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Contesting Online Survey

Survey Question Current Survey Question

Recently the RDXC committee reclassified P3F to high power from low power without publicly providing strong evidence that any infraction had occurred. They concluded was that the contestant was running HP on 80/40m but not full-time, just 10 minutes here and there without any convincing evidence. It appears they used the RBN as their source of information. Should the RXDC contest have to publicly provide convincing evidence before reclassifying a station from LP to HP?

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Randy, K5ZD, wrote a sidebar titled " Convergence and Change" in the 2015 CQWW CW printed results in CQ magazine. He wrote that the "convergence of personal computers, Internet access, DX clusters, and CW Skimmer have changed the nature of CW contesting". He goes to say that it is "more difficult to police the line between the single operator working alone and those who are using the assistance of DX spotting." In light of this convergence and change is it time to recombine SO and SOA into a single category?
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Thanks for voting! Your vote has been included in the results below.

Should more contests have power limits, or at least give more bonus points for the use of lower power stations, i.e. 200 watts or less?
  Posted: Jan 21, 2001   (496 votes, 27 comments) by AB7RG

Survey Results
Yes, it would help the average Amateur. 60% (299)
No, let's not have any more limitations. 26% (129)
Why? If they did that more people would cheat. 14% (68)

Survey Comments
Bonus points
After operating in this years ARRL DX Phone contest where
I seemed to notice more QRP power levels being given
in reports, I firmly believe that bonus points should be
given for working the QRP stations, not for the use of QRP
power levels.

Posted by Anonymous on March 12, 2001

Might Makes Right...
Why do you think they call it a CONTEST????

Posted by Anonymous on March 7, 2001

Restricted
Here in the UK we have two contests with Restricted sections. They are limited to 100W and a single element antenna no higher than 15 metres. From my QTH these are the only contests that I can do with some chance of winning. Both are quite well supported - suggesting that maybe other have problems too...

Richard G3CWI

Posted by G3CWI on February 26, 2001

Multi-power contest
I didn't mean to be anonomous. That is my proposal DE N6KB

Posted by Anonymous on February 2, 2001

Multi-power level contest propasal
I propose a contest where a station can score each QSO at any power level he/she likes and get the appropriate multiplier. Lower power QSOs would get a higher multiplier and thus the overall QRM level during a contest might be lower. Some kind of RF sensor at the final output of the last PA would have several thresholds, perhaps in 6 dB steps which would generate data that would go to the logging computer. This way every QSO could be tried at a low power to get the highest point value. An operator could chose to switch in the full gallon to get credit for the section/zone/prefix/country or whatever at the expense of more points on that particlular QSO, or the operator might choose to wait for better propagation and work the station at the lower power. There would be a lot of possible stratagies for maximizing points.
Of course there would be people who would cheat as in any contest. However it would not be too difficult to recognize that a station's output was changing from a low level to higher levels as it stepped up the power to get a QSO. If someones log entry claimed QSOs at different power levels and nobody else ever heard that stations signal strength increase in steps the cheater would be exposed.

Posted by Anonymous on February 2, 2001

no bonus, but...
I don't think there should be a bonus for low power stations, but I like the concept with three power levels like in CQWW. There will still be enough people in each category to compete with (WPX has too many, I think).
There doesn't necessarily have to be a seperate category either. Marking the low power entries in the results would be good enough and would still give people with modest setups a push and so increase participation.

Posted by DL1EFD on January 30, 2001

Power Limits in Contests
As I see it the effort in recent years to promote QRP operation in full power contest
as counter-productive to good operating practice. I consider myself adept at digging
the weakest signals out of the mud. And even in phone contests can dig anyone out
of the QRM. But in recent years I find myself questioning that philosphy do to the
number of QRP stations that choose to operate in the major contests. I say this
because the ratio of signal strength of the QRP station to the level of QRM is nothing
short of mind boggling. I' m specifically talking about an S3 signal sandwiched between
two stations at 30 over 9 in the space of 7 khz. While experienced contesters learn
certain tricks on how to time the receive stations response it will still take many
repeats to get the entire exchange. This generates a great deal of needless QRM not
to mention the fact if the QRP Station is slow in his response it will lead some operators
tuning by to think the frequency is empty and quite possibly provoke a frequency fight.

I am not opposed to QRP but merely trying to state that running QRP in the Major Contests
is not proving anything. It is not a practical form of communications. Yes I know there
are operators like KR2J that rack up 1000+ Qs in DX Contest but this is accomplished by
feed that 5 watts into an antenna system with 12+ db of gain which yields an ERP far in
excess of a 100 watt station feeding a dipole.

