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Re: [CQ-Contest] TQP vs CQ RTTY

To: "'ku8e'" <ku8e@bellsouth.net>, <cq-contest@contesting.com>
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] TQP vs CQ RTTY
From: "Joe Subich, W4TV" <w4tv@subich.com>
Date: Tue, 2 Oct 2007 23:52:34 -0400
List-post: <mailto:cq-contest@contesting.com>

>    I sure hope this trend reverses. It just shows how getting 
> rid of the CW requirement and making it easier to get an 
> amateur license has ruined our hobby. It's not surprising 
> that modes like RTTY, that require minimal operating skills 
> are growing. 

I seriously doubt the trend to fewer entries in CW contests and 
more entries in RTTY contests will every reverse.  With the lack 
of CW proficiency requirements, it is only a matter of a few 
years - 15 or 20 at the most before CW will becomes about as 
rare as AM or NBFM below 29 MHz.  I hate to see that trend but 
it is inevitable as the "no skill" voice and digital modes are 
the path of least resistance for new licensees and those upgrading 
from VHF/uhf only status. 

> Maybe one of you diehard RTTY guys can explain to me what 
> drives you to even want to operate a RTTY contest? I tried it 
> once and I was bored out of my mind after about an hour. 

Different strokes for different folks ... what makes someone do 
40 hours of phone contesting or VHF/UHF contesting, or multiple 
weekends of an EME contest, or battle the noise in a 160 meter 
contest, or deal with the boredom in a 10 meter contest at the 
bottom of the sunspot cycle. 

> On RTTY the computer does everything for you. I see no thrill 
> from that. It almost sounds like doing a CW contest with a code 
> reader.

I can make the same argument for phone contests.  Each mode has 
its own skill set and rewards.  Your thing isn't RTTY ... if I 
were more active (had the antennas I had years ago), I would 
much rather do a weekend on RTTY than deal with the torture, 
jamming and liddish behavior of the major phone contests. 

>  I agree with K8MR that there are too many RTTY contests that 
> occur just about every weekend with the "everyone works 
> everyone" format. Many of these RTTY contests ruin some 
> established CW contests that have been around just as long. 
> At least the State QSO parties are interesting - chasing 
> mobiles around as they move from county to county is fun  

No, there are too many State ego (er QSO) parties, QRP contests 
and other small group "operating events."  Who wants to spend 
hours chasing the same 50 mobiles from county to county?  

There are about as many "major" RTTY contests as "major" CW 
contests or Phone contests and probably as many "minor" events 
(national DX contests) as there are minor events on CW or phone. 

> Let's just hope someone doesn't make it easier to get on SSTV 
> (like they have for RTTY) and they start having SSTV contests !!!

It is already trivial to get on SSTV.  MMSSTV allows one to use the 
the same hardware for SSTV (a sound card) as is being used on RTTY. 
Consider yourself lucky that most of the old-time SSTV operators are 
so rabidly anti-contest that they spend their time "defending 14230" 
instead of promoting a SSTV contest. 

> For years the official line has been to improve our operating 
> skills so we are prepared during an emergency to provide 
> communications when all else fails. I guess I just don't see 
> where RTTY would fit in during a real emergency. 

I guarantee digital modes will replace CW for "real" emergency 
use in the next five to 10 years.  There won't be enough trained 
CW operators to do the job. 


   ... Joe, W4TV 

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