Topband: Fwd: ARRL 160 contest from DX perspective.
Wed, 15 Dec 1999 16:48:33 EST

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Dale ZP6/N3BNA  and ZP6T asked me to forward this after a conversation 
he and i had about the recent 160 contest.

73 de Sam   


My stay in Paraguay was wonderful, and we were able to put together a very r=
espectable station by adding a 3 element wire yagi for 80m, and a 160m inver=
ted L with about 75 radials, and two beverages...We operated in the CQWW-CW=20=
contest as ZP6T.  I added more than a week to my vacation in order to partic=
ipate in the 160m contest. Unfortunately the borrowed amps for the CQ contes=
t had been returned, and the 922 that we had would arc on 160m. This made us=
 into a station that could hear pretty well, but no power...From this distan=
ce 100w just doesnt cut it ...maybe from Europe, and yes from the Carribean,=
 but not in the Stateside contest fray from such a distance.

Here is the DX perspective concern that I have...The ARRL contests are not v=
ery interesting for DX, because they cannot work each other, only the USA...=
The 10m and 160m contests are even worse, because the USA is covering the ba=
nds trying to work SD and NE just like in the Sweepstakes. Of couse the 160m=
 contest is altogether different from the 10m contest, because of propagatio=
n limitations, so the USA stations are very loud and all over the band, and=20=
a nice rate can be had without needing to work any DX.

I was very dissapointed not to be able to work anyone during the first night=
 of the contest, so the second night I went up on 40m, asking for packet cal=
louts...My hope was that someone would be clever enough to ask us to QSY, bu=
t noone did so..There were many strong stations that I heard and it was a bi=
t frustrating to be unable to get their attention...knowing that they needed=
 the mult and perhaps a new 160m country.

This message is not to vent my frustrations, but after this experience, I wo=
uld ask the question...How can there be more incentive to work DX in the 160=
m contest?  I believe that the Sweepstakes-style scoring gives an added adva=
ntage to good operators who do not have the best antenna and extra power as=20=
the BIG GUN stations...However somehow there needs to be more incentive to w=
orking DX. =20

Dale Long - N3BNA

P.S. I would also suggest that wise contesters might check activity on the o=
ther bands, and ask for QSY.  In the case where the USA station is actually=20=
listening for the DX, a contact can usually be made.  I don't know if there=20=
is an answer, but the present contest is not very much fun for the DX statio=

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