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Re: [VHFcontesting] FT8?- tarnation!

To: Jay RM <w9rm@calmesapartners.com>, "vhfcontesting@contesting.com" <VHFcontesting@contesting.com>, "alex@kr1st.com" <alex@kr1st.com>
Subject: Re: [VHFcontesting] FT8?- tarnation!
From: Ed Kucharski <k3dne@comcast.net>
Date: Wed, 20 Jan 2021 15:26:41 -0500 (EST)
List-post: <mailto:vhfcontesting@contesting.com>
I agree with both Jay and Alex. Too bad we can't go back in time. I'm afraid 
the digital genie is out of the bottle and we won't get it back in again. Does 
anyone really think ARRL or CQ will ban digital from their vhf contests? I 
don't. I do agree a vhf+ digital only contest (or two) would be nice but IMHO 
it won't solve the decreasing ssb/cw activity problem we are presently seeing 
in vhf contesting.

Jay brings up the ARRL 10m contest as an example of a successful split mode 
contest (SSB Only, CW Only and Mixed Mode categories). I believe we can apply 
the same model to the big 3 vhf contests (4 if you count the CQ VHF contest).

"Legacy" (phone/cw Only), "Digital Only" and "Mixed Mode" (phone/cw AND 
digital) categories.

All the other categories that are presently in use in our vhf contests will 
fall under these 3 main categories (just like the ARRL 10m contest). My 
proposal is NOT to promote 3 new categories just to make it easier to obtain a 
certificate or a plaque - really, that is not my intent. I understand adding 
additional categories is generally frowned upon. My intent is to get more 
stations back on ssb, cw and uhf/microwaves.

Many stations that have been around for 5 years or more will most likely not 
limit themselves to the digital only category. They will most likely enter in 
the Mixed mode (or Legacy) category making more phone/cw qso's and splitting 
their time more between phone/cw than digital. In order for them to do well 
(win their category, finish in the top 10, win the division, whatever their 
goal) they will have to focus more on phone/cw (those potential qso's can't be 
ignored or else they won't be as competitive) and by doing so the opportunity 
to move stations to uhf/microwave bands will become more prevalent again. 
Something that isn't being done (much) on digital.

My proposal creates a category just for the phone/cw ops (Legacy) who may have 
no interest in digital and a Digital only category just for the digital 
enthusiasts. For those who want both they may enter in the Mixed mode category.

Seems like a win-win to me.


>     On 01/20/2021 2:14 PM Jay RM < w9rm@calmesapartners.com 
> mailto:w9rm@calmesapartners.com > wrote:
>     Alex, it's my opinion one of the reasons we even have to deal with this
>     issue is that the 'movers and shakers' of the contest world are
>     HFcentric. Except for one contest (10M test) almost every other HF contest
>     is split mode - you work a phone weekend, then a CW weekend, with maybe a
>     RTTY (read that as digital now) weekend added on. ARRL DX, CQWW, ARRL SS,
>     NAQP, SPRINTS, you name it. I really don't think they understand the
>     impact WSJT has had on VHF contesting - they never have to deal with it
>     within any of their contests.
>     -W9RM
>     Keith J Morehouse
>     Managing Partner
>     Calmesa Partners G.P.
>     Olathe, CO
>     On Wed, Jan 20, 2021 at 12:02 PM < alex@kr1st.com mailto:alex@kr1st.com > 
> wrote:
>         > >         I think the best approach is a separate contest for 
> digital modes. It's
> >         done on HF, and it's done in other countries. This is not terribly
> >         difficult.
> >          
> >         The points per mode approach is doomed to fail I'm afraid. That may 
> > be a
> >         solution if there would be an overall lack of activity. Then you can
> >         make a contest more attractive by allowing to work the same station 
> > on a
> >         different mode. However, in the areas where the complaints are the
> >         loudest, there is no lack of activity. In fact, the level of 
> > activity is
> >         sufficiently high on FT8 to warrant its own contest, and disallow 
> > non
> >         burst type digital modes in the "regular" contest.
> >          
> >         By doing nothing, or by trying to somehow change the rules of the
> >         current contest to make it more attractive to operate on other 
> > modes and
> >         bands, I think you can be assured that the VHF contests will turn 
> > into
> >         digital mode contests. I'm OK with that if that happens, but I'd 
> > rather
> >         operate both a traditional _and_ a digital mode contest.
> >          
> >         Now an enterprising club could take advantage of the current 
> > situation
> >         and use it as an opportunity to organize a digital mode contest 
> > within
> >         the current contests...
> >          
> >         73,
> >         --Alex KR1ST
> >          
> >         On 2021-01-20 10:57, Sean Waite wrote:
> >          
> > 
> >             > > >             Personally I don't think that's another 
> > contest, and that we need to
> > >             find a
> > >             way to co-exist inside the same contest. I'm not sure of the 
> > > best way
> > >             to do
> > >             that. We have 3 contests in a year - we should try a 
> > > different approach
> > >             on
> > >             each one (and yes, I realize there are weather and band 
> > > conditions that
> > >             change these contests) and see what approaches work well and 
> > > which
> > >             don't.
> > > 
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> >          
> > 
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