There's been lots of discussion here lately about how contests could be made
more attractive to more operators, etc. I think we can all agree, big guns and
casual operators alike, that more activity in contests will make them more fun
for all of us.
I think one factor that really discourages many operators is the fact that a
handful of big guns monopolize virtually all of every band that is open by each
parking on a frequency and calling CQ continuously. After the S&P operator has
worked all the big guns, then what? It's not too exciting tuning up and
down the band listening to the same stations calling CQ, maybe finding one
new one every five minutes. At any given time, there are probably hundreds of
operators who haven't worked each other all tuning around, unable to find a
frequency on which to call CQ themselves. (Indeed, often the only way even a
big gun can get a frequency after a band change is to drive someone else
away.) Now, this is all fine, I suppose, if you are one of the big guns
running Europeans, except that in the long run a lot of those Europeans are
going to lose interest in contests altogether.
It's become common experience in DX contests, even for modest stateside
stations, the one just HAS to hold a frequency and call CQ to maintain any
decent rate at all. Yet, a reasonably skilled operator CAN make 90+ QSO's per
hour in S&P mode, IF THERE'S ANYONE THERE TO WORK. But often the above is
precisely the reason there ISN'T anyone new around, so we have a vicious
Any proposed change in this situation will doubtless invoke the wrath of the
big guns, but here goes anyway. One possibility is some sort of a QSY rule.
For DX contests, the Sprint QSY rule would probably lead to chaos. (The
Sprints ARE chaos, but that's what makes them fun!) Perhaps something like a
15 minute limit on a single frequency would work. Other ideas?