Topband: The death of 160m DX contests?

Ford Peterson ford at
Sun Dec 11 12:33:11 EST 2005

Jon wrote:

> My goal in this contest is to work as many 5-pointers as possible. It's the DX that is key to a winning score, both in points and multipliers, and what makes it more interesting than just a domestic sweepstakes. I had more than 160 DX contacts this year -- so it's hardly just a domestic contest.
> 73/Jon AA1K 

Spoken like a true Delawarian.  Lets look at the math here folks, and compare it to some other stations around the country.  I would like to have researched the differences in hardware at each of these locations, but I can tell you that AIH has a full-sized 4 square array, and showed the fewest number of DX amongst the lot.

I'm going to take some liberties with several MSHP 3830 scores, just to illustrate.

Call        AA1K      W2GD    W0AIH     N7GP    N6RO
Class      MSHP       MSHP     MSHP     MSHP   MSHP
QTH           DE             NJ           WI          AZ          CA 
Qs            1525         1439        1145        1106        948
Sec               79             79           79           79           79
DX               45             46           19           18           20
5PT Qs       161          168            26           47           92
Score       438K         420K     232K      228K       215K

Now, what we cannot tell is where the 5PT Qs originated.  I can tell you with absolute certainty that when you look at the LP scores, the # of DX drops significantly.  In my MN location, with 6 DX Qs I had 6 DX mults, and only one of those Qs came from off continent.  The differences in Q counts between the top LP scores were minimal.  From the deep midwest, if QSO points were pennies you could buy a cup of coffee with the differences between the top stations.  But Jon's comment about DX being important is quite critical.  There is a 2:1 difference in score attributable solely to location and their proximity to the DX.  

The crux of the question is this...

Is radiosport a measure of station building and radio operating skill?  Or is it one of location location location?  If it is the former, then the algorythm needs to be restructured.  If it is the later, then I can only guestimate the number of years before the notion of 160M radiosport via the ARRL 160M contest is a thing of the past.

ford at

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