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Re: [CQ-Contest] Why some Caribbean Islands compete as South America at

To: k9yc@arrl.net
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] Why some Caribbean Islands compete as South America at CQWW and other contests
From: Kelly Taylor <ve4xt@mymts.net>
Date: Tue, 10 Nov 2015 09:23:22 -0600
List-post: <cq-contest@contesting.com">mailto:cq-contest@contesting.com>
Hello Jim,

First off, let me assure you I have the greatest respect for your technical 
prowess and appreciate all your efforts to help anyone who asks.

However, I respectfully disagree on the merits of distance-based scoring.

How does distance-based scoring do anything other than swap one unlevel playing 
field for another?

It’s 7 a.m. Sunday morning and K5ZD is running 3,500-mile QSOs into Europe at 
200/hr when you can’t even tell Europe is on the band? You get more per Q when 
Europe finally opens to the Bay Area, but are you going to work them at the 
same rate?

It’s at virtually any time during the contest and P40V is cranking through 
300/hr with 5,000-mile distant Europeans and 10,000-mile distant Asians, 
Oceanics and VU2s. All of whom are as loud to him as W6YX is to you.

It’s late Saturday night and you’re on 80. As you tune across the band from 
your Winnipeg location, you hear K5ZD, NQ4I, P40V, and a hundred other stations 
working, at high rate, stations you can’t even tell are on the band. So you 
plug away at working Americans, knowing your QSOs are worth half the distance 
or less. If you’re lucky, you’ll beat the pileup of Europeans you can’t hear 
and work the odd Aruba-Bonaire-Curaçao station. 

The fallacy of distance-based scoring is it begins with the supposition 
everybody has access to the same distant stations, or would, if they had a big 
enough station. But that’s just not true. There’s a reason the Black Hole is 
called the place RF goes to die. And even when we can work Europe, we rarely 
drill down more than the first couple of layers. On 80 and 40, we’re pretty 
much limited to the odd superstation.

In the U.S., the Northeastern stations will always have more access to more 
Europeans than you have access to PacRim stations. For those in the centre of 
the continent, stations around the perimeter (K1,2,3,4,5,6,7, VE1, 9, VY2 and 
VO1) will always have access to greater-distance Qs, often with stations 
barely, if at all, audible to you. And stations such as P40V and HC8N will 
always have more access to EVERYBODY than you or I could ever hope to have.

The reason a VE4 log in WW is predominantly American is that, while each QSO is 
fewer points, at least it’s someone...

In the end, WW results wouldn’t change much, if at all, under distance-based 

The scoring model for the Stew Perry is interesting, but it doesn’t help many 
stations in the least.

In VE4 we accept our lot and still try to have as much FUN as we can. We don’t 
predicate fun on winning. Because it says here if a VE4 ever wins WW, it will 
only be because massive tectonic activity turned Winnipeg into an oceanside 

73, kelly

> On Nov 10, 2015, at 12:42 AM, Jim Brown <k9yc@audiosystemsgroup.com> wrote:
> On Mon,11/9/2015 8:13 AM, Ron Notarius W3WN wrote:
>> If I'm not mistaken, the basic argument is that a station in "continental" 
>> South America, all else being equal, will always "lose" to a station in the 
>> "offshore/island" Caribbean station located within the SA continental 
>> boundaries.
> The fundamental problem is that the guys in PY, LU, CX, and CE have the same 
> competitive disadvantage by virtue of their location with respect to 
> population centers as do we on the west coast of the USA, and those in VK/ZL, 
> and in much of AS.
> A contest scoring system based entirely on arbitrary (and very simplistic) 
> rules like countries and continents, paying no attention to distance or 
> geography, leaves out a LOT of hams that would like to compete but cannot. 
> Such rules are DUMB in today's world -- they were designed half a century ago 
> by those who lived in the "real," "civilized" parts of NA, and were simple 
> enough that scores could be computed by simple multiplication of numbers on a 
> piece of paper.
> N6TR came up with a FAR better scoring system for the Stew Perry contests -- 
> it was so good that ARRL wanted to adopt it, but as I heard it, Tree didn't 
> want to lose control of it so that someone could screw it up. I don't blame 
> him a bit. Tree's system is simple enough that the distance-based score for 
> each QSO is computed by the logging sofware and displayed in the log. The 
> only thing the logger can't do is give bonus credit for the TX power of the 
> station you worked -- that's done in log checking. And Tree's system is far 
> from the only one that could make sense, and that could easily be scored in 
> real time by modern logging software on almost any shack computer.
> Unless or until the contesting "powers" that love the rules because the rules 
> favor them wakes up and decides that the rest of us deserve to be 
> competitive, those of us outside those favored population centers are going 
> to vote with our feet and not take these contests seriously. Those with bucks 
> will continue to travel to islands where they have a better shot at winning, 
> and to build contesting stations in ME and VY2 so that they can be closer to 
> the mults in EU.
> THAT'S why there's so little activity from so many countries in so many of 
> these contests, which makes it much less fun for the rest of us because we 
> run out of stations to work.
> 73, Jim K9YC
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