[CQ-Contest] contesting 10 years from now

Scott Robbins w4pa at yahoo.com
Thu Feb 1 10:29:49 EST 2007

>Somehow this seemed like a serious question to me.  If Tonno is getting 
>any serious replies (other than the first one about virtual contesting) 
>they must be going direct and off the list.  Kind of a shame ... I would 
>have liked to have seen them.  Maybe he will summarize them after the 
>QRN passes.

OK, maybe a few predictions off the top of my head: 

1) Age is going to be more and more of a factor in competitive entries.  I'm
only 37, but I can tell I'm more weary after putting in an all-weekend contest
effort than I was 5 years ago.  I'll be 47 then -- and there are few contesters
that are behind me in age that are coming up through the ranks (yes, there are
some, but not a lot...).  Will there be 25 year olds 10 years from now kicking
some major butt in DX contests?  I hope so, but I doubt it.

2) The peak all-time scores -- forever -- for some DX contest categories may be
reached in this coming sunspot cycle because of #1.  10 years from now, we may
know who the all-time high scorers in our lifetime -- in the life of the hobby
-- will be.

3) Automation/remoteability of computer controlled devices related to
contesting will continue to advance forward.  This includes transceivers.

4) Someone is going to come up with an automated superstation that uses some
form of voting technology in real-time to select optimal antennas based on
signal arrival angle/strength. 

5) Available receiver performance in HF radios used today for contesting will
be much the same 10 years from now.  Tools on those radios available to the
operator aside from raw receiver performance will continue to evolve - possibly
dramatically.  There are inklings of this already - but there are also
theoretical limits to signal detection - and limits to what the human ear can

6) Related to #5 - will someone come up with a weak-signal (sub noise floor)
detection system in an HF radio that can then reproduce/translate that signal
to what sounds like an uninhibited audible signal to a human?   We can see
inaudible sub noise floor signals on computer screens now.  How about real-time
translation in the rig to an audible signal?  

Have fun out there. 

Scott Robbins, W4PA

W4PA Contest Blog - http://w4pa.journalspace.com
What Is Radio Contesting? - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contesting

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