[Skimmertalk] Now what - other contesting uses for Skimmer?

Dick Green WC1M wc1m at msn.com
Thu Jul 17 13:24:30 EDT 2008

> Radiosport contesting is just a bunch of hobbyists amusing themselves
> with a radio for the weekend.

I'm afraid not. Let's do a mental experiment (this could be backed up with
some simple research if someone wants to take the time.) 

Assume there are about 5000 active contesters in the world. There are
probably more like 10,000, but the log submission numbers suggest several
thousand participants for any given large event. Of these, perhaps 500 are
serious competitors vying to place in the top ten or win. I suspect this is
an underestimate, too, but let's go with it for now. A serious contester
will spend at least $20,000 on the station antennas and rigs. Again, this is
probably an underestimate. I know of several contest stations in the US
where hundreds of thousands of dollars have been spent. This is certainly
offset by the many contesters who manage to put together excellent stations
on a shoestring, but the average cost to be a serious contester is still
pretty high. Heck, a single good contest radio will run $3K-$4K, and a legal
limit amp will be in the thousands as well. Total cost to setup a rare or
semi-rare DX contest location can be quite high as well. Even at $20K, the
total spent by serious contesters worldwide must be on the order of
$10,000,000, and that doesn't cover travel costs to rare or semi-rare DX
locations. I wouldn't be at all surprised if the actual average is much

The remaining 4,500 more causal participants probably have spent an average
of at least $10,000 each on their stations. Again, the cost of a good modern
rig takes up a lot of that. But let's be very conservative and say the
average is $5,000. That's another $22,500,000. I'm pretty sure that's a
lowball estimate.

So, it's likely that at least $30,000,000 has been spent worldwide by our
radiosport competitors. Again, I wouldn't be surprised if the actual number
is more like $60 million, $100 million or more.

I think that's pretty serious money for a bunch of hobbyists amusing
themselves for the weekend. With that much money at stake, many people get
mighty concerned with keeping the competition clean.

73, Dick WC1M

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