2019 January VHF Contest Results on Line
The results writeup for the January 2019 VHF Contest are now on line:
The digital modes, in particular FT8, played a major role in the January contest, increasing the logs submitted significantly. But the overall QSOs made in the contest remained the same. So, those additional digital QSOs came from the higher bands. I think this is not good. Please read my comments on this in the writeup and think about what it means for the future of VHF contesting, if you like that future, and what can be done to address the continued erosion of the bands above 144MHz in contesting.
Thanks for all who participated in the January contest. - Duffey KK6MC
James Duffey KK6MC
Cedar Crest NM
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Good writeup, but I’m not at all pessimistic. Give it time. 2m will again be the band of choice in January VHF once people realize they can use FT8 there, specifically the national calling frequency of 144.174. No need to do anything to the WSJT-X software as custom 13 character free-form messages are already available for that purpose, eg. “QSY 50313” would do the trick. And don’t forget the availability of chat rooms during VHF contests to help folks find each other.
I think the primary reason ops were hanging out on 6m FT8 was for the chance to score a quick multiplier when the freak, short-lived Es pops up. There were quite a few of these in the recent January contest. Very doubtful these could be exploited with traditional analog modes. The best contesters are going to use all available tools to maximize their scores and having another one in the arsenal simply makes things more interesting. Exciting times ahead, yes, even on the higher bands.
On Jun 18, 2019, at 7:43 PM, James Duffey <JamesDuffey@...> wrote:
Great writeup, and I understand the concerns about FT8, but I'll reinforce what Mike says a bit with an exchange I had with another rover when I was in lonely DM83. The attempt ultimately failed because he apparently couldn't hear me on 2, much to my disappointment. Clumsy, inefficient, yes. But possible, and still fun.
190608_232215 50.313 Rx FT8 10 0.1 1229 AA5PR/R K5ND/R RRR
190608_232230 50.313 Tx FT8 0 0.0 666 K5ND/R AA5PR/R 73
190608_232245 50.313 Rx FT8 9 0.1 1228 AA5PR/R K5ND/R 73
190608_232300 50.313 Tx FT8 0 0.0 666 CQ TEST AA5PR/R DM83
190608_232315 50.313 Rx FT8 5 0.1 1225 AA5PR/R TRY 2
190608_232330 50.313 Tx FT8 0 0.0 666 CQ TEST AA5PR/R DM83
190608_232400 50.313 Tx FT8 0 0.0 666 K5ND OK
190608_232545 144.174 Rx FT8 -2 0.1 1215 CQ TEST K5ND/R DM94
190608_232600 144.174 Tx FT8 0 0.0 1500 K5ND/R AA5PR/R DM83