[VHFcontesting] Input on Initial VHF-UHF-Microwave Contest RuleChanges

Ron Rogers ww8rr at charter.net
Thu Nov 13 10:51:20 EST 2014

Neal is having e-mails rejected from the VHF-Contesting reflector so at his
request I am forwarding his comments >>




The base issue here is one that has been hashed and rehashed over the
decades, long before the internet.  The crux of the matter is still how to
equalize (or perhaps nullify) the advantages of the northeast stations.
When the multipliers were changed from sections to grid squares it was
believed the equalizing of multiplier density would make the difference.  It
did not.  While serving on the CAC in the 80's the discussion and hence
proposals, was to go to a distance based scoring system.  This was rejected
time and again because of the complexity in scoring.  It was argued, to no
avail, that grid squares made it practical.  It was argued again that
computer software for contesting would made distance scoring trivial but
countered that not everybody could afford or had computers.


While I agree that rules need to be updated with technology, the premise
that only Amateur forms of communication be utilized remains critical in my
opinion.  The use of packet cluster spotting was initial done through nodes
that communicated on ham frequencies and I argued that this was acceptable.
It can be argued that since this is now all done via internet it should be
excluded.  However, I believe that since all the nodes are setup and
maintained by hams and used explicitly for spotting of other ham stations an
exception can be justified.  All other forms of communication (i.e.
telephone, cell phone, email) for the purpose of soliciting or coordinating
contacts during the contest must not be allowed.  MW contacts can and should
be coordinated on lower bands.  Self-spotting is tantamount to solicitation
for contacts (CQing) by non-amateur means and are not intended to "make a
contact"  via the cluster.  This should never be allowed in any contest.
The only valid solicitation (CQing) must remain on the bands where response
is expected to culminate in a valid contact.


One more point:


"Unlike most HF contests, operating skill and knowledge of propagation may
not be enough to find stations to work. You can't just point your antenna to
Europe or Asia at the right time and find a ready supply of potential
contacts. The less predictable nature of VHF+ propagation and the
necessarily higher-gain, narrow-beamwidth antennas used make finding someone
to work largely a matter of chance."


If quality of station, operating skill and knowledge of propagation are not
enough then why do we contest!!!!  isn't that what is all about?  True, VHF
contesting uses a different skill set. It is not just a matter of chance
That is why I contest from 160M to nm wavelengths.



Neal, K4EA



-----Original Message-----
From: VHFcontesting [mailto:vhfcontesting-bounces at contesting.com] On Behalf
Of Les Rayburn
Sent: Thursday, November 13, 2014 9:20 AM
To: vhf-input at arrl.org; VHF Contesting Reflector; vhf at w6yx.stanford.edu
Subject: [VHFcontesting] Input on Initial VHF-UHF-Microwave Contest



I'm nothing short of amazed at the forward-thinking, leadership, and 

courage displayed by the Ad Hoc Subcommittee, and the American Radio 

Relay League. As many VHF operators have long-predicted, I honestly feel 

that this change in the rules will have no effect whatsoever on the 

callsigns that grace the winners circle--but I do believe that the total 

number of contacts will greatly increase.


Over time, increased enjoyment, ease in making contacts, and less time 

spent "listening to white noise" will attract more casual operators to 

these contests, and hopefully help to revitalize weak signal operations 

on the VHF Bands.


I'd also like for the Committee to consider the creation of a Five Band 

VUCC Award (5BVUCC). An award of this nature would recognize the 

achievement of earning VUCC on five or more bands, including satellites. 

As a further incentive, I would recommend the creation of an "Inaugural 

Five Band VUCC Award" that could only be earned in the first 365 days 

that the award goes into effect. Rather than awarding lifetime 

achievements as the 5BVUCC Award would do, the Inaugural Award would 

start all VHF operators back at zero and give everyone a chance to earn 

VUCC on five bands in the first year of the award, thus earning this 

special edition of the parent award, perhaps in the form of a plaque or 



I believe that such an award would help to inspire grid expeditions to 

less active grids, and encourage more activity especially on the 

microwave bands.


Regardless of the Committee's views on a 5 Band VUCC, I really must 

congratulate you on the bold proposal that is already before us. While 

some may object to it, the wisdom of the decision will be fondly 

remembered in the years to come. Bravo Zulu!





Les Rayburn, N1LF

121 Mayfair Park

Maylene, AL 35114



6M VUCC #1712

AMSAT #38965

Grid Bandits #222

Southeastern VHF Society

Central States VHF Society Life Member

Six Club #2484


Active on 6 Meters thru 1296, 10GHz & Light



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