[CQ-Contest] CQ WPX rules, it finally happened

Ken Low kenke3x at gmail.com
Sat Feb 1 08:37:02 EST 2014

"1. I find that skipping IDing works best with smooth, no fill, in rhythm QSOs. An ID serves a useful function after a QSO requiring a repeat, or after a guy who calls at half the speed of the pileup, by resyncing the pileup."

Hi Jim -

True, but the issue extends further.   If I send "CQ TEST KE3X" and 5 stations call, they all already know my call sign.   I have the option of answering "DIT DIT" or "TU" to work through those 5 stations quickly in sequence.   If I choose to end QSO #2 or #3 with a longer confirmation 'TU KE3X' to attract additional stations, that should be at my option.

The perfect pileup size is one station calling at 35wpm in the clear.  Next best is 2-3 stations slightly off frequency from each other, who will stick around only if they know I am efficient.   But RBN creates packet pileups with 5+ callers where everyone is zero beat, then the rate drops quickly.   I deliberately do not ID each QSO in those cases, to work the pile down for the benefit of everyone calling.   It can easily take 5 QSO's to accomplish that objective.

Having to make real time decisions when managing pileups qualifies as 'fun' in my book.   Having to worry about 'did I hit the right F-key to ID every 3rd QSO or risk disqualification' is not fun.   It's annoying and distracts from enjoyment of the sport.

It would be a much better rule to require an ID each 'x' minutes (2-3 for example) instead of each 'x' QSO's.   That's measurable post-contest and would allow flexibility for running stations to optimize their rate.   A higher rate benefit all the S&P callers as well as the the runner.

On Phone as you mention, this is less of an issue.  Saying 'Papa Forty Alpha' takes only a few milliseconds longer than 'Thanks'.   The ID thing is more of a CW issue.

Also the statement that 'Many Top-10 stations ID every time' is oversimplistic.   The majority of those stations are in the Top-10 since they are excellent operators with big, well engineered stations.   In many circumstances if they chose to not ID each QSO periodically at their option, their scores would increase.   Just look at the classic article by CT1BOH to understand why.

While ID'ing each QSO may be admirable and set a good example for some others, it should not be legislated through contest rules.  What comes next - will everyone get a pre-assigned frequency to CQ on, lest we accidentally drop in within 200hz of another station?   

Let's keep the creativity in the game.


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