eHam.net - Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) Community

Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net


eHam.net Survey

Survey Question
Current Survey Question

Looking back to YOUR start in Ham radio, with an eye to "...the way things are in the world" to-day, do you think that you would have become an Amateur radio operator if you were somehow miraculously the same age as when you started, but in 2014?

Recent Surveys

R.F.I.---the continuing scourge of Ham radio, be it "traditional" horizontal oscillators of TVs going back to the 40's, or the raucous din of to-day's plasma televisions, exercise equipment, lighting systems, furnaces, electric fences, power line leakages, AD NAUSEAM. How have YOU handled cases where somebody's electric contraption seriously hampered YOUR on-the-air activities...?
2014-07-31


What can be done to further Amateur Radio?
2014-06-26


Do you consult radio beacons for propagation conditions?
2014-04-28


Do you think social media i.e Facebook, Twitter is a help or a hindrance to the Hobby?
2014-03-19


Do you use the 60-meter band?
2014-02-11


View All Survey Questions

Have a good idea for a eHam.net Survey question?
Enter your idea!


Manager - VK5LA
Andy Williss (VK5LA) Welcome to the Survey Page.

The goal is to help us all gain a
better understanding of the ham
community... what we like... what
we don't like... about various
aspects of our hobby. Let's make
it fun and maybe kick up a little
dust once in a while. I hope you
all will participate and enjoy the
questions.

Please enter your ideas for future
survey questions yourself (click on
the "Enter your idea" link just
above) or send them directly to me
at surveymaster@eham.net .

I often get comments that there is
a commercial interest in the survey
questions and that some of the
questions are "rigged"...I assure
all eham users that the questions
are
in no way influenced by any
company, person or persons.
The questions in the survey all
come via contributions to eham or
are just plain made-up by your
humble survey manager.


Please note that there are many
potential surveys in our queue, and
many of them are duplicates.
Sometimes we combine several
questions into one. We at eham.net
make every effort to present all
content in a way that will be
easily understandable and useful to
an international audience.

OK, how do you REALLY feel about on-the-air contests...?
  Posted: Mar 07, 2012   (1973 votes, 107 comments) by VE3CUI

  LOVE 'EM! I need my "fix" on a regular basis here!
  HATE 'EM! What a waste of valuable time & spectrum!
  I've never really tried a contest before...
  I really & truly would LOVE to get on a contest!
  I've never been in one, and NEVER will.
  I operate in them occasionally...
  What the heck is a radio contest anyway...?
    (1973 votes, 107 comments)

Survey Results
LOVE 'EM! I need my "fix" on a regular basis here! 18% (347)
HATE 'EM! What a waste of valuable time & spectrum! 20% (399)
I've never really tried a contest before... 10% (206)
I really & truly would LOVE to get on a contest! 2% (36)
I've never been in one, and NEVER will. 5% (105)
I operate in them occasionally... 43% (857)
What the heck is a radio contest anyway...? 1% (23)

Survey Comments
CONTESTS

KE4ZHN Said: "Why is an organization who barely represents 15% of the amateur population allowed to dictate policy to the masses without benefit of any legal authority?"
UNQUOTE

And which organization would that be?

I am unaware of ANY organization, domestic or foreign that DICTATES anything to anyone.

If, as a US licensee you are referring to the American Radio Relay League, they are a non-profit, charitable organization that operates in a democratic fashion. YOU are welcome to become a part of that organization and then seek office in order to promote whatever agenda YOU have, however ALL of the League's practices, band-planning, activities and contests are all voluntary and at the discretion of the individual. No one is obligated to participate or not participate in ANY activity.

As for limiting spectrum usage for various contests, no only the League, but CQ Magazine and most of the foreign entities usually split contests between phone and/or digital modes to minimize the impact on any one group of Amateurs on any given weekend.

Lastly, every entity that I know of, foreign or domestic, prohibits contesting (other than seeking personal awards such as Worked All States or DXCC) on the WARC bands.

I am not an "avid" contester, but I participate in them as the mood strikes. And there have been many, MANY contests where I chose to NOT participate, yet found the WARC bands (or the opposite side of the band being used) nearly barren and unused.

If you don't like contesting, don't participate. No one if forcing you to. But obviously the "If You Build It They Will Come" axiom is true, as there are obviously a LOT of fellow Amateurs worldwide who do not share your opinions. Otherwise, all those operators wouldn't be active...now would they...?!?!

73

Steve Robeson, K4YZ
Winchester, TN

Posted by K4YZ on May 12, 2014

I participate on occasion.
I don't hate any aspect of the hobby, band or mode of operation. That would be childish. Although I am not a big contester, I do enjoy mixing it up once-in-a-while to hand out a few points & see what my station can do. I also get a kick out of busting pileups with my 100W station & 160-10m remotely-tuned inverted-L.

Posted by N0NCO on November 26, 2012

sour grapes
I have noticed over the past coulpe years that these contesters are running wild,I mean by that running in on top of or right next to exsiting Nets,ragchewers and qrp stations that have been their for years same time same frequency without respect or even asking and/or listening if the frequency is in use all for that high and mighty point.. Than these contesters wonder why they don't get any respect from other Amateur operators.

Posted by KF4RQH on November 4, 2012

Contests...
I admit, I do participate in a few during the year - Major
RTTY, FD, SKN and sometimes a couple of the VHF/UHF
events. As a builder, I use these "contests" to gauge success,
improvements to my construction/mod projects. Most
weekend contests seem to be a battle of who can spent the
most $$$ for maximum ERP. Credit where it is due - there
are some excellent operators out there, many with modest
setups. To each their own... Glad WARC bands are contest-
free zones... but many un-necessarily run QRO.

Posted by W6SDW on July 28, 2012

CW -The Best
I believe all contesting should be done using CW only. Using CW is much faster that any other mode.

Posted by K3ROJ on June 21, 2012

PART TIMER
I jump in just to try and keep up with the short burst of CW.
Other then that i'm not a real contester but contest also lets me know how well my mag loop gets out:-)
BOB
AF2Q

Posted by AF2Q on May 3, 2012

They are becoming really annoying.
I don't personally enjoy contesting but the
hobby is about diversity.

