Oct 13

In September, 2010, a survey on the WPX Contest was sent to everyone who had submitted a log in the 2010 WPX RTTY, SSB, and CW contests. Read part 1 and part 2 first.

 

Q. Today, the WPX RTTY contest has different rules from CW/SSB. Should the WPX RTTY, CW, and SSB contests all have the same rules?

 

RTTY contesting is growing in popularity. We wanted to find out if participants felt that the three WPX contests should be brought together or kept separate.

 

Answer

Count

Percent

Yes

1899

40.84%

No

852

18.32%

Don’t care

1899

40.84%

Total

4650

 

 

Digging a little deeper into only those respondents who said they operated RTTY, the results were a little different.

 

Answer

Count

Percent

Yes

790

47.99%

No

439

26.67%

Don’t care

417

25.33%

Total

1646

 

 

Several comments pointed out the obvious challenges.

  • I don’t want to have 1.8 MHz included in WPX RTTY because we have a very narrow band segment 1810-1850 kHz… and many low-band DXers would be very irritated!
  • If we remove the ‘Assisted’ rules can be the same or almost the same
  • Whilst RTTY was a ’specialist’ mode, it didn’t matter. Now RTTY is ‘mainstream’ as it has become so easy with MixW, etc, it should be treated the same as the other ‘mainstream’ modes.
  • The issue for WPX is that CW/SSB and RTTY each started from different roots, have their own history and have good reasons for their (different) rules. The biggest issue is 30 vs. 36 hours.  Ironically, CW/SSB started out as a 30-hour contest. 
  • Add a QRP category in RTTY!!  Of course no other RTTY contest has that category either.  But I am a QRP op.
  • I enter all three contests, and am happy that the RTTY rules should be slightly different.
  • I agree with the RTTY not using 160M, but I’d like to see an assisted category for RTTY as there is for both CW and SSB.
  • Only if CW and SSB use the RTTY rules. Almost all DX contests favor the NE coast of NA.  Being in the west of NA, the RTTY rules make the playing field more even and encourage more low band operation after the European runs are over.

 

This question assumed most operators were familiar with the differences between the modes.  The comments showed this was not true and therefore we should be cautious in over analyzing the results.  Next time we will ask about specific rules and whether the RTTY or CW/SSB version of the rule is preferred.

 

Q. Any comments or suggestions you would like to make to the WPX Committee?

 

We appreciate the feedback and compliments we received in response to this question. The contesters behind the WPX Contest really do work hard to make it a fun experience for everyone.

 

Here is a small sample of the suggestions we received. Please let us know what you think.

 

  • Probably 90+ percent of entrants in contests are guys who do not live and breathe radio contesting.  Don’t bend the rules into pretzels for the sake of the top one percent of entrants. I find that if it takes me more than about a minute to figure out what I need to know to participate in a contest, then the rules are too long, too complicated and I don’t read them.
  • Please get the scores done and published quicker, like 1 month after the contest. This is the computer age after all :)
  • How about a category for single op, 1 element antennas, whether horizontal or vertical? No room for a beam here, many have same problem.
  • I, like many others, don’t have the time to devote to 24 or 36 hours of contesting.  A new class…12 hour limited…would be nice to add for those of us that want to go at it hard for a time and still feel competitive in a class.
  • I think that SO2R should be listed as a separate category so SO1R operators can see their results vs their peers.  SO2R stations appear to totally dominate the ‘winning’ positions.
  • The point structure in the WPX strongly favors European entrants.  This is primarily because 40, 80, and 160 Q’s between EU countries are 2 points while similar Q’s between US states are only one point. In addition, North African countries which are a chip shot from EU get 3/6 points while Caribbean countries only get 2/4 points for US QSOs even though they are in many cases further away from the US. A simple way to level the playing field would be to make Q’s between US states worth 2 points on the high bands, and treat the Caribbean like a separate continent (like Oceana?) with full 3/6 point Q’s to the US and EU.
  • I think the time to send the logs should be shorter.
  • One suggestion, in these days of being ‘green’ and energy-conscious, is there a way to encourage / reward those people who run less than legal limit?
  • Should contacts on 1.8 MHz have an even higher point rating than 3.5 MHz and 7 MHz given comparative poor propagation and short opening times for intercontinental distances?
  • Need to seriously consider a 1/2 time category…18 hours for many participants who don’t want to spend all weekend on air or can not due to family/work, etc.
  • Stop the Kilowatt or more categories. 400 Watt Max and all country’s are on the same level. Too many countries are not allowing this high output.
  • You should REDUCE the SO operating hours back to 30 so the rest of the world may compete with the Atlantic corridor. Avoid the temptation to make it more biased. Work toward determining a scoring system that allows a Pacific rim contester (JA, VK, W6-7, etc) to finish in the top ten without an act of God!
  • Please remove the 36 hour limit for operation in this contest, extending it to the full 48.
  • Maybe have a category for kids?  Like 17 years old and younger?
  • I would like to see a ‘limited antenna’ category. I know there is a ‘Tri-Band/Wires’ cat in WPX, BUT many people just have wire antenna systems or verticals. People with limited antennas are at a DISTINCT disadvantage even with those using a tri-bander.
  • I love contesting but I think different parts of the bands should have power restricted.
  • PLEASE QSO POINTS FROM RA9 AND RA0 QSOs. QSO RA9 TO RA9 1 POINTS QSO RA9 TO RA0 2 POINTS!!!
  • The MS category was better when mult station was allowed to work all multipliers.
  • Low power contesting from southern Africa is exceptionally difficult on 40m and 80m - it is very difficult to penetrate European QRM. Would it not be possible to have a separate overlay category for just 20, 15 and 10m?
  • There should be a new category for hams with a minimum antenna system such as an antenna below 30 feet.
  • Please consider moving the CW WPX contest away from Memorial Day Weekend.
  • I want to have CATEGORY-OVERLAY: TB-WIRES in RTTY contest.
  • How about a PSK WPX contest?
  • Sometime you can change date of CW and SSB contests - every second year CW in March - much longer activity period on lower bands.
  • One problem I see in most contests is that the Multi/One rules do not allow for a low power entry. This discourages the 12 to 20 year old students I deal with from operating at all in contests because few have amplifiers or the time to spend operating the whole contest.  When they find that operating M/1 puts them in the same category as the ‘Big Guns’ they simply don’t bother.
  • Rather than a ‘tribander/single element’ category I would like to see a more rudimentary antenna category i.e. ‘wire & verticals’ only.  Many hams do not have any sort of hf beam because of neighborhood rules, cost, etc.

 

Thanks again to everyone who responded to the survey. Your answers and comments are very helpful to us in making the contest better.

 

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