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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?

Recent Surveys

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?

What's your primary Software for HF Contests ? ( no VHF/UHF ! )

Are you ready the this year's winter contest season

What ways have you found to be effective to attract newcomers to our hobby?

What is your linear?

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Thanks for voting! Your vote has been included in the results below.

The CQ 160 Contests currently use a DX exchange which consists of RST + country abbreviation. The latter is redundant with the callsign and is sometimes confusing since some operators use abbreviations and some use prefixes (e.g. "ER" can be European Russia or it can be Moldova). Starting with the 2003 running of the contest, the CQ 160 Committee is considering changing the DX exchange ONLY and would like your input. Remember that you must correctly copy this exchange through heavy QRM, QSB and QRN and it should be easily recognizable for casual contest participants that haven't read the latest rules.                NOTE: CQ does NOT intend to change the character or record comparability of the most successful worldwide 160 contest (e.g. change the scoring based on Grid Square distance like the Stew Perry).
  Posted: Dec 27, 2001   (704 votes, 23 comments) by N2MG

Survey Results
Leave "as is" (abbreviations...SI for Slovenia, ER for Russia, etc) 11% (75)
Nothing (RST only as in ARRL 160) 16% (110)
Output power (Watts) 5% (36)
Age 3% (24)
Grid Square 13% (89)
Serial number 21% (147)
Zone (WAZ or ITU) 32% (223)

Survey Comments
Don't screw up the BEST 160m contest
by changing the exchange. The only
change I would like to see is the 48 hour
format with 36 hours of maximum operating time.
Peter WW2Y

Posted by ww2y on January 5, 2002

Since everyone in the contest is 59(9) regardles of how many times it has to be repeated it is absoultly worthless as an exchange. A power output or age would always be the same for the dx station so it would be easy to remember and it would be something that the US station would have to copy correctly and would be easy to check for the log checkers. It would at least have something that has to be copied correctly (besides the call sign) or it is not a valid QSO. Paul k9ot

Posted by K9OT on January 5, 2002

Change the exchange
My view is that "making the exchange simple to copy" should not be the objective. Simple to understand, should. Furthermore, it should be something that is non-trivial. I suggest getting rid of RST and just sending serial number. RST is now 5NN for all Qs. Get rid of it; sending it wastes time and bandwidth. Need it for QSLs? Why don't we all presume 5NN and leave it at that; we certainly don't need to send it hundreds of times just to be sure we get plenty of 5NN sending practice. Let the prefix define the multiplier status as discussed by other posters.

Posted by W2CS on January 4, 2002

CQ-160 - I like Zones
I'm definitely in favor of changing the exchange to zones. It's enough of a challenge just trying to get their call sign!

73 & See you in the 160 contest.

Jim Nitzberg WX3B

Posted by wx3b on January 4, 2002

Why not serial numbers?
I actually voted for nothing because I feel it's enough of a challenge to get the DX call right, however if I had to choose something in addition, I would choose CQ Zone. For those who like serial numbers, here are a few things to consider:

1. It seems inconsistent to have North America required to copy a unique-per-QSO exchange for DX when non-NA stations are only required to copy our non-unique State or Province.
2. While we might like to think log checkers will check the accuracy of serial numbers copied, in fact this is not always the case. K4JRB told me that N4IN never checked them previously when they were required as part of the exchange. In something as simple as the ARRL DX exchange of power, it is amazing how inconsistent some stations are in what they send! Checking serial numbers adds an unnecessary level of complexity for log checkers.
3. With the QRM, QRN, QSB, etc. on 160 why add another hurdle...let's keep it very simple!

73, Bill W4ZV

Posted by W4ZV on January 4, 2002

CQ 160
I like zone because that is what CQ contests send...ARRL contests send Section or Power ...CQ sends Zone....Simple to remember.

Posted by K9DX on January 4, 2002

Change the Exchange
Change it to something that calls on the skill of the contester to actually copy, not something that smart software can automagically deduce and populate like zone.

I voted for "age" but would support "serial number" also.

73, Hans, K0HB

Posted by K0HB on January 4, 2002

Keep it simple
I was originally going to vote keep it the same. Then I saw serial numbers were going to beat zone numbers so I chose that! Let's don't make it complicated. It's 160 meters and it isn't easy copying some of these far away stations!

Bernie, W3UR

Posted by W3UR on January 4, 2002

CQ 160M Exchange
RE CQ160 Contest Exchange:

A simple exchange is a probably a good idea during CQ160M because copying the call is the real test under poor condx. At the end of the day, the RST (usually 599 anyway) and something additional are largely symbolic.

While I voted for WAZ zone, I would be perfectly content to limit it to callsign and callsign plus RST only.

The really important issue on Topband is to get the call right.

In the old days, when progressive serial numbers were used, it was often vy vy tough to copy that damned number. Quite a few QSO's were either left out of the log by operator choice - or - you might have to take a chance and "gamble" that you heard it correctly as a weak EU station went into daylight.

Mind you, it surely adds to the difficulty of establishing a QSO - and in some respects that is a good objective.

However, Topband differs from HF in general (it is alot HARDER to complete a QSO generally on 160M) and it is probably "good enough" to base a valid QSO on the callsign alone or callsign plus RST.