That aside, there is little
consideration/discipline with contesters.
I've heard ssb in the cw portion many a time
and talk about qrm & bleeding over! Liars;
its all 59.
After carrying an antenna, coax, rig and
battery up the hill on a hike and setting the
whole thing up, I can't even operate qrp when
there is a contest on. Sigh. Some folks are
ruining the hobby for others.

But then contesters are the ones who generate
money for the manufacturers by purchasing
more big gun equipment....

Contesting should not be banned (even though
that might be nice sometimes :-) . Restrict
them to a section to work with so that they
don't swamp the entire band(s)!

Posted by KJ4LUP on April 16, 2012

Contests....ugh! No way.
While it could be an opportunity to gather some new contacts into log, in the real life it is nothing but "you're-five-nine-and-get-lost".

Sadly this approach then comes onto band, when some stations "scores" more contacts a minute than I'd really could write up into log. Whats the point of "X-ray X-ray question mark, question mark you're 5&9 QRZ?". Not even a contact, and giving a 59 being even unable to copy someone's call sign is simply ridiculous.

Posted by EI7GMB on April 16, 2012

Contests
I have been a ham for 20+ years. Contesting serves no
purpose AT ALL! I enjoy meeting new people on the air
and getting to know something about them. Years ago
I made the mistake of giving my name after the signal
report...the response was "don't care...don't need
your name". That was the last time I ever answered
"CQ CONTEST"! Give them some spectrum on one
band and let them have at it. That will make it a REAL
challenge that I'm sure they will enjoy!

N4WVE

Posted by N4WVE on April 15, 2012

QRP contest-type events voluntairily take place on or near the usual QRP calling frequencies. SKCC and FISTS events, also. Minimum (if any) hogging of an entire band. Why not assign contest space for the rest of the big gun five-niners.

Posted by N2UGB on April 15, 2012

PS - CONTESTING
EXCEPT FIELD DAY, THATS A NATIONAL HAM DAY AND ALL SHOULD PARTICIPATE OR ENJOY LISTENING TO OTHERS HAVE FUN.

N5MDV

Posted by N5MDV on April 13, 2012

CONTESTING
You know I became a Ham in 1988 and I know that there are allot of older hams than I and I tend to agree that contester's go beyond the bounds

I believe that contesting is a viable part of the hobby, I believe that having a QSO with someone you know or never met and are getting to know is as important or more.

Actually more because even the fcc says we are to promote friendship and good will around the world.

What better way than a rag chew getting to know all about each other and making a friendship sprout.

I think contesting should have frequency bounderies set. I think that anyone outside those bounderies should not have their contacts count.

I believe this is a fair rule the arrl could use to allow both sides to enjoy the hobby. we need to be able to enjoy it not fight about it and sometimes rules must be set to keep the piece .... ARRL its time you step up.

I am a member of the ARRL, we need their Lobbying against all the spectrum grabbers and our cowardly representatives in our government who can't say no afraid they wont get their donations to be reelected.

So with that said, I vote to control contesting, set boundaries and be fair to all.

NUFF SAID..... N5MDV AURORA CO.

Posted by N5MDV on April 13, 2012

Variety
Just an observation - from the outside looking in, nearly EVERYTHING we do as hams is often viewed as "pointless", "nuts", "meaningless", etc. And that's the people who are tolerant of it.

In my view, the best part of Ham Radio is that there is no 'best' part - there are thousands of different parts that offer something for everyone. We have the freedom to try nearly anything, including bands from nearly DC to daylight, modulation methods from the simplest CW to the most complex digital encoding techniques, voice, video, and more. We can choose when and where to operate, how much power to use (up to legal limit), and mix and match equipment at will. We can use simple wire dipoles or multi-element beams on towers. We can choose to ragchew, operate in nets, contest, DX, participate in special events, , etc. We can do any or all of these.

Most hams will find that one or more of these fit well with their particular interests, lifestyle, budget, location, etc.
They will also find that some vocal minority of other hams will hate them for it, because it somehow interferes with their idea of what ham radio should be. If I had a dime for every time I've heard a ham complain about contesters|EmComm people|QRPers|those old guys on 75m|those kids with their digital crap|AMers|DXers|ESSB guys|no-coders|etc., I'd probably have enough to buy any radio I want.

I've been a ham for over 30 years. I've tried nearly all of the above as my interests, lifestyle, budget, and location have changed. I guess that should make me hated by just about everybody at one time or another :)

I used to hear contests on the air or see the contest pages in the magazines and move along...then one day I decided to give them a try and have had a lot of fun. If that's not what interests me at the moment, I have a million other opportunities. If you can't find something to enjoy in ham radio at any moment of any day, you are simply not trying very hard.

Posted by W0ZF on April 11, 2012

Contests
As others have mentioned, contesting would be ok IF limited spectrum was used and someone could get it through the heads of the operators that no one wants to hear the cars outside, the conversations in the next room, the movement of their vocal chords, and the blood flowing through their veins because Mic gain is 10 times what it needs to be. And that a transmitted signal doesn't need to be 10 kHz wide to be effective. Nor is there some magic to getting 500hz from another QSOs (SSB) and screaming "CQ contest".
Anthony, NT4X

Posted by NT4X on April 7, 2012

Contests
I like to wonder if instead of being asked

A Question like

I operate in them occasionally... And being seen as 100% for Contests, if there had been a question asking...

Do you use contests to contest or just to work new places was asked, but feel they should not take up the whole band was asked what % would go for that.

Just because I use contests to get some places does not mean I don't feel they should

1) Have rules changed so they do not have
the whole band

2) Maybe take place on every other
weekend as to every weekend

Don't Ban them, just take into account other users needs and wishes..

People say contests generate activity for those into contests yes, but how many have left the hobby due to the fact they are fed up with contests every weekend and that is the only time they get a chance to be on Radio, so decide cant use that expensive radio set up and sell there radio and set up and move to another hobby?

One thing I do notice in these posts most are happy for contests to take part few want them stopped, Most that are not into contesting just want band space to do there own thing.

But most interested in contests, Don't want to compromise or give anything away and want it all, that seems to be a rather selfish attitude.


Posted by G1HJW on April 6, 2012

Contests
I have a Love / Hate feeling about contests those like CQWW SSB or IOTA contest allow me
to work those places I don't tend to hear any other time.

