Contesting is my favorite amateur radio pursuit. I like the action. I like the (hopefully) fast pace. I like the fact that I'm playing against others and I'm always trying to outperform my last effort. This continual drive for excellence is embodied within contesting. I like to call it "extreme sports for geeks" becaus it is indeed extreme and it requires a passion for technology and an aptitude to understand the science and the technology behind the scenes. It therefore caters to those of us who affectionately embrace the "geek" moniker!

I've attempted to capture my contest scores and some anecdotes along the way. I hope you enjoy some of what I've put together. I did no contests prior to 1993 and was in a drought for 2003 through 2007 because of work commitments. Thankfully, you are beginning to see some big scores here again! Despite continued demands from other pressures in life, I hope to keep the momentum going this time!

Click on a year to see the results for that year

In contesting, one of the great achievements it to make a Top Ten finish. This means you score in the top ten for a specific category. When you can do this, it means you have made the big time and it sure feels good! Here are my Top Ten finishes in the big DX contests to date:

Top Ten Finishes
Final Score
CQWW DX Contest
ARRL International DX Contest
CQWW DX Contest
ARRL International DX Contest
ARRL International DX Contest
2009 CQWW DX Contest

For those not very familiar with contesting, it involves competitions among groups of radio amateurs. These competitions can be small, like the CQWE contest, or they can be huge, worldwide events with thousands of participants. The CQ World Wide DX contests and the ARRL International DX contests are the big contests. There are many more in between.

My participation ranges widely. Many of my contests are casual efforts to hand out a few contacts to the serious participants. This helps the serious entries and it also keeps me in practice for my own serious efforts. There are a few contests I approach in a true attempt to excel. Among this group are the Pennsylvania QSO Party, the CQWW DX Contests, the ARRL DX contests, and some of the North American QSO Parties.

As a member of the Frankford Radio Club, the greatest world power in radio contesting, I am committed to score as high as possible in the CQWW and ARRL DX contests. I cut my teeth with the K3II superstation team for several big contests and I now do the most contests as a single operator at my own place. The addition of an Acom 2000A amplifier in mid 1999 has really improved my competetive edge!

Contesting is competition, the primal battle for superiority. The competition is not always clear. Sometimes it is the guy who consistently beats you or threatens to beat you. Sometimes it's the elite who are always on top, a place where you wish to be. Most often, it is within each of us, as any victorious pursuit must first conquer the most notorious of all foes; ourselves.

In any competition, there are winners and there are losers, but all who play the game play for the love of the competition. In that sense there are no losers! I prefer to win and I've always found inspiration in the words and philosophy of Vince Lombardi. To those of you who also play to win, I present Vince Lombardi's famous speech on winning:

The Habit of Winning

by Vince Lombardi

Winning is not a sometime thing; it's an all the time thing. You don't win once in a while; you don't do things right once in a while; you do them right all the time. Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.

There is no room for second place. There is only one place in my game, and that's first place. I have finished second twice in my time at Green Bay, and I don't ever want to finish second again. There is a second place bowl game, but it is a game for losers played by losers. It is and always has been an American zeal to be first in anything we do, and to win, and to win, and to win.

Every time a football player goes to play his trade he's got to play from the ground up - from the soles of his feet right up to his head. Every inch of him has to play. Some guys play with their heads. That's O.K. You've got to be smart to be number one in any business. But more importantly, you've got to play with your heart, with every fiber of your body. If you're lucky enough to find a guy with a lot of head and a lot of heart, he's never going to come off the field second.

Running a football team is no different than running any other kind of organization - an army, a political party or a business. The principles are the same. The object is to win - to beat the other guy. Maybe that sounds hard or cruel. I don't think it is.

It is a reality of life that men are competitive and the most competitive games draw the most competitive men. That's why they are there - to compete. To know the rules and objectives when they get in the game. The object is to win fairly, squarely, by the rules - but to win.

And in truth, I've never known a man worth his salt who in the long run, deep down in his heart, didn't appreciate the grind, the discipline. There is something in good men that really yearns for discipline and the harsh reality of head to head combat.

I don't say these things because I believe in the 'brute' nature of man or that men must be brutalized to be combative. I believe in God, and I believe in human decency. But I firmly believe that any man's finest hour - his greatest fulfillment to all he holds dear - is that moment when he has to work his heart out in a good cause and he's exhausted on the field of battle - victorious."

Last updated: 10-Jan-2010 by K3PP