More than just a Ham radio blog.
is an informative, cynical and sometimes humorous look at what is happening in the world of amateur radio.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Contest University UK 2009

Love them or hate them HF contests are part of life on amateur radio. For some of us they are a signal to turn off, while for others they are a chance to work a few DXCCs missing from the logbook and for those with the cash they are a chance to say to the world “I have got more money than you” these are the serious contesters. Serious contesters never appear at any other time, they spend more in the month before a major contest buying the best equipment money can buy than the rest of us do in a lifetime. Winning is all that matters to them and I am told, they have very small penises, which is why they need to have a bigger tower, bigger antenna and more power than anyone else.

Over here in good old Blighty we do not have a hope in hell of competing with the big money ‘Big Guns’. We are allowed much less power and our towers tend to be 30 feet rather than 300 feet high, but that does not stop us having a go. The old ‘It’s not the winning but the taking part that counts’ spirit that comes to the bear or maybe is it just an excuse to get together with some mates, drink beer and play radio all weekend? Whatever, because as soon as the contesting starts mild mannered Bruce Banner becomes the rampaging Hulk, “I am not a gentleman. I am a contester!” he growls.

Well now there is a chance to learn the secrets of experienced contesters at the RSGB Convention being held in Wyboston near Bedford, England, on October 10th 2009. It is called Contest University (CTU) UK, sponsored by Icom UK and based on the highly successful Dayton CTU. There will be multiple sessions and workshops on all you need to know about contesting. It will I am told be of interest to everyone from the wannabes to the experienced. This is the second such UK event and 125 people took part in 2008. Attending at least five of the sessions will get you a certificate of graduation from Contest University UK!

It all sounds like it will be very interesting and I would give it a go myself if it was not the other end of the country but…

You will have to forgive me for laughing. If it is not pretentious enough to have to call it a University they have to give away a ‘certificate of graduation’. Just imagine how many degrees you could obtain if the only thing you had to do were attend five lectures? Surely CU UK would have sufficed so why add a stray letter T? It would be understandable if it made a memorable acronym but it does not. I guess it simply follows the American event and the idiot behind that event thought contest was two words. He probably thinks you spell amateur A.R.M.A.T.U.R.E., drives a pick up truck and is called Bud.

If you are going, then enjoy but do not take it too seriously. Contests are about having fun and annoying the hell out of everyone not taking part, drinking beer and having a laugh with mates, getting out of going shopping and playing radio all weekend, and proving that you do not need to spend the gross national debt of Iceland to put up an effective station.

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