[UK-CONTEST] Uk activity on VHF

Paul_group paul_group at greenrover.demon.co.uk
Thu Apr 8 03:48:02 PDT 2010

>> Also Copied to the VHFCC so some background as not all mail sent to the reflector are read by VHFCC.

Encouraging activity on VHF

I asked Paul EI5DI in the UK - Contest reflector whether he was active 
on V/U/SHF as I think those people who are active V/U/SHF contesters are 
the real stakeholders and their opinion actually matters. If it turns 
out that he is I'd be interested to know how he finds activity from 
Dublin during UHF contests.

I speak to well known VHF men in EI and GI just across the water from 
here and they seem to share an equal challenge to encourage activity. On 
23cm we both consider that working PA6NL is an achievement - that would 
be a 200Km sea path from JO03. So the playing field is not and never 
will be level, that matters not one bit! Only working 15 QSO's in 48 
hours when ten of them are outside of the UK matters!

One liners about putting the wires back into wireless don't help.
One liners comparing 'KST to KFC and other fast food outlets don't help.

Those people that have invested many thousands of pounds developing 
contest grade and dx capable stations, those people that have invested 
many hundreds of man hours building the stations and have made 
significant effort actually  have valid input to this discussion.

Having a reasonably capable DX station, during the big EU coordinated 
events I fully expect to work more PA/DL/OZ stations than UK stations. 
If I compare that to my contest logs from the eighties there is a very 
different trend, mainly UK with a few EU stations. ... that cannot be a 
good sign for the health of VHF contesting and activity in this country.

Bolton Wireless club were mentioned in a previous post, they are a very 
keen group led by someone who wants them to be successful, their success 
is breeding success. That's something to be encouraged.

Whilst in the NW during the UKAC I can listen to the locals (BWC) and I 
have heard month on month stations saying things like "I've swapped the 
vertical for a dipole and worked 3 more stations this time, next month 
I'll have my small beam.." success breeding success, the format of the 
UKAC is driving that, so VHFCC well done.

Where the format seems to be failing is In the extremities of the UK as 
it is hard to breed that level of enthusiasm. Review of the UKAC 
multiplier system would potentially help.

The die-hard vhf dx men will probably still come on from IO86 and IO70 
etc and be happy to work some DX whatever the situation but in order to 
encourage more activity the new blood has to actually be able to hear 
someone to talk to and make a few QSO's to start with.

400W and 4 x17's isn't a starter setup and to be told "I thought I could 
hear something, your 59+ now the antenna is your way" isn't an unusual 
comment from the extremities, one contributor here has stated that in 
the same time frame he can work more stations random MS from his GM 
location than he can during a UKAC.

I used to be active in VHF NFD as a fixed station giving points away. 
The fixed station sweeper category looked like it might create an 
interesting contest within a contest, the added activity would help the 
portable stations work more stations... only if I want to enter, I cant 
call CQ! so imagine how exciting it would be to work on just 70cm and 
23cm with narrow beams when you live in the extremities. The 
opportunities for both antennas to be vaguely aligned without some form 
of either coordination or allowing both parties to call CQ is minimal.

IMO VHFCC got that one badly wrong. I accept that on 2m its a different 
story but 70 and 23 it is a different case. I never got an answer to 
this point of view when I asked VHFCC directly but there was a cryptic 
comment in Radcom that suggested "I didn't get it" which was a little 

I don't use any of the internet chat services (as clearly stated on my 
website and qrz.com). Ray CXM and I have discussed this and we agree to 
differ on the point. He makes good arguments.

The VHFCC have stated that the decision to ban 'KST during contests was 
as a result of alleged cheating and consensus of opinion from active 
contesters. I suppose the cheating element has gone now 'cos it isn't 
being used so that just leaves the consensus of opinion.

If I were asked the question again by the VHFCC whether I agree with the 
KST ban I would say that based on observation of the bans effect I have 
changed my opinion and its use should be  *personal choice* - my 
personal choice would not change.

73 de Paul GW8IZR IO73TI

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