[CQ-Contest] Revised 2011 NAQP Rules

Jack Haverty k3fiv at arrl.net
Fri Jan 7 21:02:05 PST 2011

On Wed, 2011-01-05 at 08:19 -0600, Bob Naumann wrote:
> So, let's focus on what a single op is - not what an assisted single
> op is.
> When we can agree on what a single operator does, can do, can use,
> then if
> it ain't that, it's something else - which would be next to be
> defined. 

I think this is exactly on the right track. Here's some comments and


1) An operator is a human being.  Single-operator entrants involve
exactly one human during the contest period.  All operators are
considered equal.  Any operator who is considered physically challenged
in everyday situations may use whatever tools are typically used by
people in such circumstances.

2) A station is a collection of technology that interfaces between
radio-frequency waves and operators, to communicate by radio.  A station
is defined by a physical boundary, which contains all the technology.
No communications methods other than amateur RF energy, may cross the
station boundary as part of contest activity.

3) A mode is a specific protocol for communicating using RF energy,
based on definitions by appropriate authorities.   A mode protocol can
include frequency specifications - e.g., SSB20M or CWVHF.

4) A contest is a specific period of time during which communications
take place and are logged.

5) An entrant is a combination of operator(s), station(s), and mode(s),
communicating with other entrants in a contest.

6) Scoring rules define how communications are counted - what
information must be exchanged, etc., and how a numeric score is

So, with these definitions, you build a contest.

Single-operator should be pretty obvious.  But there may be additional
rules.  E.G., can a single operator work at more than one station during
a contest.  Multi-operator involves multiple humans - who might or might
not be physically colocated.

A station is defined by the technologies it uses.  Perhaps a contest
defines stations as "Big Gun", "Little Pistol" and "Peanut Whistle",
with a list of technologies permitted in each case.  Or a contest may
define stations simplistically based on transmitter power - QRP/LP/HP.
Some station definitions might permit the use of technologies currently
called "assisted".  Until humans develop senses that can function at RF
frequencies (lower frequency than light - we have receivers already for
that), all technologies used in a station are there to assist the
operator in using RF for communications.

A mode is defined by the way in which information is converted within a
station between RF energy and human understanding.  For example, CW/SK
might be defined as on-off RF transmissions conforming to Morse Code,
created by manual manipulation of a key or paddle, and interpreted by an
operator listening to audible audio tones from a speaker or headphone.
CW/Computer might be defined as on-off RF transmissions as before, but
created and interpreted by technological means rather than directly by
operator manipulation and audio senses. Note that some "cross mode"
contacts are possible - e.g., a CW/SK and CW/Computer station can
communicate.  Another mode might be multi-channel - e.g., an SO2R, or
multi-channel CW decoder.

Well, hope this gets the idea across...  I think the key is the
definition of stations and modes, with few enough separate types to be
manageable and to have a reasonable number of entrants in each type.
For example, there might be a "menu" of technologies: antenna types,
power levels, receiver capabilities, computer software functionality,
internet connectivity, etc.  A "Big Gun" could use all of them.  A
"Little Pistol" could use only 2/3rds, and a "Peanut Whistle" only
1/3rd.  So a 500 watt cluster-connected station with an attic antenna
and a 5watt SO2R station with a stacked array at 100 feet and multiple
Beverages might both fit in the "Peanut Whistle" definition.

Hopefully every ham who would like to play would be able to find a
station type that reasonably fits his or her own situation.

/Jack de K3FIV

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