[CCF] Vl: [CQ-Contest] N2RM packetless M/2 details

Ari Korhonen ari.korhonen@kolumbus.fi
Thu, 21 Feb 2002 15:11:53 +0200

N2RM:n pojat pani klusterin kiinni kisan ajaksi!

Ari, OH1EH
-----Alkuperäinen viesti-----
Lähettäjä: James Neiger <n6tj@sbcglobal.net>
Vastaanottaja: John Golomb <kz2s@hiway1.exit109.com>; cq-contest@contesting.com <cq-contest@contesting.com>
Päivä: 20. helmikuuta 2002 23:55
Aihe: Re: [CQ-Contest] N2RM packetless M/2 details

>Congratulations, John, to you and the N2RM crew for showing the way.  Let's
>hope it sticks...............
>Vy 73
>Jim Neiger
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "John Golomb" <kz2s@hiway1.exit109.com>
>To: <cq-contest@contesting.com>
>Sent: Wednesday, February 20, 2002 9:15 AM
>Subject: [CQ-Contest] N2RM packetless M/2 details
>> Why did we do it?
>> -----------------
>> I've wanted to do this for quite some time now.
>> There has been quite a bit of discussion the past few years about how
>> multioperator contesting has been somewhat tarnished by the introduction
>> and evolution of the extensive packet/internet spotting system.  The
>> thrill of hunting down your own multipliers has been replaced by how many
>> clusters you can connect or telnet to over the weekend.  I can remember a
>> discussion that K3EST, N2AA, K3LR and myself had about 4-5 years ago after
>> a MM effort at K3LR about how cool it would be if all the MMs agreed to
>> turn off packet for the weekend.  There was some follow up discussion, but
>> things kind of fizzled out.
>> Then in November 2001, W4AN made the following post to CQ-Contest:
>> >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
>> From: Bill Fisher W4AN <w4an@contesting.com>
>> Date: Thu, 29 Nov 2001 18:24:59 -0500 (EST)
>> I've already got my sites set on ARRL CW.  A few of us bound for OH in
>> July are considering competing in the M/S category and not using
>> packet.  K1DG ran the idea by me this week and the thought of doing a
>> multi-op without packet got me all excited about the contest!
>> So, I'm wondering if it would not be fun for all of the top multi-op
>> stations to turn off the cluster for just one weekend?  After its over,
>> lets see if you don't all have more fun.  I know I will.
>> 73
>> Bill Fisher, W4AN
>> >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
>> Renewed interest in multi-oping without packet!  N2NT and I quickly agreed
>> that our M/2 operation from N2RM for ARRL CW would be packetless.  We also
>> had several of the other serious M/2's to agree to do the same.  About two
>> weeks before the contest, I found out that our competition had changed
>> their mind, mostly due to some staffing issues - not enough operators.  I
>> still really wanted to operate without packet.  I polled the rest of our
>> crew and we all agreed that we would still carry through with no packet
>> and see what happened.  I was much more psyched about operating the
>> contest knowing that we would have to work extra hard to keep our
>> multiplier total up.  Our crew hopes that some other multiops may take
>> interest in operating this way after our effort.
>> Some private correspondence I received from Greg, K8GL probably best
>> expresses why things are better without packet, "This gets us back to
>> operating and spotting as a team.  Good stuff! LONG OVER DUE!"  W4AN put
>> it somewhat less eloquently in his 3830 post "Packet stinks".
>> What did we do?
>> ---------------
>> There are some capabilities that we have at N2RM that were very important
>> for our success this past weekend.  Probably the most important is a short
>> beverage that is several hundred feet away from the main transmitting
>> antennas.  We can effectively tune for mults on the same band that we are
>> running on with this RX antenna.
>> We set up four rigs for this effort, two "main" stations and two
>> "supplemental" stations.  The first supplemental station could be
>> interlocked with either of the main stations and had transmit antennas for
>> 40-10 meters.  You could listen on either the transmit antenna or on the
>> short beverage.  The other supplemental rig was RX only and used the short
>> beverage.  We had four computers running CT and interfaced them to a stand
>> alone 386 computer running cluster software.  This allowed us to
>> "internally spot" from the supplemental stations and load up the ANNOUNCE
>> window in CT.  We could still "point and shoot" for mults.  There may be
>> an easier way to implement this capability, but I wasn't smart enough to
>> figure it out before the contest.
>> So we had some important new chairs in the contest.  The
>> "spotting" chairs.  We pretty much had the third chair active for almost
>> the entire 48 hours.  The fourth chair was active when we had the
>> operators available to staff them.
>> Some observations and conclusions
>> ---------------------------------
>> First of all, our entire crew agrees that the contest was much more fun
>> without packet.  It is immensely more satisfying to "build your
>> own" multiplier total during the contest.  It was also refreshing to have
>> to deal with so few packet pileups during the weekend.  Believe it or not,
>> I think the actual number of packet pileups we ended up in over the
>> weekend was probably in the single digits.
>> This was the ARRL DX contest and is certainly not as multiplier rich of a
>> contest as CQWW.  The closest thing to M/2 in CQWW is probably
>> multi-single. If we operated this way in CQWW as multi-single, I'm not so
>> sure we would be as successful in keeping up with the
>> "packetized" stations.  We compared notes with K1AR on Saturday
>> morning.  We were ahead in QSO's quite a bit, but way behind in mults.  We
>> figured that with the somewhat limited pool of mults in ARRL DX, we would
>> be able to catch up by the end of the contest.
>> The somewhat unique capabilities we have at N2RM for same band receiving
>> were essential for our success.  Would it be fair to other stations that
>> didn't have this capability to compete against us in the
>> (hypothetical) packetless multioperator categories?  I don't know what the
>> answer is.  Isn't this just part of building and improving your
>> station?  If K1AR turned packet off this weekend, I doubt they would have
>> kept up with us in mults.  They don't have the same band receiving
>> capability we have.  Look at W3LPL.  Frank has built a crew of several
>> people per band and can receive effectively while transmitting.  Shouldn't
>> he be rewarded for having this capability instead of having it nullified
>> by packet?
>> Would we do it again?  Absolutely.  Although I'm not sure how practical it
>> would be to implement no packet at the Multi Multi level.  Seems like
>> there are enough problems staffing the major MMs without having to fill
>> additional spotting chairs.  I'd love to see additional interest for MS
>> and M/2.
>> Who else is interested in joining us operating and spotting as a
>> team?  I'm telling you - multiop contesting is much more fun and
>> satisfying without packet.  We'll be doing this again in next year's ARRL
>> DX CW.
>> If I may quote N2AA after the contest, "This is one of the coolest things
>> I've done in my 40 years of contesting".
>> 73,
>> John N2NC
>> For the 2002 N2RM ARRL CW team
>> --
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