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jcrovell at jcrovell at
Tue Dec 3 10:49:33 EST 1996

>From jcrovell Tue Dec 03 11:40 EST 1996 remote from 580howard
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>From: "John Crovelli" <jcrovell at 580howard>
To: "cq-contest" <cq-contest at>, "WYLIE" <WYLIE at>
Subject: RE: Contesting and the Internet
Date: Tue Dec 03 11:48 EST 1996
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GM4FDM said  << " Contesting has now become a contest
not of skill in operating, but a contest as to who can pour the greatest
amount of money into a station.   Who has the greatest amount of bucks can
win!   Skill comes a long way second.   Gee, if you cannot operate from your
own backyard, just go down to the Carribean...  It is a well known fact that
there are only about half a dozen locations in the World where you can win 
CQWW? ">>
Further you say <<"Why spend money in going to Aruba, when you could pretend 
you are there and operate an Aruba station from your own home.">>

Well Tom, everyone is entitled to their opinion.  But I could not disagree 
with you more.

At the heart of Radiosporting is OPERATOR SKILL.  Proficiency in this sport 
is developed over comes more quickly for some than others.  I 
personnally have spent the past 37 years developing my abilities and still 
find lots of room for improvement.  Skill is not just how fast you 
send/speak, how accurately you copy and log, but also includes a  great 
wealth of knowledge about propagation, callsigns, band selection, station 
construction and maintenance, and a host of other items that in some large 
or small way contibute to the final score.  You don't learn this stuff 
overnight!  And given the dynamic nature of radiowaves, what knowledge you 
apply at any given point in time must change to meet current operating 
conditions.  Now, does this sound simple?  Do you really think that just 
anyone who happens to have lots of money can be a winner?  I think NOT.

For some of us, radiosporting is our primary focus in Amateur Radio.  We 
devote a significant amount of our time to planning/preparing for the next 
contest, whether it be CQWW, ARRL DX, Sweepstakes, WPX, IARU, Field Day, 
whatever.   There are so many variables, so many ideas, so many options, it 
is difficult to find the ideal solution.  I'll use CQWW as an example.  If 
you really want to be a competitive on a world-wide scale  in this event, 
and make the top 5, it is no secret you really have two choices, you operate 
from northern Africa or northern South America.  Being the optimum distance 
from Europe and North America is essential for rate and mults on multiple 
bands.  So then its a matter of finding or building a station in one of 
these areas.  Like any project undertaken thousands of miles from home, this 
is a real challenge.  Local contacts must be established, equipment procured 
and shipped, licenses obtained, and so forth.

Does this take a lot of money?  It can, but it with a little effort it can 
be done at quite reasonable cost.  For instance, my station on Aruba.  It is 
essential you establish local contacts and I have been very fortunate to 
have had a succession of accomodating locals over the past 11 years on 
Aruba.  The tower and rotor were obtained for FREE, in exchange for removal 
from another ham's yard in PA.  The only expense was for some paint and 
ocean freight shipping (about $400).  The antennas were purchased new, a 
reasonable expense, and then shipped airfreight (a luxury expense for the 
sake of undamaged delivery at $150).  Site preparation (concrete base and 8 
foot tall concrete guy posts) cost $200.  Erection of tower and antennas, 
Zero $$ (thanks to CT1BOH and my Aruban host Humphrey  for their help). 
 Station equipment (TS930, Alpha 87A) are brought to the island for each 
event.  The xcvr, laptop computer, and the power xformer from the amplifier 
are handcarried (try it sometime, it is great fun putting all this stuff 
thru airport xray machines and climbing aircraft onramps - does wonders for 
the lower back).  Coax was purchased new and carried down in luggage. 
 Preamp, antenna switches, interconnect cables, etc. are obtained at 
hamfests for pennies on the dollar.  Estimate of total station cost with 
antennas (monobanders 40-10):  about $1,750. Divide this amount by 2,  since 
I share the cost and operating from this QTH with K4UEE/P40R  and you have 
$875 invested.  When you spread this capital outlay over many years it is 
truely  insignificant.  Extravagent, hardly, but effective, definitely.

Station design is the product of years of experience!  It is the application 
of  knowledge and expertise, especially in tropic environments where damage 
from salt air and winds are prevalent.  Antenna system design is limited by 
what you have to work with.  How to optimize, being as loud as you can given 
the existing circomstances is really the issue.  Another freebee but very 
thought prevoking and time consuming.  But time is free, right?

