160 Contests

W2CRS at aol.com W2CRS at aol.com
Wed Feb 28 12:50:48 EST 1996

Hi Dave,

My basic feeling about contest rules is based on the well known observation, 

"the grass always looks greener on the other side."  As someone with a bent
for eastern philosophy recently said on this reflector (I think), in effect,
to be happy, one learns to want what one already has!  My interpretation of
this is:  the grass is greener on my side!
Changes almost always involve what some will consider negatives and others
will consider positives. My interpretation: most changes make the contest
neither better nor worse, just different (perhaps worse in a minor way- the
contest results are not comparable from year to year).

In the free market of ideas (and contest formats) the contests with unpopular
rules will eventually die out being replaced by contests with more popular
rules so I am against  new contest formats. (Of course, we may die first and
therefore not want to wait for "market" results).

The most frequently heard reason for changing contest rules is to create "a
level playing field."  I condider this a noble, but impossible goal, and
would prefer any rule changes that make a contest more fun.  Since many of us
have expressed an interest in attracting younger ops to contesting, I
suggest, we ask them what would make a contest more fun (while realizing they
may not have the perspective to give an adequate answer).

As to Dave's specific suggestions-
1 Each 160M contest to last from "local dawn to dusk" not from 'x' hours Zulu

Yes, but what if you work some rare DX at 3 minutes past your sunrise.
 Anyway, for reasons imposed by mother nature it is already pretty much a
dawn to dusk contest.

2 Points based upon radial measurement from stations QTH.

This is a popular format for VHF contests in Europe, I believe, and would
probably require exchanging grid squares.  Using grid squares, a contest
software program could easily implement this format.  I think it would make
the contest more fun.

3 Band split into 3, .....non participants....US EAST + US West.....DX....

Hmm, this is an interesting one.  In theory it would solve some proplems.  In
practice it would create others, especially during the early part of the
learning curve.

4 DX to US qsos can only be between windows ie split freq only.

same as #3

5 Each organiser must appoint someone who's job is to tune the band logging 
infringements. Disqualification rewards bad operating behaviour.

Do you mean, "Disqualification rewards good operating behavior"?  I'm against
radio police.  I think education and peer pressure is the very best way to
promote good operating behavior and discourage bad behavior such as calling
CQ in the DX window.  This past weekend I did not call any W/VE stations
calling CQ in the window though it cost me a few contacts.  

6 QSO must include serial number, lets reintroduce some skill into the qso

How about the grid (see #2 above).

73,  Doug W2CRS/0

>From Del Seay <seay at alaska.net>  Wed Feb 28 17:24:39 1996
From: Del Seay <seay at alaska.net> (Del Seay)
Date: Wed, 28 Feb 1996 09:24:39 -0800
Subject: 80m + Rohn 25 in swamp = HELP!
References: <Pine.3.07.9602280920.L2049-b100000 at handel.seattleu.edu>
Message-ID: <31348FD7.5175 at alaska.net>

Okay gang, be very careful. Outside of the dangers involved in
trying to put up a usuable structure, there are legal problems here.
Wetlands are protected by the Feds! Don't do anything that will
"Drain the Swamp"! Digging a foundation hole will cause water from the
surrounding area to be funnelled to the lo-spot. Pumping this out
is a big, big problem with the wetland protection regs.
Get some professional advice before starting.
(I am not in favor of the wetland acts, but a fact of life is that
we have to live with them)

>From Ham <batchler at fsac3.pica.army.mil>  Wed Feb 28 18:46:14 1996
From: Ham <batchler at fsac3.pica.army.mil> (Ham)
Date: Wed, 28 Feb 96 13:46:14 EST
Subject: Rules
Message-ID: <9602281346.aa23257 at FSAC3.PICA.ARMY.MIL>

I find in funny that you-all jump at the silly 160 rule topic.
But no one responded to N3ADL-Doug's suggestion about
moving some of the dates around. Like NO US Sponsored contest
should fall aon a US holiday. This would make for better 
YL/Harmonic's relationship. This is a valid easy no rule change
that makes sense. My dollars worth 73

Please all remarks/replies/comments to
batchler at pica.army.mil
fax 201-724-5768
Laing Batchler KB3TS - F.R.C.

>From Mike Coolidge <n9itx at sunrise.alpinet.net>  Wed Feb 28 18:55:38 1996
From: Mike Coolidge <n9itx at sunrise.alpinet.net> (Mike Coolidge)
Date: Wed, 28 Feb 1996 11:55:38 -0700
Subject: 160M contests
Message-ID: < at alpinet.com>

2.  Points based upon radial measurement from stations QTH.

HMMM this is really appealing, especially to someone like me who lives out
in the boondocks.  about 90 percent of my qsos are 800 miles out or more on
160. (mostly w9, w8, w6, w3) The nearest ham to me that I worked this
weekend was in Glasgow Montana which is about 220 miles from me.  No daytime
tribander stuff for me!

