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Re: [CQ-Contest] WPX & Activity (Was: Intended consequences)

To: 'Bob Shohet KQ2M' <kq2m@kq2m.com>, cq-contest@contesting.com
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] WPX & Activity (Was: Intended consequences)
From: Yuri Blanarovich <k3bu@optimum.net>
Date: Wed, 20 Jul 2011 21:19:14 -0400
List-post: <cq-contest@contesting.com">mailto:cq-contest@contesting.com>
Excellent 'splanation why WPX has become more fun, more popular.
Off times in the contest should be around 3 - 6 hours per 24 hour segment,
for the reasons Bob outlined.
When people go on "expedition" to that rare prefix, they enjoy more
operating time, with some rest periods, just enough to recharge.

Another booster was the giving some points for domestic QSOs (could use
double for low bands to boost interest and activity during darkness hours.)

Rule changes should be done in a way that they promote increase in the
scores (records).
Rule changes should be done to keep up with developments in technology and
ham population density.
Kudos to K5ZD for picking up the torch and making WPX brighter star on the
contest sky.
Put Skimmer into equipment category and not being "assistant".
CW WPX could be moved up in the calendar.

Now if CQ WW corrected penalizing points per QSO (make it all QSOs 3
eliminated 3 QSOs penalties, it would be more "equal" with more activity and
That was justified back in early slow years. Nowadays does not make sense.

Yuri, K3BU
See you all at Tesla Radiofest BBQ, Glen Spey, NY  July 23

-----Original Message-----
From: cq-contest-bounces@contesting.com
[mailto:cq-contest-bounces@contesting.com] On Behalf Of Bob Shohet KQ2M
Sent: Tuesday, July 19, 2011 7:30 PM
To: cq-contest@contesting.com
Subject: [CQ-Contest] WPX & Activity (Was: Intended consequences)

Hi Chris,

To start, I need to correct something, I meant to write:

"Most people used up most of their operating time in the first 24 hours".  

I was referring to the most competitive Single Ops that were trying to win
or place high in the standings.  (I realize that I did not make this clear -
sorry about that).

The single ops who were already operating 30 hours when 30 hours was the
time limit, used most of their operating time in the first 24 hours, because
that is when the activity was typically at its greatest.  Why is that?

1) Because activity is usually highest in the beginning of the contest
2) Because of the huge "dead zones" on Sunday.

If you were trying to win your category as a single op, and you had a lot of
operating time left on Sunday, you were in trouble.  You could endlessly cq
in the vast wasteland of Sunday morning and afternoon and have 1/2 or 1/3
the rate of the same time on Saturday. (And it wasn't because you already
worked everyone, it was because almost everyone else was taking off-time

 When the single op time limit was
increased to 36 hours, activity DID EXPLODE and rates and activity stayed at
a much higher level on Sunday than before when the time limit was 30 hours.

Why do I say that activity exploded?  Very simple....

Let's say that I am a casual opr - "cannon fodder" as you put it....  I
occasionally get on to give out a few q's in a contest that has little
interest for me.  I intend to operate for an hour or two - less than the
12-14 hours that you are talking about.

Now, all of a sudden, single ops can operate 36 hours.  What used to be a
bunch of "holes"
in the band, now has another 20-30 stations operating at that time and the
large "holes", are now small ones and there only a few of them because the
more serious ops (who usually have the better and louder stations), are now
filling up the freq. spectrum.  I get on and now there are a LOT of stations
to work.  It takes me longer to work them so I am on the radio longer.  With
so much more activity, I am now more interested in the contest and I am
likely to start calling cq and trying to run - and I fill in another "hole",
as does the next station that calls cq, and so on.

Now with the increased activity, the "cannon fodder" (aka "little guys")
have a lot more stations to work and so they stay on longer.  The bands now
are experiencing a lot more stations on and a lot more qso's are being made
and activity is EXPLODING compared to what it was the year before the rule

Plus, with those extra 6 hours of operating time that US + EU stations +
+ South Americans and others have, there are more stations cqing on the 
+ bands all the time so when
certain interesting dx paths open up, there are now stations to be heard and
worked on those paths.

Well, that exactly how it was in my contest logs.  More hours operated =
more activity.
More hours operated = more q's made = more fun = more activity.  And, of
course, the more stations that are being worked, the longer other stations
stay on the air to work them because there is more activity and they are
having more fun.  "And they tell two friends and so on and so on and so on"
(From a US TV commercial in the 1980's)

Activity has continued to explode in WPX over the past 25 years thanks to
rule changes that allowed more operating time, more qso points for US-US
q's, better stations and equipment and the amazing growth in the number EU
contesters.  But the key was the the 30-36 hour rule change that set it all
in motion and made the contests a lot more fun and interesting to operate. 

We can agree or disagree on whether or not activity exploded and why it did
so.  But that is not important.  What IS important, is that WPX has grown to
become an enormously popular DX contest that is loved around the world by
big guns, little guns and little guy (or gals), and I am very pleased to say
that I enjoy it as much in 2011 as I did the first time I operated it in


Bob KQ2M

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