The current discussion on DX contest length seems like old wine in
new bottles - it's been going on for as long as I can remember.
Before we all go off on a crusade with swords slashing, let's make
sure we at least pay lip service to a number of issues.
1. Does it seem as though the older we get, the more attractive a
shorter contest becomes?
2. We presently have a diversity of contests, both in length and
objective. Do we want to make them all the same? Let's revel in our
contest diversity, not reject it. Let's not make this issue an excuse
to turn our contest mountains and valleys into a faceless plain.
3. Do we want something for nothing? There will always be persons
who cannot participate at a high level in a contest. That may be
because of location, station, marital constraints, operator constraints,
or whatever. We can never equalize a contest for all participants.
4. If we can't compete, for whatever reason, is that someone elses
problem or is it ours? Life is a series of choices (QTH, marital status,
size of antennas, etc). Our choices have consequences. We need to learn
to live with the consequences when we make the choices.
5. When we choose to shorten a contest, where do we stop? 18 hours?
12 hours? 6 hours?
6. If we choose to shorten a contest because of the chances of
interference to others, where does the appeasement end? The contest
length needed to reduce interference to a minimum is zero. Let's not
start down that slippery slope. The issue of contest-related interference
needs more reason and less rhetoric on the part of contesters and non-
7. As has been pointed out by others, a longer contest gives casual
operators and those with less-than-optimum stations a better chance to
work a few stations. They can choose their operating times around their
constraints. Let us not forget that, although the recognition goes to a
few, the success of a contest belongs to the many.