[CQ-Contest] M/S band change rule in ARRL DX?

Rick Tavan tavan at tibco.com
Sat Feb 21 21:48:40 EST 2004

M/S band change restrictions such as ARRL's create a lame category in 
which the scoring potential for multiple operators in a given time span 
is lower than the scoring potential for one operator. This because one 
operator can chase mults to heart's content, especially if equipped for 
SO2R, but two or more ops are constrained by the band change limitation 
even if only one op is in control of the station (or even present in the 
building!) at a time. Recognizing this idiocy, NCCC changed the M/S 
category in the California QSO Party to allow unlimited band changes but 
requiring an operator to remain in control of the station for at least 
ten minutes before any other operator can make a contact. This is a far 
better solution to the "octopus problem" that the original ten minute 
rule and its derivatives were intended to solve. I sure hope that the 
other contest sponsors follow suit some day.

BTW, with the NCCC rule Multi-Single is not only an exciting and 
competitive category, comparable to single-op, but also an ideal 
training environment for less experienced contesters and their mentors.

For the lawyers out there: Yes, the NCCC rule depends more on honor than 
the "checkable" ARRL rule. But so do power limitations, rubber clock 
prohibitions and other details. We decided that fun and  competitiveness 
trump reduction of suspicion.

/Rick N6XI

Jim Idelson wrote:

>M/S and M/2 are great categories in DX contesting. They both require even more 
>strategic thinking and teamwork than single-op and multi-multi.

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