[CQ-Contest] arrl correction factor

Tom W8JI w8ji at w8ji.com
Thu Jun 30 15:01:40 PDT 2011

Disclaimer, this is not what I usually work with so I am open to corrections 
by those more experienced.

> Kind of a selfish point of view.
> We down here do not complain about having a small time window to work USA 
> on
> 160M ,  most probably  just a couple of hours right before our sunrise 
> most
> of the time.


Distance, without things like path problems, is by the inverse of the square 
of distance. Doubling distance results in a power density reduction of four 
Twice the distance is four times power density reduction or 6 dB, absent 
other attenuation.

3800 miles for the NE coast of USA compared to 4700 miles for this area is 
1.8 dB.

The difference from K3LR to me into middle Europe is about 4150 to 4700 
miles, worth about 1 dB.

If we look to middle Europe from Minnesota attenuation due to distance alone 
should put Minnesota at a 1.3 dB advantage to me because they are closer to 
Europe, but they have a clear disadvantage. That disadvantage is in both 
multipliers and contacts because with normal ionosphere it might be 10-20 dB 
or more.

The real problem we have in the USA is not distance, but the variability of 
the path. Anything near the north magnetic pole is unreliable and 
unpredictable, and suffers much higher attenuation.

Europe, the center of large contact numbers, is at about 45 degrees. A 
longitudal location change results in less distance change than we often 
expect. Latitude is even more important because of the magnetic pole when 
the path gets close. This is because most of the problems are with 
propagation path, not distance.

The effect of distance scoring would be to penalize NE USA stations in 
respect to almost everyone. An inadvertent drawback is it puts the SE at 
advantage to everyone, including people with much worse propagation who 
unfortunately have  shorter distance to Europe.

If the goal is to allow all of the USA more excitement, we need to not shoot 
from the hip based on only the top ten and the seriously flawed idea we have 
some purely distance disadvantage. After we have a level headed 
non-emotional understanding of the problem, there might be some correction 
that at least tends to level (it will never actually be level) the USA.

Any change should not be by which of us makes the most noise or loudest 
protest, but rather what makes the most sense if a change to really make 
everything better is even possible. It should be agreeable to groups from 
all areas of the country.

This turned into a strong campaign in both directions long before anyone 
took the time to think through it. Now we have hard feelings over something 
that never should have even been pushed without understanding how any change 
affects everyone.

I do not believe this affects you, unless the plan is to correct the entire 
world by distance. If that is true, it might be better to just start a brand 
new contest based on distance alone and not try to fix an existing one by 
correcting what really is not the problem.

73 Tom 

More information about the CQ-Contest mailing list