But I do feel that contests should be restricted to a section of the band not all over the band in use, I am also interested in SSTV and PSk31 and often when a contest is running you cant use SSTV or PSK31 as the contest stations sit on or so near to the working freq for those modes they wipe out any hope of a QSO.

Most contests take place at a weekend and despite what is said nearly every weekend there is a contest on, Somewhere.

I understand why contests are on a weekend that's when most people that like them can take part there not working, its also the same time that most of us work radio and not all of us want to contest.

In the day its easy to QSY to 18m 0r 12m which is what I tend to do, and it seems many also do from the rise in activity on those bands when a contest is on, but at night its not the case when 40m and 80m and maybe TopBand ( if you can use it I cant) are in use for contesting there is really no were to QSY to get away from the contest.

So maybe a compromise would be to set aside part of 80m for non contest working, the band is big enough to allow it, and part of 20m/15m/10m also set aside for non contest working, Everyone then can do there own thing without upsetting the other...


Posted by G1HJW on April 6, 2012

Thanks but no thanks....
To each his own in this hobby. There are many facets of amateur radio and this one to me is about as boring as it gets. Endless repetitious pointless drivel for 48 solid hours on all bands except the WARCS. Why should contesters destroy every band and every mode and ruin it for others who dont care for this mind numbing crap? Many hams work all week and look forward to operating on the weekends..only to turn on the rig and discover every band ruined and unusable unless your part of the 5-9 brigade.

The FAIR thing to do would be to limit contests to sections of the bands so ALL amateurs can do their thing in peace. This self serving ARRL bullshit is what turns me off of ever joining the league. They seem to have this arrogant mentality that they are more important than the rest of us who dont care for their politics and constant contest promoting.

Why is an organization who barely represents 15% of the amateur population allowed to dictate policy to the masses without benefit of any legal authority? Probably because too many hams cant think for themselves and perceive this self serving organization to represent them..when in fact they only represent their bank account. If the league would for once try talking to or with the masses instead of AT them perhaps they would get more membership. However, promoting endless contests....EMCOMM and digital modes seems to be their only agendas...other than constantly hawking for money. Their my way or the highway attitude sucks. Ive lost count of how many times I had to turn off the rig in disgust because of 14 million morons calling cq contest on top of an already ongoing qso I was involved in. This is neither right or fair to expect every ham to either contest or shut their gear off just to appease the minority who enjoy this activity.It technically is also illegal but we have no real FCC to speak of so they get away with it. Arent the licenses of the non-contesting hams as good as the ones the contesters have? Why do all the rules go out the window during one of these fiasco's and the league will sit there and condone it! I personally know an OO who wrote up several contesters and bitched to his section manager about massive qrm he got during a contest only to be told that it doesnt matter and because it was a contest this was okay! Since when are part 97 rules violations...okay? He then told the section manager to shove the OO up his keister and never had anything to do with the league again. They wont even listen to their own members who point out illegal operation during a contest!

This level of arrogance is why there is so much hostility about this topic in the amateur community. I have to laugh at those who claim contesting helps utilize the bands and promote operator skill. What skill? Pressing the voice recorder button on the rig with the canned cq contest crap on it and jotting a call sign down? And everyone is 5-9...even the ones you ask for their call sign 15 times before you get it. Id rather watch paint dry than listen to that nonsense. I support an amateurs right to contest 100%...but not at the expense of the majority who dont care for it. Its just not right to ramrod this crap down everyones throat just because some jackass up in Newington stands to make $$ from it.

Posted by KE4ZHN on April 6, 2012

Contests
For each their own. BUT HOW ABOUT LIMITING THE AMOUNT OF SPECTRUM ON EACH BAND FOR CONTESTS SO THAT THE REST OF US DON'T HAVE TO SUFFER... HOW CAN THE ARRL BE SO DEAF TO THIS IDEA????
WHAT SAY ARRL - OR ARE YOU A COWARD?

HAL, N6TZ SAID THAT

Posted by N6TZ on April 3, 2012

Contests
For each their own. BUT HOW ABOUT LIMITING THE AMOUNT OF SPECTRUM ON EACH BAND FOR CONTESTS SO THAT THE REST OF US DON'T HAVE TO SUFFER... HOW CAN THE ARRL BE SO DEAF TO THIS IDEA????
WHAT SAY ARRL - OR ARE YOU A COWARD?

HAL, N6TZ SAID THAT

Posted by N6TZ on April 3, 2012

Contests
For each their own. BUT HOW ABOUT LIMITING THE AMOUNT OF SPECTRUM ON EACH BAND FOR CONTESTS SO THAT THE REST OF US DON'T HAVE TO SUFFER... HOW CAN THE ARRL BE SO DEAF TO THIS IDEA????
WHAT SAY ARRL - OR ARE YOU A COWARD?

HAL, N6TZ SAID THAT

Posted by N6TZ on April 3, 2012

Pointless contesting QSOs
"Whiners. Throw yourself into a contest, forget how many contacts you make. Just make contacts. Contests are not 24/7. Get real. Loosen up.Chill out. Have fun. It's a big ham spectrum. You can do it. "

Indeed, I could do it, but choose not to. One persons idea of "fun" is another's idea of tedium. Calling a station involved in the contest is hardly a meeting of minds, it will be brief and pointless.

I thinnk it was Oscar Wild who said "try everythying in life once, except incest and table tennis." I think, had amateur radio contesting been around at the time, it may have been included in his admonition.
"Contests are not 24/7"

Really? It sure seems like it.

Posted by G4AWN on April 3, 2012

Morphing of ham radio , pt duex
On a bit more serious tone, I'll just add a few other thoughts. No one (at least not me) is advocating the notion of NO CONTESTS. In my humble opinion however, I do say there are far too many contests on the air. Look at the ARRL's web site, drill down to their contest calendar and you will see that for all flavors of sponsorship (ARRL and not) there were 40 contest in January alone! Excessive? Ah, yeah. I know it's cold outside and guys gotta have something to do so why not hold another contest? Well because WE ALL ARE STUCK INSIDE and some of us would actually like to work some DX, rag chew, work some skeds, and maybe a contest or two. But 40??? Not every month is that bad but even April 2012, there's 44!!! (http://www.arrl.org/files/file/Contest%20Corral/2012-04-V3.pdf)

So, to this I say, "Guys, you really need to get a life!" If all you do is contest every weekend 'and every waking moment', something is very wrong. Get outside, get some fresh air, talk a walk (get off your butt), go visit the grandkids, read a [non-technical] book, take up another hobby, something, just get away from the radio for a few minutes.

