Contesting is not hard if you follow a few simple rules.
1-When calling CQ, always end your call with CQ or the name of the contest. Why? Many stations will be tuning and looking for contacts, when they catch the tail end of your transmission, the "CQ" or contest name tells them you are looking for a contact. If they see "N1ABC K" that says nothing.
2-When you give a report, always send HISCALL 599 001 HISCALL, why? Because there are sometimes partial doubles and QRM that may cause the station to miss the first part of your transmission, if he sees his call on the tail-end, he knows you are talking to him,
3-When a station asks for a repeat on your serial number, or exchange, make a macro for just that. If you only send a repeat of the call-signs and reports, you are wasting time. When the station asks for numbers, he wants numbers!
4-On RTTY, try to get to the point. Don't use long winded comments. Speed is the name of the game. Some small things can add up over a 48 hours weekend. For instance, on the final transmission, I always say TU DE K4FX. Some people send YOUCALL YOURCALL DE HISCALL TU. This slows the whole process down. When I see TU, I am gone to the next one.
5-When you call a station in a contest, you do not need to send his call. Trust me, he knows you are calling him. I have seen it many times, where a station is marginal copy, but he sends my call 3-4 times each time he calls. I know my call, I need yours! Remember the KISS method, and use it!
MORE TO COME,