It is my belief that the ARRL should return to the old system of categorizing stations with
one modification. There should be 2 categories for station power. The first Unlimited and as
the name implies the only restrictions show be those imposed by the conditions granted to
to the licensee. The second category should be for those that restrict themselves to
500 Watts ERP. This would translate to include a 100 watt station feeding a 3 element yagi.

QRP stations should be allowed to operate the major contest but should not be given recognition
in contest write ups or special multipliers to do so. The are a number of QRp only contest where
low power officionados can display the operating prowness.

K1TA

Posted by Anonymous on January 29, 2001

Contest power

Contesting on theAmateur band(s) isn't whether you get an inflated ego on gettind a 599 every time it's not going to happen and if it does to you then get areality check. I've been active on Amateur radio since 1982 and have never gotten a perfect 599 on every contact on every contest , But you guy and gals who say that a full blown amp with 4 or 5 tri- banders on the tower have the ultimate set-up?. as Keith Jackson, says "Whoa Nellie". The point is some stations aren't necessarily after the"Big Guns" some listen for the little guy because they the dx stations recognize here's thesame guy or gal politically correct, that gets in there week after week jumping in the pile up for his weekly dose of 599ers, gimme a break. I contest, do i ever use an amp?.. No I do not,I listen for every one but the weaker stations will get the first shot at it. I use an delta loop yes thats my choice quiet and has gain. So get alife and get along.

Posted by Anonymous on January 28, 2001

qrp4ever
every contest should have a QRP (5W), LP (100W) and HP (unlimited) class.

Posted by DJ1YFK on January 28, 2001

Why all the anonymity?
Why are so many people suddenly afraid to have their comments attributed to them? My take on this is that most contests have diluted the competition by incrementally adding so many categories. WPX is probably the worst offender--it's gotten ridiculous. On the other side of the coin, if having (a reasonable number of) additional categories fires more people up to get on the air and get more serious about contesting, that's a good thing. Somewhere there's a fine balance. ARRL DX and CQWW seem to have hit it pretty well.

Posted by k2ua on January 27, 2001

Categories
I like CQ's WPX contest because of all of the categories! The new tribander/single element category is great and gives the ham with less aluminum a chance. Same with the rookie and band restricted categories.

Anything that encourages participation is good. The fun is in the doing, results should be secondary! "Winning" to me means beating last year's score and having fun!

73, George N2GA

Posted by n2ga on January 26, 2001

Re: High power operation
Which rules do you mean, the contest's or the FCC's ?

Posted by N2MG on January 26, 2001

KC1XX
I challenge KC1XX to a low power MM dual in the next CQ WW CW. (insert MM callsign here)

Posted by Anonymous on January 25, 2001

Bonus would only favor some
I'd have a big problem with this in most major contests as they currently stand...I live in the midwest, and even now most high-power stations here don't do as well as low-power stations on the East Coast. If however such a bonus was based on both power and distance, then this would be OK.

Posted by Anonymous on January 25, 2001

Which kind of bonus ?
Decreasing power the average stations with average or poor installations (urban areas, low bands etc.) will geometrically decrease their chance to be heard and since this apply on both sides, many of those "average" contesters won't be able to work each other because their signal will drop in QRM.
Those LP stations will be constrained to work correspondants in a more limited range or to try with the best equipped DX stations, the only ones with good enough hears.
In case of two stations with limited setups and in spite of operator skillness the gap between average (just an example) east coast and mid west or west coast stations to Europe will skyrocket and not decrease.
Can a bonus correct it ?
Will the above increase activity ?

Posted by Anonymous on January 25, 2001

High power operation
Read the rules concerning power output.

Marcel, N5VU

Posted by Anonymous on January 24, 2001

Bonus Points? A different approcach.
When was the last time you saw a guy with a barefoot rig and a tribander at 50 ft win the CQWW or similar contest? NEVER? He with the deepest pockets and favorable probagation wins! MONEY =land=dedicated shack=antenna farm=BIG AMPS=competative station with a chance. Just once limit everyone to 100w out with no antenna to excede 50 in height and no computer spoting. Now folks in urban areas would at least compete instead of just contribute to the QRM. OH, BTW, I'll be in the next fray myself looking for a new country or two for my totals with a roof mounted trap vertical running 700W and 20 year old gear. I might get lucky. Big wind storm; Power outage; Yea, it could happen! can't it? ;>} Best 73, K7DD

Posted by Anonymous on January 24, 2001

A real operator?
If one uses low power in a contest because that's the "gentlemanly" thing to do, one loses an indeterminate (but greater than zero) number of QSOs that one has no way "get back".

