Leith Jennings leith at inhb.co.nz
Fri Jun 6 23:36:35 EDT 1997

Charles Fulp wrote:
> One of my pet peeves.  The desire for "TRUE" signal reports.
> My first problem is with the technical difficulty in producing a
> "true" signal report.  If all of our equipment is calibrated to an agreed
> upon standard, and we all are using unity gain omnidirectional receiving
> antennas, and QRM levels and filter losses are not a factor, then we can
> give reports that are "true" to our accepted standards.
> Under actual contest conditions I am using attenuators, preamplifiers,
> various filters with different losses, null and peak controls which
> influence my meter readings, antennas with negative gain, antennas with
> high gain.  I am working people 3 to 25 db down from the peak of my lobe, I
> am listening at the wrong angle for some of the guys that answer, if I do
> not flip the stack switch constantly.
> So what would different reports tell the guys answering me?  If 10 DL's in
> a row answer me and I give reports from 2 to 9 and someone was listening to
> the entire run, he could determine his relative strength among his
> countrymen.  If a ZS calls in he will
> be down a LOT because my antenna is pointed at 45 degrees, he learns
> nothing from a "relative" report, and will never get an "honest report"
> Even if other factors influencing my S meter were eliminated, I might not
> want guys to know how much I was struggling to hear guys they hear well or
> don't  hear at all.  The automatic S9 also keeps me from psyching out
> others, since the 599 is a given it can't be used either to depress or snow
> the opposition.
> Even after the contest, a little WASN'T EVERYONE LOUD, gamesmanship doesn't
> hurt.
> Why keep RST ?  Why not?  Contests all have their own flavors.
> Some like the CQWW are pure DX and rate events.  Even the zone is a given
> in 995 out of 1000 QSOs (from the USA).  The contest is about getting the
> calls (correctly) into the log and the most total Q's and Mults possible.
> Although DXCC does not require a signal report for a valid QSO, some awards
> do, and certificate hunters are a significant part of the canon fodder out
> there.  So for worldwide events with broad general appeal, signal reports
> still make sense to me.  A lot of casual operators expect to hear them.
> For the more specialized contests, where most, if not all of the
> participants are expected to be more knowledgable contesters, then more
> demanding and esoteric exchanges may add to the feel of the event, and be
> quite appropriate.  If I were designing an event for the contest community,
> I would leave out RST.  If I were looking for the broadest appeal, I would
> keep it simple and include RST.
> 73 Chas K3WW (if I'm not S9, check your equipment)(or your not in Europe)
> k3ww at fast.net
> Hi Charles
"Honest signal reports" is a  bit like a blind man in a dark cellar looking for
a black cat that isn't there! .... a highly nebulous process. I have no problem
with any of the contests and their requirements. Who cares whether it is a series
of 599's ad nauseum or a series of serial numbers? the bottom line is that we all
have an equal chance. What should we do ... change the CQWW to match the CQ WPX/
or change it to match the ARRL DX Test? I think not. The answer is..... we don't
change anything... because that would change the "flavour" of the contest. Things
are fine as they are (except for shortened numbers for me personally because I
can't copy them as well as the traditional numbers). 

Someone on this reflector a week or so said "If it ain't broke... don't fix it"
I agree. 

Tradition is one of the things that is constant in ham radio. To change the nature
of a contest just because some want RST and some don't is wrong, because whatever
you change to will never satisfy all. So why change?. RST for me is a bit like an
entree. It sets me up  for the exchange/ main course. Every contest has a different 
flavour. Those who can.......... participate, those who can't follow the mainstream 
of life. How boring!


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Leith (Lee) Jennings  ZL2AL - ex ZL8RI, ZL7AA, VE3LJ, VE3OE
Email - leith at inhb.co.nz    "The worst day of DXing is infinitely
			      better than the best day working"

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