[SECC] FQP Add 80m Request

Ralph K1ZZI k1zzi at comcast.net
Fri Apr 30 21:54:50 PDT 2010

I received a very nice detailed explanation from Dan, K1TO regarding my request to expand FQP to include 80m.  I know many of you would like 80m added as well.  They have put a lot of thought into this idea in the past.  For those interested, see below.

73, Ralph K1ZZI

----- Original Message ----- 
From: K1to at aol.com 
To: k1zzi at comcast.net 
Cc: wd4ahz at gte.net 
Sent: Friday, April 30, 2010 11:41 PM
Subject: Re: FQP 2011?

In a message dated 4/26/2010 11:30:27 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, k1zzi at comcast.net writes:
  It would be nice to expand FQP to at least include 80m next year?  That
  would up the game for its neighbors in GA, MS, LA, AL and AR.
  What say FL...?? BK
Hi Ralph - 

I saw your 3830 comment as well.  Thanks for your input.  

We put this question, and others, out to the FQP "public" as part of a post-2009 FQP survey.  The results were split down the middle, with strong opinions on either side.  

You may not know this, but we had 80M in the very first FCG-sponsored FQP in 1998.  Activity was abysmal and only one mobile managed to activate that band.  We chose to remove 80M for 1999 and beyond.  

Here are the key reasons:
- We want the FQP to be a continental/worldwide event.  80M tends to be regional.  (Note that FL counties are not multipliers for FL stations, so FL stations don't hang out on 40 all day long.)

- There are only ~2 hours of darkness out of 20 FQP hours.  We are feeling it now, because folks manage to find time for 40M at other times.  But in higher sunspot years, it's hard enough to make time for 40, let alone 80.

- Those darkness hours happen early enough that those in the West would be locked out from the activity.  (I do understand the concern that our neighbors feel locked out now, though.)

- Mobile antennas have advanced since 1998, but 80M is still not simple.  And for the Mixed mobiles, getting something to resonate on both 3530 and 3800+ is a challenge.  

- Survey comments indicated a concern that adding 80M would benefit FL stations in northern FL.  Right now, there is little advantage for various points within Florida.  I hadn't ever thought about that, but it's an interesting point.  

- We don't have multipliers by band, so there is not as much incentive for folks to try 80.  We have a situation now where 15 & 10 open up, but nobody goes there because the vortex of activity remains on 20 during much of the day and again because there is little multiplier benefit to do so, especially from outside FL.  

- Another survey response was concerned about 80M skewing things towards bigger stations.  They mentioned that a number of the casual entrants do not even have an antenna for 80M.  There are tons of deed-restricted communities in which folks can manage to get a signal out on 20 & 40, but 80 is much harder.  

- Yet another respondent reminded us of the "pig farmers" and how they taunt contesters on 75M.  (Of course, we already have the Kalamazoo Cuckoo on 20 SSB.)

We've answered the comments about re-adding 80 Meters patiently over the years.  We do realize that a few of our close-in neighbors are frustrated by this.  I guess this falls into the category of "you can't please everyone".  Like so many things in life, each choice is a compromise with plusses and minuses.  

I thought it was super that 20M behaved so well this FQP and allowed us to work GA and AL for so many hours.  That was a pleasant surprise!  We get that more in high sunspot years normally.  

Thanks for all your activity in recent years, including this one, and thanks for hearing us out on this topic.  

very 73, Dan, K1TO

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