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[CQ-Contest] Sig Rpts

Subject: [CQ-Contest] Sig Rpts
From: w5hvv@aeneas.net (Roderick M. Fitz-Randolph)
Date: Sat Jun 7 10:40:22 1997
At 20:35 on 6 Jun, Charles D. Shinn wrote:

At 07:52:46 on 5 Jun, Charles D. Shinn wrote:

>Perhaps we should remember that these contests have evolved from
>a time when it was difficult to maintain equipment on the air for a period
>of 48 hours. Not to mention that oftimes the reciever went one way and
>the xmitter went ( QSYed) the other. 48 hours with such hardship must
>have been a challenge indeed. The operator test here was mearly to
>survive the experience.
>Now the equipment operability is a given. Antennas and other accsessories
>are just as reliable as the transcievers. The operator is the true element
>under test, Should'nt contest dynamics be adjusted to reflect the change?
>With all the emphasis on uniques and attention to accuracy it would seem
>that the request for modernization is comming from the community
>at large. They simply havent been willing to step up to the plate and say
>so. Perhaps historical records come into play; perhaps its egos.
>Undoubtedly there are many reasons to not evolve but I cannot think of
>one serious reason not to improve the game. Lets challenge the

I'm not sure if I read the above message correctly: that is, did I perceive
the content correctly as it was meant to be perceived by the writer.

(1)  If the writer was suggesting 2 weekends two weeks or a month apart for
the same contest, that is one matter.  That is the way the ARRL DX Contest
used to be run.  I'd have no problem with that.

(2)  If the writer is suggesting that the 30 or 36 hours is insufficient in
all cases and that 48 hours should be the minimum in all contests, I invite
him to make another judgement after he has another 15 years to add to his
52 and let him see how he feels about the strain on heart, etc., at that

If I have misread the content of the above message because it dealt with the
length of time of a contest, the effectiveness of the equipment, the signal
reports, the challenge to the operator, the operator as the true element
under test, egos, etc., and somehow got the wrong message, I beg all's

Rod, W5HVV

Whereupon, Charles answered with the following excellent reply:

Hi Rod; Well I guess I wasnt as clear as I had hoped. I was referring to
operator skill as it applies to handling the traffic. You could apply this
to any
contest period or periods. I merely meant that copying an automatic 59 or 599
was nothing more than a frame of referance marking the real data to be copied
later. i.e. 599 kw or 599 07.....where the 599 is a given(no brainer) and
the real
information to be garnered from the QSO is callsign and kw or 07.
Ive been trying to advocate a more stringent test of the operator. There have
been contests designed that utilize sequential numbering schemes and
contests that accumulate geographic mileage ( grid sq to grid sq) etc. Im sure
that with a little of the creativity displayed in the contest community and
on this
net, a team of contesting guru's could come up with something more intriguing
than 599. I personally believe that a computer assisted operator (generating
plain text code groups) could compress and transmit a large message (on cw)
and beat a similiar packet only equiped station.(Perhaps with no more than
relays to go around the world). This is only one of the ideas that an enhanced
operator,and what may seem today as an unconventional contest might do.
There has been a lot of talk about sending "real" signal reports vis-a-vis the
usual 59 or 599. This is only a bandaid and would quickly deteriorate into
a random sequence because no real rate operator would take the time to
look up and asses the signal comming in. So, therefore the data has no real
meaning and virtually no penalty for misscopying it. I suppose new log checking
programs could be written to error check these but for what purpose? You are
taking the time to transmit information. Lets make that part of the test and be
meaningful. Make miscopied text cost the operator. Anyway I could get into
how a contest could be designed to challenge current technology and advance
the art. But I think Ive exceeded your initial request for information and
clarification.Feel free to forward this to the contest reflector if you wish...
                                Best, Chuck W7MAP

Thank you, Chuck, for taking the time and effort to fully explain.

Rod, W5HVV

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