In the november/december 1991 NCJ k9aks wrote an article about the
decline in activity in the vhf/uhf sprint contests. He blames this
decline on two factors.
1. "The magic of grid squares is gone."
2. That the publishing of scores in the NCJ does not give the sprints
the exposure that they need to attract participants.
While both of these may be the cause of the decline in activity and
log submissions I feel that there are a few other factors that might
have something to do with the decline.
The sprints take place on the "activity night" for each band. This puts
most of the sprints on a weekday night.
They are single band events that are not as much of a draw for rovers or
portable operations. This single band aspect also does provide as
much activity. ie. you work everyone in the first 30 minutes or less.
The sprints are short and the chance of enhanched propagation is less.
I dont see this as a problem as the short contest is what makes the sprints
attractive. We have full length vhf contests.
Taking these "problems" into account. I think that the following suggestions
would make the spints better, more intresting and increase activity.
have sprints on weekend, night sat or sun night.
-combine all bands togather - make it into a vhf sprint
using all the bands in a format much like the normal arrl vhf tests.
-this would increase intrest and activity -- would make the contest
more atractive to a wider range
-would more easily facilicate "moving" stations to higher bands.
-reduces the contest down to one date -- instead of one for each band.
concentrates activity - people would plan to operate the contest.
might want to increase the time to 5 or 6 hours. who says a sprint has to
be 4 hours long or short. I think making it longer than 6 hours would
lose the sprint quality.
-increase time because of increased bands
-makes rovering more attractive - more travel time - more grids.
-it is easy to put on 6 grids in 4 hours
-i like 4 or 5 hours i am not so keen on 6 hours.
a year. one in the spring and one in the fall or summer.
the first vhf/uhf sprints were in both the spring and fall.
-possible fall weekends would be:
BEST - nov. weekend between the arrl ss contest
oct. weekend before the cq ww sssb test.
spring date should be in april or early may.
-early may provides for better chance of Es.
-summer dates provide the chance of increased Es
-poor hf condx -- better to be on vhf
-warm weather for portable or rover activites
-many "open" contest weekends.
maybe 3 sprints a year?
why not - i think more vhf contests would be good.
esp. of the short type.
spring, summer, fall
these could be spaced between the current vhf tests.
things to avoid
-do not place contest on weekend of hf contests --
there are many contesters who like to do both vhf and hf.
These are some of my ideas. I would like to know what other people think
about any and all of the above.