[CQ-Contest] 24 vs 48 - NO NEW CAREGORIES!

Pete Smith n4zr at contesting.com
Fri Feb 7 09:13:29 EST 2003

At 08:47 PM 2/6/03 -0500, K4OJ wrote:
>My take: The creation of a 24 hour category will only end up hurting the 
>48 hour competitors...
>if I am only going to operate 24 hours I sure as heck am not gonna pick 
>the hours when the sun is down...I will operate when 10/15/20 will provide 
>me the most run time...which basically is dawn to dusk with a little 
>before and after for gray line, etc...

I don't think I agree with you.  I believe that if I were to carve 24 hours 
out of 48, I would probably (from the US East Coast, in the winter) quit 
after European sunrise and resume just before my sunrise, and take the rest 
of the time during the afternoon doldrums.  After all, we're not going to 
be running on 10M, and not much on 15, for the next few years.  But to me 
this would be one of the areas of potential fun -- figuring out the 
strategy to maximize score in 24 hours.

In a contest where I chose to operate in the 24-hour category and where 
band-by-band mults played an important role, I would HAVE to set aside time 
to be on 40 and 80 (and 160, about as much as I am now) to maximize my 
24-hour score.

You seem to assume that having a 24-hour category would result in a 
reduction in the total number of operator-hours during a given contest, but 
how do you know that?  I know that, in my case, if I only entered the 
24-hour category, the only contest that would be negatively affected is 
ARRL CW.  I would probably operate more hours in CQWW and WPX, contests 
which typically conflict with holiday weekends, and my participation in SS 
and the ARRL 10 meter contests would be unchanged, ditto for the 
160s.  Who's to say that having such a category wouldn't encourage people 
who currently operate less than 24 hours to increase their presence in 

>Just like differentiating between power, or SO2R, or other pereceived 
>gotta have catagories the easiest thing to do is list us all together, 
>yeah all mixed together.  But but but.... with columns indicating hours 
>operated - you wanna find out if you made the most points of any 20 hour 
>entry - sort the results by the hours worked column... done.

I agree for SO2R and power categories, but handling operating time the same 
way omits the element of strategy.  At least at sunspot peaks, doesn't the 
ARRL 10-meter contest draw the most entries of any ARRL 
contest?  Why?  Could it be because of the interesting strategic choices to 
be made, or the opportunity to choose your operating time so there'll be 
lots of folks to work, or that it's easier to fit the contest into family 

I really think that we need a survey, to try to get a sense of who thinks 
they would increase their operating time, versus those who would decrease 
it, and those who wouldn't change.  Then, if the results seem favorable, 
why not do a test, overlaid on top of a conventional contest?  I've already 
volunteered to do the scut-work for such a test.  I think it needs more 
lead-time than is available between now and the ARRL CW and Phone, so if 
the survey says "go," how about CQWW next fall?

73, Pete N4ZR
The World HF Contest Station Database was updated 1 Feb 03.
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