Re: [VHFcontesting] Fwd: VHF Contests Rules Discussion and Proposal

Keith Morehouse

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

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