[CQ-Contest] WRTC Qualifying

Matt NQ6N matt at nq6n.com
Tue Jul 10 00:03:38 EDT 2018


I enjoyed reading your comments. I certainly hope you are correct.  I think
the strong participation from all areas of the US suggests that the
existing rules are fair enough to create a sport in which winners are
respected and participating from less desirable geographies is still fun
and worthwhile.

I am curious how a few modifications to the rules might create a more
competitive environment, and will share some thoughts on that sometime in
the future.

Matt NQ6N

On Mon, Jul 9, 2018 at 7:10 PM, Bob Shohet, KQ2M <kq2m at kq2m.com> wrote:

> Hi Matt,
> I have a few comments on some of your observations based on my experiences:
> - In a perfect contest, participants would be indifferent to where in the
> world they operated from.
> >>>>Most participants would generally rather operate from where it is most
> convenient – whether it was from their own station or where it would be
> easiest to get to to operate from a competitive station.   Some would want
> to go to a particular station or country because THAT was one of the
> objectives, not just the contest.
> So far we haven't found a scoring mechanism that manages to accomplish
> this. Some geographical areas are a better place to go if you want to win.
> >>>>A smart op. will spend the time and effort to figure out what areas or
> countries the scoring mechanism of that particular contest favors; and then
> endeavor to operate from there.  If the CQWW contest were to make all
> NON-US zones worth 3 pts per qso, there would be a stampede to build and
> operate BIG stations in zone 8 in the Caribbean as opposed to seeking out
> and building those BIG stations in every 3 pt location with good
> propagation to the US and Europe.  KP2 and KP3 would be in far greater
> demand than they are right now.  So change the scoring mechanism for a
> given contest and the locations that are favored and most desired will
> change overnight.
> - In spite of the obvious differences in what is possible from different
> parts of the US, we still celebrate the top score from the US as if it is
> an accomplishment for a W1 to beat a W6 in a contest where most of the
> points come from QSOs with Europe.
> >>>>Personally, I celebrate making the largest score possible.  I don’t
> care who I beat or what call district they are in and I know that most of
> the top ops feel the same way that I do.  We celebrate the largest scores
> regardless of who makes them.  If it happens to come from a W6 we would
> celebrate harder!  :-)  But we are also mindful of who makes them and from
> where, and often give major kudos to guys like W7WA, N2IC, W9RE, N9RV, N2NL
> and others who constantly make great scores operating from areas not
> normally associated with being advantaged toward Europe.   At least that is
> what I do and the people I know also do.  That’s what true radiosportsmen
> do.  But there is nothing wrong will celebrating the winners either or the
> guys that made really big scores.  They had to work hard and beat lots of
> other guys too and they deserve credit for that ESPECIALLY if they built
> their own station and operated from it!  The winner still has to make the
> most points in the contest and that means that they likely worked more q’s
> and hunted down more mults than anyone else.  Why shouldn’t that be
> recognized and celebrated?
> - There are great operators all over the world. I suspect that if east
> coast US ops thought they could win from W8, W9, W7 or W6 they would ask to
> guest op there just for bragging rights.
> >>>>NONSENSE!  Great ops want to operate from either where they feel that
> they will be the most competitive or from where they think that they will
> have the most fun and that is not always the same place.  They don’t need
> to prove anything to anyone and would NOT do as you suggest!
> One in a while there is propagation that allows for some great openings
> and unexpected outcomes, but those are exceptions, and typically the large
> volume of QSOs from EU dominates the final scores.
> >>>> In my previous posts I gave plenty of what you would consider
> “unexpected outcomes”.  There would have been MANY more “unexpected”
> outcomes had those same and other ops used bigger stations and operated
> religiously TO WIN in EVERY DX contest.   Had they NOT operated just those
> few weekends, what they did (winning) would still be considered
> impossible!  Such is the self-fulfilling prophecy of perception.  Winners
> FIND ways to win - they don’t expect opportunities to be handed to them and
> they overcome obstacles and disadvantages to win -  the rest of the pack
> does not.  So the “rest of the pack” doesn’t win even when an opportunity
> might be right in front of them!
