Woolwich Building Society wbs at cix.compulink.co.uk
Thu Jan 27 16:48:00 EST 1994

Jose CT1BOH must be congratulated on his fine win in the ARRL CW last year.
He turned in 3.48M points, F6BEE was second in Europe with 2.01M and I was
third with 1.98M. Jose is a fine op with a good station but I am sure he
would agree that latitude plays a part as well. It's not only in the
States that geographical location is important!

I agree about the lack of coverage in the writeups, but CQ and QST are
both US magazines catering largely for a home audience (a bit like this
reflector in fact) so we can't be too surprised. When considering additional
top boxes I would like ARRL to introduce a top 5 box for each continent (CQ
already has this for Europe) and ideally, a band QSO/mult breakdown. This
allows you to compare your score with the leaders and identify the weak
spots. I would love to see longer writeups with credit given to people
such as Jose, and detailed breakdowns of 'how the leaders made their
scores'. Unfortunately I know from bitter experience how hard it is to
get space for contest writeups into RSGB's Radio Communication, and
several messages on the reflector have indicated that getting extra
space for contest material in QST isn't going to be easy either. The
problem isn't solved by putting the interesting contesting stories into
NCJ or on the reflector, because they are read only by the people who
have already been converted to contesting. It's up to us to go out and
sell contesting to a wider audience but I am not confident that we will
get much extra space in national magazines in which to do it.

Dave G4BUO

wbs at cix.compulink.co.uk

>From Trey Garlough <GARLOUGH at TGV.COM>  Thu Jan 27 17:44:49 1994
From: Trey Garlough <GARLOUGH at TGV.COM> (Trey Garlough)
Date: Thu, 27 Jan 1994 09:44:49 -0800 (PST)
Subject: volunteer solicited
Message-ID: <759692689.687193.GARLOUGH at TGV.COM>

I would like to see someone step forward and set up a mailing list 
dedicated to CT.  In addition to being a terrific place for people
to haggle over the minutiae of CT and to opine as to whether the
CT BBS is up/down/feeling depressed, it would help improve the 
signal-to-noise ratio on the CQ-Contest.



>From oo7 at astro.as.utexas.edu (Derek Wills)  Thu Jan 27 21:28:09 1994
From: oo7 at astro.as.utexas.edu (Derek Wills) (Derek Wills)
Date: Thu, 27 Jan 94 15:28:09 CST
Subject: Regional Whatevers
Message-ID: <9401272128.AA02425 at astro.as.utexas.edu>

How about customized copies of QSTs so that if you entered a log 
for an ARRL contest, your call and score are printed in heavy type 
with a big black box round it?   That would serve many of the 
purposes of some of the other suggestions made here.

I'll go away now.

Derek aa5bt

>From DKMC" <dkmc at chevron.com  Thu Jan 27 23:10:04 1994
From: DKMC" <dkmc at chevron.com (DKMC)
Date: 27 Jan 94 15:10:04 PST
Subject: NCJ Letter to the Ed.
Message-ID: <CPLAN065.DKMC.9531.1994 0127 15 0615 06>

 Microsoft Mail v3.0 IPM.Microsoft Mail.Note
 From: McCarty, DK 'David'
 Subject:  NCJ Letter to the Ed.
 Date: 1994-01-27 16:56
 Message ID: 2F42565B
 Conversation ID: 2F42565B


 Dear NCJ,

 On Contest "Improvements"

 Much has been said recently regarding regional competition, rule changes,
 category definitions, and participation in the major contests.  In
 particular, the editorial by WA6OTU in the January/February 1994 issue
 suggests major changes to the ARRL DX Contest.  Allow me to make some
 general suggestions to contest sponsors about these issues.

 Rule Changes:  Stable rules make for stable evaluation of results and allow
 constant improvement over time by the participants.  (Remember the fiasco
 two decades ago when major changes were made to the ARRL test?)
  Clarification of rules can help, as long as the intent of the rules are not
 changed.  IMHO, don't change the ARRL rules.  Every contest has a different
 flavor; the ARRL DX Contest is one of the best attended "world works region"
 contests, and is arguably the best of that type for the W/VE participant.

