[VHFcontesting] Comments on ARRL VHF/UHF Contest Rules Change Proposals

Paul Kiesel via VHFcontesting vhfcontesting at contesting.com
Sat Dec 6 19:49:43 EST 2014

Hi Marshall. Thanks for your comments regarding the proposed changes to the ARRL VHF contest rules. I guess my opinion about contest rules in general must differ from those of many. By that I mean I don't care what the rules are just as long as they make sense and the contest is fun to operate in. I certainly don't have a problem with changing the rules as proposed. On the other hand, I don't think changing the rules is going to change the status quo with respect to who wins and who doesn't. The guys who win by virtue of their effort and operating expertise are going to continue winning. The proposed rule changes are not going to level the playing field for anyone. They might make it possible for some to make more contacts. I've never checked the internet during a contest and I think I will likely continue to not check it. For me, it's more fun to hunt for the elusive multipliers.
One of the things that has bothered me for years is the fact that someone can gear up with microwave equipment just by spending the money and beat me in contests while making fewer QSOs and fewer multipliers than me. So, I would modify the points per contact regime as follows: 1 point for contacts made on 50, 144, 222, 432, 903 and 1296 MHz bands. 3 points for contacts made on 2304, 3456, 5760 and 10368 MHz bands and 10 points for contacts made on 24000 MHz and above frequencies. Having contact points given this way would recognize technical progress efforts made on the higher bands while, at the same time, removing the unfair QSO points advantage.
73, Paul K7CW

      From: Marshall-K5QE <k5qe at k5qe.com>
 To: "vhfcontesting at contesting.com" <VHFcontesting at contesting.com> 
 Sent: Saturday, December 6, 2014 2:27 PM
 Subject: Re: [VHFcontesting] Comments on ARRL VHF/UHF Contest Rules Change Proposals
Hello Jay, James, and others interested in this topic.  The Committee 
identified three "goals" in their post.

1) Removal of the current prohibition on the use of Amateur and 
non-Amateur forms of assistance for all operator categories, with such 
use having no impact on entry category;
2)  Removal of the current prohibition on self-spotting for all operator 
categories; and

3) Allowing single operators to transmit on more than one band at a time.

Regarding 1), this allows Single Op stations to "look" at the Internet.  
I have never understood why there were so many (silly) restrictions on 
the Single Op stations.  I once posted that the ARRL rules discriminate 
against the Single Op stations...and many folks agreed with me.  Many 
Single Ops use the Internet now, but of course, no one can prove it one 
way or the other.  Removing this prohibition will put everyone on the 
same page as far as looking at the Internet is concerned.

Regarding 2), this rule is of the utmost importance.  Currently, the CQ 
WW VHF contests allow stations using digital MS or digital EME to "self 
post" their Call, Frequency, and Sequence ONLY.  It is no coincidence 
that the CQ WW VHF contest is the best contest that we have.  I know 
that the HF Philosophy types are having heart palpitations, but they 
don't operate VHF contests.  In any HF contest, you can find a never 
ending stream of stations to work.  That is most certainly not the case 
in the VHF affairs.

Self posting, i.e. Announcements, will allow stations to find each other 
during the contests. Rovers would be able to let the big stations know 
where they were and when they were ready to run.  Stations searching for 
MS contacts or EME contacts will be able to find others using the same 
methods.  Most especially, the smaller stations will be able to find the 
"big guns" if they know where to look. That means more QSOs for everyone.

Regarding 3), I originally saw this as just removing another silly 
restriction from the Single Ops.  Jay's comments have caused me to 
re-think this one.  I am and always have been a Multi Op station, so for 
me, transmitting on multiple bands at once is just normal.  What Jay is 
saying is that this might / will give the stations in the "Golden 
Crescent" another unfair advantage over the Single Ops in the rest of 
the country(Jay...I hope I restated that correctly).

However, I have run into Single Ops that use SO2R techniques to call CQ 
alternatively on 6M and 2M in such a way that they are never 
transmitting on two bands at the same time.  They call it "dueling 
CQs".  The effect of this is that they ARE ON two bands at the same time 
without ever transmitting on two bands at the same time.  This is 
clearly just a technological solution to skirt around the current rule.  
On the other hand, I don't know of anyone around here that is doing 
this, so maybe this practice is not widespread.

Hence, I am neutral on 3).  I am waiting to be re-educated on this one.  
Please try to keep the comments relatively civil....

The Committee also did some nice house cleaning on the FM side of 
things.  They propose removing the restriction on 146.52 and on use of 
repeaters to solicit contacts.  The contacts must still be made on 
simplex frequencies.  This will not help me personally, as there is 
essentially no FM activity around here for me to work.  But it may help 
others.  Unfortunately, there is the distinct possibility that this may 
only give another advantage to the NE stations where there are a lot 
more stations close by, many of them little FM stations.  I agree that 
the NE stations do not need any more advantages over the rest of us.....

As always, your comments are of interest to me, Pro or Con.  Flames, 
diatribes, etc. will go directly to the bit bucket....they will not pass 
GO and will not collect $200.  Respectful, well thought out comments 
will not collect $200 either, but that is another story.....

The best of Holiday Seasons to everyone....

73 Marshall K5QE

On 12/5/2014 6:12 PM, Keith Morehouse wrote:
> If you don't live on the east coast and want to top 10 in a VHF contest
> someday, I would urge you to think long and hard about adopting this rule...
> Jay W9RM
> Keith J Morehouse
> via Droid Inc2
> On Dec 5, 2014 4:29 PM, "James Duffey" <jamesduffey at comcast.net> wrote:
>> If you have comments on the proposed rules changes for VHF/UHF contests,
>> they are due December 15 to the committee at < vhf-input at arrl.org >.
>> I personally am not going to campaign here for any of the rules changes,
>> except for the one allowing single op stations to have multiple signals on
>> different bands at the same time without being in the multi category. I
>> think that this will increase activity as it will increase signals on the
>> air, so someone who tunes to the bands during a contest is more likely to
>> hear activity. This should also help with the problem of people ignoring
>> the higher bands when 6M is open by encouraging ops to use SO2R techniques.
>> If 6M is open, the single op can still CQ on two at the same time, and
>> pickup stations calling there. I don’t see any down side to this proposed
>> change, and I encourage you to comment favorably on this proposed rules
>> change.
>> In the past there has been a lot of discussion here, and elsewhere, on
>> assistance in VHF/UHF contests, and I hope that those who have been vocal
>> on both sides of that issue have made or will make their input to the
>> committee known. The proposed rules are very liberal with respect to
>> assistance, even with respect to the CQ WW VHF contest rules, so I
>> encourage you to read the proposed changes and ponder their consequences
>> for you and others. Then make constructive comments on the proposals.
>> The proposed rules allow self spotting pretty much in all categories and
>> pretty through all vehicles. This is a big change with potentially big
>> consequences, so I encourage you to comment on this as well. Consider that
>> self spotting is not thought of well by most of the HF contesters and those
>> are some of the new activity that the committee is trying to attract.
>> Read and study the proposed rules changes. Make your concerns and desires
>> known to the committee now. Don’t pass on this opportunity. If rules are
>> adapted that you don’t like and you didn’t comment on them to the rule
>> makers, then it will be hard to seriously take your criticism of them
>> later. Just saying. - Duffey KK6MC
>> --
>> KK6MC
>> James Duffey
>> Cedar Crest NM

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