[VHFcontesting] Fwd: VHF Contests Rules Discussion and Proposal

Jay RM w9rm at calmesapartners.com
Tue Mar 17 17:15:01 EDT 2020

I started out answering a private email, but then thought this might be
better 'out there'.

FT modes are "out of the barn", loose in the wild and have wide acceptance,
so you can't look the other way or ban them - that would not reflect well
on the contest community.  Education will not work, as the people who need
the education on how to contest (..just run the rate !) don't care - they
are just there for the Q's, not the score.  Contesters mostly know they are
hurting their score by having to work everyone on FT8, but they need to get
the Qs, even if it's much slower than "the old days".  The individual
contester need to decide whether he/she wants to.

I don't know what would work to bring people back to faster rate modes.
Personally, I think the days of 200+/hour on 6M E are over.  I have a
single suggestion that I havent put a lot of thought into, but it might
lead somewhere.

SInce the FT8 boom has two main effects, one, lowering Q totals and run
rate on 6 and, two, depopulating the bands above 2M, let's either shunt FT8
modes off to a separate contest or category for JUNE ONLY.  June is where
all the Qs on 6 are made AND June is arguably where you see the least
activity above 2M, since it's likely everybody is busy on 6 to a greater
degree than in January or September.  If we need to kill off digital meteor
scatter in June by simply saying NO digital, fine.  BTW, I'm a HUGE user of
digital meteor scatter and have been since the very first FSK441 version of
WSJT.  But, I would accept not having it if it brought back SSB/CW ops.

January and September can remain status quo.  FT8/4 was ready made for 6M
with weak signals (I.E. little or no sporadic E) and the need for digital
meteor scatter is much greater for the same reason.

If the activity in June dries up because of the proposed change, we can
still call it a successful experiment, go back to allowing ALL modes and
acknowledging the death of SSB/CW on VHF.


Keith J Morehouse
Managing Partner
Calmesa Partners G.P.
Olathe, CO

More information about the VHFcontesting mailing list