When I operate QRP Portable, I do not take a computer along. I log on paper
and transfer the log to the computer when I get home. A computer is another
thing to try to squeeze into a little car along with equipment and antennas
for 10 bands. So no FT8 for me.
I don't plan on changing this operating pattern any time soon. It has
worked for me for 25 years. If the VHF contests become FT8 contests, maybe
I'll find something else to do with my time. I have nothing against FT8; I
just don't use it myself in VHF contests.
Also, based on a couple comments I have seen operators make, there were at
least a few people who let FT8 run all night by itself. Note this is NOT
valid in ARRL contests. All DXCC and ARRL contest QSO's on FT4/8 must be
manually originated by each station at each end.
73, Zack W9SZ
On Mon, Jan 18, 2021 at 5:23 PM Ed Kucharski <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> Well said Terry! I'm with you 100% - maybe more. I too operate FT4, FT8
> and MSK144. I almost have to, now that I've moved to a less vhf+ population
> dense area in SC (EM94). I can't tell you how many times I've called CQ on
> the 6 and 2m SSB calling freqs with no takers during contests. Even last
> weekend, when 6m was open to W1/W2 for a short period Sunday morning with
> decent signal strengths, I only made 6 SSB QSO's. I still have most of my
> 50MHz thru 3456MHz gear in storage which I had planned to use mountaintop
> portable, but I'm wondering if the work to do so is worth the reward due to
> the proliferation of digital in vhf contests.
> I sent an email proposal in July to ARRL (Division Director, Division Vice
> Director and CAC Board Liaison, Contest Manager, Contest Advisory Committee
> Roanoke Division Member/Board Liaison). I received only a couple of
> pleasant replies back but nothing to indicate my proposal would grow legs
> and run. I know there has been lots of ideas and proposals floated on the
> subject. My proposal and long winded support are too long to post in their
> entirety here, but the bottom line is:
> My proposal for ARRL VHF contests is to add three additional entry sub
> "Legacy Category" (one contact on the same band with the same station on
> Phone or CW ONLY).
> "Digital Category" (one contact with the same station on the same band
> using any recognized Digital mode ONLY).
> "Mixed Mode Category" (potentially two contacts with the same station on
> the same band; Phone or CW AND Digital). This category is a combination of
> "Legacy" [phone or CW] AND " Digital" similar to the rules associated
> with ARRL 10m Contest.
> Phone/CW contacts can NOT be made on frequencies recognized for digital
> modes and all digital contacts MUST be made on recognized frequencies used
> for digital modes only. All the other rules and scoring will remain the
> Stations that enter the Mixed Mode category may change modes at any time
> but must follow the above rule associated where contacts can (or can not)
> be made. This is to prevent working a station on phone/cw and switching to
> digital on the same frequency.
> Briefly, the spirit and intent of my proposal (paraphrased) which I sent
> to ARRL:
> There has been a tremendous amount of traffic about FTx VHF+ contesting on
> the VHF reflectors over the past several years with many suggestions for
> changes including; eliminate FTx from VHF+ contesting, restrict
> categories, add
> categories, change QSO point values, have contest(s) without FTx, add a
> stand-alone VHF+ digital only contest (I think this is a good idea but
> won't solve all the problems), etc. I've heard of several VHF+ operators
> that have decided to get out of vhf+ contesting due to FTx. I believe the
> challenge is to retain legacy operators and operations and provide a
> competitive and fun environment (similar to pre-digital) while also
> embracing digital ops. They can be in two very different camps! This is
> where I believe rule changes come in to play - to adjust the contest rules
> to accommodate both camps. After considering and studying many of the
> proposed rule changes or adjustments, I support the one above that I
> believe is similar to another popular contest – the ARRL 10 meter contest.
> In that contest one has the option of competing in the Mixed Mode (phone
> and CW), CW only or Phone only categories.
> Ed K3DNE
> > On 01/18/2021 3:50 PM Terry Price < email@example.com
> mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org > wrote:
> > This brings up a long time complaint about the ARRL/CAC or whomever
> > rules and categories.
> > I've only been VHF contesting since the late 70's, was too busy auto
> > and motocross racing before that but I don't understand the thought
> > 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
> > limited multiop. It won't hurt participation it would help. Instead
> > 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
> > It's a lot of work to do a limited multiop from a portable location
> > 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
> > 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
> > FEDEX or UPS I'll do it but it's hurting the upper bands by limiting
> > ability to move people. I think the biggest draw to FT8 is the folks
> > 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
> > 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
> > and I off from roving. Spending two LONG days driving hundreds of
> > isn't worth it if everyone is stuck on FT8
> > Last is the rover scoring. I understand there was a loop hole and
> > exploited it to pad their clubs score. The knee jerk reaction was to
> > 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
> > 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
> > 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.
> > (K1RA and I) were operating from my new location in FM09 @2300 ASL
> > very limited antennas. I hope to have the big K8GP multi-multi going
> > 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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