zondag 19 augustus 2012

Contest categories

I see many ongoing discussions on the net that handle about the subcategories in contests.
In my opinion - of course I've also an opinion on this item -, keep it as simple as possible and make a difference in human behaviour in stead of splitting up technical situations.
There is a big difference between single operator and multi operator.  Especially after several hours of contesting, a replacement by another operator is a big advantage.
So keep it simple : SO, M/S, M2 (needed ?),  MM.  
Although this simplicity the IARU contest doesn't comply with this; no they find that an assisted single operator equals a multi-single station.  Uhhh ???  I've not enough brains to find the logic on it...

On the technical categories, I agree with QRP (10W), low power (why not <200W with all the new transceivers giving 200W output) and high power - no, correction,  better said : higher power.
And here the discussion starts with the question what is the limit high power : 1KW, 1.5KW, 5KW, 10KW ?  Does it make sense to categorize high power ?  I see many US stations crying that the limit is 1,5KW. 
Of course, the FCC doesn't allow higher power.  If FCC agrees with 2KW, are we going to change the opinion and go to 2KW ?   And what with countries that are limited to 500W ?

I see many of these guys thinking : the high power limit is what I can handle in my station/country.  And as many big contests are controlled by US hams, this means 1500 W.
On the other side, the same guys are promoting stacked yagis and multi-tower setups.  
Not that difficult if you have 100 acres in the middle of nowhere.  Where I live, I can place many towers and stacked yagis too, but my neighbours wouldn't appreciate it, so no possibility.

Keep it simple : 10W, 200W and an open category.
Open category : no power restrictions, no antenna restrictions, SO2R allowed, assistance allowed.  But : one operator and only one signal in the air.

Big respect for the teams that can handle 10KW in an M/M environment, foresee enough electricity, avoid antenna and coax burnings in the complete chain, and live in peace with the neighbours when it comes to EMI problems...


zondag 12 augustus 2012

Alternative for WAE

After two weeks of handling with the dark side of live (hospitals, funeral, etc.) I've found back the way to the shack.
Last week I could only make some contacts within the EU HF champ. but I can still remember R3/EA8CAC.  This station had such a 9+++++ signal that my tx was pointing at the far end of the needle.  Never seen such a signal.   Even with a dummyload, I could hear it.

Yesterday I found an alternative for those who do not like exchanging QTC's...  :  the WAE WARC contest, category SO HP mixed mode - no QTC.
I was active on 12m CW beaming JA and later in the afternoon on 17m ssb beaming NA.  I made about 200 QSOs in a contest-like style with 13 new DXCC bandslots and without one QTC-exchange.
Some stations were telling that I was the only strong signal on the band.  Not that difficult, all the other stations were in the contest, hi.

Especially 12m had a nice opening to Asia.  I tried to analyse it afterwards on reverse beacon, but only the non-warc bands are taken into account.  So a small excel sheet helps also.  JE1SGH reported a relative stable signal during the one hour activity.

This week some DX stations were very active.  I could increase the dxcc counter to 287 with PJ5 on air.  CY9M confirmed 3 bands, but 20m is missing.  Apparently they've had some troubles with the log and the PC clock.  I've to resend my 20m QSO's to get it confirmed.
D64K is not for me this time.  I worked D68C on every band except on 80/160m.  Until now D64K wasn't active on the low bands...

Although my absence in the shack during the first half of the year, my degree of activity is going up faster than expected.  I've now >3000 qso's in the log during the last weeks and this makes 2012 allready a good year comparing to the past.  
With both CQWW contests to come, 2012 will end in a top-3 position  together with 2006 and 2007.

I seems that there will be a small club expedition next year in July.  Market Reef will probably be the target...