[VHFcontesting] Classes in VHF Contesting.....

RT Clay rt_clay at bellsouth.net
Mon Jan 5 14:22:35 EST 2015

On Sunday, January 4, 2015 4:03 PM, Marshall-K5QE <k5qe at k5qe.com> wrote:
>Hello All....several folks have mentioned that we have way too many 
>classes in VHF contesting now.  Yes, we have too many classes and yes, 
>we have way too many "HF legacy" rules, but it looks like we may be on 
>the way to improvement in that regard.
>DEFINITION:  A VHF Rookie is someone that is new to the VHF arena.  
>These are the people that we are trying to attract.
>I do not like calling them beginners, newbies, or whatever as those 
>terms are derogatory/pejorative/demeaning/.....  After all, some of the 
>Rookies have 30 years in the HF world.  They are really not newbies or 
>anything of the sort.  They are just beginning to learn of the wonderful 
>world of VHF and up.  Others have just received their Technician ticket 
>and are looking for their place in Amateur Radio.  We want that place to 
>be in our world rather than the "shack on the belt" world.
As one of those "VHF rookies" I thought I would comment. I have been active in
HF contests for a long time (licensed 1986) but entered my first VHF contest
in 2014 (June VHF). I operated as qrp/portable on 6M and 2M. I don't 
own equipment for any other bands (yet) and only have 10 watts on 2M. 
I had a good time (210/59 and 9/8 on 6M and 2M) even though there is little 
VHF activity in my area. I didn't work my own grid and I think I was the only 
station on from EM53.

I had always thought about trying a VHF contest, but have never had equipment
for VHF+ until I bought a K3 which has 6M. I (and I think most other HF 
contesters) do not own a "DC to daylight" rig- they are simply not competitive
for HF contest use. One of the reasons I entered qrp/portable (besides liking
field day type operations) was that it requires less equipment (lower
power, short feedlines). 

I think the biggest source of new VHF contesters are active HF contesters.
Most now have 6M but none of the other bands. The one thing that would get
more HF-types on VHF would be a 6M single band category. Looking through the
June VHF contest results you will find a number of HF contester calls who
made a few contacts on 6M (also check 3830 since many of these guys don't
bother to submit a log). If there was a 6M category some of these stations
would be enticed to operate the whole contest on 6M because they would
actually have a category they could compete in. And after a few years,
some of these guys would get interested in the higher bands and try
the all-band categories. I don't buy the argument that this would 
decrease higher band activity- more stations on in the contest is good, period.

I am against allowing internet announcements for all categories (and
probably won't come back if that change goes through). Internet
coordination will lead to too many manufactured qso's. There were several 

times I could not complete a qso with my 10W signal- the other station just 

could not pull out my full call or grid. If I could announce my call, band,
and grid those would have all likely been good qsos- the ear is very good
at hearing what it expects. But those are no longer radio qsos.

Starkville, MS EM53

>Here are the classes that I think make sense.....this is just me 
>thinking out loud....
>2)Limited Multi-Op--bottom 4 bands
>3)Single Op-High Power
>4)Single Op-Low Power
>5)Single Op 3-Band--This would be 6M, 2M, and 432 with power limits of 
>100W/50W/35W.  This would allow the Rookies that have a        
>           DC-Daylight type rig to have their own class in which to 
>play.  A great incentive for them.
>7)Limited Rover--This should be 6M, 2M, and 432 ONLY with power limits 
>of 100W/50W/35W.  This will allow the Rookies that have a                
>           DC-Daylight type rig to compete fairly.  This would align 
>Limited Rover with the Single Op 3-band fixed class.
>ALL classes should be allowed to look at the Internet and to make 
>Someone mentioned that there are 13 classes now.  The above would cut 
>that to only 7, but it would be a MUCH simpler landscape.  The FM class, 
>QRP classes, and other such have never been terribly popular classes.  
>To me, they are just "clutter". Of course, if your life revolves around 
>QRP, you would not agree.
>5) and 7) are classes specifically designed for Rookies and the rigs 
>that they normally have and use.  Most VHF Rookies have an "IC706 type" 
>rig.....IC706, IC7000, Yaesu 857d, Yaesu 897d, and others similar in 
>nature.  All have 6M, 2M, and 432 with power levels of 100W/50W/35W.  
>These are ideal for Rookie competitors.
>There will probably have to be some contest specific exceptions 
>written....for contests like the UHF contest and possibly for some of 
>the other specialty contests.  That is fine.....after all, the 10GHz 
>contest really is its own world.
>Several of the Ad-Hoc Committee members read this reflector, so the 
>above ideas should fall into their hands.  We do need to work to enhance 
>the VHF contesting world for Rookies(and others).
>Everyone is REQUIRED to have a Great New Year....
>73 Marshall K5QE
>P.S.  As usual, thoughtful replies for or against are welcome. Flames, 
>diatribes, rants ----> bit bucket and will not pass GO and not collect 
>$200.  Also as usual, the thoughtful replies will not receive $200 
>VHFcontesting mailing list
>VHFcontesting at contesting.com

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