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ARRL Contest Results In Print

from SM0JHF on October 22, 2002
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(this is not an advertisement)

The announcement of the decision of the ARRL to limit contest space in QST stirred a wave of angry comments and protests from the contesting community.

Let's face the facts: out of 150k+ hams who subscribe to QST (pay membership fee) maybe 1 percent is seriously interested in contests. Contesting today is a highly specialized and extremely expensive branch of amateur radio. Well, maybe not as expensive as flying a Russian rocket into the outer space and conducting some 2m FM contacts from aboard a space station.

To be competitive one has to invest thousands of dollars and posess the experience and the knowledge how to invest the money. First then you can make contest results, if you know how, that are worth seeing in print in QST. An average ham does not see a point in printing these lengthy listings at his expense. Even though the cost is actually on advertisers but paying a membership fee makes one think that this is where his money goes.

The ARRL sponsors enough contests for each issue of QST to contain contest results. Yet, the small group of contest fanatics can be found time after time in almost every HF contest. 99 percent of ARRL members don't bother with ARRL contests.

If you drive a Corvette or a Ferrari, you don't expect the highways of the country to be remodelled for taxpayer money to satisfy your need of driving very fast. BTW the US highways are actually suitable for much faster driving than is allowed. Just like an average US ham station is equipped for making better contest score than average.

On the other hand, just because an average person can't run 100 yards in 10 seconds, we should not ban the olympic games. Just because an average ham is not active in contests, we should not ban the contests. Let's keep things where they belong.

So far, among the comments and protests, I have not seen anyone mention a printed magazine, issued by the very ARRL, and devoted entirely to contesting. It is called National Contest Journal and has been available for almost 30 years.

Nothing more simple and obvious, if you are seriously interested in contests, or wannabe: Get a subscription to NCJ and as a legitimate subscriber, put some pressure on the editors and publishers.

The NCJ is a bimonthly and can easily become a monthly. The NCJ is relatively thin but can and should put on some weight. The NCJ is called National but can and ought to become International. The NCJ does not publish complete contest results, except of NCJ sponsored events, but it can.

CQ Communications of New York issued CQ Contest magazine during a few years but it could not make ends meet so the only printed contest magazine left that I know of is NCJ. Let's support it and let's make it better and bigger. After all, we want to see these contest results in print.

The editor of NCJ is Carl K9LA. There is a web page at

Subscription costs from $20 per year and can be ordered on line at

So what are you waiting for ?

Henryk Kotowski SM0JHF

Member Comments: Add A Comment
ARRL Contest Results In Print Reply
by K3MD on October 28, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Overall the esteem that hams in general have for contesters has steadily declined since the days of W9IOP, when literally the entire issue was devoted to talking about this operator, and operating skill was held in high regard by hams in general.
The new internet contest results are easy to use, but the further erosion of any participation or interest in contesting by the general ham poplation is not good.
I have been a subscriber to NCJ since the early days, in fact I have K3LR's reprints of these, very interesting to look u old sprint results, that was a very radical concept in the old days, especially pre-computer logging.
John K3MD
ARRL Contest Results In Print Reply
by SM0JHF on November 14, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
The more correct URL to NCJ's website is:

ARRL Contest Results In Print Reply
by ae9b on November 15, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
I'm not sure what the intent was of the article however. I am a subscriber to QST, NCJ and other Ham publications. I was disappointed that the ARRL has chosen to remove the contest content. Somewhere in the back of my head I believe that Contesters probably spend more money on ham radio than any other subgroup. Although the population of contesters isn't that great, their interests are relatively expensive. You suppose the revenue generating advertisements will gravitate over to the NCJ? As I look at the banners above and to the side of this form, I see a 160M Four Square advertisement and an amplifier advertisement. You know many "Average Hams" owning a legal limit amp and a four square on 160? Perhaps the reality of Paper print is fading away. But the audience who wishes to read certain items will draw the commercial revenue. I just wish the publications would look at a winning model.. and not mess with it.
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