[VHFcontesting] CQ WW VHF Contest Rules Change

Les Rayburn les at highnoonfilm.com
Tue Feb 15 11:47:46 PST 2011

The February 2011 issue of CQ Magazine includes contest results for last 
year's "CQ WW VHF" contest, and an explanation of their decision to allow 
"passive assistance" starting with the 2011 event. Complete details of the 
rules change are promised in the June Issue.

This change better reflects the normal modes of operation on VHF, and 
recognizes the inherent differences between VHF and HF contesting. The 
articles specifically cites that "VHF usually demands antennas with narrow 
beamwidths which must be pointed directionally to make the contact. This 
capability is enhanced by utilizing information posted on the cluster with 
logging programs that simply allow a mouse click to find the contact".

As usual, CQ Magazine seems to lead the way with common sense solutions to 
VHF Contesting issues without the baggage of HF contesting bias, or a world 
view that seems to think that VHF operation around the world is exactly the 
same as it is in the Northeastern part of the United States.

For most of us in the rest of the country, the combination of weak signals 
and highly directional antennas simply means that stations spend a lot of 
time, like ships, "passing in the night" without either station being aware 
that the other is even on during the contest period. This means fewer 
contacts and a lot less fun.

I'd love to see the ARRL take a more enlightened viewpoint in regards to 
assistance in VHF Contests, allowing for passive assistance. I suspect it 
would make little or no difference as to who wins or loses the events (and 
most of us casual contesters are not that concerned about winning anyway) 
and would put a lot more new ones in the log. For many VHF Men, that's the 
whole point of contest operation. It's basically an oversized "activity 
night" for bands that are normally very quiet.

The topic ends by saying, "We think this will not only keep the CQ WW VHF 
Contest up-to-date with present technology, but will also put more QSOs in 
your log. That has to be a good thing. We hope you approve."

I can only speak for myself, CQ Magazine, but this is one VHF Contester who 
certainly does! BRAVO!


Les Rayburn, N1LF
121 Mayfair Park
Maylene, AL 35114

6M VUCC #1712
Grid Bandit #222
Life Member Central States VHF Society 

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