> - In spite of all this, contesting is still fun.  As someone else pointed
> out, all the new remote sites in W1 and W2 will make those districts
> significantly more competitive, and so earning a WRTC spot will certainly
> become significantly more difficult from there due to increased
> competition.
> >>>>  That is not new - it has been that way for many WRTC’s now.  Using a
> quota system by call district has ensured that many of the most skilled and
> most deserving ops in W1 and W2 don’t get to go to WRTC.  But that is up to
> each WRTC committee to decide.  There will ALWAYS be lots of deserving ops
> that don’t get to go to that particular WRTC, both in the US and in the
> rest of the world.
> - WRTC results show that there is not significant difference in operator
> skill across regions of the world. That's a good thing as it indicates that
> the local competition is usually high quality, but it also reveals that the
> glory that is heaped upon US "winners" of DX contests who enjoy a
> significant geographical advantage is misplaced, and that more focus should
> be allocated to the exciting and much more competitive regional horse races
> and rivalries.
> >>>>>Absolute NONSENSE!  If you look at the winners of past WRTC’s and the
> top 5 places in each WRTC, you will not that the US has a very pronounced
> and disproportionate number of winners AND in the top 5.  That does not
> happen by accident.  We have a very large number of the best contest ops.
> in the world and always have!  And the fact that we continually demonstrate
> our excellence regardless of what country the WRTC takes place in, just
> proves my point.  There have been 6 WRTC’s and a US team has won FOUR of
> them!  Often we have at least two if not three US teams in the top 5!   And
> the guys who accomplish these results ARE the same guys that win DX
> contests both from the US and from overseas!  Why don’t you look through
> the results of all the WRTC’s and see for yourself?
> - Put another way, it should be fun for a W1 or W2 op to visit the
> midwest, take the helm of one of the top stations in the region, and win
> W9.
> >>>>Why do that if you can stay home and have fun?  It costs less and is
> much more convenient!
> If the standings and write-ups recognized operator skill (defined as the
> challenge of maximizing the prop and the station against others with
> similar prop/station), the only reason to go to the Caribbean would be the
> tropical weather, not the propagation. I realize this point overlooks the
> pleasure of being in a high rate flow state for many hours.
> >>>>>High rates and better propagation are PRECISELY the reasons to go
> operate there, as well as visiting another country.  As far as “maximizing
> the prop and stations against others...””   How exactly would you propose
> to do that?
> - WRTC shows us that top operators will travel and take time out of their
> schedules to participate in a fair competition using minimal stations.
> Let's do more things like this.  I think station building and operator
> skill are hard to separate, because it takes a skilled op to maximize a
> station of any caliber, and adding more aluminum is only as effective as
> the operator is at knowing how to use it.   But one way to highlight
> station building prowess is to show how well they fare against a WRTC style
> setup on their own turf.
> >>>>>I agree with all of that.  I think that most contest ops do too
> rather than engage in an “arms race” of station building.
> I'm looking forward to one day having the time to set up a competitive
> station. Until then I enjoy guest operations, occasional travel to the
> Carribbean, and watching WRTC as a spectator.  I can't wait to see who wins
> this year, and I think it's safe to say that nobody reading this would have
> much chance of beating whichever team wins in fair competition.  The
> qualifying criteria are what they are, but the ops who are competing are
> all top notch.
> >>>>Indeed!
> 73
> Bob KQ2M
> 73 and best of luck to all,
> Matt NQ6N
> On Mon, Jul 9, 2018 at 11:46 AM, Bob Shohet, KQ2M <kq2m at kq2m.com> wrote:
>> Hi Jeff,
>> The examples that I cited are not common but they are not
>> “abnormalities”.  They would certainly be more common had the same group of
>> excellent ops operated from similarly big stations outside of New England
>> in ALL the major DX contests.  As a result there would have been many more
>> “outside New England” wins and fewer “New England” wins.
