Ya know I'm really not sure why. Mostly just sheer ignorance I
suspect. SS, IARU, NAQP, and ARRL 10M are the only contests that I
regularly do as Single Op. I don't really have the butt glue to do
the 48 hour contests solo. For those I'm almost always part of a
Multi op team. For SS ..I"ve never seen any advantage to Assisted
..and noticed that just about anyone competitive goes Non Assist. If
you are in a section that is at least somewhat rare (AK) or a station
with stacked monobanders aimed South (VE7SZ) ..as far as mults go ..the
only question is whether you get the clean sweep or miss one or two.
The sweep is nice, but it doesn't seem to matter much scorewise.
In KL7 ...for the biggies ...during my time of activity (starting about
2010) ..it's been KL7RA going in one of the Multi categories, KL2R
going M/S if he had the ops or S/O Single Band if he was solo, and
everyone else going SOAB(A). I didn't think about it much beyond that
.E51RAT in CQWW CW 2014 was my first true SOAB effort, so I just
defaulted to Assisted without thinking. I also only managed about 29
hours of operating ...pretty well confirming that I'm much better at
being a part of a Multi Op. Right now I'm scheduled for PZ5 as a solo
op for WW RTTY next year, so nonetheless, I guess I'll give it one more
try ..this time as Unassisted.
On Mon, 7 Dec 2015 14:17:01 -0500, Richard Ferch wrote:
This is straying pretty far from the original topic (not that that's
unusual for this reflector), but... you said "I've always assumed the
serious ops would be assisted except for SS." I wonder what gave you
Look at the world records for CQ WW, CQ WPX and CQ WW RTTY, in all of
which there has been a separate Assisted class for some time. The great
majority of the unassisted records are higher than the corresponding
assisted records. The only exceptions I found are a few single-band
records, and the majority of those are single-band QRP, which is not
exactly where you expect to find the serious ops hanging out.
I would attribute this edge for unassisted over assisted to several factors:
- The unassisted competition is more prestigious than the assisted
competition ("real contesters don't need assistance").
- WRTC qualifying rules give higher weights to unassisted scores than
- Assistance only directly helps S&P (other people spotting you helps
you while you are running, but you don't have to be assisted to take
advantage of that), and with the possible exception of QRP, the lion's
share of most top scorers' points come from running, not S&Ping.
- Many people operating assisted (although probably not the highest
scorers) get side-tracked into using the assistance to DX, i.e. to chase
multipliers instead of concentrating on maximizing their score.
While assistance does help you find multipliers (and takes quite a lot
of the challenge out of the sweep in SS), I believe the biggest
advantage it gives you is that it makes S&Ping a lot easier. Instead of
tuning to the next signal, listening to see who it is and checking
whether it is a dupe or not, you can just use single key combinations to
jump up or down the bandmap from one unworked station to the next,
without wasting time listening to stations who turn out to be dupes.
This is a big advantage for someone who is mostly S&Ping (e.g. many
QRPers), but for the original subjects of this thread (dual radio
CQing), it makes no difference.
With respect to category shopping, statistically speaking the easiest
way to category shop is probably to switch from unassisted to assisted.
Of course, if you know ahead of time that you are going to do that, you
might as well go ahead and use the cluster, and then it's no longer
category shopping, it's just choosing your original category with goals
always assumed the serious ops would be assisted except for SS.
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