[CQ-Contest] Level Playing Field - my 2 cents

Tom W8JI w8ji at w8ji.com
Tue Jun 28 10:55:34 PDT 2011

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Milt -- N5IA" <n5ia at zia-connection.com>
> Quite true Tom.  But NOT TRUE for the other 80% of the country!

I agree. Distance is NOT the only problem. There are propagation issues at 
work for different paths.

K3LR is on the Ohio border!!! K3LR is not by any stretch of the imagination 
an east coast station. As a matter of fact in the SE we almost certainly 
have a propagation advantage over Tim on 160 through 40 meters. The SE is at 
no significant disadvantage to a similar system up in far western PA.

Even if a contest goes to distance based scoring, we still have the problem 
of where the geomagnetic poles are located. People in the Great Plains and 
western Midwest are still at a decided disadvantage because of path 

It doesn't even end there. Every extra hop requires a good path all along 
the hops, and losses are not linear with distance. It is seriously flawed to 
think distance can be directly translated into extra points in a linear 
fashion to "level a playing field".

The playing field, like it or not, will never be level. Signal strength and 
opening time is not even remotely linear as we add hops, and it is also 
affected significantly by the path the signal takes. In the Southeast we 
have the advantage of a better path to Europe on low bands, even if we have 
a disadvantage of a longer path.

I have a suggestion to fix all this. Let's just give a multiplier to whoever 
has the least fun. That's what we are really after, having fun. That should 
fix it. :-)

73 Tom 

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