[CQ-Contest] Discrimination Against single-Op Assisted

Michael D. Adams mda at ab1od.org
Mon Jul 16 09:41:04 PDT 2012

Kelly VE4XT wrote:

> While I don't have an issue with Skimmer in the contests that allow it, I do
> have to wonder: do all contests need to have the same rules?
> I actually like the boy-and-his-radio (hello, Hans) flavour this rule brings
> to IARU, which is only one contest of many each year.

Even though I accidentally ended up creating a checklog this weekend,
I'm somewhat inclined to agree.

I like some of the quirks in different contest when it's clear (either
explicitly stated, or as a part of common lore) why the quirks are
what they are.  For example, I respect the Stew Perry "boy and his
radio" concept because it's charming, and the organizers make a point
of explaining the rationale.

Although it's not explicitly stated, a no-spotting bias for 10m and
160m contests feels reasonable, because the vagaries of propagation
add to the magic of both bands, and it's reasonable for that to carry
over into contests focusing on those bands.

But for IARU, is that really the case?

I spent a little time mulling over the possible rationale for the
no-spotting and 10-minute rules,   To a relative newcomer, it seems
like the IARU test is trying to offer a little something for
everybody:  it's a QSO party for HQ stations; it provides an
opportunity for CW, phone, and mixed operators to play within the same
timeframe.  It's a nice 24-hour-only contest.

So...what's the purpose of discouraging spotting?  Is it a reflection
of some attempt to reduce congestion on the bands?   After all, the
contest occupies both phone and CW portions of the non-WARC bands.
Prohibiting multi-transmitter entries would make it more difficult for
non-HQ stations to tie up multiple frequencies, giving more guys a
chance to play.  I could see a restriction of spotting being intended
to slow down the rate at which multiplier-hunters find new mults,
again giving more guys a chance.    But if this is the case, why
permit multi-single entries the use of spots?

I could see the discouragement of spotting also being a "boy and his
radio" thing.   But if that's true, why permit spotting at all?

If the answer is "some people are going to use the cluster, and we
need a place to put them", then that would seem to be a very strong
argument for having an assisted class.

I'd love to see a new single-op assisted category created for IARU,
one that is not bound by the current band/mode change rule.   It would
be understandable if the powers-that-be sought to preserve a
distinctive "IARU feel" by imposing some other restrictions on the
category (low power only? mandatory QSY after each contact?), or doing
something else to nudge non-HQ stations to prefer competing as
single-op unassisted.

After all, variety is the spice of life, and isn't it the differences
in the rules (exchanges, multipliers, etc.) that add variety to

But at the end of the day, all I really ask is that the
classifications be clear.  I'm more than likely going to be playing
single-op, assisted (if the rules permit), low-power, time-limited,
primarily for the purpose of making a few Q's, watching propagation
change, seeing how well I can do given the constraints du jour, and
hopefully working a new band-entity or two along the way.  I'd rather
not have the fun spoiled by needing a lawyer or a spreadsheet to
figure out what to put at the top of the Cabrillo file.

(I suppose I could just always submit checklogs and not worry about
it, but that feels kind of pointless.)

Michael D. Adams (AB1OD)
Poquonock, Connecticut | mda at ab1od.org

More information about the CQ-Contest mailing list