[UK-CONTEST] PSK & RSGB 80M CC Events - ( was QRM on the PSK freq)

Steve Wilson, G3VMW steve at g3vmw.demon.co.uk
Tue Apr 27 13:10:42 PDT 2010

In message <mailman.29821.1272373495.3373.uk-contest at contesting.com>, 
uk-contest-request at contesting.com writes
>Date: Tue, 27 Apr 2010 09:47:54 +0000
>From: Clive Whelan <clive.whelan at btinternet.com>
>Steve is right that PSK was never designed as a contest mode.

I'm not sure that CW, SSB and RTTY were "designed" as contest modes 
either, but we have certainly designed contests to use these modes to 
cater for our competitive instincts.

However, whether PSK31 was not designed for contests or not, the hard 
fact is that it IS used for contesting. Check out the following 2010 
PSK31 contests:

EA PSK31 Contest
EU DX PSK Contest
Russian Worldwide PSK Contest
YO PSK31 Contest

>I think RSGB should quit sponsoring contests on the mode for a slightly
>different reason- in fact I think all sponsors should " consider their
>positions". Contesting and its proponents are not flavour of the month
>with our peers, and whilst much of such opposition is not justified, I
>think that if I were an exponent of PSK mode, I would feel aggrieved if
>the placid lagoons of such digital modes were invaded by predatory
>contest piranhas from another world!

Ah, so it is then perfectly acceptable for the RSGB (and other national 
societies) to sponsor contests on SSB, CW and RTTY that obliterate the 
majority of the regular bands? I regularly hear people bitterly 
complaining about "predatory contest piranhas from another world" 
disrupting their day-to-day QSOs, particularly on SSB. The fact is that 
PSK31 uses such a narrow bandwidth that it is probably the best mode of 
all for co-existing with "normal" band users during a contest.

I'm not suggesting that contesting isn't justified - on any mode. 
Clearly it is and the increasing numbers of entrants and participants 
are clear proof of that popularity, but why single out PSK31?

>On 27/04/2010 07:05, Steve GW4BLE wrote:
>> OK, here's my take on this............PSK was not designed for contests,
>> it's a 'chat' mode. It's like Marmite - you either love or loathe it, if the
>> latter you may occasionally sample it now and then but it's not really
>> palatable.

Well, I like Marmite and PSK31 so I must be a masochist? As I've 
intimated, to say that "PSK was not designed for contests, it's a chat 
mode" to me is a very weak argument for dropping it from the Data CCs. 
You could say the same about SSB, which clearly is a chat mode, but of 
course I accept that it is a popular contest mode too.

>> The contest exchanges are slow and often tedious and, for me anyway, can't
>> be described as particularly enjoyable.

Slower than RTTY yes, but not tediously slow. There is a technique, 
which has to be learned. PSK31 was a new mode to me two years ago and so 
was RTTY, but thanks to operating in the 80m Data CCs, an old dog has 
learned a few new tricks. I'm grateful to the people who have been kind 
enough to help me along the steep learning curve of operating the Data 
modes. Of course, I'd rather operate on CW where I feel more 
comfortable, but a lot of new licensees are very proficient on PSK (and 
RTTY) and have been attracted to the CCs as a result.

>> I question the reasoning behind the RSGB adding it as a mode in these
>> events, it's certainly not mainstream.

I don't, I'm delighted the Contest Committee displayed some forward 
thinking. We have to move with the times and PSK31 really is incredibly 
popular these days so has become much more mainstream. May the 80m Data 
CCs continue to feature both RTTY and PSK31.

Steve Wilson, G3VMW
Bramham, Wetherby, West Yorkshire

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