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[CQ-Contest] How long do we go?

To: cq-contest@contesting.com
Subject: [CQ-Contest] How long do we go?
From: DL8MBS <prickler.schneider@t-online.de>
Date: Fri, 10 Mar 2006 00:46:37 +0100
List-post: <mailto:cq-contest@contesting.com>
after the thread "Competitor friendly contesting", started in November 
05 by Steve (ZC4LI), I looked for infos about operating time of 
contesters and found that RDXC calculates the operation time of each 
participant - and publishes them even by band.


with lines looking such:
11 XX1XXX      0:13/8+0     1:24/69+0    3:24/338+0   7:27/504+180 
4:56/432+2   2:40/228+0  20:04/1579+182
indicating time per band/CW+SSB-Qs

I counted the 745 single-operators in allband-categories of this 24-hour 
contest with an everybody-can-work-everybody-format. Here are some 
results (made in one-hour-steps and sorted also by mode and power 
category). Complete set of numbers in a very simple spreadsheet will be 
mailed to everyone interested in the figures or drawing some charts from 
them - and finding my errors ;-) 

The average operation time over those 745 hams not only participating 
but also sending a log is less than 11 hours (10,8 average).

CW-Ops tend to go longer than SSB-Ops (22,2% of the CW-Stations operated 
more than 16 hours and 15,5% of SSB-Stations)
HP keeps you longer at the radio than LP (30% with more than 16 hours 
vs. 20%)

Among the 24 operation periods from 1 hour up to 24 hours the fulltime 
activity has the highest percentage with 7,4 percent of  the logs 
showing more than 23 hours of activity.
BUT: after those happy ones there is a huge gap with the 23, 22 etc 
periods until 18 hours falling below 2 percent. Greater percentages 
follow in the 6 to 9-hour region with around 6 percent.

Grouped by 4-hour periods activity looks such:
20-24 h      13,7 %
16-20 h      9,9 %
12-16 h      14,1 %
8-12 h        22,4 %
4-8 h         22,1 %
0-4 h         17,7 %

Every eighth participant operates long enough to be competetive for top 
scores (only 3 Stations with less than 23 hours made it into any top 
five, with the exception of SSB-LP where the longest operation/endurance 
time was 22:47 h).

Nearly two thirds of the log sending participants operated less than 12 
hours - that´s what real life allows in an amateur sport (but compared 
to other hobby sports it is already a lot, isn´t it?).

I´m afraid every new discussion about time based classes in analogy to 
half-marathons or 10k-distances in marathon running events will receive 
hostile reactions like "whiners who only want cheap plaques by watering 
down" etc. As much as I favour ideas like i.e. the 6-hour-category in 
BARTG-contest to bring more competition to real-life hams with a 
time-budget below 24 hours a weekend - it would be at least a big first 
step to publish the operation times (without new categories).

Without the operation time the majority of contesters below fulltime 
level can´t seriously compare their results to the ones close above and 
below (or shouldn´t we be regarded as contesters with not going close to 
full time?). It´s like a list mixing running times from 100m up to 
marathon without mentioning the individual distances. Without that 
information you can claim "I´ve beaten CT1BOH"  241 vs. 228 QSOs in 
RDXC. Won´t be very loudly claimed after the published information that 
241 Qs took 6:30 hours while CT1BOH operated for 2:02 hours.

BTW: With such bandwise statistics even the big guns get an additional 
serious tool to analyze their outcome.

Thanks for reading and best 73, Chris (DL8MBS)

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