RST Contesting (An RST Special Interest Group)

The RST Contest SIG is a Special Interest Group (SIG) that provides a venue for members of RST and their friends, family, and colleagues to explore the radio sport aspect of Amateur Radio. The RST Contest SIG uses the callsign AK7AZ for all of its contest activities.

For more information about the RST Contest SIG, feel free to contact either of the RST Contest SIG Co-Chairmen listed below.

Staff

Position Member Contact
Co-Chairmen Bill K6WSC [email protected]
Co-Chairmen Richard K7NSW [email protected]

Bill, K6WSC BIO

Bill K6WSC was originally licensed in 1969. He was largely QRT for 37 years until 2008 when he got hooked on the Sport of Amateur Radio, Contesting. Primarily a CW operator, Bill enjoys both DX and domestic contests. He is a member of Radio Society of Tucson, Arizona Outlaws Contest Club, Southern Arizona DX Association, and the Catalina Radio Club. He is the Chairman of the Arizona QSO Party, and past President of the Southern Arizona DX Association.


Bill began with a basic station. He had a transceiver running 100 watts. His antenna was an Alpha Delta DX-CC multi-band dipole strung up in a very compromised location. The center was hung from the chimney of his house. The wire elements were strung out parallel to the rain gutters and only a few inches away from the stucco on his house. Under that stucco was a very large area of "chicken wire". And so, he started out. After "getting his feet wet" he won some contests and did well in others. As time passed, he became a competitive operator. Now he has an Icom IC-7300 transceiver feeding a hex beam for 20 15 & 10 meters plus a Butternut vertical for 40 and 80 meters. But these antennas are not high up on a tower. The base of the hex beam is 24 feet up on a guyed pole. The base of the vertical is up 8 feet on a pole using 4 radials for 40 meters and 2 radials for 80 meters. For a long time, he limited his power to 100 watts. Last year and this year he used a small amplifier raising his power to 500 watts. With this increased power level, he can more easily hold a run frequency and realize a higher rate of contacts. So how does he compete as well as he does? Two reasons come to my mind. First, over time he has gained experience operating in contests - one step at a time. Second, he stays in his chair and goes at it for several hours at a stretch - another skill acquired over time. YOU TOO CAN DO THIS - give it a try. You might find it to be a lot of fun. Bill will probably give you the following advice if you ask him: (1) Any station is a great station to get started in contesting. (2) Start out in the various state and/or area QSO parties. Among his favorites are the California QSO Party, the 7th Call Area QSO Party and his personal pride (because he manages it) the Arizona QSO Party. He also has fun operating during the annual ARRL Field Day. (3) You probably have a computer so get a logging program and start using it. Bill recommends N1MM. Bill is a Co-Leader in the Radio Society of Tucson Contesting Special Interest Group.

Bill is very approachable and easy to talk to. Go find him at a club meeting or contact him for additional information

Richard, K7NSW BIO

In 1961 Richard started out his days in the ham hobby and has been generally active ever since, not always a contester. But he was always a casual operator with a passion for Field Day. That is because he loves the outdoors. His first contest was in the 1980s when he challenged a friend to a race to get an ARRL Worked All States Certificate. It was not an official contest, but he won.

In 2015, he moved to Arizona and landed in Tucson. In 2016 he attended his first RST Field Day (FD). In 2018, he volunteered to organize Field Day. That year, was the year the US Forest Service closed Mt Lemmon because of extreme fire danger. Normally RST and the Catalina Radio Club have joint Field Day operations. RST and CRC had separate Field Day operations that year. RST held FD at the Pima County Emergency Operations Center (PCEOC), arranged by Mike Boger, Gary Keck and others.

Along ths journey he met Bill Clark, K6WSC. Bill was advocating for the AZ QSO Party (AZQP). Richard mentioned how much he loved Field Day. Bill must have concluded Richard was a contester or wanted to be a contester. Richard did an interest in contesting, but had never really explored it. Richard listened with growing excitement to Bill's pitch the AZQP. Bill struck gold when he talked about activating rare/hard to find counties and launched Richard's contesting career. Richard had a camp trailer and liked to operate portable. So he signed up for the AZQP. He operated he operated once from Santa Cruz County and once from Cochise County.

In 2020 Richard decided to volunteer to serve as the Contest Special Interest Group (SIG) Call Sign Trustee and took on the job of RST Contest SIG Chairman, replacing the outgoing chairman. With Bill Clark as a Co-Chairman, they revitalized the RST Contest SIG. Richard considers himself the least qualified person to serve in the Contest SIG leadership. Showing that anyone with the desire and enthusiasm can be a successful contester, with Bill and Richard's mentoring. Please join them in the fun.

The equipment that Richard uses is three complete stations. At home he has a Ten-Ten Omni VII plus the matching amplifier based on a pair of 3-500Z tubes giving him over 1,300 watts output. His antenna is a simple G5RV 30 up 30 feet on a fiberglass pole. HIs portable station is a Kenwood TS-590SG pushing an Ameritron amplifier using four 8-11A tubes capable of 800 or more watts output. His portable antenna is another G5RV up 30 feet on a push-up pole. Richard recently acquired a third station, a boat anchor station during the annual ARRL Straight Key Night. It is a National NC-300 and a Johnson Viking Ranger. Both are 1950 - 60 era vacuum tube rigs. The Ranger gives him 80 watts CW and 40 watts AM.

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