As some may have gathered, a few years ago a couple of us worked out that the way to do well in the overall Region 1 contest was to focus on the higher bands, where there are fewer stations active, and it is possible with a bit of effort to do well on each band and therefore in the overall contest.
This comes at a cost - this weekend I roved to 2 sites 100 miles apart chosen specifically for their potential on the microwave bands. I had 40 QSOs on a total of 9 bands but only 2 on 70cms and 4 on 23cms as I focussed on working my chosen microwave QSO partners.
Put simply I did not have time to work other stations and give away points which I really would like to have done - I was on-site from 1pm - 7pm on Saturday and 7am to 7pm on Sunday as it was - and this definitely took away from the enjoyment of the weekend.
I don't actually have any ideas at stage how we can do better, I'm too kn....ed, but maybe split the contest into 2 or maybe BATC organises a proper contest in September with fewer bands???
Noel - G8GTZ
Not sure of the answer but my "tuppeneth". Two years ago I tried to take part despite only having 2M that I could take out somewhere giving any chance of a contact. There's not much activity in these parts other than 5.6GHz in the South Lakes and that means the Lake District Fells are in the way. I could now push to 23cms too if I dig up an aerial but justifying getting set up for all the higher bands just doesn't make sense from this part of the world. While I really appreciate the effort you and others make to work the higher bands, you have a much much higher number of stations within a reasonable distance. It's a conundrum with no easy answer similar to why I no longer enter VHF/UHF contests, stations in the SE working F, ON and PA with their multipliers when they can almost wave at them. This will probably sound like a whinge, it isn't, it's a recognition there's no easy answer.
I've no idea how the RSGB 'cumulatives' work (but I can guess from the name )
Maybe something like that but open to individuals to liaise and work whatever bands they have or want to try. On an open (rather than timed and dated) basis. Submit the record at some point near the end of the year?
So basically like DIY activity days but with points.....do the points matter - nice to do well but its also about building and testing the kit for me.
Or just do activity days as per now - as more of us get gear working its going to be easier.
Still leaves the IARU contest though....all those high scoring microwave bands.....
- The "low band" contest (possibly the 2nd weekend in June) would cover 23cm, 70cm and 6m.
- The "high band" contest (possibly the 2nd weekend in September) would be for all bands 13cm and above.
To get this in place across the IARU would take a while, but before starting I need to know if it is thought to be a good idea?
Please post your thoughts and counter-proposals here.
With so many bands it is difficult to get more than a few different stations worked if those stations have to be worked on all bands available within 30 hours to be competitive. Band swapping is time consuming (or at least it is for me!) and that inevitably means less QSOs. It will also leave other potential contacts frustrated when they can't get a look in. That in turns leads to apathy and consequently less activity.
Bearing in mind that one of the major reasons for holding contests is to demonstrate our use of the bands to justify our presence on them, we should organise the contests to maximise participation and increase activity.
To my mind that means levelling the field so that microwave contacts are not given an undue advantage. With microwave equipment so much more readily available, easier to assemble and use than it was 20 years ago it can't be justified and it's high time that the multipliers were changed or Microwaves given their own IARU ATV contest.
For too many years we have seen stations on mountains in Europe with a few microwave bands racking up unassailable scores; the weighting towards microwave contacts skews the scoring such that unless you have bands above 23cm you have no chance of being competitive and that is a big disincentive to participating.
I would suggest that the IARU contest be split into 13cms and down and 9cm an up, using the old 3000MHz delineation of UHF below and Microwaves above that frequency, as a starting point. I'm not persuaded on whether 13cm should be UHF or Microwave but the cut-off should be either side of that band.
It's not not really a problem up here mind but i did miss one station this year, apologies Ken!
I'm liking 70cm more and more although i have a huge battle with qrm.
Maybe interesting to have a 70cm only contest?
Or swap the bias of points the other way around?
One of the two day contest low bands and the second day higher bands?
The idea of something else in the autumn again is good.
Why not have multipliers for different stations worked?