but rest assured that you will still be reading the unabridged, unexpurgated and inimitable L.I.V.E. DX. Got it?

Where were we? Oh, yes, about PIN numbers. They can get a bit cumbersome. As a public service, LIVE will be happy to replace your PIN number collection with a single, easy-to-remember number generated by our mainframe here at headquarters. Satisfaction guaranteed, just send your account information and former PIN's, and we'll do the rest.

Okay, so the contest is in a few days. You won't find us under the desk oiling the footswitch, oh, no! Here are the ten secrets of big contest winners:

1. Get some sleep. Lots of it. Scarf some Melatonin and bag some ZZZZZzzzzz's.

2. Grease your elbows. Use something long-lasting like commercial grill fat. It has to last 48 hours. You don't want DX'ers rash, do you?

3. Eat a lot of fat and carbohydrates. You're storing up. Real contesters grow a tail like a Lorax where they store up energy.

4. Don't shower. A top-line CQWW'er should smell. No one will bother you. When your neighbor comes over to complain about TVI, step outside and close the door behind you, quickly. You'll be back QRZ'ing in seconds.

5. Chant. Get used to repetition. Get used to repetition.

6. Enter the first 1000 Q's in your computer. This will save time and guard against a possible hard drive crash. (Put in a few rare zones to save yourself from pesky pile-ups the first few hours of the contest.)

7. Watch "Rocky." Rent the film early as it will be much in demand by other entrants. Note how strenuously Sly trains. Close your eyes. You are READY!

8. Enter the contest late. The first few hours, all the big-deal stations are creating unbreakable pile-ups. Go get a Bonus Jack and browse around Home Depot. What the heck - they're spending hours on a few measly Q's, you've already got a grand in the log.

9. Dupe the Bigs! Each time you work KP2A and he sends you "dupe" - it's one less for him. Fight dirty. This works particularly well if your rotator is stuck.

10. Lastly: Keep going for two hours after the contest is over. The rare stations will be more receptive and the big contest stations will be exhausted.

Don't let anyone else know about these strategies for contesting. It will be our little secret. Unfortunately, by the time you read this, the contest will be over. Cut this out and paste it on your rotor control for the ARRL contest in February.

Did Fifteen and Ten open up? You betcha! What really amazed us at LIVE is that the bands seemed to stay open even after the Solar Flux dropped into the eighties. 7X4AN showed on fifteen CW from Algiers. Mohamed sending faultlessly while sipping thick tea and eating baclava. Up the band, TT8KM, the "speedy lad from Chad." Fortunately, you need only be able to recognize your call at forty words-per-minute.

ZD7WRG put in a booming signal on ten meters, available on SSB to almost every license class. Johnny is very active, especially just after the Fokker arrives from Johannesburg with a fresh supply of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.

Swaziland is the African entry of the month on twelve meters. 3DA0CA has been on pretty regularly. The path to the South Africa area stays open longer and opens earlier than others. It must be the angle of the "terminator" (the line that separates day and night on the surface of the earth). If your rotator isn't stuck, turning your antenna in the direction of the terminator will produce the best DX possibilities.

At W8DX, I'm hanging around Johnny Rockett's waiting for a free hand-out of grill fat. Why? In a word, Libya. (Note how I deftly switched from third-person to first-person.) Libya, 5A is one of three countries in CQ zone 34. The other two are Egypt (SU) and Sudan (ST). These countries are not exactly overflowing with hams (or ham). You need every zone, one through forty for the WAZ award, all forty on five bands, 200 zones for the five-band WAZ award, the "primo" prize. Zone twenty on eighty meters, received early this month, took me to 199. I only need zone 34 on eighty. A feat akin to capturing an alien at Bloomingdales.

Here comes Libya, and who's going to Tripoli? The lederhosen-wearing, fun-loving Germans, spreading their Gemutlichkeit around that desert enclave, erecting big antennas and working the bands with the efficiency of a BMW mechanic. You can bet I'll be watching the terminator (not the movie) and I'll be ready when the neighbors come to the door.

The Germans are also going to 5R, Malagasy Republic, the OTHER "Big Island." These folks are always in search of a good time. Lord Howe Island, just off the coast of Australia, is an easy shot for the West Coast. VK9LX is due on right now, when you read this. What they don't want you to know is that Lord Howe is a resort with all the luxuries and amenities thereof, loaded with Australians in lounge chairs and Foster's Lager in the Price Club family size.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have 9,674 more entries to place in my log, and the contest is just two weeks away!

...Harvey, W8DX

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