[CQ-Contest] CQ WW Rules preview

Hank Garretson w6sx at arrl.net
Thu Jun 26 15:11:01 EDT 2014

Two proposed CQWW rule changes

5. Signals with excessive bandwidth (e.g., splatter, clicks) or harmonics
> on other bands.

Define excessive. Or is it like the Supreme Court and pornography? One
ham's hard keying is another ham's clicks.

6. Running stations not identifying in a timely manner (i.e.,1 minute).

One minute is WAY too short. Three, four or five minutes much better.
Please note the following by N6AA. It's as spot on now as it was in 1998.

>  N6AA on pileup management - 1998
> Periodically this reflector is subjected to well-intentioned advice about
> CQ-ing stations signing their callsigns after every QSO.
> Managing a pile-up by judicious callsign rationing is an advanced
> operating technique that, if executed properly, can squeeze a few extra
> contacts out of an operating period. Since small differences in operating
> skill rarely affect contest outcomes, many contests can be won without ever
> mastering such skills. In fact, most entrants are rarely in situations
> where such action even matters.
> However, there are advantages to not signing after every QSO.
> 1) If you can make another contact without signing your call, the time you
> would have used to sign the call can simply be used to make additional
> contacts.
> 2) By keeping some potential callers off balance until they know who you
> are, you may be able to reduce the size of an excessively large pile-up to
> a size where you can copy callsigns.
> 3) There are a number of highly-skilled operators with small signals. If
> these individuals sense that you will allow their skill to get them
> through, ahead of competitors with bigger signals, they will stick around,
> trying to work you. If they sense that you are a plain-vanilla operator,
> signing your call every time and then working the loudest station, they
> will go away since they know how weak they are.
> 4) If you are a common CQ-ing station, many S&P'ers will call you only
> once. When two stations reply, and you finish the first contact extremely
> rapidly, and give the second station the impression that you know he was
> there, he may call again, even if you completely missed his callsign.
> There is a downside, in that you may cause other operators to take actions
> that may lower your rate. Certain operators may feel that their superior
> stations and/or favorable locations entitle them to know your callsign
> where their identification skills and experience are not advanced enough to
> determine it, or enough about you to know whether to call, without hearing
> you actually sign it. They may QRM your weak, target stations by sending,
> "Call?" They may work you without knowing your call, which of course, is
> usually only bad if they are duplicates.
> There is considerable skill involved in maximizing the benefits while
> minimizing the liabilities incurred.
> The callsign-signing decision may change after every contact. Factors that
> may impact the individual decisions include:
> 1) Do you already know the callsign of another station in your pile-up?
> 2) How many people are tuning the band listening, and what percentage of
> them have already worked you? Have you made 10 or 5000 QSO's on the band?
> 3) What is your signal like in your target area?
> 4) Is your call EE5E or KH5K/JQ9YXJ/M?
> 5) Do you have an overall picture of what is going on in your pile-up?
> 5a) Can you say something like, "There are now 5 or 6 calling, and 3 or so
> have been there for some time. There have been no new additions to the
> pile- up during the last few contacts?"
> 5b) Or, can you say, "One weak guy, with a long call, has been here for a
> while. He sends fast and always zero beats the last station. Maybe I can
> sneak him through."
> 5c) Or, are you simply struggling to copy callsigns, and therefore unaware
> of your pile-up structure?
> Summary:
> If you feel that the callsign should be signed after every contact, this
> strongly indicates that your operating skills have developed to the stage
> where you should indeed sign your call after every contact.
> However, when you give unconditioned advice to others suggesting that they
> absolutely always do the same, note that you are primarily broadcasting
> your skill level rather than giving good counsel.
Even W6SX with a low wire antenna will sometimes run for a couple of
minutes without IDing. Used skillfully, it's a great way to get stations in
and our quickly which should make everyone happier. One quickly develops a
sense of when one should ID and when one is better off just sending. TU.

Please, one minute is WAY too short.

Contest Exuberantly,

Hank, W6SX

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