The various abbreviations sent today are all over the lot and follow no logic at all - so replacing them with something else probably is a very good idea.

Let's not make it too difficult, however, to validate a QSO.... While I am not in favor of DUMBING DOWN the contest per se, I think WAZ zone or just callsign plus RST is enough in this one.

Just my opinion - everyone has one!

73 and CU from VY2ZMM in two weeks' time

PS -Hope to work you in the contest - we will try to pass out the rare PEI multiplier to as many folks as we can.



Posted by K1ZM on January 4, 2002

Change the exchange
The exchange should not be changed to just the RST. After
all the RST will always be 599 and provides no challenge to the
receiving party.
On the other hand, the RST presents an introduction into
what comes next, which I think should be the Zone. The
Zone is distinctive enought and not as hard as a serial number
for those who are starting out.

Posted by w1tw on January 4, 2002

toss up
Serial numbers or CQ zones are certainly the most easily recognizable (to a casual observer) exchange elements listed.

Posted by N2MG on January 2, 2002

Change it!
I think a serial number or a Zone would really make things much simpler. If I was DX, I would rather have to send a zone number than a huge serial number twards the end of the contest.

Posted by KB9UWU on January 1, 2002

Since it is difficult to make a contact just a serial number would be ok.

Posted by k0cop on December 31, 2001

Change the exhange
When You have to copy the callsign is stupid to give the zone number,the power or any other thing,wich is unchangable during all qso's!So my opinion is definitly "serial number".So I hope that we start in 2003 with 59001!
HNY 2002!

Posted by S55M on December 29, 2001

Cange The Exchange
I think the best way would be RPT+Zone like CQ WW. The serial number would be very hard in those band conditions.

Posted by CT3EE on December 28, 2001

The correct Answer to the survey is:
If it must be easily recognizable for casual contest participants that haven't read the latest rules then the correct answer is NOTHING.

Posted by N8VW on December 28, 2001

Why even have RST?
Now that almost everyone wants to eliminate the morse code requirement for getting a license...Can we get around to eventually eliminating the RST from contest exchanges?
I would much rather have grid square than RST for any contest...geez at least then you
would have to copy something other than 5NN.
How about grid square and serial number instead of rst and serial number?

CW forever!

Posted by k9gy on December 28, 2001

K.I.S. = Keep It Simple

As a "CW challenged" (my choice),"property restricted" (also my choice) casual participant in most CW contests, I see absolutely no logical reason to make an exchange difficult? Especially for those of "us" that are not really "in the contest", but participate to help those that are! I know and accept the fact that I will never be competetive in most contests, and I also know and accept that if it is necessary to listen through several exchanges, in order to get it correct, I will most likely find something other to do during those contests. I also realize that the opinion of one does not constitute a majority, however, I suspect that there are considerably more "casual" participants, that "serious" ones? If/when those "casual" participants decide that it is "more trouble than it is worth", the contest(s) will get very boring?
Shelby, K4WW

Posted by K4WW on December 28, 2001

Change Exchange
In case Committee is not going to change the scoring system ,whatever is the exchange it does not matter at all. So, WAZ zone as in big CQWW or just RS/RST is sufficient IMHO.

Posted by LZ2CJ on December 28, 2001

Re: Change both Exhanges
Isn't that quite difficult way to determine points? If you would like to use some distance based points calculation why not use grid squares and calculate distance between them like in most of the VHF contests here in Europe. But why should you change the scoring method as it is fine now. The question was about the exchange not the scoring method and I still favor the tx power.

Posted by OH6XX on December 28, 2001

Change both exchanges
The 160 Meter band is so seriously constrained to limited distances that long distance contacts should be given additional QSO points credits. My suggestion for a way to do this would be to estimate the geographical center of each US state, small country, Canadian Province, 5 Japanese islands, Australian states, and similarly sized Russian political entities. Each entrant would fall into one such state-sized
division and be assigned a geographical position based on its states center. One computer at HQ would calculate the mileage between each pair of states geographical centers and round it off to the nearest thousand miles. Each contact from zero to 1500 miles would count 1 QSO point (for ~1000 miles), while for 1500-2500 miles a contact would count 2 QSO points (for ~2000 miles), etc.

The exchange would be a code indicating the state-sized location and a contact number.

Posted by kr6x on December 27, 2001

Change the Exchange
I voted to include a serial number with the RST. Doing so would add something that is not easily guessed (under poor conditions) and does not make the exchange too long.

Posted by n5wa on December 27, 2001

Change the exhange
I agree CQ committee that the exchange like it is now doesn't work very well. Mostly it produces problems when trying to figure out multipliers as none of the contesting softwares I have used for CQ 160 contest doesn't recognize the difference in ER European Russia or Moldovia. Most of UA stations give out the ER as abbrevitiation and at least NA (which I have used past few years) counts all those stations to be DX stations which gives double points for every contact. That's why have had to log all the UA's as they would have given UA as their exchange so that we have gotten correct score. I have notified the committee about the "error" we made every time I have sent our log and we haven't been penalized. Another similar problem (not so big one) is Moldovian stations who give out MD (Maryland) instead of ER.
The ARRL DX contest type exchange, power, works fine with me. The programs can define the multipliers from prefixes and in case of W/VE stations from the exchange as in ARRL DX.

Posted by OH6XX on December 27, 2001

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