I'm reminded of the late Peggy Lee who popularized a song back in the 60's, "Is That All There Is?". Unless you're truly not able to get out and enjoy the world around you, maybe not. But for the rest of us, most of us, there is.

Posted by KE7FD on April 3, 2012

Infringe on the Innocent
I operate an occasional contest ... DX or sweepstakes. However, there are WAAAAY too many contests (one every weekend) that eat up spectrum and infringe on the majority of hams who are not contesters.

The arguement that contests teach "good operating characteristics" ... sorry that doesn't wash. You get better operating proceedures in a DX pile-up !!

Posted by K3SUI on April 3, 2012

Forever
Contests have been around since before we were hams, and will be around after all of us are silent keys. Just like Morse Code, it will be part of ham radio forever.

Posted by N3EG on April 2, 2012

You must be realistic
1. Contests are not going to go away, nor will they be reduced or even modified.
2. As the lawyers say, "Abuse does not rule out proper use. Sure some contest participants go by the suffix rather than the whole call sign. Sure some are crude and rude. Go on 80 meters during non-contest periods and listen to the behavior.
3. If you prefer only to rag chew, then do so, but if your ulterior motive is to go beyond your own rag chewing and step on others, then you need to examine your conscience. You have yours, but you want others to have less.
4. You cannot deny that the ham spectrum is chock full of silent spaces here and there and everywhere and at all times. You know that.
5. Are you so rigid, really, that you will not move to another spot during a contest? You are like the little child who says, "No! I won't!"
6. Amateur radio gives you so much, must you pout about one of the things you do not have the power to change?
7. It is better to light one small candle than to curse the darkness.
8. Be happy.

Posted by AI2IA on April 1, 2012

meh
I like VHF and up contesting as they are
infrequent. HF, seems every weekend and I'd
like to just QSO on 40M and the like. The end
result is I make a few contacts then a few
more to I show in more than one log.

Posted by KB1GMX on April 1, 2012

Too boring.
I have operated in a few RTTY contests, but limit myself to 100 exchanges. After that amount it's time to move on, it is just too boring.

Posted by WB4M on April 1, 2012

I admit the temptation to take a shot when I hear it but it is a cheap thrill with little fullfillment.

I also think that contesting breeds rude behavior when stations from all places are trying to slam in. Being a tech, I am only speaking to 10 meters but it seems like that is what ten meters is mostly about.

Even though I only became a ham recently and late in life after years of SWL, I hear the brevity and shortcut in ham radio like so many other things in our day and time. Attention spans are reduced and, as the result, the attraction to really communicate one on one is diminishing.

It is primarily wha I don't care for 2 meters, aside of my local emergency nets. There is little respectful formality or recognition or common rule and courtesy. In the middle of the day, a lot of good ole boys can be heard jawjacking about much of nothing and never once after the initial contact be heard to give their call signs. Is it any wonder that seasoned hams who know their stuff, are suspect to you when you say you are a tech? IT'S BECAUSE THEY THINK MOST TECHS JUST ALWAYS WANT TO BE TECHS which puts them one notch above the jabbering echo slapping goobs running 500 watts amps on 11 meters.

Everything today is about the most gratification in the quickest time. I told a young nephew the other day that if he was going to spend so much time texting someone with a telephone that he might like to try learning code and connecting to others who "speak the language" -- MAKE NEW FRIENDS ALL OVER THE WORLD. He looked at me like I was ancient but admitted he didn't know what code was. Besides, he can make friends all over the world on the net and by having skype -- without a test to pass.

To me, contesting is like texting - the short in and out and by today's standard, the feeling of achievement, relegated to
confirmation, signal strength and good bye.

Being a tech on the way to general, the appeal to ham radio has always been making the contact and having the connection with others through a substantial QSO. In my view, contesting is one of the elements that has reduced the amateur band to more like talking skip on citizens band.

Posted by KF5GDY on April 1, 2012

contests
they should be banned,I became a ham in 1959
and we had contests like work all states "
WAS" award and worked all continents WAC, and
others
we all crude-the-rag, we all had our friends
and if we met on the air we would talk and if
someone wanted to get into the QSO well good
and we all learned from each other, of course
we were real learners back then building our
own transmitters and plumber delights and so
much more, lots of experimenting a few things
we had in common was all of us new the code
and had respect for each other a brotherhood
you could call it. Well what did you build
today or what do you have planed, do you need
any help
Well 73's all AB8KC

Posted by AB8KC on April 1, 2012

contests
they should be banned,I became a ham in 1959
and we had contests like work all states "
WAS" award and worked all continents WAC, and
others
we all crude-the-rag, we all had our friends
and if we met on the air we would talk and if
someone wanted to get into the QSO well good
and we all learned from each other, of course
we were real learners back then building our
own transmitters and plumber delights and so
much more, lots of experimenting a few things
we had in common was all of us new the code
and had respect for each other a brotherhood
you could call it. Well what did you build
today or what do you have planed, do you need
any help
Well 73's all AB8KC

Posted by AB8KC on April 1, 2012

Contest
On contest days, I don't turn my radio on. I make plenty of contacts during the week.

Posted by KB9SDS on April 1, 2012

Competition; I don't do it.
"Whiners. Throw yourself into a contest, forget how many contacts you make. Just make contacts. Contests are not 24/7. Get real. Loosen up.Chill out. Have fun. It's a big ham spectrum. You can do it."

I don't think you are quite getting it. I have no interest in competion, in ham radio or any other persuit. The whole notion of competion eludes me.

I am well chilled out, and certainly as loose as your average hooker/politician. Still, I would have more fun, but for the activities of contesters.

Yes, it is big spectrum. What a pity then, that the contesting brigade occupy so much of it so often.

Could there not be a compromise? One week on and one week off, published in advance.

