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Re: [CQ-Contest] QZB (Suggestion)

To: "'Ron Notarius W3WN'" <wn3vaw@verizon.net>, <cq-contest@contesting.com>
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] QZB (Suggestion)
From: "Rick Lindquist, WW3DE" <ww3de@comcast.net>
Date: Mon, 21 Feb 2011 20:09:40 -0500
List-post: <cq-contest@contesting.com">mailto:cq-contest@contesting.com>
Re using a TS-480 in a contest: My PROIII is down for repairs, and I
couldn't get the parts in time for me to play in the contest with it, so I
hauled my TS-480HX out of the car and pressed it into service in the shack.
As noted, the front end caves in pretty easily in the presence of a lot of
strong signals, especially on a "real" antenna (as opposed to a mobile
stick). It's unfortunate that Kenwood did not include another 12 dB or so of
attenuation, but I backed down the RF gain with some benefit. Mine has the
270 Hz filter, which helped, but this definitely is not a contest radio.
Encountered a couple of other quirks I should have mentioned when I reviewed
it in QST, but it's a great radio for what it is. Mine will be transitioning
to the /mm this spring.

-----Original Message-----
From: cq-contest-bounces@contesting.com
[mailto:cq-contest-bounces@contesting.com] On Behalf Of Ron Notarius W3WN
Sent: Monday, February 21, 2011 9:08 AM
To: cq-contest@contesting.com
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] QZB (Suggestion)

Not to be harsh or unsympathetic, especially for a hard core full blown M/M
effort when you're trying to maximize contacts...

But if the "point & click" crowd hasn't figured out yet that they have to
move a little off the pile to be heard, then that's their problem.

Now, I know that this is tough, especially in the middle of a crowded band
during one of the biggest CW contests annually... but I don't know if a new
"Q" signal will help.  For one thing, too many won't know what it means.  

A better solution, IF possible under band conditons, might be to go split,
say UP 1 -- the wiser callers will know to transmit Up 1+, or Up 1 - 2, and
thus spread the pile-up out.  Again, IF possible... sometimes it's not, and
we all know that.

And John... I liked the TS-480, it's a good rig, but frankly I'd hate to run
another contest with one.  I found that mine was too prone to front end
overload from nearby stations (there's another ham who lives about a block
from me).  Maybe it was just the unit I had, but mine failed in comparison
to a Ten-Tec Corsair II when it came to that, and to receiving the weakest
signals.  There's a lot of good things I could do with one, but operating a
contest was not on the list.  

73, ron w3wn

Feb 21, 2011 08:53:30 AM, jlangdon@outer.net wrote:

I noticed the same thing, but thought my receiver (TS-480) front end just
couldn't handle the very strong signals on 20 and 40. It resulted in people
calling longer and longer until somebody was recognized. I also noticed
that a few ops switched to tail ending, and that worked when the running
station could handle it. It is pretty tough to time a jump in during the
ARRL exchange! It was especially bad trying to work EU stations from Texas
where almost all of the other callers are in your beam width and very loud. 

73 John N5CQ

-----Original Message-----
From: cq-contest-bounces@contesting.com
[mailto:cq-contest-bounces@contesting.com] On Behalf Of K6VVA - Rick
Sent: Monday, February 21, 2011 7:08 AM
To: cq-contest@contesting.com
Subject: [CQ-Contest] QZB (Suggestion)

During my part-time long haul high-latency Internet remote operation as
KP2CW in the ARRL CW DX Contest this past weekend, compared to observations
as VP2VVA in 2009, I'll ballpark about a TEN FOLD INCREASE in the frequency
(pun) of a unique type of packet cluster related pileup problem. I predict
this will get worse year after year.

Not just your basic run-of-the-mill contest mini-pileups, but of the type
where everyone was exactly ZERO BEAT (or within a few Hz) apparently as a
result of point-and-click with no single station loud enough to rise above
the pack. I'm usually pretty good at grabbing partial calls (or fractions
thereof) to respond to, but at times with a deluge of S9+20dB signals
(possibly just the top 'layer') all starting and ending as a unison ZERO
BEAT 'pumping mass', it was impossible. The swarm would start and stop,
start and stop in unison, until someone finally someone woke up and moved
off dead center a bit or slipped in a QRQ call during the momentary lull.
What a time waster for everyone. During several of these episodic events, I
actually sent 'you guys are all zero beat' in hopes the sharper ops would
grasp what was happening on my end and take evasive action. Without some
kind of head's up, who can really tell what's going on unless they are on
the 'other end' ? 


Having a simple Q-Signal to alert everyone as to this type of 'Ground Hog
Day' scenario on the other end of the pileup could be productive for all.
I'd suggest 'QSO' (for 'Spread Out'), but that one is already taken in the
list of Q-Signals. Therefore, my suggestion is to use 'QZB' (a/k/a You guys
are ALL ZERO BEAT) as a head's up to move UP or DOWN a tad from dead center
for these types of point-and-click packet spot pileup nightmares. Checking
my log, I did not find one single entry for a station with the suffix 'QZB'
which is good :^)

For those interested in Remote Contesting, I'll include some details on the
KP2CW 'tragedies and triumphs' experienced over the weekend in my upcoming
3830 post.

FWIW & 73...

Rick, K6VVA * The Locust

Remote Contesting Advocate

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