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[CQ-Contest] From a US VHF Contester [was: Re: ContestingExtinction]

To: CQ Contest <cq-contest@contesting.com>
Subject: [CQ-Contest] From a US VHF Contester [was: Re: ContestingExtinction]
From: Ev Tupis <w2ev@yahoo.com>
Date: Thu, 5 Oct 2006 06:49:34 -0700 (PDT)
List-post: <mailto:cq-contest@contesting.com>
--- Doug Smith W9WI <w9wi@earthlink.net> wrote:
> On Wed, 2006-10-04 at 18:55, Ev Tupis wrote:
> > Instead, maybe we, as a community, need to ask
> > ourselves, "Why is there such a disparity between
> > the two groups?"
> It would seem to me that this shows that VHF
> contesting is BADLY broken.  

Something is broken, but the question is a rhetorical,
"what is broken?"

Before I begin, please read the information below as
an attempt to communicate a perspective that you may
not have considered previously.  There is no anger or
angst.  Only information that can be digested by
anyone who is willing to openly consider and
collaboratively explore the rhetorical question above.

This question is rhetorical because it is being posed
to an HF-centered list.  To find the real answer, the
VHF community needs to be studied.  They are (for the
most part) not here and HF contesters are (for the
most part) not subscribed to online VHF e-mail and
chat communities (yes, a generalization, but quite

The questions that HFers ask VHFers show lack of
insight into the VHF experience (just as some of my
questions to this list have shown lack of insight into
the HF experience).  HFers are squarely leading the
contesting effort universally.  I can explain this
more if needed.  As a result, the wrong "fixes" are
often applied (if they are applied at all).

Here is a glimpse into the VHF world:

A newly licensed technician's first experience is
often with 2 meters.  Upon examining the band plan,
they notice that a V-A-S-T majority of spectrum is
"reserved" (in quotes for a reason) for FM repeater
operation.  That is where they gravitate.  Upon
getting bored of hearing little of personal value,
they discover APRS.

Long story, short...they hear about contesting.  They
read the rules (banning the use of repeaters of any
sorts [even digipeaters] and some stupid rule that
bans "packet" - "stupid" because this rule has been
incorrectly interpreted to include simplex FM packet
communication by contest leadership!) and they scratch
their head as to how they are supposed to contest when
a vast majority of the band is "reserved" for
repeaters and APRS/packet.  What's left?  146.52.  No,
that's banned, too.

They tune their multimode rigs through the unattended
beacon sub-band to find nothing.  The to 144.200 in an
attempt to connect with the contesting community to
find static.  They didn't realize that the antennas
used for FM/APRS require a 30dB preamp and 30dB power
amp to compete with all of the cross-polarized
tennants in this sliver of the band.

Yes, there's more...but you get the idea.

Something is broken, but "what is it?"

Ev, W2EV

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