Contesting? Mind numbing.

Posted by G4AWN on April 1, 2012

Competition; I don't do it.
"Whiners. Throw yourself into a contest, forget how many contacts you make. Just make contacts. Contests are not 24/7. Get real. Loosen up.Chill out. Have fun. It's a big ham spectrum. You can do it."

I don't think you are quite getting it. I have no interest in competion, in ham radio or any other persuit. The whole notion of competion eludes me.

I am well chilled out, and certainly as loose as your average hooker/politician. Still, I would have more fun, but for the activities of contesters.

Yes, it is big spectrum. What a pity then, that the contesting brigade occupy so much of it so often.

Could there not be a compromise? One week on and one week off, published in advance.

Contesting? Mind numbing.

Posted by G4AWN on April 1, 2012

Make them a band.
I hate contesters when they use the entire
band and take the "good spots" in the band.
I'd like to see one whole band be designed
just for contesting. Then all the others
could be used normally.

Either that, or have contesters use any band
on a secondary basis. Anyone who wants to
have a normal QSO has priority.

just my thoughts, take em or leave em!

Posted by KC2VDM on April 1, 2012

Make them a band.
I hate contesters when they use the entire
band and take the "good spots" in the band.
I'd like to see one whole band be designed
just for contesting. Then all the others
could be used normally.

Either that, or have contesters use any band
on a secondary basis. Anyone who wants to
have a normal QSO has priority.

just my thoughts, take em or leave em!

Posted by KC2VDM on April 1, 2012

The Winner
In my score book, KE7FD wins this contest with the funniest post in years!

Posted by W8MW on March 31, 2012

CONTEST?
I think there are to many CONTEST.It would
also be better for those who do NOT Contest
that the entire band NOT be used for the
Contest.I usually just go to the WARC bands
when the Contest are going but would also
love too be able to use the NON-WARC bands on
Contest weekends but it's ALMOST impossible
with the crowded conditions during the
Contest.It gets OLD & VERY FAST for
me!Looking at the numbers it appears a VAST
"MINORITY" are in FAVOR of all of the
Contesting as far as SERIOUS interest?

Clayton
W4KVW

Posted by W4KVW on March 31, 2012

Same old arguements
I have heard all of this before, pro-contest and anti-contest, but here are my thoughts.

1. I like to contest, but my small station gets squashed so I don't score well. I still have fun.

2. All contestor's are lids, except those that aren't. I have had several nice, albeit short, QSO's during contests.

3. The bands are too crowded during contests, except during the last two that I did where there were all kinds non-contest QSO's on 80, 40, and 15. And there was a whole MHZ worth of space on 10!

4. Oh, and during the week before the contest CQ WPX, the air waves were deserted.

5. And for the 'anti-contestor's' that get on the air and just tune for hours, or blow whistles into your microphones, or test test test with your voice keyer, at least the contest is legal. So who are the lids???

Ham Radio is like an AA meeting, "Take what you like and leave the rest."

Posted by WM3J on March 31, 2012

On Air Contests
I hear these guys pounding away at the airwaves not really listening. To me, it is like seeing how many people you can shake hands with at a party. It just isn't my cup of tea. However, that doesn't mean I wouldn't support contesting. If I am on the air and a contester wants to make contact, I'll help anyway I can.

Posted by W8QAS on March 30, 2012

simply about $$$$$$

It's primarily (apologies to the 'gentlemen
of SK and QRP crowd) for those obnoxious guys
with the mega-bucks and LID mentality to show
off their BIG DI##S by QRMing the rest of us
by unnecessary QRO and exploiting all
portions of the bands regardless of who is
there - I guess it helps keeps ARRL alive but
does little else?

It also reminds the rest of us that ham radio
has changed a lot and turned into a radio
version of 'Sport Fishing!'

Posted by VE3EGA on March 30, 2012

Morphing of ham radio
Just as Morse Code was finally phased out over time as a result of shifts in technology, it's probably time to revisit the modern but truest purpose of the Amateur Radio Service. Looking at the survey results thus far, it looks like it's split about 50/50 between those who want contests and those who don't want contests, weighting just the two groups' numbers. Since far more than 50% of weekends of the year are devoted to service just the one group with a contest of some sort, rubbing out the rag chewers efforts to get on the air, it might be time to alter the name of the "Amateur Radio Service" to the "Contest Radio Service". This approach might garner even more recruits than anything we've ever tried in the past. Consider the masses who today flock to ESPN and sports venues across the world; the Internet, TV , cable services, you name it. The sport of Ham Radio Contesting albeit all performed while sitting on one's butt, could be rolled into another lucrative past time to be enjoyed by all. Cheerleaders flanking the operating position, with retired Section Managers providing contact-by-contact commentary, "You know, if he had only tweaked his VOX a bit more, he might have gotten in there ahead of that other guy..." Imagine viewers crowded around the high def big screen TV's in their living rooms rooting for the little guy with 100 watts vs. the behemoth full-gallon operator rudely shouting "CQ contest, CQ contest" over everyone around him, between beer commercials and Danica Patrick pitching GoDaddy before cutting back to the ever exciting "...thanks for the contact old man". Since the FCC seems to allow and even encourage some guys broadcasting rights on 80 and 20 meters already, their coffers would over flow by shifting the entire HF Amateur spectrum to a continual contest medium.

After all, all we need is the Internet to rag chew anyway, right?

Posted by KE7FD on March 30, 2012

better things to do
When a contest weekend arrives I can find another mode and/or band to operate. I'm not knocking those who participate; contests are not my thing. I don't like "crowds".

Posted by KT4EP on March 30, 2012

contests
I guess that whole bf skinner positive
eeinforcement thing never worked with me.

Posted by KDMSKY59 on March 29, 2012

contests
Also when I work contests I usually get bored
after about ten minutes.

Posted by KDMSKY59 on March 29, 2012

contests
The problem with contests is there is so much
stateside qrm you can't hear the dx. Otherwise it
works good on paper.

Ken

Posted by KDMSKY59 on March 29, 2012

It is what you make it.
How dumb:
""Amateur radio is what you make it". No, it is what contesters foist on so many of us that make it. If you really must engage in a competitive activity, best try tiddly winks, squash, synchronised swimming or footbal"

Whiners. Throw yourself into a contest, forget how many contacts you make. Just make contacts. Contests are not 24/7. Get real. Loosen up.Chill out. Have fun. It's a big ham spectrum. You can do it.