>> N2IC’s CQWWSSB win in 2013 makes that point clearly.  Had I been able to
>> operate more than my Atrial Fibrillation (AFIB) shortened 38 hours in that
>> contest with at least some time spent on 80 and 160, I would have won
>> easily, not Steve.  But that would be expected since I am ~2200 miles
>> closer to EU than he is.  But Steve still beat everyone else in New England
>> that weekend that DID operate full-time!  If Steve didn’t get on then
>> someone in New England would have won and we would have continued to hear
>> the chorus of “You can’t win if you are not in New England” nonsense.  This
>> again proves the point that I was making earlier.
>> We also know that the density of world-class ops and BIG stations is
>> GREATER in New England than in any other part of the country.  That adds to
>> the lopsidedness of W1 victories.  And when a great op from somewhere else
>> in the country moves to W1, that just adds to the total.  There are lots of
>> reasons why W1 is by far the most competitive place to be in ANY DX
>> contest.  You have to be a great op at a really good station just to finish
>> in the top three in New England in most DX contests!
>> With K5ZD, K1DG, KQ2M, NN1N (before he moved), K0DQ, W1KM, N1UR, K1AR,
>> K1ZZ and many other fine ops getting on in CQWWCW SOABHP NON-assisted, Top
>> 3 in New England is a heck of an accomplishment!  And that doesn’t even
>> include KL9A remoting in or some of the other FB ops!  And remember, that
>> is just the competition from WITHIN W1 !
>> We all know that New England has an outsize advantage to working EU that
>> varies on any given weekend with propagation, the particular contest and
>> the point in the sunspot cycle, and that this advantage is not reciprocal
>> with the advantages outside of New England to JA/Asia/Pacific - considering
>> the disparity in qso totals.
>> But all of this misses the original points that I was making; namely that
>> 50 miles matters in DX contests, especially when that 50 miles puts you
>> close to the Coast and a water path to a high volume target like Europe.
>> AND, that 50 miles matter much more under cndx of high absorption and/or in
>> the lean years of the sunspot cycle.
>> And it is especially true at the higher latitudes of New England, the
>> Pacific NW and the Great Plains.
>> I have a 3 stack of 5L yagis on 20 and I routinely get stepped on by
>> stations in ME with far less aluminum, especially when cndx are poor.  This
>> is even more noticeable on the low bands, especially 80 and 160. On 80 I
>> have a 4-square and am pretty loud but guys on the coast can blow right
>> through me in the EU pileups with a high inverted V regardless of cndx.  On
>> 160 it is even worse.
>> I am technically in New England, but if I drive 10 miles West I am in
>> W2.  My qth is ~ 140 miles from the Atlantic across land.  Guys within 20
>> miles of the Atlantic in EMa or Eastern NH routinely walk through me on 40
>> – 160 with less in antennas than I use.
>> I’m not complaining; I’m just making it clear to everyone that mileage to
>> water matters and that being in “New England” isn’t everything.  It matters
>> WHERE you are whether it is New England or anywhere else and how close you
>> are to the water for the high volume areas that you can work.
>> 73
>> Bob, KQ2M
>> From: Jeff Clarke
>> Sent: Monday, July 09, 2018 11:53 AM
>> To: Bob Shohet, KQ2M ; cqtestk4xs at aol.com ; cq-contest at contesting.com
>> Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] WRTC Qualifying
>> Bob,
>> The examples you mentioned are true but they are abnomallies. K4BAI and
>> myself did a multi-single from WW4LL for ARRL DX SSB maybe five years ago
>> and won the US. The event that helped us win was a tremendous middle of the
>> night opening Sunday morning to EU on 20 meters. Even the QRP guys were
>> loud. Never realized there were so many PC, PD and PD stations. I think
>> that is some type on novice class in the Netherlands.  Maybe they didn't
>> get this opening up north?  In the past I've heard K1TO working EU on 20
>> meters a couple hours before our sunrise and I couldn't hear any of
>> stations he was working. I think that everyone can think of a time where
>> they had some openings similar to this that helped out their score.
>> I think the point that Bill was trying to make is the advantage the East
>> Coast enjoys to Europe is the norm. I contested from Ohio for 25 years and
>> had the opportunity to operate from the East Coast a couple times so I have
>> a good idea about the propagation differences  up there and down here in
>> the southeast.
