[VHFcontesting] VHFcontesting Digest, Vol 143, Issue 7

Pete Scola Pete.Scola at freescale.com
Thu Nov 13 14:50:30 EST 2014

Now, I really don't care about winning anything...In Arizona VHF contests the only thing we can win is, well, Arizona. Maybe these new ideas will change something for the better in the large metropolitan areas where everyone has a computer or a phone with access to the internet, but out in the remote rural areas of the West,  it won't change much. 

I operate VHF contests as a Multi-Op Portable from Mountain Top locations in Arizona. I have been operating contest portable since the late 1960's here in Arizona.

My perspective, from a contester who only operates from portable/mountain top remote locations in contests, is that I believe this will put portable stations at an additional scoring disadvantage in VHF contests. We already have to deal with the terrain, the rain/heat/snow/wind, the bugs, the dirt, the complete station set-up/tear down, and the station restrictions that generators and battery power already place on us. Trying to match, to create, a "spotting network" in the field like the one home stations will have is just not an option for a portable/mobile station with no internet coverage. Home stations will "clean our clock" even more than they already do. I suspect that Single operator home QTH scores will go up and portable operator scores will remain pretty much the same. Every contest many single operator at-home stations outscore us already. Even low power ones. These changes will not improve that situation. For every "new" contact we make under the new rules the home stations will work two (or more) stations. They can see spots...we can't. They can make spots...we can't.

Neal, K4EA, hit it on the head... "If quality of station, operating skill and knowledge of propagation are not enough then why do we contest!!!!"


Surely we want to continue making "operating skill" the centerpiece of contesting."  Is not the "thrill of the Hunt" a big part of contesting? If not, why not just let unattended computerized stations operate the contests while we all go drink some beer? We can check to see if we "won" when the Pub closes.

Pete, WA7JTM 

-----Original Message-----
From: VHFcontesting [mailto:vhfcontesting-bounces at contesting.com] On Behalf Of vhfcontesting-request at contesting.com
Sent: Thursday, November 13, 2014 10:00 AM
To: vhfcontesting at contesting.com
Subject: VHFcontesting Digest, Vol 143, Issue 7

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Today's Topics:

   1. Re: Input on Initial VHF-UHF-Microwave Contest	RuleChanges
      (Ron Rogers)


Message: 1
Date: Thu, 13 Nov 2014 10:51:20 -0500
From: "Ron Rogers" <ww8rr at charter.net>
To: "'Les Rayburn'" <les at highnoonfilm.com>, <vhf-input at arrl.org>,
	"'VHF Contesting Reflector'" <vhfcontesting at contesting.com>,
	<vhf at w6yx.stanford.edu>
Subject: Re: [VHFcontesting] Input on Initial VHF-UHF-Microwave
	Contest	RuleChanges
Message-ID: <F3rL1p00L130PBL013rMYK at charter.net>
Content-Type: text/plain;	charset="us-ascii"

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 RuleChanges



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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