[CQ-Contest] SO2R IS A Separate Entry Class

k6ll at juno.com k6ll at juno.com
Thu Jun 1 12:43:41 EDT 2000

On Thu, 01 Jun 2000 04:58:21 PDT "John Crovelli" <w2gd at hotmail.com>
> Creation of a separate SO2R entry class is IMHO long overdue.  

Well, here we go again.

I agree with John. What is the downside to breaking out SO2R
into a separate category, a little more space in the magazine
write-ups? If necessary, I suggest it be taken out of the narrative,
or preferably, take it out of the Soapbox. We get more than enough
soapbox on the 3830 reflector as it is. Just give me the scores and
the top ten boxes. I'll do my own analysis, and derive my own
by comparing scores on a worldwide, regional, local, or whatever level
I choose.

I guess the thing that bothers me most about SO2R operation is
the fact that it provides a small reward for a major cash investment.
Depending on your current SO1R station configuration, you need about an
extra 100% to 200% increase in cash investment to convert to SO2R, which
will increase your score just a few percent. Other than the highly
specific application to contesting, this major cash investment really
doesn't enhance other aspects of ham radio operation, such as
emergency communications, rag chewing, dx'ing, etc.

Another thing that troubles me about SO2R is that it penalizes those
contesters who are of an advanced age. I firmly believe that young people
have an inherent advantage in learning and utilizing the skills essential
to two radio operation. They are better able to form the neural synapses
required to do multiple things at one time. Now, it is a truly wonderful
thing that young people have this capability, but is it fair to have
them gravitate to the top of the single op category due in part to
this innate advantage? Granted, it is part of the natural cycle of life
for performance to deteriorate in MANY areas, but I believe the age
breakpoint for SO2R skills is somewhere around age 35, much younger
than one normally expects to be penalized for advanced age, especially
in a relatively sedentary activity such as ham radio. I know this sounds
like an old geezer whining, and it will produce an adverse gut-level
in many people, but I think it is a valid point. It would be nice to have
a neurological specialist weigh in on this point.

Another thing that bothers me is the RFI, heat, and band congestion
that SO2R introduces. Since one radio is always in the cq mode, there
is ALWAYS a run frequency staked out. The run frequency is NEVER
relinquished to "go S&P for a while." There are a lot of people who
don't understand this concept, and argue that only one radio is on
the air at a time. Believe me, the heat just POURS off the run
amplifier, 24 hours per day. Between the two amplifiers, the transmit
duty cycle is very close to 100%. It also creates some ugly scenes
when a SO2R guys comes back to "reclaim" his run frequency after a
brief hiatus.

I think if SO2R is broken out into a separate category, or perhaps even
if the SO2R stations are identified within the existing categories, a
lot of people, like myself, will sell the second transceiver, second
amp, second tower/antennas , ridiculous band pass filters/decoders/
switch boxes/gizmos and go back to SO1R. We will probably use the
to upgrade the SO1R equipment, towers and antennas, benefiting other
aspects of the hobby as well. I wish I never had to buy all that crap
in the first place, but that's what you have to do to stay in the top
ten nowadays, if we continue with the existing categories.

Dave Hachadorian, K6LL
Yuma, AZ
K6LL at juno.com

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