[CQ-Contest] March CQ arrives

K4tmc at aol.com K4tmc at aol.com
Mon Feb 26 21:42:01 EST 2001

Front cover photo of W3ASK, CQ's Propagation Editor, showing us how he makes
those propagation predictions - using a crystal ball!  George has been doing
this for 50 years in CQ; more details inside.

Contest related items:
Go Surf the Grey and Dark Lines, Part II (where were the waves this past
Contesting column - A Categorical Assessment (operating categories and
pushing the envelope)

Other interesting items:
CQ Market Survey - HF Transceivers for 2001 (just in case you have not been
looking at the ads)
The CQ WAZ Awards Program
MFJ, A Little Bit of Everything (behind the scenes photos of the MFJ facility
and people, and the story of Mr. MFJ)
World Of Ideas column - The Keys are The Key!, Part II (nice color photos)
Washington Readout column - Getting Ham Radio Information from the Web, and
story on W8PAL, SK
How It Works column - A "Keep It Simple" Look at DSP
VHF Plus column - EME, Do It Now!
Magic In The Sky column - Cleaning Up Our Act
DX column - Stop and Listen!
Propagation column - 50th Anniversary! (cover story)

And more...

73 & High Rates,
Henry Pollock - K4TMC
Raleigh, NC

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

>From Leigh S. Jones" <kr6x at kr6x.com  Tue Feb 27 03:46:20 2001
From: Leigh S. Jones" <kr6x at kr6x.com (Leigh S. Jones)
Date: Mon, 26 Feb 2001 19:46:20 -0800
Subject: [CQ-Contest] Single ops and Internet
References: <NDBBJODEMLLOGMDJBPCDGECMCOAA.k5zd at ma.ultranet.com>
Message-ID: <05a901c0a06f$d9924630$ede3c23f at kr6x.org>

Randy, I am a little confused what the issue you've raised really is
about.  Do you believe that a widespread practice of using the
internet to get solar flux indices and similar propagation data
threatens to upset the competitive nature of our beloved sport?

Personally, I've never taken the time, while single operator in a
contest, to dial up an ISP and get on the internet.  But there are a
few possible minor uses of the internet that do not seem to fall
outside of the rules, at least according to my interpretation.  There
are some uses of the internet that represent ongoing practices of a
few individuals and clubs that I would caution against allowing if I
were questioned as to my opinion of what should be written in the
rules and what should not.

For instance, although I admit that the BARC advertising on
contesting.com prior to theWWDX contest last fall is within the rules,
and I'm not upset over it, I could forsee situations in which allowing
that kind of advertising would open the door to more serious abuses.
And, I have been rather public regarding my views of "web cams" and
similar technologies that could be used to effectively advertise one's
activity in a contest by creating a de-facto solicitation for

I believe, however that the use of the internet to gather solar flux
indices and similar propagation reports such as those provided by WWV
is within the rules and should not be viewed as threatening to the
contesting fraternity.  My view of this is not based on a strict
reading of the rules.  Much of my opinion on this is based on the
conclusions that can be drawn from long years of contesting
experience.  Simply stated, if I begin the contest with a little
knowledge about the current band conditions, such as what part of the
sunspot cycle we are in, and what the season is, I feel that I can
keep abreast of the band conditions by listening to the bands.
On-the-air observations are worth ten times what the internet can tell

You've excerpted the rules.  I believe the excerpts below say that "DX
alerting" and "spotting assistance" are disallowed.  Additional
reading of the rules that have not been included in your excerpts
would reveal that some contests have rules in place that bar the use
of the internet, telephones, semaphore, etc., for solicitation of
contacts.  I don't believe the rules prohibit getting solar indices
from the internet.

But, I don't think you've been hurting yourself with your
interpretation of the rules.  You are as good at finding your way
around the bands as the rest of us, and you don't need to change to

However, a healthy discussion of possible abuses of the rules of
contests is important.  Abuses are out there for the taking.  I'm sure
I could find a contest that doesn't prohibit, for instance, sending
e-mails out to every ham that could be associated with an e-mail
address inviting a contest contact.  I'm sure that those who do so
would argue that this activity promotes contesting as well as amateur
radio operation in general, and should be considered to be in the best
interests of the amateur community and the contesting fraternity.  I
believe it would be an abuse, and would deserve the description you've
provided: "...the day of pure competition by operators based on skill
and technique has been diminished."

----- Original Message -----
From: "Randy Thompson, K5ZD" <k5zd at ma.ultranet.com>
To: "Contest Reflector" <CQ-Contest at contesting.com>
Sent: Monday, February 26, 2001 4:41 AM
Subject: [CQ-Contest] Single ops and Internet

