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

To: CQ Contest <cq-contest@contesting.com>
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] From a US VHF Contester [was: Re:Contesting Extinction]
From: Doug Smith W9WI <w9wi@earthlink.net>
Date: 05 Oct 2006 23:47:03 -0500
List-post: <mailto:cq-contest@contesting.com>
On Thu, 2006-10-05 at 08:49, Ev Tupis wrote:
> 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.

IMHO this is a big part of why VHF contesting is so inactive around
here.  I've been in Tennessee since 1990 and have monitored 146.55 for
hours during various contests.  

I have heard ***ONE*** signal.

On 146.52, on the other hand, there is routine activity.  Guys up in
Clarksville, down in Nashville, passing by on I-24 - if I screw up &
leave the rig on overnight, I *will* be awakened by a QSO.  

These are the casual guys we aren't working.  

Maybe the ban on .52 is necessary in W1/W2/W3/W6 but in W4 and W9 it's
essentially a ban on FM.  If it's a matter of one big multi monopolizing
the channel, maybe something analogous to the Sprint QSY rule is
necessary - "after making five QSOs on 146.52, you must complete at
least five QSOs on frequencies at least 30KHz away before you may
transmit on .52 again", something like that?
> 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.

I suppose there's good reason for the use of horizontal polarization on
SSB, but it does indeed make it awfully difficult for the very casual or
mobile operator.  (I'm tempted to suggest serious VHF contesters
consider putting up a vertically-polarized antenna for the 144MHz end of
the band - and for 432 as well - might that improve the scores a bit &
bring a few more "unintentional rovers" out of the woodwork?)
Doug Smith W9WI
Pleasant View (Nashville), TN  EM66

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