[TowerTalk] Wire Antennas Only For Field Day

jimlux jimlux at earthlink.net
Fri Jul 7 12:26:21 EDT 2017

On 7/7/17 8:31 AM, Kelly Taylor wrote:
> I suspect the interest in not sanctioning it as a contest is to
> preserve its role as an introduction to ham radio.
> If it was a real contest, how many stations would let someone whose
> first response to tuning an HF rig is “why doesn’t the knob click?”
> sit down and operate? (Don’t laugh. I’ve seen it happen. OK, laugh,
> it is pretty funny.)
> It’s probably why many of the ‘points’ you can earn have little to do
> with ‘contest' scores, such as points for media coverage, for
> establishing a GOTA station, for locating in a public area, for
> staffing a public information table, for originating a message to the
> SM, for message handling, satellite QSOs, alternative power,
> educational-activity bonus, site visit by elected official, site
> visit by agency representative (Red Cross, etc.), for getting minors
> on the air or for the active participation of a safety officer.
> When you see the world through a contesters’ eyes, you see everything
> as a potential contest. Which is fine, it’s probably that kind of
> internal wiring that made you want to be a contester.
> Field Day is unique in that success isn’t measured by maximum
> points.
> As well, if you made FD a contest, you’d likely subject it to all the
> same inane, and often nasty, arguments about rules that make many
> contesters wear out the delete keys on their computers! That alone
> might be enough to kill Field Day.

Indeed - although I'll note that the bonus points for various outreach 
kinds of things don't distinguish much among the top contenders - if you 
make thousands of Qs at your 42A operation, getting some extra points 
doesn't change the standings. (and of course, you're likely king of 42A 
or 15A or even 9A, no matter how many Qs you make.. you're the only one 
with 42,15,9 stations on the air)

There are some interesting experiments and statistics that could be 
gleaned, if the data were available:

Do the bonus points incentivize the things being awarded bonus points?

Here's an interesting one, that should be an adventure for some Machine 
Learning person who could do the classification of the Qs
looking at recordings from various internet accessible receivers -
What's the average *length* of a QSO in a contest, vs FD, vs other times?
What's the ratio of CW to SSB to whatever else?
Do the lengths/rates change over the day?

Just from anecdotal observation, in the wee-hours of Sunday morning in 
California, it's pretty much only the hard core on, listening to the 
thunderstorms on 40m. Q's are fast when they occur.
But at noon, SSB on 20m, the bands are alive with all kinds of new folks 
- Rates are high, but Qs tend to be longer, which I find nice - the "3A 
LAX QRZ?" gets boring.  I certainly don't mind helping someone figure 
out their section, and I'm not going to berate them for adding a signal 
or weather report.

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