Re: Encouraging Causal Participation in Contests
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As an occasional contester, I’d like to acknowledge the ongoing global effort to discourage contesting on the 30, 17 and 12m bands, dating back to the WARC in 1979 - a remarkably long-standing gentleman’s agreement between contest organisers, not a law or regulation (as far as I know), much like our band plans with mode-specific segments.
Access to the WARC bands would give HF contesters more QSOs and multipliers, drive up activity, encourage investment in stations and further our understanding of HF propagation, hence there is demand … but the contest community accepts that contesting is not for everyone, hence keeping the WARC bands contest-free is for the greater good. [By the way, the WARC bands are also havens for ‘resting’ contesters between contests – a chance to relax, have ‘proper’ QSOs, swap genuine reports and maybe work some interesting weak signal DX without the barrage of QRM from fellow contesters!]
Many contests specify band limits in the rules, although some participants evidently don’t read or don’t abide by the rules: I suspect that’s true for some casual (naïve) and serious (if unethical) participants, respectively. FWIW I encourage contest organisers to publish simplified plain-language rule summaries (aimed at casual participants) as well as the more detailed and explicit full rules (for entrants). A few words of explanation about why we have contest-free bands and havens within contest bands might help.
Most contests are single-mode events, so multi-mode hams who don’t want to participate can use other modes. Mono-mode hams may be out of luck though, unless they use contest-free bands or segments … or have the patience to wait until the contests are over. FT4 is a novel approach: in effect, it moves contesting away from FT8 by adapting the mode itself to suit contest-style quick-fire contacts, and congregating activity on distinct frequencies.
All-in-all, the current arrangements work pretty well, on the whole. There is always the potential for aggravation and conflict since we are all sharing a limited resource – the RF spectrum. How we deal with the aggravation and conflict is down to us, individually and collectively. Personally, I think we’ve got the balance about right.
From: ARRL-Contesting@... <ARRL-Contesting@...> On Behalf Of Stan K4SBZ
Sent: 03 April 2021 00:06
Subject: Re: [ARRL-Contesting] Encouraging Causal Participation in Contests
We have entire contest free bands. They are the WARC bands.
On Thu, Apr 1, 2021 at 4:28 PM Jack Spitznagel (KD4IZ) <kd4iz@...> wrote: