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Re: [CQ-Contest] Viral Contesting [was: Contesting Extinction]

To: Ev Tupis <w2ev@yahoo.com>,CQ Contest Reflector <cq-contest@contesting.com>
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] Viral Contesting [was: Contesting Extinction]
From: Ken Alexander <k.alexander@rogers.com>
Date: Fri, 6 Oct 2006 15:08:41 -0400 (EDT)
List-post: <mailto:cq-contest@contesting.com>
--- Ev Tupis <w2ev@yahoo.com> wrote:

> Entertainment is "viral".  If a radio sport meets
> the
> criteria above, it needs little/no long-term
> marketing.  Participation simply spreads on its own
> momentum.
> Now I'll ask the correlary to the "what is broken?"
> question: "How do we make VHF contesting more
> viral?"

I don't know about "viral", but...

I gave VHF contesting a try for the last 2 or 3
summers and had a great time...when 6m was open. 
Otherwise it was a fruitless effort.  I went to a lot
of trouble to get myself to good locations and put
together the best station I could afford and then
worked only a handful of people on 2m and 70cm in a

On the other hand, I can put up a ground mounted
vertical in my back yard, even operate QRP and be busy
making contacts all weekend in an HF contest.  The
only thing holding back my score is my desire to get a
good night's sleep!

For me, it's very simple:   QSOs = Fun

Compared to HF there?s practically no activity on VHF
unless Es opens on 6m.

So, what can be done about it?  It seems to me it's
the nature of the bands.  You have to go to greater
lengths to make a lot of contacts on VHF than you do
on HF...and many times when you do it still doesn't
buy you anything.  

I think more has to be done at a club level to
stimulate activity regionally.  Look at Toronto, the
largest city in Canada...part of the Golden Horseshoe,
one of the larger population centres in North
America...and a barren wasteland during VHF contests! 

Compare that to Rochester, NY.  I operated in an ARRL
January VHF contest with a friend down there a few
years ago and I was amazed at the amount of local
activity, even on FM.  

Just look at what the hams around Minneapolis (I hope
I?ve got that right!) have done?putting a fleet of
rovers on the road during VHF contests to ratchet up
the activity in their area.

Think globally, act locally.


Ken Alexander

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