Mon Jan 24 10:57:56 EST 1994

It took a while for my latest issue of NCJ to show up and thus figure
out the point to issues centered on ARRL DX contest.  Neverthelees, I
was still surprised to read, "There should be two groups of entrants
in the contest who get on, operate, tally their results, and submit
their logs to the League."  Clearly this isn't suggesting some new
category as he directly states QRP and Multi-Op would still be
allowed, but something different.  What, I still don't see.

Using his definition, we suspect that I am not a contest
"competitor".  Granted my scores are not so threatening, but now
moving on down this editorial to the "participants" group (with their
lust for certificates), I feel disappointment upon realizing that our
DX cousins need at least 500 QSO's to reach this terminal rank.
Where do DX operators with less than 500 QSO's plug in to the "new"
ARRL DX Contest?  Does this explain the unexplained reference to
"pins" which, as we know - are not offered in ARRL DX - but rather in
Sweepstakes.  Perhaps the Guest Editor really proposes that the ARRL
DX Contest be another Sweepstakes?  I think he should have clarified
this point.  Or is he suggesting giving coffee mugs and pins as
additional awards?

My own suggestion is to let the ARRL CAC decide who they want to
encourage to be in the contest since the editorial implies a more
restrictive entry.  If they were to ask for an entry fee, they could
offer thousands of awards.  What do people want here?

As for myself, I've been sending off lots of mail to Wayne Green of
73 Amateur Radio Today, and asking why he doesn't have a Contest
Column.  It's probably a coincidence, but (in his - A Contest?
Another Damned Contest?- Jan. issue, p 84)  he states that "I
broached the idea of a Caribbean vs. North American contest ... maybe
in August, when prices are low.  The idea would be to get a bunch of
American ham clubs to organize groups and put the rarer islands on
the air for a contest weekend.  What do you think?"  Wayne also
notes:"... I was the editor of CQ I got their DX contest going after
Perry Ferrell had let it die.  It's still going strong.  Then I got a
prefix contest going ..." I would suspect he is not worried about either
ARRL DX or CQ WW, but that's just a guess.

Since I fail to see where I fit in within this dichotomous
"competitors" vs. "participants" frame of mine, maybe Wayne will come
up with something interesting.  Wayne does have an e-mail address,
but be forwarded he is Mr. Enflamage himself.

73, alan N2ALE/6

ames at
 (old address is okay too)

>From Jim Hollenback <jholly at>  Mon Jan 24 20:14:46 1994
From: Jim Hollenback <jholly at> (Jim Hollenback)
Date: Mon, 24 Jan 94 12:14:46 PST
Subject: NCJ editorial, etc. (fwd)
Message-ID: <9401242014.AA19876 at>

> From: Ed Gilbert <eyg at>
> While I'm not crazy about the idea of having 2 classes of
> competitors, there's one excellent idea in the NCJ editorial.
> People who use computers for logging in contests should be
> *required* to submit their logs in computer-readable form --
> either a disk or email. 

I could support this, but ....

One popular RTTY contest software package is RTTY by WF1B. I good package,
and I can't really imagine doing a serious effort without it. But the 
package does not output an ARRL acceptable log format. If, in order to
be a competitor instead of a participant, I must now:

   1) spend hours reformating the log in an editor
   2) spend hours writing software to reformat the log
   3) decide not to be a competitor and submit a paper log.
   4) write WF1B a letter pleading for an output format that allows
      me to become a competitor, but in the mean time be satisfied 
      with participant status
   5) write my own logging package.
   6) don't bother to submit a log.
   7) maybe I should have been a DXer, or a SSTV nut, or a ATV nut, or ...

For the contests that CT supports, my belief is that it outputs a
file close to what is requested by the ARRL. I say close, because I don't
think it outputs the ON/OFF column, but I may be wrong. What about NA or LOG?
Do they output a correct format log? Not being familiar with the packages,
I can not say.

I think before the demands for computer readable logs can be met, the authors
of the various contest log packages need to ensure they provide a compliant
output format or the ARRL or some other entity distributes software that
converts the non-compliant logs to compliant logs. Just because ARRL would
make the  software available does not imply they would write it, just that
the author would make it available through the ARRL. 

Granted that may readers of this reflector are computer literate and many can
write a mean program, do all registered owners of CT, NA, LOG and RTTY
fit this profile? I don't think so. Many of these users would be converted
to participant. This I can not support.

jholly at

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