Low Power Contesting

ve4gv at ve4wgw.ampr.org ve4gv at ve4wgw.ampr.org
Sat May 15 05:56:55 EDT 1993

Re: Low Power Contesting (Pros and Cons)

(Reality Check)
Its a fact of life at my QTH. Check out my station license, it says
"limited to 100 w" right on it. It seems that was the compromise the
Feds struck with my uncooperative neighbors. I admit I still use the
amp to chase DX. Its like a Howitzer, shoot it off a couple times and
the neighbors don't mind. Send off a barrage during a contest and you
can expect a phone call in a hurry. 10 acres in the country is the
solution but the XYL has this thing about living close to civilization
so a contest club station is what we're eventually shooting for. That is
the scenerio facing all of us in this day and age of No Electromagnetic
compatability standards. And its going to get worse.
You want more participation?
Its GOT to come from the guys at HOME running 100 w and working some
(perhaps all) of the contest between other obligations.
You want to WIN ?
Fine, it will probably be from some larger/club station with a
cooperative effort of several contesters in the areas of antennas,
equipment and bucks. I had a look at K3LR's station at Dayton and
can pretty well guarantee that nothing like that will ever be put
together in VE4 land. Too few contesters, too little $$ and WX that
makes it impossible to fix problems in Dec./Jan./Feb etc.

Don't get me wrong. Those guys DESERVE to win, they sure have invested
enough energy, time and have the skill. Its just that I think they can
do pretty well with 100 w, too. Maybe too well.

Great ! I finally win a medium size contest in the category I have been
running since rebuilding my modest( FT1000 KT34XA @64ft 40-2cd at 72ft
/vees/slopers) station in 1987 (SS Phone 92 Low Power)and NOW the
big guns want to move in on the action ! Have a heart you guys!

Speaking from the centre of the continent, just north of the 49th parallel,
I just love the way the 8s 9s and 0s complain about the "Big Hole" !! You
should come up here and give CQWW a shot in Oct with the rotator starting
to stick and the occasional early blizzard. I tried 92 CQWW 40 M Monoband
phone with 100 w and 2 el 40-2cd at 72 ft. I got so fed up that I
switched on the amp at 3 a.m. Unfortunately, the neigbors infrared
alarm sensor also was up at 3 a.m. and my neighbors spent quite an
evening watching their alarm display doing the cha-cha. (Problem
eventually solved). What's that auroral display I see ? Hmm, there goes
the polar path, no more EU DX. So much for my chances in CQWW.

Sheesh, what's a VE4 to do ? Is there NO compensation for living in 
this frozen abyss ?? Think about this for a second, while you guys are
working the ARRL 10 M test, my freezer is WARMER than the temperature
outside !!

Having won no major contests, I can't speak for those in the Elite category
but I will say that I don't know how well I would stack up against some of
the better contesters if they ran 100 w. I think I still would get clobbered
because of (a) their skill level (b) propagation edge (c) serious commitment
to antennas. I think there will always be doubt in the minds of many as to
"how good" someone is who is forced to use 100 w all the time. Sprint is
really tough with 100 w while NAQP, ARRL 10 M test, SS, Cal QSO party and
most of the domestic contests offer some real promise with lower power. The
chances of getting DX stations to go 100 w in DX contests are Z-E-R-O.
We all know that. How about a compromise ? For all domestic contests no more
than 150 w on a trial basis ? Just like SS.
What the hell, I have my one plaque, I guess I should be satisfied. Trouble
is, contesters are never satisfied, are they ? Bigger, better, higher, more.

73 Rob VE4GV

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