Interesting discussion on contest duration. I've only been at contesting
about 11 years, and enjoy it immensely when the rest of my life permits.
I think the win-win idea is to add a 24 hour category to the major
contest for single-ops. I find that about the maximum endurance point
myself. Combined with the need to maintain some semblance of "normal"
life it would potentially encourage new contesters to join the ranks. It
could even be beneficial to add a 12 hour category as well.
Most of us who are into contesting have at least some amount of ego in
how we do compared to others. Being able to compare more equally based
upon operating duration would offer another way to do that. I compare
my results against my previous scores, but that is not a public exhibit
of performance, which I admittedly like to see.
I think we need to be careful to avoid an attempt to "equalize" the sport
to the extent proposed by VE5ZX, however. But, for those of us who fit
into K5NA's "aging wimp" category, having less stressful categories might
be beneficial, and I would hope would encourage newcomers to the sport.
The spouse question is another matter - very individual in nature. Mine,
N0AJB, who hasn't touched the HF rig in years, has always been very
supportive of my interests. Of course, there is a price - I accomodate
hers as well. The only time contesting can be an issue in my house is
when her birthday falls on CQWW SSB weekend. But, even that has been
accomodated - we just passed our 25th.
Look for me in ARRL SSB weekend - possibly single band 75 to test my
2 element Hytower array. It will also accomodate my "aging wimp" need
for some sleep during a 48 hour contest period :)
Ron - W0OSK