de Ward, N0AX
I'm glad to see some of the big guys recognizing how much fun low-power
can be! Although I've done my share of high-power contesting from W0EEE
in the 70's and in multi-singles/multi-multis, I get the maximum charge
from beating the 100w and 1000w crowd while using QRP. I don't recommend
it in the Sprints, however...ugh! Per my letter to K5RC a couple of NCJs
ago, Randy, AA2U, scored high enough in the QRP category to place in the
Top Ten for Low Power. When was the last time that happened between power
categories? SS QSO totals in the 800-900 range on CW and the 1200 range
on phone are pretty major accomplishments, and exhilarating to boot!
As far as WRTC goes, I can assure you that it was and is IMPOSSIBLE to
level the field, even with identical equipment and similar QTHs. There
are far too many variables and far too few stations. I was in charge of
selecting the stations and it was not possible to come up with truly
equivalent stations. The silver medalists actually had a higher QSO
total than the first place guys, but DG/AR had a more balanced log of
CW and SSB, which gave them a higher aggregate score. A scatter-plot
that I did of final score vs. my station rating index showed that the
operator ability was much more important than equipment, within the
bounds of the "experiment".
The novel rules of WRTC, and the upcoming INT SPRINT, are examples of
ways to minimize the importance of the "I'm the biggest, loudest, you-
know-what on the band" syndrome. If the scoring and operating rules
are set up to favor rate, then the big boys are gonna win...it's a drag
race! Most contests are drag races right now. What we need are more
events set up like road rallies, where nimbleness and planning are the
key to winning, not so much how much you have to spend on the car.
AA7FT suggested a parallel operator rating system to bicycle racing,
wherein you compete within a category of your peers as determined by
past performance. Everybody starts as a rookie-class and then works
their way up to master-class by winning. You reach your own level of
competence and ability. This requires an adminstrating body and a clear
rating system, yet to be developed by radio contesters. I see that
Adam's, just joined the reflector, maybe he will upload the plan for
us to look at?
K3NA has initiated the Open Architecture effort, I think we also need
a similar effort in establishing an operator rating effort. The Radio-
sport Foundation is the correct vehicle. It's a big effort, as the
first group to try found out, can't we pick it up again? Internet
would be an ideal media to develop what is essentially paper rules and
requiring no hardware. Who out there is interested in developing an
operator rating system? (Administrating and implementing is another
matter, of course...) Drop me a message here on the bitstream and I'll
act as a temporary moderator.
CU in the Int Sprint!