An occasionally recurring thread on CQ-CONTEST has involved
recruiting new contesters. While the flare killed the bands for
WPX this past Sunday afternoon, I had a thought on this subject.
What motivates people most to try contesting? Money!!! Now
before anyone throws Section 97.113 (b) at me, I am not
contemplating paying people to operate in contests. However, what
if a "Station Improvement Grant" were offered as a prize to a
"rookie" (a ham submitting a contest log for the first time)
single op, operating their own station, with the highest score
in, say, for the sake of argument, CW Sweepstakes.
Let's dismiss the legalities. Section 97.113 (b) states "No
station shall transmit messages for hire or for material
compensation, direct or indirect, paid or promised." When any
"rookie" operates in the contest, no offer of compensation has
been made or promised to him (or her.) The Grant is simply a
prize, like a plaque or certificate, only more valuable and more
usable. It can only be won once by an operator, because after
submitting a log in a contest, the operator is no longer a
rookie. Hopefully, though, he will be bitten by the bug and be a
This grant could be sponsored by the NCJ. It could be publicized
in QST along with PINS and Sweep Cups.
Now, how big should the grant be and how do you fund it? I think
it needs to be significant to be effective. The number I have in
mind is $1,000. If 100 dedicated contesters chipped in $10 each,
it could happen. Maybe a few manufacturers might chip in some
How do you administer the Grant? I think a team of two or three
(at most) "trustees" could receive the Grant contributions, open
a bank account (requiring more than one signature to withdraw
monies) to hold the funds, review the logs, confirm "rookie" and
"own station" status, review the proposed station improvement
expenditures and fund the purchase.
I'm willing to put my money where my mouth is, and will start the
program with a $50 contribution, if this goes forward. I would
also volunteer to be one of the trustees.
I am now donning my suit of teflon coated armor to deflect what
will probably be thrown at me.
73, Ken, AB6FO KWIDELITZ@DELPHI.COM