[CQ-Contest] Comments on Proposed Changes to ARRL DX

Richard L. King k5na at ecpi.com
Sun Jun 19 10:00:10 PDT 2011

I disagree with making the single-op hours shorter. I think the DX 
contest should always allow you to operate a full 48 hours or less if 
you want to. Here are my reasons.

1. I am a DXer, thus I love DX contests. I enjoy every minute of 
every hour that I manage to stay in the chair (and awake).

2. I have done a few 48 hour efforts in the past but I am probably 
beyond doing that now. However, I do mange to stay in the chair a lot 
by learning to catch short cat-naps with the headphones on. If I am 
serious about a contest I can usually put in 42-45 hours on the air. 
I think this makes me more competitive than the folks who don't like 
the pain of all those hours in the chair. It is one of my few 
advantages, I admit it.

3. I think a time limit will change the operating dynamics of the DX 
contest. There are little opening that the experienced operators know 
about. Such as a short run of JAs on 160M, a short 15 minute LP 
opening at sunrise on 80M to deep Asia to get some interesting 
multipliers, a midnight opening on 15M or 10M to deep Asia, and the 
list goes on. These openings individually count very little to your 
overall score, but collectively can make the difference between 
beating your competitors or losing.

The time limit will make it no longer practical to watch for those 
openings. They just wont be productive enough for you to worry about. 
And it will not be practical for the operators at the other end to 
watch for them as well. The contest will become a run, run, run 
contest. Kinda like the WPX Contest.

4. Operators will develop a strategy for their operating hours to 
maximize their score. There are some hours of the day when activity 
drops way off. Now those hours will become rest times and the 
activity at those times will drop to zero.

5. I think limiting single-op hours will cause a drop-off of the 
numbers of casual operators and small station operators; not increase 
it. With limited operating hours the big guns will have higher rates 
for when they are on and will become harder to work by the smaller stations.

6. I think the serious contesting guys will always be active in the 
contests. They will do single-band efforts if they don't feel up to 
the competitiveness and sleep depreciation of the all band category. 
I haven't seen any statistics that say the activity is dropping off 
dramatically in the DX Contest.

That's my opinion. But since I love a DX Contest, I will still 
participate whether the time limit is 48 hours or 4 hours.

73, Richard - K5NA

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