>In the recent NCJ survey, there was a question about what could be
>done to make contests more attractive. And another asking how to
>encourage new contesters.
Randy, K5ZD, suggests limiting output power to 100W as solutions.
Although getting the 'big guns' to turn off the after-burners will
produce more competition in the 100W category, how will this make
contests more attractive or encourage new contesters? Is the goal
of the 100W rule to determine who the best contesters are or to
attract more contesters/participants?
Rather than have the 'big guns' come down and stomp the 'little
pistols', we should create better rewards/incentives for contest
achievement. Several years ago I decided to break the Low Power SF
Section Phone SS record. When I accomplished this, what was my
reward? NOTHING! The certificate didn't indicate that it was a
new record, nor did the QST write-up. Even the listings didn't
(and still don't) indicate new records. I think that new
contesters want to have fun and receive some recognition for
The awards program is getting better for Sweepstakes. The Pins for
100 Qs and mugs for Clean Sweep are a good starts, as are the
Division plaques. I've received lots of comments on my T-shirt
from the WRTC. Why not have T-shirts for the Section winners? Or
1000 Qs or 100K points? These are worthy next steps for the
For DX contests the IARU contest offers certificates for 50
countries or 500? Qs. Why don't the other DX contests have similar
achievement awards? With computerized logs, it should be easy to
determine (and note) the best scores on a given band, as is done in
the ARRL VHF/UHF contests.
Another way of creating more new contesters is through multi
operation. One problem here is that running multi-single or multi-
multi with 100W won't win anything. It's still a lot of fun and
you can teach techniques and propagation. It would be nice to have
the actual power used listed in the contest listings. I've never
submitted any of my multi-op logs.
If the contest sponsors aren't interested in providing the rewards
to encourage new contesters, it is up to the local contest clubs to
do that. Too often all the awards of the local contest club go to
the same 'big guns'. What is your club doing to encourage new
contesters to make that next step?
As for all the 'big guns' moving into the Low Power category for
the 1993 Sweepstakes, I'm against it. As Danny, K7SS, points out
the real skill is in the QRP category. The differences in
propagation from different parts of the country make it impossible
to determine who the best operator is.