[CQ-Contest] QST contesting issue idea

Hank Greeb n8xx at arrl.org
Sat Jun 16 07:28:16 EDT 2007

I agree wholeheartedly!

How many folks build their own rigs? (Probably considerably less than 1%)

Their own Station Accessories?  (A few more, but most buy things like 
power supplies, antenna couplers, SWR bridges, etc.)

Yet, technical articles appear every month, sometimes quite a few of 
them, and sometimes very deep technical issues.

Methinks its a matter of education - even those who don't build like to 
understand what's inside their rigs.

Contest results are like reading stock market prices - rather dull 
except for someone who has a particular stock.  One looks for his call, 
his ranking relative to the rest of the pack, and skims some of the 
editorial content, but not much.  Is there a intriguing way to tell 
dolts like me how to manage over 2 Q's per minute over a long period?  
Or, what's needed to accurately copy of sloppy fist in the midst of 
QRN/QRM, and get <2% error rate during a contest?   I don't remember any 
articles on these subjects.  I don't know if they'd be of interest to 
the masses.  But I'm 99.44% sure that the plain, vanilla writeups of a 
small amount of editorial comment, plus "soapbox" comments and contest 
results don't result in a horde of readers.

It's also a matter of lack of proselytizing.  Contest folks say they 
encourage their fellow hams to become contesters, yet there is very 
little organized activity to encourage the newcomer or olde tymer to try 
the next contest.  I've seen a few "rookie award plaques" for newcomers 
in a contest, and ARRL;s "GOTA" station category in Field Day is quite 
popular, but otherwise, these are few and far between.

Contesting can be fun, even for a dolt like me who doesn't have a chance 
at the top 10, but does anyone want to get organized and mount an effort 
to get more participants?  Methinks folks with this bent are very few 
and far between.

73 de n8xx Hg

Warren C. Stankiewicz wrote:
> Hank, K8DD writes, "It's all down to the 'bean counters'."
> Which is true, but begs the questions, Who is counting the beans, and what beans are they counting?
> The ARRL has survey after survey, going back at least a decade, that indicates contesting is of interest and/or  pursuit of less than 11% of all hams.
> This indicates two possibilities:
>     Not enough contesters are ARRL Members
>     Not enough ARRL members are contesters
> Or, of course, a combination of the two.
> What, then, is to be done? The answer seems clear in concept, yet far more difficult in execution.
> What is needed, clearly, is more compelling content. Stories that make people sit up and take notice. Tales that share the excitement, the joy, the thrills of victory and the agony of defeat (sorry) that is ham radio contesting.
> Impossible, you say? Hogwash. I've seen it. I've seen QST publish it. Although I don't work for ARRL now, I'm fairly sure that if such content of that quality came along, the chances are fairly good it'd show up in print.
> We (the ham contesting community) were beyond fortunate in the 60's to have people like Jack Troster who could write interesting and humorous articles that grew interest and participation in contests. Contet writeups themselves can frequently dissolve into mere retellings of who won what (I know, I used to have to write them. A *lot*).
> What we need now are some contesting heroes, and some stories of the same. If we wish contesting to continue, it is our duty to further the cause of our own self interest. To merely expect the ARRL to support us because we, the chosen few, the band of brothers and sisters, wish it to be so is pure fantasy.
> With malice towards none,
> Warren, NF1J/6 

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