[CQ-Contest] An Innocent Question... (Tesla Cup)

K3BU@aol.com K3BU at aol.com
Tue Oct 18 23:06:18 EDT 2005

In a message dated 10/18/2005 5:18:28 PM Eastern Daylight Time, 
kenharker at kenharker.com writes:

>>The ARRL and CQ are already sponsoring as many contests as I think they 
are willing to support with magazine space.  The Tesla Cup would be just 
another HF DX contest, and one that wouldn't necessarily align with either
organization's award programs.  It doesn't surprise me at all that neither
organization took an interest.<<

Maybe "just another", but it would address the problem with good old contests 
(can't change them, tradition) and introduce more fair way of scoring, that 
would eliminate some of the gross biases that other contests suffer from. With 
introduction of QRA squares, there is another factor that is embraced lately 
and makes more sense using geographical features. CQ has started field award 
using squares. This is something new to chase, and we devised Stripes Award to 
be another fun tool to accumulate Stripes over the years. With TC rules one 
does not have to travel to Af or SA to be a world winner. So the TC is bringing 
and patching holes in the good old contests and their scoring handicaps.

>>As far as "fixing" problems with existing worldwide contests:

* The scoring structure, splitting value between "correctly sent" and 
  "correctly received" halves of the QSO is very different from any other 
  contest and hard to understand.  How do we know that an exchange was 
  sent correctly?  When it is recorded wrong in the other station's log,
  how do you differentiate between incorrect sending and incorrect 

This is to prevent sending station losing QSO and multiplier, if the 
receiving station did not receive the exchange right. Nothing new, has been used back 
in OK land some 40 years ago and worked well. Assuming that sending station 
sent the exchange what is listed in his log. We are dealing with call and 
square, no reason to goof for TX. If RX has an error then he loses points for this 
QSO and no 3 QSO "penalty".

>>* Assuming I'm interpreting it the way I think it must be done, the 
  scoring structure legitimizes and encourages guessing when copying 
  other stations' exchanges.  Not only are you not penalized for getting it
  wrong, you are always guaranteed 1/3 to 1/2 of the contact's potential 
  points value no matter how badly you copy the callsign or exchange.
  It's kind of hard to take such a points structure seriously.<<

If you lose points, how does that encourage guessing? Looks like hard to 
shake this 3 QSO punishment mentality. 

>>* The rules define QRP as 15 watts, which is very different from other 

This will be returned to 5 W. I was trying to stay with 10 dB difference 
between power categories, but the tradition of QRP being 5 W is more important.

>>* The single operator class is irrationally split between those operating
  from their personal home station and those operating elsewhere.  And 
  those operating as guests at other stations are lumped in with packeteers,
  which is just bizarre.  This is at variance with essentially every other
  contest's definition of what a single operator is.<<

This is to promote operating and competing with the same, from your own 
station, but not excluding guests, drive ins, assisted. We don't want TC to be a 
carbon copy of every other contest. Those who built and operate their own 
stations/callsign deserve to be recognized. Ham radio station is the station, 
callsign and operator. Little different, but not limiting or exclusionary. Operating 
someone else's station, packet assistance is getting assistance, crutch from 
someone else. 

>>* It's not at all clear to me that the stations entering "club competition" 
  are also entering the single-op/multi-op categories or not.<<

Yes, one station from each category (10 total)  A, O (6x), P, S, M on each 
mode, 20 total on both modes. The idea is to have teams from close area, clubs, 
one station in each category.

>>* The contest prizes seem too be structured for the economic benefit of 
  your company.  It's one thing for a company to sponsor the cost of 
  producing a plaque or trophy or something.  But when the prize is a 
  gift certificate that can only be redeemed by spending lots of money
  with the contest sponsor, it starts looking like more of a sales promotion 
  than a genuine competition.  If there were more than one sponsor of 
  that kind of prize, it might not be so objectionable.<<

I tried to incite participation. If that is the problem, then we will 
withdraw the "prize" if there are no more donors. Looks to me like benefit to the 
contester, nobody forces him to "cash" the certificate.

>>* The rules say that the organizers accept Cabrillo format logs, but the 
  Tesla Cup is not a contest supported by the Cabrillo specification.  The 
  rules also specify that logs must be annotated with OFF and ON time period
  demarcations, something that the Cabrillo specification does not support.<<

True, this will be removed, we can look for two largest rest periods, no need 
to mark it.

>>I will say this, the contest is sufficiently different from the others 
(especially in the exchange and multipliers definitions) to be potentially 
interesting.  I wouldn't be making the claim that it "fixes" problems 
experienced in other DX contests, because not everyone sees problems where 
you see them.  To me, this contest has its own set of "problems," mostly in 
a flawed scoring system that can't be taken seriously.  If I can only 
justify the time to operate so many contests a year, this one just won't
make it into my schedule.<

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