I thought I would add a bit of trivia and a perspective that may help in this
1. The huge score is a result of a tremendous operator, using a world-class
station, and here is the last key . . . . from a QTH location that is
absolutely killer into Europe. For us contesters in VE6 land, we can only
dream. My friend Don Moman (VE6JY) with his full-size 4 element 80m yagi is
challenged to even work Europe while someone in VY2 land is able to run station
with a dipole all because of location. Location, location, location.
2. If we consider location to be an unfair advantage, then West coast stations
will likely charge that the entire East Coast is an unfair advantage. Where do
you stop in trying to equalize things?
3. It is the FCC that has chosen to restrict band usage to above 14.150 MHz.
For a Canadian station to park themselves below that limit is really not an
advantage, as fewer DX stations even go down that low to look for signals. It
could even be considered a detriment. I know from experience that I can park
on 14.147MHz and call CQ till the cows come home with little to no action. I
can move up to 14.225 MHz and be very busy quickly. It should be understood
that VY2ZM choosing to run below the 14.150MHz not so much for a competitive
advantage, but out of "consideration" for others and ensured that a spot in the
crowded band above was free for someone else. The action was just being
Canadian and being considerate!
4. Amateur Radio crosses borders. There is a unique and special relationship
that has existed with the ARRL and Canada is like that of no other relationship
in any other government/commercial entity anywhere. It transcends nationalism.
For a large part of Amateur Radio history, Canada has been a full participant
in the ARRL in the same manner as that of other states. The relationship is a
5. There are legal, tax, cultural, and regulation differences between Canada
and the US that necessitates some separation. In my 29 year history as an
amateur radio operator I have always felt like the ARRL made an extra effort to
not alienate Canadian Amateurs.
6. To this day the ARRL President or his designate has a seat at the closed
door board of Directors meetings of Radio Amateurs of Canada where the most
intimate details affecting Canadian Amateurs is discussed and decided upon.
And the RAC president has a seat at the ARRL board meetings. This is a special
relationship, something no other "DX" entity has.
7. Amateur radio is supposed to build bridges and overcome barriers to
separation and segregation. Separating Canada so as to not compete as part of
the ARRL contests as we have historically done with our American brothers . . .
. . . well this seems to be a bit "extreme" and one-dimensional thinking. The
current rules are based on inclusion and consideration and not ones of
No, the historical relationship of Canada being considered for inclusion within
ARRL is broad and across all ARRL activities including contests. Sweepstakes,
Field Day, CW, DX and others are all part of our Amateur contesting culture
treat VE as a W. I see no good reason to change things.
As amateurs we need to be careful so as to not go down the road of building
barriers of isolation. The arguments seem to be based not so much on the so
called band advantage, but more based on nationalistic sentiment to keep the
ARRL exclusively American, to exclude Canada but include Alaska/Hawaii/PR/USVI.
Doing so using strong nationalistic feeling towards Canada being a separate
country, is to ignore the long history of the ARRL and the deliberate efforts
of its founders and stewards to include Canada in everyway possible. The
current situation with respect to the ARRL is that Canada is "NOT" in the same
category as DX.
I am happy to be an ARRL member and a RAC member. The contesting rules reflect
the greater purpose of amateur radio, that barriers should be removed not walls
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