Speak Out: Contest clubs...pro and con
Most of us probably belong to a contest club or were a member at one time. Clubs can be valuable assets for contesters, providing technical assistance, a sense of comraderie and motivation to stay in the chair. As with all organizations, they have their downsides as well. What are your views? Contest clubs... pro and con.
27 opinions on this subject.
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Anonymous on 2003-07-30
When I saw this topic listed, I said "How could anyone possible be "con" Contest Clubs. In Minnsota, MWA has done nothing but help the growth and interest in contesting in our area. When non-contesters see the fun we are having with our pizza competition and reflector dialog, they seem to want to join the fun. The key is to be inclusive - i.e. don't let anyone feel that their contribution is too small. It's heartwarming to hear veteran MWAer Big Guns patiently explaining to newcomers some of the tricks of the trade (without making them feel they were silly for asking).
Quite often, you will hear one of our members say "I don't have time for a full effort but I am going to try to get on a little to get some points for the club." Alone, this guy may have had no real motivation to get on. How can this NOT be a benefit to contesting?
Minnesota Wireless Association
Anonymous on 2003-07-21
I'd like to see a MOBILE class added to Sweepstakes so the guys in apartments can do some HF contesting.
Anonymous on 2003-07-15
I am for contest clubs. That's why several of us started the Tennessee Contest Group (TCG) nearly a decade ago, which has grown by leaps and bounds. I am also for a Club/Team Competition category in contests. The IARU HF World Championship lacks Club/Team Competition and other competitive categories. And, therefore, a rule change is needed.
What rules need to be changed?
Add LOW POWER category.
Add QRP category.
Add Club/Team Competition.
Why do the rules need to be changed?
To increase participation. By adding new competition categories there will be added value to the contest. More participants will increase activity to compete for awards.
One example: Did anybody notice the larger than normal number of HQ stations S&Ping due to low activity when they would normally be CQing to keep the rate up? Does anybody believe that the low activity is solely a result of poor propagation?
How will this rule change affect the costs to administrate the contest?
Costs will increase.
How can added costs be offset?
As administrator for the contest, the ARRL can sell memorabilia, such as pins, coffee mugs, t-shirts, etc. More competition categories = more participants = more "buyers" (of memorabilia) = more money!
Arguing that added costs to add competition categories is prohibitive is not valid when there is a viable solution.
Once we identify the decision makers for rule changes and the policy and procedure for presenting a formal proposal, it is my intent to announce a more developed and detailed plan-of-action to effect these changes.
73 Ric Wo4o
Anonymous on 2003-07-15
You are probably right, most people are lousy teachers and just don't know how to impart knowledge.
Personally, I'll tell anyone interested my theories about contesting!
In the 10m contest, I got up at 4AM local (Pacific) time to listen to 10m Just-in-case it opened for some Es to Eu, which it does sometimes up here.
From 4:30 to 5:30 AM I worked a ton of Eu stations. I was the only station from the NW I heard or heard the Eu stations working! The band opened and closed firmly after the hour.
The NEXT morning, everyone was up at 4AM listening and chatting ground wave for the opening which never came.
So, I won the 10m contest for High power CW-only in WWA and NW division by the number of new sections I worked that morning.
Now, if contesters would impart that kind of knowledge....
73, Steve N4SL Machias, WA CN88
Anonymous on 2003-07-14
N4SL wrote: "the old guys know it all and won't tell you a THING about it"
Well, I'm sure some "old guys" might do it deliberately but, IMO, it's not so much "won't" as "can't". Most of what a contester learns about succeeding at contesting must be experienced - not taught. One must live through the subtleties of listening to a band and being able to tell it's "going long" or that aurora is affecting the signals; figuring out when to speed up the CQing and when to slow it down; timing in pileups; the list is nearly endless.
Anonymous on 2003-07-11
I find the big clubs (SMC, YCCC, etc.) to be of no interest to me - even a turn off. Instead I belong to a small contesting club formed seven years or so ago specifically with the idea of elmering new contestors. Now that group I enjoy. Local help, lending of equipment, inviting each other over to use a station and/or observe. Just what a club should be. No pressure to get on for the "good of the group," but instead an emphasis on quality operating, exploring new modes, and otherwise getting better.
VE3HG on 2003-07-10
Contest Club Ontario has been a big help to me. I've been building a contest station (on a suburban lot) for several years now with the help of VE3RZ. Now, as member of CCO I get all kinds of insider info it would take me years to learn thanks to our club reflector and the occasional gathering. As for criticism from local club non contestors -- I bought an SB-220 (although I do operate some contests at 5 or 100 watts depending on the category I want to win). Contesting is fun and that's what I like about ham radio. Our club members come from across Ontario and it's great to be associated with such a helpful and friendly group of contesters and hams.
Anonymous on 2003-07-08
Club contesting the best thing for this part of our hobby that has ever come along. Small stations, that normally would not get on, have been getting on, giving the deserving some extra Q's. Plus, it makes (at least our club -SMC)the little pistols seem as valuble as the big guns. It's neat to see the big guns compliment the little pistols !
Anonymous on 2003-07-08
I think the pressure that some clubs place on members to operate Assisted "for the good of the club" is shortsighted. For the long term health of contesting, members should be developing their own multiplier-finding and band-opening-detection skills WITHOUT the use of packet.
KE9R on 2003-07-07
I'm really blessed to be in the SMC circle. All those boys are entirely supportive. They are willing to share their knowledge, their stations, and most importantly, their motivation. Before I got into the SMC I remember operating SS CW for the first time. It was so overwhelming that I gave up after two hours thinking I'd never be able to copy that exchange at that speed. The next year they told me to operate high in the band, slowly. I was taken by how many supportive club members worked me with words of encouragment. At times it was the only thing that kept me going for the full time.
World Wide Young Contesters is also unbelievable. It's great to make friends with contesters a like age as me, to chat on irc, to realize you can be LR/XX/AR when you grow up, but right now it's okay to just be KE9R. ;)
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