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[CQ-Contest] ARRL DX Test

To: <cq-contest@contesting.com>
Subject: [CQ-Contest] ARRL DX Test
From: "Jim Cain" <cainjim@mindspring.com>
Date: Mon, 15 Mar 2004 10:34:14 -0600
List-post: <mailto:cq-contest@contesting.com>
>Dave Hachadorian, K6LL wrote:

>I'd like to see the return of the High-Band (10, 15, 20) and Low Band (40, 80, 
>160) categories to the ARRL DX Test.

The high band/low band categories were instituted when I was arrl "contest 
editor" (actually, "assistant communications manager") in 1975 or 1976 (and was 
an active competitor). I am pretty sure this was my original idea, but it may 
have come from someone on the Contest Advisory Committee or elsewhere. I 
thought it was a good idea to boost participation then, and I still think so 

Another idea that I am sure was mine -- and was implemented -- was the "One 
Weekend Expedition" award, to recognize people who went elsewhere for one 
weekend of a two-weekend contest. 

I agree with Jeff Briggs, K1ZM, about keeping the full 48 hours open with no 
time-outs, even though Jeff beat me on CW in 1977, when the contest was two 
full weekends for each mode, phone and CW, and he kept his butt in the chair a 
few more hours than I did (about four hours more out of ninety-six, for crying 
out loud). There was a rumor in those days that when he operated a phone 
contest, Jeff had an extra-long cord on his microphone so he could get out of 
the chair, walk to a window, open it, and get a little air. I cannot confirm 
this rumor.

In about 1975 I made an official (as "contest editor") trip to a PVRC meeting. 
Vic Clark, W4KFC was there. He was Roanoke Division director (later arrl 
president). The subject of changing the ARRL DX Competition to one weekend per 
mode instead of two was raised, and I was asked my opinion. I said I liked two 
weekends per mode, because it meant more quality days to play radio and enabled 
one to work on antennas and such in the month between weekends. 

I will never forget seeing Vic Clark's eyes roll back into his skull as I said 
this. He was a politician, I was a peon.

Bottom line for me? A certificate or a plaque doesn't mean anything if you have 
lost interest in getting on the radio. The fun of contests is working people 
fast and never running out of new people to work. Increasing participation is 
all that matters. In the ARRL DX Contest, which is sponsored by and for U.S. 
hams, the goal should be to get more non-U.S. hams to participate. I think K6LL 
and K1ZM are on the right track. 

jim cain, k1tn/5

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