I disagree with making the single-op hours shorter. I think the DX
contest should always allow you to operate a full 48 hours or less if
you want to. Here are my reasons.
1. I am a DXer, thus I love DX contests. I enjoy every minute of
every hour that I manage to stay in the chair (and awake).
2. I have done a few 48 hour efforts in the past but I am probably
beyond doing that now. However, I do mange to stay in the chair a lot
by learning to catch short cat-naps with the headphones on. If I am
serious about a contest I can usually put in 42-45 hours on the air.
I think this makes me more competitive than the folks who don't like
the pain of all those hours in the chair. It is one of my few
advantages, I admit it.
3. I think a time limit will change the operating dynamics of the DX
contest. There are little opening that the experienced operators know
about. Such as a short run of JAs on 160M, a short 15 minute LP
opening at sunrise on 80M to deep Asia to get some interesting
multipliers, a midnight opening on 15M or 10M to deep Asia, and the
list goes on. These openings individually count very little to your
overall score, but collectively can make the difference between
beating your competitors or losing.
The time limit will make it no longer practical to watch for those
openings. They just wont be productive enough for you to worry about.
And it will not be practical for the operators at the other end to
watch for them as well. The contest will become a run, run, run
contest. Kinda like the WPX Contest.
4. Operators will develop a strategy for their operating hours to
maximize their score. There are some hours of the day when activity
drops way off. Now those hours will become rest times and the
activity at those times will drop to zero.
5. I think limiting single-op hours will cause a drop-off of the
numbers of casual operators and small station operators; not increase
it. With limited operating hours the big guns will have higher rates
for when they are on and will become harder to work by the smaller stations.
6. I think the serious contesting guys will always be active in the
contests. They will do single-band efforts if they don't feel up to
the competitiveness and sleep depreciation of the all band category.
I haven't seen any statistics that say the activity is dropping off
dramatically in the DX Contest.
That's my opinion. But since I love a DX Contest, I will still
participate whether the time limit is 48 hours or 4 hours.
73, Richard - K5NA
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