[CQ-Contest] possible changes for CQ VHF Contest

Courtney Judd k4wi at k4wi.net
Tue Jul 23 13:36:55 EDT 2019

hello Dennis, I enjoyed your email and think it was spot on. I don't use 
ft8/4 and don't think they should be allowed .... maybe they should have 
their own contests. I spent quite amount of time in this contest and 
came up very short of mults compared to those that added ft8. I am not 
pleased you could say. 90% of my qso's were ssb and 10% on CW... 0% ft8. 
I ended up with 711 qso's and 160 grids as SB 6 HP. I had one Euro call 
me on SSB. I had pretty good prop for most directions except for the 
North and mid west. Another bug that bothers me to no end is 
DX-peditions that do ft8 at the expense of RTTY.  They get NO financial 
support from me. OK, call me a grumpy old man but I just don't see ft/8 
as real radio.... Just my 2 cents! 73's Cort K4WI

> Dennis McAlpine <mailto:dbmcalpine73 at gmail.com>
> Tuesday, July 23, 2019 11:24 AM
> GM John,
> I enjoyed the past weekend and the CQ VHF Contest quite a lot. For once,
> there was propagation from SC to most areas East of the Mississippi both
> afternoons. I, for once, actually thought I had done pretty well
> considering that I only run about 400 watts into an H-Doublebay 
> antenna with
> the top at about 35' above ground. I ended up `with 326 QSOs and 120 grid
> squares for a score of 39,120, all on 6M. I have not used FT8/FT4 in
> contests since I think it is against the principle that these contests 
> are a
> test of operator skill as much as equipment savy. I was a bit surprised
> when I filled in the 3830 score submittal that it did not request a
> breakdown by mode into CW, SSB, digital but then there was no separate
> category within the contest either. All was fine until I started seeing
> other scores coming in.
> It fast became obvious that unless one used the digital modes, they 
> would be
> banished to the lower echelons of the standings and my score quickly slid
> down the rankings. So, I started looking at the top scores for 6M. I was
> amazed at how many digital QSOs these scores contained. For example, K1TO
> had 150 FT8 QSOs out of 715 in total, which was 21%. Similarly, N4BP had
> 194 digital out of 673 total (29%); W5PR had 157 out of 564 (28%); 
> KU8E had
> 88/508 (17%); N4PN 212/312 for 68%; WQ5L 103/445 (23%); and W4PV 124/193
> (64%).
> Even more important was the much higher number of grid squares worked. It
> would appear that digital added 20-80 grid squares to the total mult. I
> can't break it sown further because the summaries do not ask for such a
> breakdown in the submittal. Again, there are no numbers to back this up,
> but how many EU stations did you work on CW or SSB? Probably not many (I
> had none and heard none) . But, I bet the top digital scores were loaded
> with DX QSOs that other modes never heard or had a chance of hearing. No
> wonder the mult totals were so high. I never worked anyone west of the
> Mississippi so I was really sucking wind.
> In looking at the total scores, I saw one very startling fact. Of the top
> three scorers, K1TO had 6 CW QSOs, N4BP had 1 and W5PR had 1. To say they
> ignored the CW mode is an understatement. It is evident from these numbers
> that CW is an endangered species when it comes to the CQ VHF Contest. If I
> wanted to use digital modes, I would certainly ignore CW in the future 
> if I
> wanted a higher score.
> I respectively request that you consider the following proposals. First,
> require submittal forms to include a breakdown of CW, SSB, Digital (maybe
> broken down into FT-4 and FT-8) QSOs and mults. I think these are easily
> found on logging programs like n1mm+. This would probably require that
> mults be counted per mode and that QSOs could be made with the same person
> on different modes. Then, valid comparisons could be made. Second, allow
> mode entries. A competitor could submit multiple logs, i.e. one for 
> CW, one
> for SSB, one for digital and one for combined. It would make the log
> checkers job easier. Think of how tough it was to make QSOs when 
> conditions
> were not as good as they were last weekend. Allowing QSOs per mode would
> triple the number of possible QSOs and keep the contest from being a real
> drag.
> Let's adapt the rules to the situation before it becomes too late and CW
> sinks down into the mud, never to raise its head again.
> 73,
> Dennis, K2SX
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