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Re: [VHFcontesting] ARRL VHF Test 3 Band Category - long rant better del

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Subject: Re: [VHFcontesting] ARRL VHF Test 3 Band Category - long rant better delete!!
From: "Tom Holmes" <tholmes@woh.rr.com>
Date: Mon, 18 Jan 2021 16:12:00 -0500
List-post: <mailto:vhfcontesting@contesting.com>

Regarding taking people up, or down, the bands on
FT8, W4ZST published a shorthand scheme in the
2020 SEVHF book that makes some sense and might be
simple to implement. I'm sure you saw it, but
maybe not everyone on here did. I did not see
anyone use it over the past weekend, though. I did
see a few messages that read "432.174", or
similar, but there was no indication of who it was
sent to, so ended up wasting time by going to that
band and trying to figure out where to aim. Not
once did I connect with anyone via that route, so
I am pretty sure those messages weren't for me. So
there is definitely a need for a better system for
moving up the bands. Whether Bob's proposal is the
right way, I don't know, but it is better than
nothing. It does require some way to quickly edit
the code into the limited number of messages
available, and there needs to be an
acknowledgement message available as well. Maybe
RRRR or the like to differentiate from the other R

I also agree that too much time is spent on FT8.
BUT, I looked several times at the SSB portion of
222 and 432 while working digi modes, and saw
nothing. Our 6m station worked a few on SSB early
in the contest then jumped to FT8 for the
duration. Frankly, it makes more sense to me to
use it on 222 and up than it does on 6 and 2, but
it does have value there as well. It has been
proposed to have timeslots for digital modes, but
I'm not sure who well many us can tell time in the
middle of a busy contest, and it the bands is open
on SSB, why shift gears. Any approach will have
its drawbacks, but I'm in favor of anything that
helps increase scores all around. THAT will drive
interest in VHF contesting.


Tom Holmes, N8ZM

-----Original Message-----
From: VHFcontesting
ng.com> On Behalf Of Terry Price
Sent: Monday, January 18, 2021 3:50 PM
To: VHFcontesting@contesting.com
Subject: [VHFcontesting] ARRL VHF Test 3 Band
Category - long rant better delete!!

This brings up a long time complaint about the
ARRL/CAC or whomever decides
rules and categories.

I've only been VHF contesting since the late 70's,
was too busy auto racing
and motocross racing before that but I don't
understand the thought process
they go through. I'm sure it's a "good old boys
club" much like our
Congress, but they do things that completely defy

There should a LP and HP for all the categories
like the 3 band and the
limited multiop. It won't hurt participation it
would help. Instead of
folks thinking it's useless to compete against the
big boys and go watch a
football game, they might stick it out knowing
they have a real chance.
It's a lot of work to do a limited multiop from a
portable location and
adding high power just makes it worse. If it's a
money thing having to send
out more plaques, hell I'll pay for more than we
do now just to get more

While on the subject of activity, FT8. FT8 is
great to work someone that is
500 miles away that is just below your capability
to work but just to sit
on 144.174 or 50.313 and work the next grid over
is just plain CRAZY!!! Do
you ever see the MS guys just sit on MSK144 and
work the next grid, NO !!!
It's a tool and they use it like it should be. Do
I operate FT8 more than I
should, heck yes because i'm a contester and the
object of a contest is to
score the most contacts and grids and if it takes
FT8, FM, cell phone,
FEDEX or UPS I'll do it but it's hurting the upper
bands by limiting the
ability to move people. I think the biggest draw
to FT8 is the folks with
limited antennas or no antennas have found that
they can make contacts by
using FT8. Or the HF'ers that have a radio with 6m
but load it up on their
tri-bander and the only way they can be heard is
using FT8. I don't have an
answer for that but IMHO it's hurting VHF
contesting more than it's
helping. Moving people to other bands is harder
and I think rovers are most
affected by that and as a rover, it won't take
muck of that to turn Andy
and  I off from roving. Spending two LONG days
driving hundreds of miles
isn't worth it if everyone is stuck on FT8

Last is the rover scoring. I understand there was
a loop hole and someone
exploited it to pad their clubs score. The knee
jerk reaction was to hurt
the rovers which was WRONG then and it's still
WRONG now!!! Each time a
rover goes to a new grid, they should start their
long over and at the end,
it all adds up. This gives incentive to activate
more grids. To get around
the club loop hole is easy, rovers can't use their
logs to help their club
score. But if you think about it, they already
have helped their club just
by making more contacts for their members. Rovers
should compete against
themselves and whatever scoring scheme is used
should promote activity not
diminish it!!

Thanks to everyone that was on this past weekend
for the contest. K8GP
(K1RA and I) were operating from my new location
in FM09 @2300 ASL with
very limited antennas. I hope to have the big K8GP
multi-multi going again
soon from the new location.

Sorry about the long rant but I feel much better
now !!!

Terry Price - W8ZN
Directive Systems and Engineering
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