Posted by AI2IA on March 29, 2012

Amateur Radio now a competitive sport
Down thread, I'm told that not having WARC gear is my "fault". Clearly, funding is not a problem for some; it is for me. It is also said down thread that contesters fund the manufacturers of high end gear. Good, then contesters are more likley to have WARC enabled equipment - best you go there then.

Contesting ensuring the the continued existence of the Amateur bands. Really? Not too sure how that works. For many of us, the only time to get on air is weekends. But then, come the weekend, I think why bother, it will only be another damned contest; one less amateur on the band and a consequent loss of interest.

"Amateur radio is what you make it". No, it is what contesters foist on so many of us that make it. If you really must engage in a competitive activity, best try tiddly winks, squash, synchronised swimming or footbal *.

Yes, amateur radio is a wide church, and I would not dream of voicing an opinion on anyone's choice mode, gear or antenna etc. However, incessant, weekend contesting ruins it for me. Not only me, and I acknowelge it is small sample, but 25% of those who expressed an opinion here hate them, a mere 18% confessing to loving them.

* Other mind numbing activities are available.

Posted by G4AWN on March 28, 2012

contests
As an SWL, perhaps I'm not qualified to comment on this subject, but as a member of eHam.net I'd still like to throw in my two cents.

OK. I like contests. Because I like hearing the DX countries. I also like hearing the U.S. and Canadian contacts, because during contests, the bands are more alive and its easier to hear the propagation because of all the signals.

I have always tuned the ham bands to hear distant countries, and to sharpen my DX skills for the time when I am able to become a ham and afford a transceiver. I just have SW receivers of modest means, and tuning the ham bands can be more challenging than tuning the SW bands.

I realise that contests can be a bear to the ham operators who want to ragchew, or have nets, but during contests I've been able to hear hams from numerous countries I just don't usually hear on a "normal" day.

For example, during the contest early this month, I was able to log numerous hams from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Uruguay on 10 and 15 meters, right before the bands died.

My guess is that if it weren't for the contest, 10 meters would have been mostly dead, and 15 wouldn't have been much livelier to listen to. I even heard some overseas stations calling CQ during the contest, and U.S. stations not answering.

They often say "you can't work 'em if you can't hear 'em." And contests help that learning curve.

Plus -- did I say that it's cool to hear all those LUs and PYs calling on 10 meters when it's fading into oblivion?

Yeah, it's cool.

It doesn't happen quite as often when there isn't a contest going on.

renton481
an SWL in W7 land

Posted by RENTON481 on March 28, 2012

contests
As an SWL, perhaps I'm not qualified to comment on this subject, but as a member of eHam.net I'd still like to throw in my two cents.

OK. I like contests. Because I like hearing the DX countries. I also like hearing the U.S. and Canadian contacts, because during contests, the bands are more alive and its easier to hear the propagation because of all the signals.

I have always tuned the ham bands to hear distant countries, and to sharpen my DX skills for the time when I am able to become a ham and afford a transceiver. I just have SW receivers of modest means, and tuning the ham bands can be more challenging than tuning the SW bands.

I realise that contests can be a bear to the ham operators who want to ragchew, or have nets, but during contests I've been able to hear hams from numerous countries I just don't usually hear on a "normal" day.

For example, during the contest early this month, I was able to log numerous hams from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Uruguay on 10 and 15 meters, right before the bands died.

My guess is that if it weren't for the contest, 10 meters would have been mostly dead, and 15 wouldn't have been much livelier to listen to. I even heard some overseas stations calling CQ during the contest, and U.S. stations not answering.

They often say "you can't work 'em if you can't hear 'em." And contests help that learning curve.

Plus -- did I say that it's cool to hear all those LUs and PYs calling on 10 meters when it's fading into oblivion?

Yeah, it's cool.

It doesn't happen quite as often when there isn't a contest going on.

renton481
an SWL in W7 land

Posted by RENTON481 on March 28, 2012

On Contests ...
The diversity of things to do in our hobby/service is what makes ham radio so great! Speaking for myself, I don't think there is anybody out there *less* competitive than I am. For some however, contests in amateur radio is every bit as serious as racing or shooting or basketball or ... you name it. Amateur radio truly has something for everyone, doesn't it?

Posted by K9CTB on March 27, 2012

Sad...
Ham Radio isn't what it was when I got into radio 50 years ago. It was still the wild west days of tube gear, before integrated circuits, when hams built their own gear and weren't just "appliance operators". And I agree with some of the other fellows here that contesting takes up too much bandwidth. They should limit it.

Posted by N0TY on March 27, 2012

Like it or not, it's here.
It is silly to fall into the trap of grumbling about contests being bad things. Of course they are not going to go away. So many hams around the world enjoy them! If you are unable to access the WARC bands, whose fault is that? They are wonderful bands and every ham who can should enjoy them. No excuses accepted. You can always find a place to rag chew. Times and locations between contests are generous and reasonable. A well rounded ham will dabble in as many ham endeavors as he can and be the better for all of them. You can't reasonably complain about the empty bands and amateur radio losing participants and then also complain about the crowding of the bands during contests here and there. It is all so really silly. Can't you realize that ham radio is truly what you make it for yourself? In ham radio make friends every way you can, in rag chews, in contests, in ham clubs, in Elmering, in being an examiner, in being an emcomm op, in learning code, in trying digital, in fooling around with AM. You get the idea. Be bigger than you seem.

Posted by AI2IA on March 26, 2012

WARC Bands
Yes there is always the WARC bands, except that if everyone not wanting to take part in a contest moved there, then there would be a problem. The fact that that does not happen, probably means that most people who switch on and hear "CQ contest" switch off and give up. I certainly do.

Rag chewing on any subject, however boring it may be, does not deny access to anyone on any band. Contesting does.

Variety? A meaningless fifteen second QSO ?

In addition, I am sure I am not alone, in that most of my gear is not equiped with WARC bands. I should upgrade perfectly good equipment just to avoid contests? Surely it would be fairer to move contests to the WARC bands.

