My amateur radio activity primarily involves DXing and participating or organizing DXpeditions. I have dabbled in Contests over the years while mostly seeking new band/country contacts.
At times, I have been frustrated with the frequency of contests and the behavior of contesters on the bands. Many times, I have been trying to work a DX station only to have a contester plop down on top of the DX station and start calling CQ Test. I have often wondered if contesters and DXers could co-exist on the bands.
As time goes by, I have come to recognize the many contributions to amateur radio that the contester community makes and I also recognize the skill, stamina and knowledge that most contesters possess.
In fact, by and large the best Dxpedition operators are contesters. They can operate with great accuracy and a fast rate for many hours at a time. Their contesting skills are like a muscle that has been exercised and well developed. They can simply go faster and farther than many DXers that don’t participate in contests. The best Dxpedition team are largely comprised of experienced and top contesters.
Whenever I have a complex technical challenge or a question about a logging program, I always look to the contesting community for help and I almost always get a multitude of well thought out and informative responses is short order.
If you look at “cutting edge” amateur radio gear, the vast majority of it has come from advances made by the contest community. They are constantly trying to find new, more efficient ways to operate and make rapid fire contacts.
So, I am grateful for contesters and the many contributions they have made to this great hobby.
What do you think?