[VHFcontesting] Fwd: VHF Contests Rules Discussion and Proposal

Zack Widup w9sz.zack at gmail.com
Tue Mar 17 10:47:32 EDT 2020

I feel the same way. I have entered almost all VHF+ contests as a single-op
portable. I go to a local hilltop, a good distance from the nearest town,
and set up antennas and station. I have been taking a single marine
deep-cycle battery with me for power. It has just enough energy to power my
station for a day or so of operating time. It won't also run a laptop for
that time. So I've gotten used to logging on paper during the contest and
then entering my log into a logging program later when I get home.

Running 10 watts or less is a challenge and I usually can only make CW
QSO's. People who can barely hear me on SSB, if at all, can copy the CW.
And CW is the predominant mode around here for 2304 MHz and up. Has anyone
done a study about how frequency drift and "wobble" on the millimeter-wave
bands affects FT8? I experience that on 24 GHz and up.

There are a few Rovers in my area who have the bands through 10 GHz, and I
can usually contact them over 100-150 miles. These microwave QSO's have
given me good scores for my class in contests, and I've often been in the
top 3 in the country in the Single Op Portable category, and once had the
highest score for the whole contest in that category.

But I just don't want to fool with FT8.

73, Zack W9SZ

On Tue, Mar 17, 2020 at 9:35 AM Jay RM <w9rm at calmesapartners.com> wrote:

> I think FT8 is a fine mode for weak signal DXing and I have been using it
> on and off, but I don't really care for it and won't seriously participate
> in VHF contests if that's what I have to use on 6M to work anybody.  Why ?
> Because I AM a contester - that's been pretty much 90% of my ham radio
> operating for 45+ years - and I'm relatively good at it.  When I see
> operating tactics (or mode choices) that slows down your run rate, being
> happily embraced by others who say they are contesters, I'm confused...and
> disappointed.  If serious HF contests were multi-mode and FT8 was
> decimating the CW (or phone) bands during, say, Sweepstakes, you would see
> instant action and I guarantee it would not be kind to WSJT.
> As far as conjuring up tricks like giving extra contest points for being on
> the mode you should be on anyway, that is ONLY going to encourage the "real
> contesters" to get back on SSB or CW - not the masses.  The masses
> represent 90%+ of the contacts we make in a contest and the vast majority
> of them don't care what their score is.
> Bottom line, if FT8 or FT4 is the only mode going on 6M, my grid is off the
> table and has become instantly rare unless someone roves to it - I'm the
> only guy here. . .
> -W9RM
> Keith J Morehouse
> Managing Partner
> Calmesa Partners G.P.
> Olathe, CO
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> VHFcontesting at contesting.com
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