I don't foist my rag chewing on anyone, I'd like that to be a reciprocal arangement with the facist contesting brigade.

Posted by G4AWN on March 26, 2012

Compressed Leisure Time
One point to keep in mind before condemning all contests
& contestors point-blank is simply this: in to-day's go-go
world of long working hours & diminished leisure time,
perhaps the only moments that many Amateurs can spare
anymore upon their favourite hobby is just that
compressed weekend time involving contests.

People are expending more time upon earning a living to-
day than ever before, and that includes Hams:
consequently, perhaps MORE than a few do, indeed, get
their "fix" of Amateur radio during the intense,
competitive situations that contests offer.

Such events may, in fact, be the ONLY time that these
folks can even get on the air...

Posted by VE3CUI on March 26, 2012

WARC Bands
Yes there is always the WARC bands, except that if everyone not wanting to take part in a contest moved there, then there would be a problem. The fact that that does not happen, probably means that most people who switch on and hear "CQ contest" switch off and give up. I certainly do.

Rag chewing on any subject, however boring it may be, does not deny access to anyone on any band. Contesting does.

Variety? A meaningless fifteen second QSO ?

In addition, I am sure I am not alone, in that most of my gear is not equiped with WARC bands. I should upgrade perfectly good equipment just to avoid contests? Surely it would be fairer to move contests to the WARC bands.

I don't foist my rag chewing on anyone, I'd like that to be a reciprocal arangement with the facist contesting brigade.

Posted by G4AWN on March 26, 2012

WARC Bands
Yes there is always the WARC bands, except that if everyone not wanting to take part in a contest moved there, then there would be a problem. The fact that that does not happen, probably means that most people who switch on and hear "CQ contest" switch off and give up. I certainly do.

Rag chewing on any subject, however boring it may be, does not deny access to anyone on any band. Contesting does.

Variety? A meaningless fifteen second QSO ?

In addition, I am sure I am not alone, in that most of my gear is not equiped with WARC bands. I should upgrade perfectly good equipment just to avoid contests? Surely it would be fairer to move contests to the WARC bands.

I don't foist my rag chewing on anyone, I'd like that to be a reciprocal arangement with the facist contesting brigade.

Posted by G4AWN on March 26, 2012

Variety the spice of hams
I just thought about that subject, is that a pun? Well, look, when contests go on the air, there are the WARC bands, and don't say that those WARC bands are so crowded at contest time that nobody can get though for QSOs on them. At those times you can enjoy a slow rag chew on the WARC bands. The contests not on every day or every weekend.

The contests are great. You get to work out your radio, your operator skills, your antennas. You can pick up a station from a location that you never got before, perhaps one that you need for an award, or if you don't collect awards, a station to make you feel happy.

Go on the air just after a contest ends and see just how empty it is! Sure QSOs are good, but do you ever listen to some of these rag chews? Sharing your experience in changing the oil in your pickup truck gets old after you tell the story to the same guys on the same frequency at the same time day in and day out. Variety! Variety! The only difference between a grave and a rut is their dimensions!

73,
de another Ray, ai2ia

Posted by AI2IA on March 25, 2012

Contests?
For me, I prefer to actually communicate with friends old and new on the radio. So, when the bands are filled with contests -for me- it's nothing more than SPAM on ham radio, like receiving thousands of unsolicited sales calls at dinner and knocks on the door from salesman and religions peddling their magazines. If I wanted to collect paper, I'd be a stamp collector.

To me and many others, ham radio is about getting to know the fellow on the other end of the link, the technical aspects of making that happen more often and the mix of solder smoke on weekends - hopefully not smoke from the rig itself! Doing this, I don't block everyone else from using the bands, so why should those of us who actually have a conversation or two be off-the-air on so many weekends?

73 de Ray ..._ ._

Posted by W7ASA on March 25, 2012

Yawn
If I turn on the radio and hear wall to wall "CQ contest" calls, I just turn it off and forget about it.

Posted by W8AAZ on March 25, 2012

Most contesters are decent individuals. And I'd they are the ones with the cash supporting many of the major manufacturers' offering higher end rigs and antennas.

There are some positive aspects for non contesters. Activity always picks up several days before a contest, giving a good chance to snag a new country or just to enjoy the added activity on many of the bands. Contests are a good way to earn
5BDXAC and other awards. Contesters are usually good QSLers. CW contests are a great way to build CW speed and proficiency.

Pete

Posted by K1ZJH on March 24, 2012

Ham Orgy
Contest remind me of a big orgy. Everyone getting screwed...

Posted by KG5YR on March 24, 2012

contests vs nets
As long as there are contests nets will complain about interference. However pity the poor contester who has been on a frequency for quite some time before a net control informs him he must find another frequency because a net is about to start. Quite often these "nets" are just a few fellows who live within 25 miles of each other and meet on that frequency at the same time each day for years. They could use two meters and not be bothered by the contesters. But then they wouldn't have a reason to complain and another topic to carry on about.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a fanatic contester, but do like the periodic SS, Field Day or state contest challenge to better my operating practices and skills.

Posted by WA8KIW on March 23, 2012

During a contest weekend, all rules and good behavior seems to end. It is the wild west. I just head to the WARC bands or turn my radio off. Can't wait for it to end.

Posted by WW1I on March 22, 2012

Contests

Good way to keep the bands Amateur ! Most of the time lately there's not much going on. One has 12,17,& 30 meters to use during a contest, or our 60 meter CB channels !
de K2JX

Posted by K2JX on March 22, 2012

Contests ? I hate them with a vengance.
Looking forward to the weekend only to find the bands taken over by yet another wretched contest. Beats me why anyone feels the need to turn amateur radio, or any other hobby for that matter, into a competitive sport. A sport characterised by meaningless fifteen second "rubber stamp" QSOs. It really is the sport of the frontally lobotomised.

Posted by G4AWN on March 21, 2012

A necessary annoyance
Granted; I usually feel a slight feeling of annoyance coming over me when I turn on my rig in the week-end and "again there is a contest", but they are a good way to keep our ham bands occupied. Because without them, the bands can be awfully quiet regardless of propagation. And we all know the saying: What you dont use, you will loose. The practice of not allowing contesting on the WARC bands is enough of a solution for me personally to tolerate the contest phenomenon. And besides that, it IS a good way to quickly test a rig's performance or to find specific propagation paths without wasting a lot of time calling CQ without a response. So although I would never actively participate in one as a contest station myself, I can live with it, and I think we all should lighten up to do so. Because loosing spectrum is much worse than having to deviate to a WARC band from time to time.

