[CQ-Contest] WRTC, PED, Pile-up Tapes

Fred Laun K3ZO aalaun at attglobal.net
Tue Jun 26 23:30:31 EDT 2001

Since these days I only look at the cq-contest digest every so often rather 
than having each message dumped in my in-box, I am a little slow in 
commenting on this one, but did want to get my two cents' worth in since 
the subject is obviously of great interest to me.

First of all, it is an error to lump PED together with the kind of pile-up 
tape that Tom N0SS puts together for the KCDX gathering at Dayton each 
year.  PED is really as far as I am concerned strictly a CW speed test, 
whereas the N0SS-type tape simulates real on-the-air receiving conditions 
to a much greater extent.   As Tom says, it is really a bit of a misnomer 
to call his test a "pileup" test because no more than two stations are 
transmitting at any given time on his tapes.  With the added QRN, 
occasional chirpy or AC-type signal thrown in, etc, it does simulate very 
well what I found on the air in my various overseas assignments in years 
past.  Actually with almost every contester now having access to a 
modern-day store-bought rig, the N0SS tape probably more closely resembles 
the CQM Contest of 1970 than it does any contest of today.

While I think the N0SS-type tape provides the best "level playing field" 
that has ever been found -- as long as all the headsets are working the 
same --
I have no opinion on whether or not it should be included as a permanent 
feature in WRTC.  I do think it was interesting for the Slovenians to have 
included it in theirs, just as a variation on what had been done before.  I 
am sure there is no clear "right" WRTC model but that as, hopefully, WRTCs 
continue to take place every two or three years, there will be a 
convergence of ideas within the contesting community as to what its 
permanent features should be.

I do think WRTCs are a much more accurate measure of on-the-air skills than 
ARDF activities.  I have been critical of the resources IARU has put into 
ARDF over the years because to me ARDF is not "real ham radio."   I'm sure 
the various commercial and governmental interests who covet our frequencies 
would be delighted to have us get more involved in ARDF so we would 
hopefully (in their view) come to care less and less about using the 
on-the-air spectrum we currently have available to us.

73, Fred Laun, K3ZO     

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