I like W2CRS's (doug) idea about Grid squares that would make the contact
more meaningful and would allow a program to actually measure distance
between stations.  (Granted pretty complicated)  

how about this
0-500 miles 1 point
501-1000 miles 2 pts
1001-1500 miles 3 pts
and so on

This looks great to those slaving away in the northwest US and Canada, but a
nightmare in Europe.  Oh well its nice to dream!

Regardless, I still like to participate in CQ 160 contests they are my
I probably would have been in more Saturday if the Aurora didn't put a
serious cramp on my style.

Mike Coolidge
n9itx at sunrise.alpinet.net
Lewistown Big Sky Country

>From C. Logan Dietz" <ke5fi at WT.NET  Wed Feb 28 18:47:39 1996
From: C. Logan Dietz" <ke5fi at WT.NET (C. Logan Dietz)
Date: Wed, 28 Feb 1996 12:47:39 -0600
Subject: 80m + Rohn 25 in swamp = HELP!
Message-ID: <199602281847.MAA13516 at userv.wt.net>

At 09:22 AM 2/28/96 -0700, you wrote:
>At 10:25 AM 2/28/96 -0500, you wrote:
>>In a message dated 96-02-27 22:01:11 EST, you write:
>>>How deep would you have to go in the swamp-like condx Charlie's talking
>>about ?

I have looked at the problem of verticals and towers in a swamp and mu
soloution was to build a road to the base and build up the base out of the
water.  Some sort of shell or road base material would be best.  I tried
putting in rohn-25 as un-guyed verticals, which worked ok for a couple of
years until a big wind.  I would guy them to screw anchors.



>From Swanson, Glenn,  KB1GW" <gswanson at arrl.org  Wed Feb 28 19:26:00 1996
From: Swanson, Glenn,  KB1GW" <gswanson at arrl.org (Swanson, Glenn,  KB1GW)
Date: Wed, 28 Feb 96 14:26:00 EST
Subject: Output Spike on Icom-706
Message-ID: <3134AC9E at arrl.org>


     According to the *QST* Review of the IC-706 (March '96, page 65), 'Rus' 
Healy, NJ2L, said: "The radio will not key an amplifier relay directly. You 
need an external relay or switching circuit like the one in *QST*, November 
1995, p 84, 'Cure for the missing First Dot Problem...' "

               73, Glenn, KB1GW
               ARRL HQ
>From: AA6KX
>To: cq-contest
>Subject: Output Spike on Icom-706
>Date: Wednesday, February 28, 1996 11:38AM
>Return-Path: <AA6KX at aol.com>

>In preparing for an upcoming CONTEST expedition for WPX, I recently set out
>to test my new Icom 706 with my Alpha 87A.
>Anyway, when I try to drive the 87A with the 706 I see some very unexpected
>behavior.  No matter how low I set the drive power on the 706, the very 
>dit I send causes the power output lights on the Alpha to flash full scale.
> Succeeding dits which are closely spaced will give the expected power
>reading based on the amount of drive supplied.  In SSB, a similar situation
>holds.  I can pull down PTT so that all the T/R switching is complete but
>then the first bit of audio supplied causes a momentary full-scale reading 
>the 87A's power meter.  After that momentary flash, the reading is 
>in the same way as it is in CW.

>I first contacted Icom Customer Service about this and they had no
>explanation at all.  Their representative mentioned K1KP's article in the 
>'95 issue of QST on using a optocoupler for T/R switching, but even he
>acknowledged that the problem I was seeing didn't sound like a timing 
>with T/R switching.  This morning I contacted ETO Customer Service (Ray
>Heaton), and he gave me what I think is a totally plausable explanation.
> This is that the 706 is actually putting out a momentary spike when it 
>starts transmitting that is full-scale (or worse) output.  Some time delay 
>required for the ALC circuitry in the 706 to kick in and cause the output
>power to be cut back to the proper amount.  This time delay is in
>milliseconds, of course, so a peak-reading wattmeter is not fast enough to 
>able to record it.  The LEDs on the Alpha do show it, though, and Ray
>suggested that I was risking damage to the PIN diodes in the Alpha if I
>operated it with this initial spike coming down the line from the 706. He
>suggested that what I really need to do is use a scope to measure the size
>and duration of that leading spike and then go back to Icom with the
>This sounds fine, but I don't have access to a scope these days.  So, for
>those of you with the perseverance to read this far, I wonder if there's
>anybody out there with a 706 and a scope who would be willing to take a 
>at this for me?  Alternatively, I'd eagerly be willing to go anywhere in 
>SFO bay area to set up a test with my 706 if you have a scope we can use.
>Bruce Sawyer, AA6KX

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