Posted by N2MG on January 24, 2001

I Hear You AMP Ring
I am easy. I work those guys with the AMPs too.. even when you know a bare foot rig wouldn't splatter 15 kc if it is on the market. Knowing these guys are cheating burns me not because of the power but because if they they break this rule then they probably break all the rules. I think there would be more contact opportunity without the KWs elbow to elbow talking to themselves. -W9YS

Posted by Anonymous on January 23, 2001

What are you trying to do?
I voted no, because the questions beg the question. What are you trying to do? If you're trying to give out more plaques, then we need more categories. If you are trying to level the playing field, forget it. As the commentators point out you can't equalize the playing field(try to compete from the west coast in a dx contest while the east coast wall sucks up all the European multipliers & stations). Check out NCJ this month on trying to handicap contestors. It's not possible without complex formulae, which are blown out of the water when propogation deviates from the norm. If you had a choice that said it doesn't matter, that would be my vote. Get in the contest for personal accomplishment. If you want to win, get out your wallet, disrupt your life & be ready to travel.

Posted by N6DW on January 23, 2001

The guy with the biggest antenna doesn't win. The guy with the biggest antenna and the best propagation on 10,15,20 to populated east coast areas wins. How about for the next sprint, everyone east of the Mississippi skip working 20 meters till after the first hour. Lets see how the west coast feels when they have no one to work.

Posted by Anonymous on January 23, 2001

Unenforceable
It may work. No way to enforce any power rules.
The trbl is, the guy with the biggest ants will win.
Power is the equalizer for the fellow with small ants.

Total ERP would make a lot more sense, also
unenforceable.

One test is worth a 1000 expert opinions.
VE7RF

Posted by Anonymous on January 22, 2001

A real operator
A REAL operator wouldn't need the high power. Besides, as gentlemen, shouldn't we use the minimum necessary power to make the contact? Plus less power would help congestion and complaints from non-contesters.

NG9R

Posted by Anonymous on January 22, 2001

Misconcept
A power limitation is not leveling anything and doesn't help to achieve a plain level field even if also the antenna type is included in the limitation.
Take off angle and not power or free space antenna gain is one of the main determinants with real gain on short waves.
The E.R.P. of a station may easily vary at useful angles by 10-20 or even 30 dB (ten thousand times the power) using the same antenna type and output power, but because of different environments (height, terrain slope, ground type, obstacles, etc.)
On the other hand, pressing for reduced power sets a lot of average systems (probably the majority of the existing setups) in marginal conditions dramatically reducing the chances for contacts.
Finally all the above leads to less contacts and less fun for everyone.

Posted by i4jmy on January 22, 2001

In stew perry, QRPers in the middle of now where always win. A qrper in PA stands no chance of winning compared to a qrper in NM. Limits like power never work. Remember going from 100 to 200 watts is 3 db. That is a big difference. The NAQP is a much better contest now that everyone doesn't run their amps to get 150 watts out (yea right my non-pep wattmeter only goes up to 150 when I send), but given that the west coast guys will always have a wide, quite band on which to run for hours on end and the east coast will have to struggle with narrow, noisey band it doesn't come close to an equal playing field. I think the real winners of any contest is given by this equation: # of CQs called * # of QSOs. I'm sure there is a cost factor in there somewhere so I'll leave that has an exercise to the reader.

Posted by Anonymous on January 22, 2001

Participation
Limiting a contest to exciter power only, ala 100 watts increases activity. When the typical home station gets on the air they have a signal that is closer to parity.

Posted by Anonymous on January 22, 2001

Bonus points?
I have no problem with the low-power-only contests (NAQP comes to mind). This puts an interesting spin on things.

However, the contests that lump all stations together, then handicap the higher power operations, end up over-penalizing the high-power guys, thereby removing any real operations in the high power classes - ARRL Field Day and the Stew Perry 160m Contest come to mind. I think in both of these events, a lot of QSOs are "unmade" and certain technical prowess is left untested because it is totally uncompetitive for higher power stations. In fact, in Stew Perry, QRP operations seem to win it all. How many more contacts would these winners have made (given out, etc.) had they been running full power?

I say keep the separate power-level categories.

Posted by N2MG on January 21, 2001

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