[CQ-Contest] Whither CQ WW?

Jim Brown k9yc at audiosystemsgroup.com
Sun Oct 30 23:24:53 EDT 2022

On 10/30/2022 8:23 AM, Pete Smith N4ZR wrote:
> OK, I'll bite.  I briefly operated CQWW SSB remotely at a friend's 
> station yesterday, and was appalled by the small number of spots being 
> generated.  Take a look at DXSummit for W3LPL, who appears to be multi-2 
> this year.  Up until 15 minutes ago, since they went to 15 and 10 at 
> 1200Z, where you can assume they are running constantly, I count only 16 
> spots (in 3+ hours).

Since I don't live or contest from anywhere near the Atlantic Ocean, I'm 
not really in the contest, even if I enter it. I got on for an hour or 
two, sampling 10, then 15, then 20, figuring to give a few points to 
NCCC members at stations they travel to, or which they operate remotely 
in exotic places. I made a few QSOs, if for no other reason than to 
confirm that my antennas still work, but with zero motivation to 
compete, or to waste more time in it. It's been at least ten years since 
I was motivated to operate CQWW or an ARRL DX contest. I DO take all 
three WPX contests seriously, simply because, thanks to scoring rules, I 
AM in that contest.

I was also surprised by the meager number of spots. I suspect that may 
be the result of getting used to automatic spotting by many skimmers, 
and getting out of the habit.

I also took a few minutes to let a couple of Texas stations know that 
they were splattering badly each time I tuned past them. Both hadn't a 
clue about simple things -- when I mentioned that some rigs inherently 
generate lots of splatter (Yaesu sold a bunch in relatively recent 
history that do), he said he was running a 6700, and I observed that I'd 
heard that they were pretty clean, so asked about ALC to his Expert 
power amp. He said he wasn't using any ALC, but when I told him that he 
needed to set the amp's output power by reducing drive from his radio, 
he repeatedly told me that "power was set automatically."

Sounds clueless to me.

Surprisingly, while there were the usual number of stations with badly 
over-driven audio that made them hard to copy, particularly their CQ 
messages, I found only those two stations splattering. And there were 
the usual number of ego-driven lids who finished a QSO with "QRZ" 
instead of their call. I love K6XX's advice at the Contesting workshops 
that NCCC organizes at Visalia -- "QRZ is not your call," making the 
point that your call is ADVERTISING, QRZ is not. Have these lids never 
operated S&P?  Do they not realize that any decent op who tunes them and 
doesn't hear them sign their call after every QSO is going to move on to 
someone who does?  Given that most operators with a serious shot at 
winning are using a 2x1 or 1x2, why use QRZ, three syllables that say 
nothing in place of four (without phonetics) that ADVERTISE?

73, Jim K9YC

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