>> I have to admit I enjoy doing domestic contests from Georgia. We have a
>> very good skip zone on 20 meters and somtimes 15 and 10 meters to high
>> population areas of the US and enjoy an advantage. Although 160 and 80
>> meters can be a struggle compared to what I enjoyed in Ohio.
>> Jeff KU8E
>> Jeff Clarke
>> Information Technology Professional
>> Ellerslie, Georgia
>> http://www.ku8e.com
>> https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeffrey-clarke-ga
>> -------- Original message --------
>> From: "Bob Shohet, KQ2M" <kq2m at kq2m.com>
>> Date: 7/8/18 10:30 PM (GMT-05:00)
>> To: cqtestk4xs at aol.com, cq-contest at contesting.com
>> Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] WRTC Qualifying
>> Bill,
>> I didn’t forget anything.  My response was generalized because I couldn’t
>> possibly express all the differences by band, by antennas and by qth region
>> that I have seen and experienced in more than 300+ SOAB efforts plus
>> another 50 or so single band efforts encompassing  CQWW, ARRLDX, WPX, IARU,
>> WAE and the 10 meter contests over the past 45 years.  Nor did I want to
>> have to address the changes in propagation by region from one mode to the
>> other between CQWW, ARRLDX and ESPECIALLY WPX.  Of course I left stuff
>> out.  It is impossible to address all the relevant similarities and
>> differences in one brief contest reflector post – it would take an entire
>> BOOK!
>> Having said that, I can’t even count the number of times that I listened
>> to you (from Florida) run EU on 20 and 40 during openings when I couldn’t
>> even hear a whisper.  I also remember listening to KR0Y run EU on 20 during
>> EU sunrise at the top of the cycle from WM5G (or N5AU)  that KC1F operating
>> from K1EA and I operating from KM1H couldn’t even hear!  Jeff won ARRLDX
>> SSB because of that opening.  K3LR milked a similar opening from K3TUP the
>> year he won ARRLDX SSB (1991 I think).  K4ZW has won CQWWSSB twice I think
>> and Bill KM9P won CQWWCW from GA.  N5RZ won WPXCW in the early-mid ‘80’s
>> twice I believe.
>> Yes, these guys are great ops and most were at great stations, but they
>> also had propagation better than I did from W1, or W2 where I was operating
>> from that weekend because they were running EU stations for hours that I
>> could not even hear during EU sunrise when the band was closed for New
>> England!
>> And then there was the extraordinary and likely never to be repeated
>> CQWWSSB win by WA6VEF from AI6V in 1983.
>> And then there were the CQWW and ARRLDX wins from the mid-Atlantic states
>> in the mid – late ‘80s – K0DQ operating from W3GRF, and others.
>> Before all of those wins, I remember ~35 years ago talking to KR0Y, KM9P
>> and maybe WC4E outside an elevator in the Crowne Plaza at Dayton and I told
>> them that I KNEW that CQWW, ARRLDX could be won outside of New England and
>> the Northeast – that all it would take was a highly motivated and highly
>> skilled op operating from a top-notch station on the right weekend, and
>> that the ONLY reason that it had not happened yet was because everyone
>> thought it was impossible, so therefore the right ops hadn’t bothered to
>> operate with the right mentality to WIN.  They thought I was nuts and told
>> me so.  Funny though how it was only a few years later when all the non-New
>> England wins started.  Why?  Because of the combination of highly skilled
>> ops, operating from World-class stations operating on the right weekend and
>> then beating EVERYONE in New England and everywhere else.  Equally funny
>> was the amnesia that they had when I reminded them of what I had told them
>> that night in Dayton just a few years before.  There was no magic – I had
>> figured out what it would take to win outside of New England – it was just
>> a matter of other very talented and motivated guys figuring it out too and
>> deciding to go DO IT instead of making excuses about why it couldn’t be
>> done.  That was the point.  I would like to think that I motivated those
>> guys that night by (nicely) challenging them.
