Video game designers know that to keep a game interesting you need to
deliver rewards of random value at random intervals - and you need a new
reward every few minutes if not every few seconds. (Think of a PINBALL
machine if you're not into video games.)
CQWW is not bad in this regard, even in the last hour of the contest you can
pick up new ones, and double mults are particularly sweet. ARRL from the USA
side is not quite as good, but it is still fun.
But ARRL from the DX side is boring in this regard.
Much more can be done in SOFTWARE to make contests more fun. Imagine a .dta
file with this grid square and county info that is updated real time from
QRZ.com to fill in blanks.
Work a new state, and a window pops up briefly with the previously worked
states in gray and the new state flashing in red.
The same for grid squares. Even working a new county might pop up a state
map with the counties already worked in gray and the new one flashing in
A great circle map might flash the path as a red line for the current
contact, and it leaves a dot on the map for the contact which begins to
fade, eventually leaving the map completely.
Informal "parallel" contests could be implemented - for example a "county
hunter's" contest might be embedded in ARRL.
Of course, all this would be optional, and you might turn it on only when
the rates drop and you need something to keep things exciting. And it can be
done without changing the exchange or formal rules of the contest.
PS. So far, the response I'm getting to my prior post is that the 24 hour
contest idea is attractive but counties are not. I can agree that rates will
plummet if stateside hams have to send a county hunter's code , so I
withdraw the county suggestion.
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