OK, lets look at other costs.  Airline tickets - prices have remained pretty 
stable over the years at about $390 round trip.  LIving expenses, $30 to 
$100 per nite depending on your tastes.  No different than a vacation 
anywhere else.  Or don't you go on vacations?

Contest operation.  The operator who makes the most contacts in the most 
zones and the most countries on the most bands wins.  The SKILL is to chose 
the right band at the right time to maximize rate and mults.  Being loud is 
important but means very little if you don't properly position your signal 
on the spectrum. Trying to do this over a 48 hour window with propagation 
conditions always changing and you see it  is an extremely complex problem 
and probably in the final result is a matter of some luck.   These elements 
are totally operator dependent and have nothing to do with the amount of 
money in your pocket.  Knowing where to be when, whether call CQ or search 
for hunt mults, moving stations band to band, etc.  is the product of 
experience which cannot be purchased at any price.

Tom, bottom line, you don't know what the hell you are talking about, and 
some of us are quite offended at your comments.  I hope by now you might be 
considering an alternative view of this sport and what it takes to be 


John,  W2GD/P40W

To: cq-contest
Subject: Contesting and the Internet
Date: Monday, December 02, 1996 11:49PM

The more I dabble into the Internet the more I worry about the future of
Contesting.  Things used to be really simple in the old days.   You just got
hold of the mike and hollered CQ CONTEST and started scribing with the
perncil.   Then, along came personal computers and simple logging programs.
Next came dupe checking.  Bigger, faster, programms quickly followed.
Along came the packet cluster.  No sooner arrived than interconnected via
computer and integrated into station.   About the same time, rig and rotator
control arrived on the scene.   Up until now, everything has been almost
inevitable in the ever increasing level of technology in the Amateur
station.   Technology has allowed the personal skill of the operator to be
honed into excellence.   Even at this point in the sun spot cycle, records
are being broken.

Now, I am looking seriously at the Internet.   Already we have arguements
and rules about interconnects between the Internet and the Contest Station.
Stations in the outback might argue that due to lack of local packet
cluster, there is no reason why they should not connect to an Internet
Cluster via telnet or whatever.

However, WHERE DO WE DRAW THE LINE?    Contesting has now become a contest
not of skill in operating, but a contest as to who can pour the greatest
amount of money into a station.   Who has the greatest amount of bucks can
win!   Skill comes a long way second.   Gee, if you cannot operate from your
own backyard, just go down to the Carribean...  It is a well known fact that
there are only about half a dozen locations in the World where you can win 

I would like to draw a firm line under Internet.   Just by dabbling into the
Web and looking at various facilities and programms that are CURRENTLY
available, not to mention the future, it seems just a matter of time before
someone is caught cheating, by connecting via the Internet to another
location in the World.   With telnet, real audio, so on and so forth, it is
just a matter of time until you can seriously operate a remote transmitter
anywhere in the world via your own home PC.   You wont
even need your own radio.    At midnight zulu when the band is closed in
Europe, why not operate via a remote station in California, and when
propogation starts to go from there, QSY to Singapore or where ever.    Why
spend money in going to Aruba, when you could pretend you are there and
operate an Aruba station from your own home.........Guys are operating their
HF rigs via 2m links, why not via an Internet link?    IT IS ONLY A MATTER

Internet and ham radio should be kept separate and NO inter connection
should be made or allowed.   Jeez, I sometimes worry about packet!

Your views please gentlemen!

de Tom - GM4FDM
wylie at

>From george at (George C. Cook)  Tue Dec  3 16:51:12 1996
From: george at (George C. Cook) (George C. Cook)
Date: Tue, 3 Dec 1996 11:51:12 -0500 (EST)
Subject: So how do the "All Wire" guys succeed?
Message-ID: < at>

At 04:31 PM 12/3/96 +0000, you wrote:

>Wouldn=B4t it be great to hear how some of the all-wire guys
>do it?  Aside from operating skills, exactly what kind of
>wire antennas are they using?  Where and how are they located
>(QTH, site/height/ground description)?  RF power?