 > As a refresher, here are the rules for the single operator category
in the
 > two major DX contests:
 > ARRL rules just say this:
 > 2.1. Single Operator: One person performs all transmitting,
 > spotting, and logging functions as well as equipment and antenna
 > adjustments.
 > 2.1.1. Use of spotting assistance or nets (operating arrangements
 > other individuals, DX-alerting nets, packet, Internet, etc) is not
 > permitted.
 > The CQ version is this:
 > 1. Single Operator High: Those stations at which one person performs
all of
 > the operating, logging, and spotting functions. The use of DX
 > assistance of any kind places the station in the Single Operator
 > category.
 > ===
 > Both specifically prohibit Internet although there is some room for
 > interpretation.  I am interested in the opinions of the contest
 > because I may have been hurting myself with my interpretation of
 > To me, if you are single op, then you only use ham radio to improve
 > score during the contest period.  If you want to listen to WWV, then
you get
 > there at 18 minutes after the hour.
 > Obviously technology is a big part of our sport.  Computer tools
within the
 > shack such as Geoclock or super check partial have achieved de facto
 > acceptance.  I guess I am wondering if Internet-based tools now fall
 > the same category?
 > If so, the day of pure competition by operators based on skill and
 > has been diminished.
 > Randy, K5ZD
 > --
 > CQ-Contest on WWW:        http://lists.contesting.com/_cq-contest/
 > Administrative requests:  cq-contest-REQUEST at contesting.com

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

>From Leigh S. Jones" <kr6x at kr6x.com  Tue Feb 27 06:41:03 2001
From: Leigh S. Jones" <kr6x at kr6x.com (Leigh S. Jones)
Date: Mon, 26 Feb 2001 22:41:03 -0800
Subject: [CQ-Contest] multiplier passing
Message-ID: <05e201c0a088$42069d20$ede3c23f at kr6x.org>

In a discussion of the proposed SCC RTTY rules, AA5AU writes:

 > Limiting band changes for single operators is a bad idea altogether.
 > also discourages moving multipliers from band to band to band to
 > multipliers.

I'd like to react to this comment with a completely off-subject

Our societies institute laws and regulations for the purpose of
benefiting the
members of our societies.  Laws have been created against theft,
murder, etc., with the aim of improving the welfare of mankind in
general.  It
would be very inefficient and unattractive to return to a system that
each individual to take the entire responsibility of protecting
himself against
crime rather than having police forces, etc.

Additional laws exist to protect our system of commerce against the
introduction of gross inefficiencies.  An example is the law against
monopolies.  When a monopoly comes into existence, it benefits the
owners or stockholders of the company by providing them with windfall
profits.  But it introduces an imbalance in the market mechanisms that
control supply and demand, and in the long run this can result in a
of inefficiencies that ripple through the entire system of commerce.
excessive taxation, the monopoly can eventually become such a drag on
the marketplace that everyone pays a penalty in lost profits.  So, we
outlaw monopolies by forcing them to disband.

The practice of "passing multipliers" or "moving multipliers" benefits
the "great and powerful" -- the "have's" in the contesting "have's vs
not's" hierarchy.  And it's terribly inefficient in terms of the
operating time
of the multiplier that has been "passed".  And, it's terribly rude to
a pile-up and request that the station on the other end abandon his
callers to service the big signal with a band change.

Now, I understand that this can occasionally happen between close
friends.  If I were to travel to an exotic island for a contest, I've
about three or four friends I'm close enough with to consider
abandoning a pile-up to help.  It can also be attractive when it makes
sense from the point of view of optimizing scores on both ends -- say
two big island multi-multi stations meet on 80 meters and one directs
the other to pass along a note with a frequency to his 160 meter
operator or asks what frequency the 160 meter operation can be
found on.

But, I overheard some blatant habitual mid-pile-up multiplier passing
going on at a couple of big USA multi-multi stations while I listened
to the ARRL CW contest on a short piece of wire (no antennas up
at home yet) that went beyond the close friends owing favors type of

As a listener only (in this contest anyway), I can't be accused of
complaining because I've lost a multiplier myself.  What I observed
was often senseless multiplier passing -- big US multioperator
who keep run stations CQing all the time on one frequency but
apparently have a second station on the same band who's duty is to
find any EU station calling CQ and invite them to QSY to some other
band, beginning Friday night.

The new description for the multi-multi station action I'm seeing is
octopus on each band interconnecting one run station and one
multiplier passing station.  I heard one of these stations passing a
German station from 20 to 40 meters on Saturday night.  If I'd paid
more attention during the contest, I think I'd have been able to find
a pattern of generally passing QSO's rather than just multipliers.
Why would the German station need another MD station on 40?

Now, before someone from a multi-multi comes right out and tells
me "Of course we pass multipliers; we have to pass multipliers just
to compete with the other guys who pass multipliers," for gosh
sakes, I know that already.  I'm not stupid, nor am I inexperienced.
I'm not here to attack the practitioners of the art of contesting.

I just think that if no one at all passed a single multiplier through
the whole contest, everyone would have more fun in the contest.
Everyone.  Everyone from the multiplier that didn't get pushed off
his frequency to service the big gun to the big gun operators
themselves, because I can't believe that those operators really
enjoy pressing the band passing function key over and over again.
It's more fun to pit one's skills against those at the other stations
chasing the DX up and down the band then it is to sit on a
frequency and be serviced like a queen bee.

It's just too inefficient.  A terrible waste of DX.  We should let
the market forces work, and do away with the big monopolies,
because the monopolies would make bigger scores in the end
if the practice were universally abandoned.  They just can't
unilaterally abandon the practice without hurting their scores.

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