[VHFcontesting] 6M only category

James Duffey jamesduffey at comcast.net
Mon Jan 5 20:09:02 EST 2015

Tor - One can enter 6M only in the CQ WW VHF contest. Lots of guys do it. It is one of the reasons the contest is so popular. The only real drawback to this is that Es is on the downswing when the contest is held in the middle to end of July. If the contest were held earlier, say the weekend between the VHF contest and Field Day, or even the first weekend in July, I think it would give the ARRL contest a good run for its money.

Having said this, I think that if you had a 6M only category in a general ARRL VHF/UHF contest it would reduce the activity on the higher bands. I disagree with you on this item. That is OK. Dialog is good in these things. I think that the reduction in microwave activity that has resulted from the introduction of the limited multi-op category and the migration of Classic Rovers to the Limited Rover category is proof of this. 

If the HF contesters who migrate to 6M want more contest activity than 6M offers, they can get on 144 MHz or 432 MHz and work stations up there. Granted there aren’t as many, and the rates are slow but it is not that hard to get on those bands these days and there are often VHF+ operators who are willing to loan rigs to new VHF ops. As a rover, I often pass out grids to those 6M ops that they would not otherwise get. It would be nice if they could get on the higher bands and give me a few more QSOes in return. But when I suggest it they say no one is on those bands so it isn’t worth getting on. That, of course is a self fulfilling prophecy. When I remind them that I am on, they say, well you are the only one, but then I say Bill is out there roving too, and there are a few other well equipped 2M stations around, and they kind of go ummmm. I suspect the truth is that when the propagation dies on 6M, the rates also drop, and most HF contesters come from a culture where rates are everything. At VHF rates are usually low and DX contacts can take 10 minutes instead of 20 seconds at HF. That is OK, but we need to realize that VHF contesting is not for everyone, and if making it more appealing to HF contesters reduces current VHF activity, then the price of attracting new ops to VHF contesting is too high. 

I don’t think that 6M activity is the problem in declining VHF+ contesting activity. 

If you have not done so, please make your opinions known to the Ad Hoc Committee. - Duffey, KK6MC

On Jan 5, 2015, at 4:53 PM, vhfcontesting-request at contesting.com wrote:

> 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.

James Duffey
Cedar Crest NM

More information about the VHFcontesting mailing list