>73 de Kristinn, TF3KX (kiddi at

I think this is a fair question really so here is my station set up

Mind you that I now also have several Quad antennas that I guess when new
started there life as comercial antennas untill I re-designed them

My elevation is 1300 feet in Pensylvania on the East side Farly near the NJ
border.  I have extremely poor=20
ground conductivity mainly comprised of slate and shale.  Across the rear of
my land I have a major
trunk line for the power company.

I have an inverted L for 160 meters which I am still working on as it sits
it is a good antenna but not great
But I will keep working on it.  Eventual plans are to have 2 of them or
maybe 4 and then use them in a phased
array network so I can get some directionality out of it.

For 80 meters I have a flat top wire yaggi aimed at europe it is VERY good
I rarely have any trouble with
pileups.  I also have an inverted Vee Yaggi aimed at the Carribien it is
Good to Very good.  I think that the=20
front to side is not as nice as the flat top though.  The yaggis are at
about 70'  I also have a horizontal loop at about 20 feet  that I use for
stateside contacts it is a Fair antenna I get good signal reports but it
doesn't hear very well.

For 40 I have a dipole at 60'  it is fair but noisey.  I also have a delta
loop in an E/W configuration.  It is Good but
I am going to add a director to it for increased gain into europe.  It is
only at 40'

For 20 I have a stationary Quad into Europe.  An Excelent antenna and it was
DIRT cheap.  made it up in 4 trees that kind of grew
in a pattern that allowed that. A ground plane at 25' fair antenna but it
ALWAYS works and it only cost $2.00 to make.  I also have
a 5 el yaggi (wire) that didn't work very well.  I put it on a 60 foot boom
and well it is awefully tight for an antenna that you=20
cannot rotate.  It is comming down.

15 meters and 10 I have ground planes that I made from stainless steel whips
they work pretty good for what they are.

I typically run full power but not always. (1500 watts)

The ONLY thing I ever bought new was a walkie talkie and a 2 meter radio for
the car.  ALL of my HF gear is been gotten 2nd hand and I=20
usually buy 1 big ticket item each year that I save up all year for.  This
year I would like to replace my rig.

Good luck
*George Cook.....AA3JU.....AKA "The Ratman" *
*george at            *
*                *
*                                           *
*Proudly Frankford Radio Club.........      *
*.......Proficiency Through Competiton.     *
*"Not just words but a way of life"         *

>From Fatchett.Mike at (Fatchett, Mike)  Tue Dec  3 16:55:24 1996
From: Fatchett.Mike at (Fatchett, Mike) (Fatchett, Mike)
Date: 03 Dec 1996 09:55:24 -0700
Subject: So how do the "All Wire" guys succeed?
Message-ID: <01EB432A45B7C005*/c=us/admd=attmail/prmd=tci/o=mailhub/ou=msmaildos/s=Fatchett/g=Mike/@MHS>

What is the definition of success?

I measure my success on the amount of fun and enjoyment I receive.  I set   
goals against similarly equipped stations in my area.  I try to pick   
single bands that I have better antennas on or contest that cater to my   

In my more active years I had two towers.  The 40ft tower included a TH7   
and a 40-2CD.  The 80ft tower included a 4 ele beam on 15 and 3 ele beam   
on 20 and a 2 or 3 ele beam on 40.  For 80 I used a dipole on the big   
tower.  I added a 10m antenna when needed.  I felt I was competitive for   
domestic contests and competitive for region on 15m for DX contests.

At the time I was using a TS-930 and an Alpha 76PA.


>From lstrain at (Larry Strain)  Tue Dec  3 17:37:03 1996
From: lstrain at (Larry Strain) (Larry Strain)
Date: Tue, 3 Dec 1996 08:37:03 -0900
Subject: How much do you have to spend to have fun?
Message-ID: <9612031737.AA54160 at>

I like to compare contesting to fishing.  There is a lot in common, even to
comparing the amount you spend on equipment.
I know one guy who always has the latest in fishing gear and boats.  He
spends about $1,000 a year on equipment, has a $12,000 boat and a $35,000
Landcruiser to haul it around as well as an expensive cabin on the lake.
Another guy I know has a $39.95 K-mart rod and reel, a wooden jon-boat he
bought for $50 and a 1976 Chevy pickup with a camper on the back.  I wonder
who has the most fun.  I know who catches the biggest fish!

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