[CQ-Contest] CQWW Survey

Dick Green WC1M wc1m73 at gmail.com
Wed Mar 20 08:12:51 EDT 2013

Interesting question, Bill.

In WPX CW last year, the top SO(A)AB HP station would have placed eighth in
SOAB HP. The mult total of the Assisted winner was higher than all but one
of the Unassisted top ten stations (who didn't win), but the Assisted op had
14% fewer Qs. That would indicate that Assistance helped with the mult
total. If you look at Unassisted stations with similar Qs, the advantage was
about 8% more mults. The real problem was Qs -- the Assisted winner was well
behind all of the Unassisted top ten by at least 10% or more. Some thoughts
on that below.

It's all about rate in WPX. You don't have to search for new mults -- about
1/3 of your QSOs will result in a new mult regardless of whether they're
from running or S&P. Sure, you want to grab every new prefix you can, and
there are certain operating strategies that help you do that, but if you run
up a minimum number of Qs (around 3,000+), you'll get most of the prefixes
that are to be had out there. You can see that the top single op stations
all did 3,000-3,500 Qs and 1,000-1,100 mults. 

The big advantage of using spots is being able to skip over stations you've
already worked. I have to believe that would result in a significantly
higher S&P rate than all but the most talented tuners. Also, spots eliminate
the time it takes to tune through dead space and give you advance warning of
the call sign (but you must still wait around until the station signs to
make sure the spot wasn't busted.) Probably helpful when the station is

But is there a hidden drawback to using spots in WPX? Too much
point-and-shoot could distract you from the run radio and slow your rate
there. The result could be a lower overall rate. Perhaps that's why the
Assisted winner was way behind the Unassisted top ten in Qs.

Whether you run Assisted or Unassisted, if you don't play your cards right
in terms of break time and low/high band running (e.g., properly dealing
with the trade off between six pointers and more Qs/mults), you won't win.

I think if two of the best ops in the world compete Assisted and Unassisted,
the Assisted op will win if the proper strategy is executed, including
making sure not to compromise the run rate. Below the very best ops, I think
the advantage would be less meaningful. 

I've been a die-hard SOAB HP in WPX for 10 years and I wouldn't be terribly
upset if the two categories were combined.

73, Dick WC1M

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Cqtestk4xs at aol.com [mailto:Cqtestk4xs at aol.com]
> Sent: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 1:34 PM
> To: cq-contest at contesting.com
> Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] CQWW Survey
> I think that pretty well sums it up.  Most of us want two  classes.  I
> think we can agree on that...even us crotchety old farts.
> Now let's talk about WPX next week.  Advantage or disadvantage going
> assisted?
> Bill K4XS/KH7XS
> In a message dated 3/19/2013 5:13:09 P.M. Coordinated Universal Time,
> n4zr at contesting.com writes:
> For  those, young and old, who prefer their contesting unassisted, god
> bless  'em,  Of course, there are special skills involved.  But let's
> also agree that there should be separate classes for those of us who do,
> from time to time, dabble in the Internet and other forms of technical
> innovation, along with our  radios.

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