[CQ-Contest] FW: Why have different classes at all?

Dennis McAlpine dbmcalpine at earthlink.net
Sat Jun 14 10:40:52 EDT 2008



A quick look at the results for any major contest will show that the highest
scores are from the unassisted ops and the assisted ops are generally
lagging.  True, the assisted ops usually have more mults but the top ops
know that they will get enough mults and the key is to keep the QSO rate up.
The skill of the unassisted op more than makes up for the assistance that
the assisted op receives, be it from packet, skimmer or whatever.  So what
benefit did the assisted guy actually receive?  In reality, he probably got
suckered into chasing mults resulting in the loss of a bunch of QSOs which
resulted in a lower score.  (Notice all this nice repetition).  


Probably the biggest boon to all of us is Super Check Partial.  How many
times have you struggled to pull a call out of the mud and then still missed
a letter or two.  But, a quick look at F12 and you have the answer, or at
least a pretty good guess.  Now, that list was prepared by K5ZD, not you the
operator.  So why doesn't that make you "assisted"?  


Part of the skill of being a good contester is integrating the technology
into the operation to achieve the maximum score.  Sometimes, the technology
can hurt rather than help.  If it does help, then everyone will eventually
adopt it, whether or not they admit it.


So, enough of this endless debate.  Let's just throw all of us in together
(except for power categories) and let the chips fall where they may.  Let's
see if those guys with skimmers and packet can figure out how to beat the
CQers.  My guess is the same guys will continue to be at the top after some
gestation period.  


If you are worried about not having a category to win, let's give everyone a
certificate.  The technology exists to send out a computer certificate that
the op can print on his own printer. (See the WAG results, for example).  It
can include where he placed in some category, the score, his call, name,
etc.  It will save the sponsor the time and money of printing and mailing
all those certificates and we will all have some wallpaper.  Why, the
certificate might even look prettier than some of those pieces of paper we
now receive.


A number of years ago, N6TR had a computer operated station with no human
intervention.  It made a few QSOs in Field Day, as I remember.  I don't
remember the computer being classified as "assisted."  I wonder what it
could do now given all the new technology?  Come on Tree, dust the cobwebs
off that thing and let's see what it can do today.


So, how about it?  Sweepstakes can become our version of the U.S.Open.  CQ
WW can become the World Open.  Who will be the next Tiger Woods?  Bring on
all the technology and let's see if it makes a difference.  


See you all in the packet pileups.




Dennis, K2SX

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