[VHFcontesting] Whats up with the VHF Contests?

James Duffey jamesduffey at comcast.net
Tue Jan 6 21:45:22 EST 2015

Buddy - Thanks for your post, and especially thanks for getting involved in roving. Roving is the mother’s milk of VHF+ contesting, there are too few of us, and your roving helps everyone. Thanks. 

I am afraid I was not clear with my comments of on limited rovers. I have roved as a Limited Rover since the inception of the class, and also as a Classic Rover and Unlimited Rover. I really like the Limited Rover class, there isn’t a lot of set up required, I don’t have to juggle more than 4 bands, and I can usually place well in the class. 

But, the limited rover class is a good example of unintended consequences from good intentions. The Limited Rover Category was initiated to attract new rovers, like yourself, who had simple rigs like the 706 or 7100, into roving without a big investment. The problem comes in how it has worked out. The Limited Rover category has proven to be very popular. But the total number of rovers has remained pretty much the same over this time. The increase in Limited Rovers has come from the Classic Rover category. The decline in Classic Rovers has meant that the the bands from 902 MHz and up have lower activity from rovers. With fewer rovers to work on the microwaves fixed stations don’t get on microwaves. The reduced microwave activity is bad in contests is bad on several levels; contestants who have built up microwave capability are stuck with equipment that is less competitive, with fewer people on to work, less people are likely to get on, and overall activity on the microwaves declines, which puts amateur radio frequencies at risk. 

One of the conundrums of changing VHF+ contesting rules is that the microwave bands and the lower bands are linked through the combined multiplier and QSO points used in scoring. Rules changes that may be good for increasing activity in the lower VHF region may be not be liked by the operators who use microwaves, and vice versa. Things would be simpler if the VHF and microwave portions of the contests could be decoupled.

I hope that we get some Es and can work you in the contest. - Duffey KK6MC 
James Duffey
Cedar Crest NM

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