Well, that is oversimplifying matters by a large extent. VHF contests are not
the exclusive operating ground for technician class operators. To the
contrary, a great majority of VHF/UHF contest entrants are general and extras
that like VHF/UHF contesting. As someone else recently pointed out, I think
the case can be made that VHF contesting is actually not doing so well.
In any event, I don;t take too much stock in technician class licensing levels.
If you mosey over to QRZ.com and punch in a random 2x3 callsign combo that
would be assigned to a technician class operator, you'll see that there are
hundreds of hams who got licensed and probably have never touched a radio. My
evidence for this is the fact that you have a lot of "techs" with a 8 or 9 year
old license and maybe 5 "hits" on their lookup counters.
Throw in the greying of the population in general, I see the ham population at
around 550,000 in 10 years - with the number more or less holding at that point
for a while.
Now as far as contesting in general is concerned, there is indeed some cause
for concern. As one of of the "younger" U.S. contesters around, I can think of
only about 15 other serious or semi serious contesters in the U.S. that are
under the age of 35 or so - KL2A, myself, N2NL, N6MJ, KL9A, N3CA, KU5B, KB0VVT,
K3OOO, KD5OWO, KC0INX, WM3T, K3ASK, WY4N, and a couple others. Thats not a
heck of a lot of operators. Granted that the first six have all placed in the
top 10 in some of the major DX and domestic contests, but the well is not very
full, and there may very well come a point where the equilibrium between new
blood (regardless of age) can no longer catch up with the attrition rate and
you start seeing a gradual reduction in the number of QSOs make in contests as
well as the number of logs submitted.
73 Rich NN3W
----- Original Message -----
From: "Ev Tupis" <email@example.com>
To: "CQ Contest" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Wednesday, October 04, 2006 7:55 PM
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] Contesting Extinction
> Paraphrasing Kenneth's post, "Using the number of log
> submissions as the criteria, VHF Contesting is on the
> decline, and HF Contesting is on the rise."
>> So, I would be inclined to conclude the empircal
>> evidence shows that contesting overall is not in
>> decline, and in fact DX contesting, and
>> expecially DX contesting on CW, has never been more
>> popular than it is today.
> In the USA, the Amateur Radio population is divided,
> in a very lop-sided way:
> Total licenses : 655,194
> Technician : 320,499
> All other Classes : 334,695
> Source: http://ah0a.org/FCC/Licenses.html
> The increase in HF/CW contest log submissions is
> coming from the 1/2 of the Amateur population that has
> HF/CW priviledges. The decrease in VHF contest log
> submissions is coming from the other 1/2 of the
> Amateur population.
> Said another way, 1/2 of our population is submitting
> more logs, while 1/2 of our population is submitting
> fewer logs. I am not certain that log submittal is
> the gauge by which we should measure this discussion.
> Instead, maybe we, as a community, need to ask
> ourselves, "Why is there such a disparity between the
> two groups?"
> Ev, W2EV
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