[CQ-Contest] When do we spot? Should it be required?

Peter Dougherty (W2IRT) contesting at w2irt.net
Thu Oct 29 01:33:21 EDT 2015

-----Original Message-----
In reading the many views, I think the easiest solution that doesn't change
the spirit of contesting is to instill processes of spotting more
consistently.  The encouragement of setting the software to automatically
spot when logging Qs for those running assisted.  That simple thing would
greatly even the playing field of spotting in SSB contests.

Ed  N1UR

[pjd] While this would be a good positive step, it might not be all that
simple to automate. At what point is the spot sent? What if the op is CQing
manually, not pressing F1 or having auto-CQ running? You could say spot
after x stations logged, but when you're starting a run you might not get x
callers for a while. Conversely, if you do set up shop and post a self-spot,
what if you lose your run frequency after only 2 or 3 minutes? That spot
will stay on people's displays for a while causing confusion to guys working
the band and potentially to the actual user nearby. 

If there were no prohibitions along this vein, the way I *personally* would
do it would be to settle in, make sure I had the frequency for a minute or
two then self-spot ONCE. That would generate interest (hopefully, anyways)
and the run would start. After 10 or 15 minutes when things start to get
sparse, I'd just ask a caller or two to please spot me. Lather, rinse
repeat. That way the spots are known-good, but not so frequent that (a) I'd
have constant P5-size pileups that kill rate rather than help it or (b) make
me look like a complete jackass on the cluster, self promoting every 2

One final comment, why only for those running assisted? In CW contests, even
if you're running unassisted, the instant you CQ you're spotted by the
network. You didn't ask to be spotted but spotted you were (and then later,
again, by your callers). This would be a practical and equalizing practice
on Phone. I'd go so far as to say posting a self spot or asking for a spot
should not be barred from a phone contest in unassisted categories since
it's a reality in CW and RTTY. So long as you yourself are not using the
network or software to *find* Qs or mults unassisted I'm good with that

Peter, W2IRT


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