# [CQ-Contest] History of Low Power Category

Stan Stockton wa5rtg at gmail.com
Thu Sep 18 09:18:36 EDT 2014

```Al,

Since all the popular radios will run 100w, I think the power limit should be 100w.  Those who have 200 watt radios can turn them down, just like they would in CQ WW.

Sure, antennas "can" make more difference that the difference between 100 and 150 watts.  It might be a very small project to increase your antenna gain by 1.7 dB if you have a trapped dipole at 40 feet OR it could be nearly impossible if you have large antennas.  The guy who does something about his trapped dipole still has to buy a different radio to be equal to the guy who has an equal antenna, terrain and propagation.

Regarding the explanation you heard about keeping the 100w limit, if someone uses a 200w radio and doesn't turn it back they may only be cheating the guy who has a 200w radio who does turn it back to 150w by 50 watts, but those who have 200w radios all have an advantage over the more common 100w radio guys.  Those who already play fair and turn the dial down can, and will, turn it a little more.  Some of those who currently don't turn it back at all perhaps will think a full 3 dB is a significant enough threshold that out of guilt they would turn it back to 100w instead of using their current rationalization that the difference between 200 and 150 is insignificant.

I can't see any justification for failing to change the low power limit to 100 w "output" to match the current proliferation of radios being used when the 150w "input" limit (without considerable thought changed to output) was established to match the predominance of radios being used at that time - a pair of 6146 finals.

There is absolutely no question that 1.7 dB is very significant to those who have done about all that can be done on the antenna end of things.  Ask K3LR what it would take for him to achieve another 1.7 dB of gain on any one band.

73...Stan, K5GO

> On Sep 17, 2014, at 3:09 PM, Alan Dewey via CQ-Contest <cq-contest at contesting.com> wrote:
>
>
> I agree with the comment made earlier on this list (by N5DO I believe) that antennas make a much bigger difference than 50 watts of power.
>
> I've never been that bothered by the 150W rule for ARRL contests.  If we are not upset by guys who have the space, money, and time to put up
> super antenna arrays to gain an edge, why are we so upset by guys who spend a little more and buy a 200 watt radio so that they can run it at 150W in
> an ARRL Contest and maybe get a slight edge over the 100W guys.  I don't get it.
>
> Granted - 150W means 150W - not 200 like the radios are capable of.  And for contests that require 100W, the 200W radio guys must dial back to 100W or
> they are cheating.  This goes without saying.
>
> I heard one explantion once about why ARRL keeps the 150W limited.  I don't necessarily agree with the following reasoning but can understand the rationale.
> It is known that many guys use 200W radios in the Low Power category.  The expection is that they dial them back to either 150 or 100 watts depending on the contest.
> However , if they run the full 200W (either purposely or unintentionally), they are gaining less of an advantage over the 150W guys than they are over the the 100W radio
> guys.  Said another way, they are cheating less in a 150W contest than they are on a 100W contest.  Again, this is no license to do this (i.e. run 200W)  but perhaps acknowledges that
> some guys do it anyway.
>
> 73,
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Edward Sawyer <SawyerEd at Earthlink.net>
> To: cq-contest <cq-contest at contesting.com>
> Sent: Wed, 17 Sep 2014 6:10
> Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] History of Low Power Category
>
>
> As someone who has spent the past 10 years competitively low power
> contesting at 100 and 150W depending on the contest, I can tell you that it
> does make a difference.  I have routinely experimented in contests that I am
> not competing in or DXing.  Its that marginal time of the station saying
> "the N1 station?" and then sometimes the next time says "the W1?" and you
> think "oh no - he was getting it".  Right there, at that instant, I have
> found that about 1/3 of the time, the 1.7dB can complete the still marginal
> Q, pretty much immediately when its going to work.
>
>
>
> So as I layout thousands of feet of radial wire for 160 even though the text
> book says that the last 50% of the work might only add 2dB, you know why you
> are doing it.  Or countless other projects that add 1db or 0.5dB at a time.
>
>
>
> For the record, I have 2 x FT1000MP Mk Vs and one of the reasons was to have
> the 150W capability for the ARRL contests.
>
>
>
> 73
>
>
>
> Ed  N1UR
>
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```