A Sleep Strategy for DX Contesting
This article originally appeared in the National Contest Journal.
Why am I here? Listen to all these signals. Who are they? Wonder what they are doing? All this CW sure sounds nice. What should I do with this keyer paddle? Should I push this button? I can turn this big knob but what does it mean? Why am I here? There must be some reason, if only I could remember.
It is the 1981 CQ WW CW Contest and my first real attempt at single op DX contesting from the station of N5AU. Sunrise on Sunday morning is only minutes away. I remember waking up, sitting in front of the radio, and experiencing a disorienting state of confusion and wonder. Later, I learn from N5AU’s mother that I sat there for over 15 minutes without moving. Finally, slowly, I was able to understand what I was doing and why. The “sleep drunkenness” abated and I returned to the rhythm of the contest.