[CQ-Contest] Important Issues

ku8e@bellsouth.net ku8e at bellsouth.net
Fri Oct 28 14:06:10 EDT 2005

  I think the perception that most contesters have big KW stations and have multiple towers with stacked monobanders. That is not the case. I'm sure the majority are in the same situation as me and are in the tribander and wires only class. (or lower)

 Just think if you are trying to build yourself a modest SO2R contest station today:

  2 HF radios - $4000
  2 Amps       -  $4000
  Tower and associated hardware  (guys, rotor, cable etc..)- $2000
  Antennas - Something like a TH7 , F12  - $1000
  Other stuff (SO2R boxes, keyers, headphones, mics, etc...  -  $500

This all adds up to over $10,000 - hardly within the budget of someone just out of college or 
raising a family. Plus you haven't even come close to the level of your typical big M/M
or M/S station. Many of the big station owners are resourceful and can save some $$ but it's still
a huge monetary commitment to put together a competitive station.

Being an auto racing fan I see similarities between it and contests. Have you ever have watched the 24 Hours of Lemans or 12 Hours of Sebring? (for you FCG guys) You see all different types of cars all in the same race. (kind of like a contest, with stations having different levels of hardware) They all have different type engines and technology. The top cars (i.e Big Guns and fastest and most expensive) run probably 10 mph quicker then the lowest class. (Me ??) But in the end they classify everyone into classes based on their equipment.

I think more classifications in a contest based on the type of station you run would promote more activity. How much power you run is a bad choice. Even if I run a KW and tribander in most cases I'm not going to be able to compete against another station with monobanders and a KW. Maybe add some " LP and wires only" or similar classes for those that are just starting out in contesting.

Those of you sponsoring contests- listen to the feedback of those who operate your contest and create a new class if the demand is there. You are not "dumbing" down the results like many have claimed in the past. 

If you are a big station owner invite that "up and coming young contester" in your area to your station and get them hooked. When mentoring them stress to them to always act like they are Big Gun when operating, no matter what type of station they are operating from. Also, make them understand their  limitations. You aren't going to get the same results from your small station at home. That shouldn't stop you from still having fun in contesting. You don't have to be the overall winner of a contest to have fun. Set a goal like making top ten LP in SS or maybe a Sprint..

As contesters we need to look to the future. If we don't our hobby is going to die...

Jeff KU8E

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