 Log Checking:  Since the sponsor must arbitrate between competitors, it is
 obvious that the integrity and detail with which the entries are scrutinized
 has a major impact on the contest community.  Some organizations have old
 blemishes which can only be overcome by many years of good work.  Strive for
 the most careful, comprehensive and intense checking.  Keep researching new
 methods of analysis, and report the results accurately.

 Reporting:  You gotta recognize good effort when you see it.  The hoopla
 over regional boxes and East Coast/West Coast advantage/disadvantages is
 really a call for a broader view of the competition than the fight for
 number one in the US.  It takes a good contest editor to organize the
 mountainous task of checking the logs, compiling the results, and get it all
 into the magazine by the deadline.  It takes a great editor to dig for the
 success stories across the country and around the world.  I predict that the
 sponsors will respond; the ones which come up with imaginative solutions and
 perceptive, well-written and well-delivered write-ups will be effective in
 attracting greater participation in the "less-favored" regions.

 Secondary Reporting:  People who are enthusiastic and competitive buy
 subscriptions to contest-oriented publications such as the NCJ to get a
 higher level of information about competitors' scores, breakdowns,
 equipment, and the like.  Those with access to the Internet have enjoyed an
 even higher level of interchange. Take advantage of this.  Listen to the
 letters and e-mail notes; write more in-depth materials for these forums if
 it helps your bottom line; make data available to free-lancers for

 Awards:  Trophies, plaques, and certificates are part of the incentives and
 the reporting.  There once was a plaque for "Big Gun West of the
 Mississippi."  That's the kind of thing which recognizes effort from a
 region.  Develop his kind of award and encourage sponsors for them to create
 meaningful goals for the hard-boiled ham who wants to have fun in his home
 town.  Continue to work on programs which reward small efforts to give the
 casual entrant something to get less casual about.

 Categories:  The number of operating categories in the major contests is
 beginning to boggle the mind.  However, they help in the recognition of
 effort, and allow for variety in the entrants.  We probably have enough
 categories in most of the major contests.

 Participant/Competitor Classes:  When I make one QSO in a contest I have
 competed with others to work that station. Differentiation between those who
 are fooling around and those who are hard-boiled is easily made in the
 bottom line score and should not be made a priori by creating different
 classes of entrant (as opposed to operation, e.g. multi-single).  Treat all
 who make contest QSOs the same.  Offer imaginative incentives to increase
 the number of QSOs and the number of people making them (pins, certificates,
 mugs, brooms).  Offer other incentives to get logs submitted, going for
 maximum number of logs to help the contest report compete for space in the
 magazine, and for maximum information from the logs by getting them in
 electronic formats. (receiving logs by e-mail,  providing data services such
 as uniques analysis and log corrections to those who send diskettes--perhaps
 with a cover charge.)

 Single-operator and Packet Radio:  People have been assisting each other to
 create bigger scores in an organized way for years.  In the 60's it was done
 on 75M, in the 70's it moved to VHF FM, in the 80's we switched to packet
 clusters.  Always there has been the concept of the single operator, who had
 no help from anyone in operating and making QSOs.  (And always there has
 been the controversy over perceived and imagined cheating.)  With packet,
 the automation of information transfer and its integration with logging and
 radio control activities made it easy for the individual operator to
 assimilate the assistance and enjoy a new style of operation.  The
 accessiblilty and fun of this kind of assistance has been recognized by
 creation of "assisted" or "unlimited" categories which differentiate the new
 style of operation from classic single-operator.  This remains an important
 distinction.  The comparable scores between the categories are only the
 result of the learning curve of operator and station technology.  Do not
 dilute the individual effort of the classic single operator by recombining
 these categories.  Encourage the enjoyment of the new style by properly
 recognizing strong assisted efforts.

 I hope these suggestions are helpful in addressing some of the burning
 issues which have been raised.

 David K. McCarty, K5GN
 dkmc at chevron.com

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