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Soapbox for 2021
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It was disappointing that many operators during the event had no idea that it was even going on, much less the required exchange. There should really be some publicity to get BOTH rookies and non-rookies to join in the fun. There were some rookies and non-rookies that were unaware and would have participated if they had known. I did have a couple non-rookie contacts, and I thank them for their participation and helping the rookies have a successful event.
This is a great contest for those getting started in CW like myself. It was a blast! With that being said, hardly anyone seems to know about this contest. Only 27 scores submitted and I’m sure not all of those are rookies. There were long periods during the contest (10-15 minutes or longer) where I’d call CQ with no answer. I’d switch to S&P, only to find the same stations I had worked already. Found plenty of stations not participating in the contest, so propagation wasn’t the issue. Virtually every new operator I talk to is making an effort to learn CW. CWA has a waiting list. Something doesn’t add up, and based on comments from prior years, I’m assuming it’s a continued lack of awareness/marketing. This is something the ARRL should make an effort to improve upon, because this really could be a great contest.
This was my first year trying this one, and boy do I regret not learning CW in my previous two years. I had a ton of fun, and will be looking forward to more CW contests in the future! Thanks to everyone that patiently worked with me!