[VHFcontesting] Whats up with the VHF Contests?

VE3DS ve3ds at acanac.net
Mon Jan 5 18:53:01 EST 2015

Not sure if this got thru yesterday …
I might add that back in 1970 we didn’t have internet but we could call people up on the phone 
to get them to come on … 

I still like the contests where you can make skeds & hope for the best…but technology changes and so we must.


Further to Dave K1WHS comments - I’m outside of Dave’s 200 mi circle...

I worked my first contest in 1970 on 144 Mhz with a modded ARC3 @10 w and 2 HB 8 el telrex yogis
fed with 7/8 helix. I was fortunate to live near Dennis VE3ASO, who , when I got on 144.110 (this was 1969) , promptly came down
and asked me “what the heck are you doing on MY band”?  It was the local guys who inspired us 16 years olds to get on
and chase DX…but contesting - well we just looked at the East Coast Q’s and tried to understand how those scores were generated.
Of course, it was groups of keen teenage guys on mountaintops … organized and skilled with lots of locals to work.

At any rate, back in the day, no matter how hard we tried - more power, better antennas etc it was never enough.

In fact it took a superhuman effort to mobilize all our local guys - 1 dedicated per band, develop state of the art band stations 
find our version of a mountain top and pray for good conditions…to break into the Top 10.

Are there other factors?  Certainly - but the big one is distance - we in Canada are far from the “centres” of activity in the States…& there needs to be an incentive to
have people look for stations in low density grids who can capitalize on those short openings be it scatter or tropo.

SO… I for one would strongly support a distance calculation based on 6 digit grids - maybe some kind of Logarithmic scoring method ie. 10 km, 100 km, 1000 km, 10000 km 
would be 1x 2 x 3x 4x  the normal point band score… ie. on 50 Mhz 1 pt x 3 for a 1000 km contact… 

We should also encourage everyone to do their best regarding their stations - not forgetting WSJT and EME.  Kudos to the Rovers on this aspect, I’ve watched Bill VE3CRU
and VE3OIL, VE3SMA etc work rover magic… but I’m not crazy about “captive rovers” who only work their guys… I think that is “gaming the system”...

If you want to encourage activity, then make it attractive for everyone, level the playing field so to speak.

Did I mention that it should also be FUN?  

I can’t remember the number of times we all got together post contest over pizza and beers to guffaw about
the “arcing and sparking’, or the “lightning and tornado” or our hosts “home made pie “…. it was FUN….lets keep it FUN, that’s what’s kept VHF UHFers together since
we found out about DX on 5 m...

73 Dana VE3DS

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