30 Ham Radio Contesting Tips:
- Schedule your Contests. The really great thing about contesting is they are regularly scheduled — regardless of great propagation, DXpeditions or the mood of the sun.
- Create a contest goal. Goals are good and help motivate you while participating.
- Contest on your terms. Contest for and be motivated by your reasons. Not everyone is out to win the contest; it could be you want to learn a new mode.
- Have an operating plan. Having a plan provides you guidance for the contest and a baseline to compare against reality in the midst of battle.
- Test equipment before the contest. You do want your stuff to work, right?
- Update Multiplier Files. Downloading the latest ensures you won’t miss a juicy multiplier during the contest.
- Read the contest rules. You’d be surprised how often this bites you — even experienced contesters.
- Work a contest one month before the real contest. The sun rotates once a month (27 days)…so work a contest the month before to experience the propagation you will have before the one you really want to concentrate on later.
- Test ergonomics. Sitting in a chair contesting a long while will test how well your station is laid out for operating.
- Have a guest op checklist. What should you bring as a guest op?
- Compete with a partner. Work a contest with someone in your club (together or at your individual stations). Discuss what worked and what didn’t about the contest……More
Check this great article from K9JY: