Saturday, 13 August 2011

Domestic contest musings

I have been monitoring a discussion on the SARL forum regarding operating practice during local contests. It has become quite clear to me that we don’t all share the same views when it comes to local amateur radio contesting.

The amateur community is basically split into 3 separate groups:

The first group doesn’t like contesting in any form and they would rather not see any contest taking place. They normally don’t make any contest QSOs.

The second group will make contest QSOs, but in a half hearted way. They don’t care how many stations they work nor do they care about submitting logs etc. They most likely make up the bulk of the contesters log. Obviously their participation is much appreciated by the more serious contesters.

Then we have the contesters that are in the event to win. They will be doing whatever it takes to make as many QSOs as possible in the allocated time in an attempt to build the highest possible score.

It is therefore obvious that the 3 groups have quite diverse opinions on what is deemed appropriate or inappropriate behaviour during a contest.

Issues that come to mind are:

Exchanging pleasantries like name, QTH and size of boots etc during a contest vs sending only the minimum required contest exchange.

Having a ‘rag chew’ in the contest preferred sections of the band.

I have been very active in domestic contests for a quite few years now. I have no doubt that taking part in contests is most beneficial in terms of award hunting, testing the effectiveness of one’s station, practicing concise, effective communication and having fun.

Sadly, not many seem to share this idea and I cannot help but wonder why there seems to be a general apathy toward local contests. 

If only the Ionosphere would allow more regular QRP QSOs further afield, then I would actively take part in the QRP contests hosted by our friends in North America and Europe. 

Oh well …….

The link below is a very well written FAQ on the topic of contesting written by Andrew Roos ZS1AN now ZS5AA:

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