[CQ-Contest] KL7RA needs advice

Bill Coleman aa4lr at arrl.net
Tue Apr 3 11:19:27 EDT 2001

On 3/29/01 9:41 PM, Ed Himwich N3HXQ at n3hxq at arrl.net wrote:

 >It would be nice if the
 >rules of some of the contests could be a little clearer about things
 >like: does asking for a spot on the air make you assisted.

Actually, the question should be: does asking for a spot on the air make
you unsportsmanlike. And the answer should be: Yes.


If I may, Ed, let's turn your question around. How about power levels. We
frequently divide our competition by power level as well as assisted
versus unassisted. Should we eliminate the Low Power and QRP categories
because High Power stations have an unfair advantage? Or perhaps there
will be unscrupulous individuals who will claim QRP but run 100 watts, or
Low Power and run a full gallon, or claim High Power and run real GAS.

No, we have these categories in a effort to recognise good operating in
spite of limited equipment. It's hard to have a good definition of what
those limitations are. In a DX contest, an operator in New England with a
tribander at 50 feet isn't as limited as the same station in Wisconson.
Operators, Power Levels and Assistance are the currently recognized

 >One thing I have realized reading the responses is that the competition
 >being fair isn't what it is about. If being fair were so important then
 >contesting would have died out long ago. Guys with small lots and/or
 >small wallets and/or bad locations are never going to compete globally,
 >but that doesn't mean doing the best you can and trying different stuff,
 >even if it is comparing G5RVs and inverted-Vs, isn't fun.

Contesting is very much about self-improvement. Often, you're not so much
competing against the guys in the islands, or even the guy upstate, but
against your own previous achievement.

So, it doesn't matter if you have a small lot -- you have to achieve what
you can with what you have got.

Back in 1995, W4AN allowed me the chance to operate SSB Sweepstakes at
his developing mountaintop superstation. It was an eye-opening
experience. I had access to far more station than I could effectively
utilize. I realised that the equipment wasn't the limitation -- instead
it was me. I just wasn't as good an operator as I had imagined I was. I'm
better now, but still have a lot of room for improvement.

 >We'll see,
 >when I've maxed out my lot (pretty soon now) my enthusiasm may take a
 >dive, but I don't think so. I will still be able to work on skill for
 >quite awhile and contests still seem exciting at my pitiful rate.

Improving your operating skills is a lifelong endeavour. Each contest is
an opportunity to learn new lessons -- even if you just operate for a few

 >being said it is just the more annoying that some people cheat, but I
 >guess for some people winning (or standings) is the motivating factor
 >instead of learning or having fun and some of those people aren't
 >bothered by cheating (but then asking "what have you actually won
 >when you cheat" probably doesn't impress them either).

Cheaters don't matter if you just compete against yourself....

Bill Coleman, AA4LR, PP-ASEL        Mail: aa4lr at arrl.net
Quote: "Not within a thousand years will man ever fly!"
             -- Wilbur Wright, 1901

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