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Re: [CQ-Contest] DX Sprint is a good idea

To: <cq-contest@contesting.com>
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] DX Sprint is a good idea
From: "Nat Heatwole" <nat@ajheatwole.com>
Date: Fri, 19 Mar 2004 12:06:07 -0500
List-post: <mailto:cq-contest@contesting.com>
Gary, K9GS, wrote:

> I just wish for once that the East coast would acknowledge that they
> such a geographically superior advantage in DX contests.  It's not the
> station hardware, it's not operating skill, it's location, location,
> location.
> 73,
>  Gary

No offense, Gary, but I take several issues with your statement. First,
I don't think that most East Coast contesters deny that they have an
advantage in DX contests over the Midwest, Southwest, and West Coast.
And even among those who aren't shouting it from the rooftops, I'm sure
that the vast majority privately accept this fact, certainly those that
have operated seriously from other regions. Moreover, some East Coast
stations even fight with *each other* about one having a geographic
advantage over the other: W1 versus W4, inland versus coastal, in the
Appalachians versus on flat land, etc. East Coast operators don't deny
that they have an advantage in DX contests any more than West Coast
operators denies that they have an advantage in domestic contests.

Secondly, the latter part of your statement seems to minimize the
effects of operating skill and station hardware. Sure, location is a
major component in contests, but this doesn't explain why many non-East
Coast ops do well in many DX contests. I'de much rather be in the
Midwest with stacks than in New England with dipoles. Superior operating
skill can overcome a less-than-ideal set-up and a great set-up can
inflate the score of a poor operator. There is no universal formula for
how to do well in a contest, but if there were to be one, I would think
it would look something like this:

Total Score = Operator Skill + (0.5 * (Hardware) + (0.4 * Location)

Whenever one talks about "leveling the playing field" to correct for the
fact that one area of the country has a perceived advantage over some
other area involves tinkering with the above equation so that Location
matters less. But this strategy neglects the other two variables, one -
operator skill - which is mathematically very much more important than
location. Trying to manipulate equations in this way is politics and
statistics, not contesting.

Nat - WZ3AR

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