>> In EVERY sunspot cycle, the right op at the right station (outside of New
>> England) on the right weekend can win CQWW or ARRLDX, or WPX (especially
>> WPXCW) or IARU.  BUT, it will be harder now than in the 1980’s of 1990’s
>> because there are more EU ops than ever before and the New England
>> superstations are more built up and further East than ever before.  And we
>> all know that there are far fewer JA’s on now than back then.  Advantage
>> New England for sure!  But I STILL say that in EVERY cycle, the right op
>> operating at the right station on the right weekend can WIN one of those DX
>> contests!  But if no one good enough is on, then it will not happen.  Will
>> it mean that it couldn’t have been done?  NOPE!  Only that the right op
>> didn’t try from the right station on the right weekends.
>> BTW, the one less hour of darkness that you mention means one additional
>> hour of daylight – when the bands drop out here and we can’t work the
>> Pacific or Asian mults on on 20 or 15, and guys to the South and West do.
>> And then they could run for Asia/Pacific stations as a slow pace for 1 – 2
>> hours while we have to fight to the death for a frequency and terrible qrn
>> on 40 or 80.  I won’t even talk about 160 or the fact that by the time you
>> get darkness the MUF is already below 7 mhz in New England at this time of
>> the sunspot cycle.  If you don’t have a big yagi on 40 or are near to the
>> coast qth in New England you might as well be watching tv for all the good
>> it will do to operate.  That is when I used to sleep for a few hours.
>> Of course we GENERALLY get more Europe than anyone further away, we
>> should, we are closer.  And yes that translates into more EU mults across
>> all the bands.  But look at the CQWWCW mults – the highest mult totals are
>> frequently NOT in New England, and the highest zone totals are definitely
>> not most of the time.
>> But also look at the stations that you are comparing against.  Most of
>> the competitive New England stations are BIG – MUCH BIGGER than my station.
>> And their qth’s are MUCH BETTER than mine.  That combination is
>> significantly better than most of the guys in the rest of the country who
>> do SOABHP.   And most of the ops are REALLY good at running EU and
>> maximizing mults and passing them.  It is NOT an equal comparison even
>> BEFORE you get to differences in propagation.
>> If it weren’t for KM9P, KR0Y, and K4ZW, a lot of contesters would STILL
>> believe that it was impossible to win the big DX contests outside of New
>> England, even though it was never really impossible at all – it was all in
>> the perception - “I believe that it is impossible for me to win, therefore
>> it is impossible for anyone else to win”.
>> A champion says “I can DO it – I CAN WIN”.  And then he builds the
>> station, develops the skill and operates enough so that he is ready on that
>> weekend when the propagation gods shine on his qth.
>> 73
>> Bob  KQ2M
>> From: Bill via CQ-Contest
>> Sent: Sunday, July 08, 2018 7:54 PM
>> To: cq-contest at contesting.com
>> Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] WRTC Qualifying
>> Come on Bob, being in Al or FL is an advantage to work JA and VK, true.
>> However, no way can it make up for the multitude of countries and QSOs that
>> are available  in EU, especially on 160 and 80.  I'm only 4000 miles from
>> JA out here in KH6, and would gladly exchange the NY EU runs for my much
>> slower JA, BY, YB, HS runs from KH6.  The quantity is just not there, even
>> with my outstanding location.
>> You forgot one other thing too.  Being in AL or FL means that we get
>> almost one hour less darkness at the end of Oct and Nov to get all those
>> 40, 80 and 160 mults and countries.  Even the ARRL DX contests have that
>> issue.  The only time AL, FL have equal darkness is for WPX SSB.  And no,
>> the extra hour of light is not a big deal for AL/FL on 10, 15 or 20
>> especially at this point of the cycle.
>> I once had a big time contester come down from NY to do a multi-single.
>> He listened on 80 and wanted to know when the signals got better/stronger.
>> I broke the news to him.  That was a strong as they got.  He was quite
>> disappointed.  End of story.
>> Bill K4XS/KH7XS
>> .  The same way that being in Alabama should provide a BIG advantage vs.
>> New England to working Japan, Southeast Asia, UA9/0 and the Pacific even
>> though there are not as many stations to work.I’m sure that 100 miles North
>> or South makes a big difference on some DX paths in Alabama too but that it
>> is less noticeable until that 100 miles gives you a nice water path
>> somewhere and then you will REALLY notice the difference.
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