Randy, K5ZD: My experience is that you can't make them enjoy contesting, but
you can get
> them interested in supporting a club or group effort. It defines a
> category for them to compete in and thus gives them a more visible and
> friendly competitive goal.
This, to me, seems to be the answer to all the kvetching about giving the
little guy a sandbox to play in.
The variables at play in contesting are so varied that trying to come up
with a GLOBAL set of rules to accomplish the task is a Hobson's knot, as far
as I can see.
Antenna size, HAAT, longtitude and latitude, distance to sea water, distance
to the auroral cap, extent to which one is under the auroral cap, coax,
amplifier, amount of filters (or in the digital era, degree of DSP), length
of wire antennas, height of wires, number of radials, how many elements in
the tribander, conductivity of soil, etc, etc, etc. In an endless variety of
variables, how do you pick which ones are significant? How do you decide
which apply to all?
But: if you organized a local competition (all the log-checking is done for
you, all you need to do is get folk on the air) you would eliminate most of
the geographical variables (or be knowledgeable of local conditions) and be
able to filter out other differences. Locally, you could probably do what is
impossible globally: handicap stations and declare an overall winner based
THAT, in a densely populated enough area, would be of much more value to me
than finding out I placed 200th to stations with similar hardware to me but
who were located in propagationally favoured areas.
What is of more value to me is knowing how my station and skill fare against
other stations in the same propagational boat: It doesn't help me to know
that I suck compared against guys with similar hardware but whose
propagation gives them access to more layers than me.
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