[CQ-Contest] VHF Sprints

Kenneth E. Harker kharker at cs.utexas.edu
Tue Apr 13 14:28:22 EDT 1999

     I operated in the 144MHz Sprint last night for the second year
in a row.  And, for the second year in a row, I was unable to break the 
20 QSO barrier.  Four hours of work resulted in 17 contacts and 8 grid 
locators, which, believe it or not, is a better score than I made last year
from the same station.  In the middle of the contest, I went for over two
hours between contacts.  And South Texas is even one of the more historically
active spots of VHF/UHF activity outside of the northeast and upper midwest.

     It is clear to me that the current format of the Spring Sprints is 
broken.   Participation and interest in the sprints is at an all-time low,
and without heavy-duty sponsorship, the contests are destined to die out.

     These is a solution to this, and it was first proposed seven years
ago by George K5TR on the CQ-Contest reflector.  I encourage everyone to 
read it:


     I totally agree with George's analysis of the problems with the current
format of the VHF/UHF Spring Sprints.  To summarize, the main problems are:

* The contests are presently single band.
* The contests are on weeknights.

    I think if we want sprint-style contesting on VHF/UHF, let's make a
single VHF Sprint that is:

* All band
* On a Saturday late afternoon/evening
* Four hours long
* Otherwise exactly like the major VHF contests.

    Making the sprint an all-band affair would bring out a lot more 
competitors.  last year, I worked exactly two other stations in the 222MHz
Sprint.  If the VHF Sprint were on a single weekend night and people could 
work on all the bands, I'm sure I'd make more than two 222MHz contacts.
And the short length of the contest would challenge multi-band stations to 
run up the bands more efficiently, among other effects.  If anything,
such a contest might even attract more activity in some parts of the 
country than the longer contests, because of the shorter time commitment 
involved, and knowing that you'll be less likely to run out of stations 
to work before it's over.  I think it would be a _lot_ more fun!

Kenneth E. Harker      "Vox Clamantis in Deserto"      kharker at cs.utexas.edu
University of Texas at Austin                  Amateur Radio Callsign: KM5FA
Department of the Computer Sciences         President, UT Amateur Radio Club
Taylor Hall TAY 2.124               Maintainer of the Linux Laptop Home Page
Austin, TX 78712-1188 USA            http://www.cs.utexas.edu/users/kharker/

CQ-Contest on WWW:        http://www.contesting.com/_cq-contest/
Administrative requests:  cq-contest-REQUEST at contesting.com

More information about the CQ-Contest mailing list