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                                 MACRO STRATEGY
                        HOW SHOULD I OPERATE THE CONTEST?
            How should I operate? There are so many choices.
            The  first  choice  you need to make is  operating  fixed  or 
        rover. Let's look at the rover option first.
            Rovering (at least for this year) is the fastest way there is 
        to  build a big score. The last several years' club  competitions 
        have  been decided almost completely by rovers (Thus the  contro-
        versy). Although a full-blown rover with microwave bands and lots 
        of power is quite difficult (and expensive) to put together,  you 
        don't  need a 12 band truck camper to have a lot of fun. If  your 
        rigs  run  on 12 volts, consider loading them into  the  car  and 
        going  mobile. Selec
        going  mobile. Select some high hills in various grid squares  to 
        operate  from.  Your antennas need not be fully  mobile.  Pack  a 
        tripod, a mast and a few medium-sized yagis. You may only be able 
        to work four grid squares with a setup like this, but the  above-
        average  antennas will give you good results. If you add a  small 
        portable  generator, you can add a rotor and some more  sophisti-
        cated  equipment to this setup. Most importantly, (especially  in 
        January)  take a friend to help you unless all of  your  antennas 
        are  firmly attached to your vehicle and you have the  discipline 
        not  to get stuck in the middle of nowhere. Another advantage  of 
        having  a partner is the ability to effectively operate while  in 
        motion.  This can be worth 1/3 of your score or more in  a  small 
            So,  roving isn't for you? Then that means you  will  operate 
        some sort of fixed operation. The biggest question here is single 
        or multi-operator.
            If  you  don't have a decent station at home, give a  lot  of 
        thought to joining a multi-op group. There is always at least one 
        multi-op  station on each January that is made up mainly  of  new 
        operators. Sure, you may sound like a beginner at first, but even 
        Wayne  King, N2WK had to start somewhere. I will talk more  about 
  talk more  about 
        multiop later.
            For  those  with small stations who cannot or don't  wish  to 
        join a multiop effort, there are single-op competition categories 
        for  you.  Consider operating QRP. With one or two bands  on  FM, 
        this is  your best  avenue if  you  want  to do  well. Be sure to 
        review the rules, especially  on power  restrictions and portable 
            As time has gone on, you have built up your station. You  may 
        have  six or more bands and several hundred watts on one or  more 
        bands.  Unlimited  single-op is for you, especially if  you  have 
        only  one or two steerable antenna arrays. This is  an  extremely 
        competitive class, and you compete neck-to-neck with some of  the 
        world's best VHF operators!!
            If you have two or more steerable stacks, consider a multi-op 
        operation.  Again,  there  are classes to  choose  from.  Limited 
        multi-op  is  a good place to start. You can run  any  number  of 
        bands, but you can submit logs for only the best four. This gives 
        you  a taste of what a full-blown multiop is like. Last year,  Ed 
        Taychert,  AA2MZ,  (Then N2NVD) put on  a  limited  multioperator 
        operation.  Many of the operators were inexperienced  VHF  opera-
        tors,  and there was only one good steerable stack. But  it  paid 
        off.  paid 
        off. His team finished second locally and tenth nationally!
            Finally,  there is unlimited multioperator. For  the  serious 
        VHF'er  with  the requisite 'aluminum' systems  (At  least  three 
        different  steerable arrays) and at least six bands, this is  the 
        ultimate proving ground. Every operator should try to be on a big 
        multiop team at least once. The experience you gain is not avail-
        able any other way. Personally, this is my favorite. I have  only 
        put  in  one serious single-op VHF effort in my ham  career,  and 
        there are many other hams who nearly always operate multi-op.
             When deciding how  to operate  this year, don't  hesitate to 
        ask  a more  experienced  operator.  Many  major  single  ops and 
        multi-op captains have  intensely  studied this  question and may 
        be  able to  steer you  in the  right  direction.  Also  read the 
        awards rules. They may help you decide  what class to compete in.
            As  usual, I am out of space for this month. Next  month,  we 
        will  discuss 'micro-strategy' or what you need to do during  the 
        contest to score well. Just remember: THE MOST IMPORTANT PART  OF 

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