In case you feel that it's too easy making a MS contact, especially using HSCW, here are some tips on how to avoid that completion and increase the challenge:
1. Never review the Procedures (http://www.nitehawk.com/rasmit/hscwsop.doc for the Americas, http://www.scit.wlv.ac.uk/vhfc/iaru.r1.vhfm.4e/5B.html for Europe). This way the other station will never know what you're likely to do!
2. Always send more information than is needed (North America differs from Europe here). E.g., when you get the other station's call and report, be sure to send both calls, report, and R. This should waste at least 5 or 6 good pings if you live in North America.
3. When you get a single R, start sending 73. While the extreme MS flutter may chop up other signals, it couldn't happen to you. This almost guarantees a lost QSO. Or better still, start sending R's as soon as you get both calls but before you get a signal report. This not only will lose the contact, but will increase the difficulty of getting another schedule with that station.
4. Use non-standard procedures, such as requesting a reverse of the calling sequence, or stating frequencies by the Dial Reading, or using local time, or sending your grid square for a report when not required in a contest. While these things really shouldn't confuse the other station, there's at least a chance that it will - sometimes a very good chance!
5. Never check your signal by requesting a Wave file from another station. Don't bother to download and use CoolEdit or one of the other Wave file programs. Make the other operators figure out why they can't copy your keying.
6. Never read any of the classical articles on MS, listed in the Announcements on the W6/PA0ZN Web site and elsewhere. It hurts the brain cells too much to try to understand any of that junk. And avoid all of those MS/HSCW Web sites. Each one is quite different, and you'll never get through all of that technical stuff.
7. Never use the "Request for Repeat" codes on HSCW. The other station might know them and fill in what you've missed.
8. Never use the flow chart on what to send, or the HSCW operating chart as a help. Your memory is surely as good as mine is at 3 a.m. And don't bother with the other papers and circuits on the HSCW/MS Web pages. You're far beyond that.
9. Never review the "Procedures". It's 4 pages, and you've known all that stuff for years. (Did I mention this before? My memory isn't as good as it used to be).
10. Finally, don't run any more schedules than you absolutely have to. You're a good operator, have lots of practice on the keyboard, and know all about MS operation. So why waste your time unless it's a new grid.
11. Never check your clock. The power line frequency is fine.
12. Never check or upgrade your station. Let the other guy make the improvements.
13. If you decide to change something, always do it one hour before your schedule.
14. State the Zero Beat sked frequency, then set your dial on it, without regard to your tone injection frequency.
15. Pay no attention to the reports of others who have done the above things and thus greatly increased their challenges.
16. Wait until time for a shower to make HSCW schedules. And, obviously, don't bother to learn the programs or procedures until sked time.
17. On HSCW, drive the rig as hard as possible to run as much power as you can. You paid a lot for your amp, so it can take it. And sock the audio to it. This will produce a more interesting signal for the other station.
We hope these suggestions will put more of a challenge into your MS operation! Perhaps not. But they sure will help the other station move to another level of difficulty! And we thank all the operators who have sent in their own favorite "handicaps" that they have used!Compiled by Maj. O. R. Disaster, from the works of that great wireless pioneer, Owa Taboo Byam.