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Re: [CQ-Contest] re-newing the 10 meter contest

To: CQ Contest <cq-contest@contesting.com>
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] re-newing the 10 meter contest
From: "Kenneth E. Harker" <kenharker@kenharker.com>
Date: Sun, 9 Dec 2007 19:22:01 -0800
List-post: <mailto:cq-contest@contesting.com>
On Sun, Dec 09, 2007 at 09:07:16AM -0800, N7DF wrote:
> I don't think anyone will argue that the 10 meter contest will reach its 
>   ultimate goal either this year or next as the sunspot cycles reach their 
> lowest points since the contest was begun.

Ultimate goal?  Do you mean "For Amateurs worldwide to exchange QSO 
information with as many stations as possible on the 10-meter band."?  
>   Maybe now is the time to restart the contest as a true reflection of up to 
> date technology.  One way to do this is to change the scoring to more 
> realistically make the goals of the contest meaningful.  

What's not meaningful about the current scoring formula?  

Here are some arguments in favor of the current exchange/formula:

* You cannot predict the state a US station is located in based on their 
  call sign.
* You cannot predict the serial number that a DX station will send you.
* The exchange elements of a state/province or serial number are user 
  friendly for new contesters/new HF operators.
* Not everyone knows their grid locator.  I can talk someone into giving me
  all the elements of a Sweepstakes exchange, as painful as that can be, 
  but I cannot necessarily tell someone what their grid locator is. 
* The Stew Perry contest has been growing in popularity, but despite being 
  a world wide contest, it still has only about half the participation of 
  the North American-centric ARRL 160 Meter Contest, which has an 
  exchange/scoring formula much more like the 10 Meter Contest. 

>   This could best be done by copying the scoring system of the Stew Perry Top 
> Band Challenge and base scores on distance communicated rather than 
> geographical location.  This would adjust for the concentrated amateur radio 
> populations in some areas and encourage operation from more remote areas.

So, is the motivation for change that there are stations in "remote" areas 
that are at a disadvantage or have inadequate incentive to operate?  In
my experience, activity and results are much more strongly correlated with 
the fortunes of propagation than anything else.  
>   In the past the scoring would not have been possible due to the 
> complications of determining distances but the software developed for the SP 
> takes all the work out of the scoring. 
>    With the Grid Square as the exchange it becomes much more meaningful as 
> well as giving the data for score calculations.

It would be interesting to have a big HF contest that uses grid locators.
I do not know if distance scoring makes as much sense for an HF contest 
as it might for a VHF or 160 meter contest.  We already have motivation to
work a lot of DX just for the various multipliers out there.

Kenneth E. Harker WM5R

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