[VHFcontesting] Fwd: VHF Contests Rules Discussion and Proposal

Marshall-K5QE k5qe at k5qe.com
Tue Mar 17 20:15:27 EDT 2020

Hello Jay and others interested in this topic....

I had posted my last email before I saw this post from Jay. 
Interestingly, we have some thoughts on this that are not exactly the 
same, but similar.

Since I get a large part of my scores in all of the VHF contests from 
meteor scatter and EME, the concept of banning ALL digital would be a 
disaster for me.  The idea of banning only FT8/FT4 in June has some 
appeal, but unfortunately, "the masses" would then just not participate 
at all.  That is the opposite of what we all want.  Maybe this would be 
one of Arliss' unintended consequences.  AAAaaaaRGH!

I have a feeling that this FT8/FT4 thing is going to be a real tough 
nut.  As I previously posted, I only see this on 6M.  I don't see it on 
2M or above.

I continue to believe that we should not "poke the bear".  Let's get 
another year of experience and see how things shake out. Whatever we do, 
we need to be very mindful of the unintended consequences thing.  Thanks 
for your thoughts and ideas....

73 Marshall K5QE

On 3/17/2020 9:15 PM, Jay RM wrote:
> 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. 
> -W9RM Keith J Morehouse Managing Partner Calmesa Partners G.P. Olathe, CO

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