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

To: "vhfcontesting@contesting.com" <VHFcontesting@contesting.com>
Subject: Re: [VHFcontesting] ARRL VHF Test 3 Band Category - long rant better delete!!
From: Terry Price <terry@directivesystems.com>
Date: Mon, 18 Jan 2021 16:58:14 -0500
List-post: <mailto:vhfcontesting@contesting.com>
Well I certainly wasn't trying to blast any past or present members that
are contesters, I'm sure they feel the same way albeit they may not be able
to share their true opinion!!!

Of course the easiest way to "fix" the FT8 situation is to remove digital
modes but that isn't right either. We've operated for many decades with the
understanding that SSB is faster but when signals got weaker you went to
cw. For MS, we used tape recorders to be able to spread the burst out to
decode what we heard or on SSB you leaned to talk REAL fast!!! When the
digital modes were introduced, the MS community adopted it first along with
the eme community. As I've said before, FT8 is just another tool in your
toolbox of VHF operating but you don't use a 5 lb sledge hammer to hang
your wife's picture on the wall. The only solution I see is a weighted
point per QSO like others have suggested where cw and SSB get more points
and you allow multiple contacts per band but different modes. That would
certainly help with the "Sunday afternoon doldrums" making sure you've
worked everyone on as many modes as you can. Distance based scoring would
also help the folks in the middle of nowhere that regularly make 300 to 500
mile Q's count more than the Q's to the next grid.

Terry Price - W8ZN
Directive Systems and Engineering

On Mon, Jan 18, 2021 at 4:19 PM <w5zn@w5zn.org> wrote:

> The original intent of the 3-band category was to entice the hams who
> owned an FT-847 or similar bare bones radio (no amplifier) they had
> purchased as an HF radio but never used it on 50, 144 and 432 to get on
> VHF,  especially in a contest. It was a excellent concept with one
> exception - the intended target audience couldn't care less about a
> contest, much less getting on VHF beyond repeaters. So it never did create
> the visionary excitement imagined and nothing was done to focus on this
> group beyond creating a contest category for them!
> That's all I have to say about that because I'm not going to touch Rover
> rules!! The last two times I made an attempt while involved with ARRL I got
> skewered worse than serving meat at a vegan party by the VHF community!
> I'll just say I agree with Terry (hey we both have an amazing callsign
> suffix!) but the battle lines are equally drawn for and against on rover
> rules, for whatever reason.
> Aside from that, it was good to work everyone who made it in my log this
> weekend. On another topic, I missed about 25 or more 6 meter FT8 Q's
> because the path collapsed before we could complete. I went up to 50.318
> three times for about 20 mins each time and called CQ on FT4. I never did
> "see" or hear anyone there so I drifted back down to .313 and rejoined the
> "crowd".
> Anyway, regardless of all the issues, perceived or otherwise, I enjoyed
> the weekend on the radio. I do support continued discussion about contest
> rules so we can forward.
> 73 Joel W5ZN
> On 2021-01-18 13:50, Terry Price wrote:
> 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 logic.
> 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
> activity.
> 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
> 703-754-3876
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