[CQ-Contest] 24 hour category?

Steve Miller millersg at dmapub.dma.org
Tue Feb 19 12:55:32 EST 2002

W2UP wrote:

> Hi all,
> I made the following comments in my 3830 writeup, and received a few e-
> mails agreeing. Would be interested in hearing other comments...
> As I was unavailable for contesting Sunday, I decided to invent my own 
> category: SOA HP First 24 hours. I operated from 0000Z-2359Z the 
> first day (Friday night till Saturday night). I slept for 2 hours in that 
> period. I think there's something to this category, and would like to see it 
> be added to all 48 hour contests. 

I think adding any official category that encourages limited operation 
time is a bad idea.  We need more activity not less!

> First, it highlights operating more than endurance. 

Not necessarily - it just provides a lesser endurance requirement.

> Second, the rates are better the first day, so more fun and less "there's 
> nobody left to work" boredom. 

But what will happen on Sunday to the full time guys or part time guys who 
can't make it Saturday?  If significant numbers of ops quit 24 hours before 
the contest is over there will be less fun & more "there's nobody left to 
work" boredom. Or what if the other 24 hours has much better propagation?

> Third, those of us who cannot commit a full weekend would have a way to 
> compete with each other. Comments? 

But you are already competing! In fact, the majority of contest operators 
already compete with part time commitment.  Besides, everyone has their 
own 'category' whether it is the first 24 hours only, 1500+ miles from the 
east coast, 6' high dipole due to CC&Rs, etc.  Do we really want to add 
more categories/space to a limited magazine page count just so more people 
can see their callsign ranked higher in the (insert your favorite new 
category here) box?  Probably not.

Barry, your operating approach for this contest was great - you knew a 
full time was not possible so you set a new time frame to maximize your 
operating goals.  But how do you assess your competitiveness when this 
'category' is not officially recognized?  

A few possibilities might be:
1) Convince the contest sponsors to create a new category in future 
2) Compare your results with 'adjusted' results of the top scorers 
   (i.e. use their first day rate sheet) 
3) Promote/score the category independently (as suggested by VE5ZX & K8MR). 

I don't like #1.  I use variations of #2 to assess my operating skill (run 
and S&P rates, SO2R effectiveness, strategy) versus the good ops'  while 
attempting to handicap differences in propagation, hardware, operating time 
etc.  I also think #3 is great whether your doing a K8MR SO Multi-station, 
N2RM multi-op no packet, or challenging the guy across town - everyone wins 

Steve  N8SM/5

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