Posted by AC5XP on March 21, 2012

AA1UY Said: "Personally, I think that contests should be consigned to the WARC bands, not the other way around. Contesters are more likely to have modern equipment which can transmit on the WARC bands whereas many folks with older gear can't and so lose a whole week-end of operating time, which, for many of us, is the only time we get to operate." END QUOTE

I'd have to disagree with you, Robert. We've had access to the WARC bands (at some level) since 1983. I owned a WARC-capable rig in 1984 (ICOM IC-730). How many HF-access licensed Amateurs would you think are relegated to a "non-WARC capable rig only" almost 28 years after the WARC band implementation? I don't know of any.

Also, most contests are mode-specific, and are scheduled so-as to not have both ends of the bands tied up with contest traffic. Unless you're just stubbornly devoted to one mode only, then there's plenty of space to play in.

Personally, I prefer it just the way it is. I'm not a dyed-in-the-wool contester by any means, but I do enjoy Sweepstakes occassionally(I racked-up Clean Sweeps in both CW and SSB in the 2000 round). And when I'm not so inclined, I either switch modes or head off to WARCland.

73

Steve, K4YZ

Posted by K4YZ on March 20, 2012

Contests and WARC
Personally, I think that contests should be consigned to the WARC bands, not the other way around. Contesters are more likely to have modern equipment which can transmit on the WARC bands whereas many folks with older gear can't and so lose a whole week-end of operating time, which, for many of us, is the only time we get to operate.

Posted by AA1UY on March 19, 2012

I'll work a few stations
I work a few stations during the DX contests. I do not participate in Sweepstakes, field day, and similar contests. Sometimes I wonder about contesters getting on an occupied channel. The WARC bands are always available for those who do not like contests.

Posted by W4VR on March 19, 2012

Contesting
Hello all,
Well for me, I get into contest to look for the needed DXCC Countries. I suppose later I will get into more contest to build up the count for DXCC endorsements. Many DX stations come on the air during contest which is a good time to go "fishing"
Promote HAM RADIO and have fun!
73
Jon - NQ4A

Posted by NQ4A on March 19, 2012

Contesting
Hello all,
Well for me, I get into contest to look for the needed DXCC Countries. I suppose later I will get into more contest to build up the count for DXCC endorsements. Many stations come on the air during contest which is a good time to go "fishing"
Promote HAM RADIO and have fun!
73
Jon - NQ4A

Posted by NQ4A on March 19, 2012

cq contest
I love contesting. I just don't get to do it enough as I'm very active with my family being a dad at hockey, music and dirt bike riding!

Posted by VO1MX on March 17, 2012

Thank goodness for the WARC bands.That's where I usually take refuge during contests.

Posted by WB4TJH on March 17, 2012

Dead Air
Has anyone bothered to LISTEN to how dead the bands are when there is no contest. I can't even make a contact to check my antenna. sometimes I wonder if my receiver is working at all. If you don't use it you will lose it. And yes, my station works. I made 388 QSO's in the ARRL CW DX contest in only 18 hours. My MFJ tuner couldn't handle the Harris linear at 1KW and blew up half way through the contest. On to Palstar! Don't be a bunch of cranky old timers! Play nice with others. If the regulars were crowding the bands, I would say yes, contesting is a problem. For the CW ops, there's always room at the top. Try above the PSK sub band. For the SSB ops, you may have to actually move your ragchew net a few kHz. But there are gaps on every band. Nobody owns any frequency. I've heard some SSB ops with major signals just chatting in the middle of huge pile ups and comment on all the noise they hear. It's really funny. No one is loud enough to move them off the frequency. If there were as many of you on the air as there are complaining, I would be impressed. It's a vast wasteland out there when there are no contests.

Posted by AF4RK on March 16, 2012

Truth n Fiction
MY issue with Contests is it shows the dark side of HAMdom, with so many doing anything for a point/contact, to include intentional interference.

I did a State Contest in a very low HAM county I did relatively good. As a solo SSB I did the best in the area, yet when checked the web page results I nor any other got placed into the results - lazy contest OPs.

I also found two solo OPs with astronomical scores, when I did the math they had to have completed three or more contacts per minute for the full 24hrs of contest. So the solo HAM NEVER took a break; ate or made head call during the full 24hrs. They barely had time to turn the knob or switch bands (and there was a HF fade for 2hrs during the contest).

So I really wonder how truthful and doctored the self submitted contest logs are with those huge numbers; were they really a 'solo's'.

I play fair but when I see this I loose interested in that contest with all the work it requires.

Now don't get me going on FD......

Posted by N6JSX on March 16, 2012

Contests
I hate them. "Despise" would be more accurate and defend my right to feel that way
They should be held at night while us "normal" folks are sleeping. You could use the rules for hunting in reverse. If its light enuf to hunt with a rifle it isnt dark enuf for a Ham contest.
Don Ve3LYX

Posted by VE3LYX on March 16, 2012

Described Correctly
...as a "fix." You get to work many dozens of DX stations in a few hours. Fun!!!

Posted by K4TIN on March 15, 2012

always the same
it is amazing the bands will be dead totally then all of a sudden a dang contest arrives and you cant find space anywhere for contest calls as wide as the darn atlantic ocean i have heard certain USA and Itialian stations over 100Khz away from their center frequency also a good number out there run a hell of a lot more than 1 to 1.5Kw closer to 10Kw there is simply no need for it at all

Posted by G6NJR on March 15, 2012

Contests are not going away. So you can join in
or sit there and complain. Don't worry you can
check into your net after the contest. It all
has it's place. I like to participate in
whatever maybe taking place on the band, whether it be a net or a contest.

Posted by KC0MPQ on March 15, 2012

repair for older radios
I have several Drake tr4 tr4c and Yaesu FT 902 DM and Yaesu 747
which also goes by name Heath 1400
any help or leades would be appretiated.
John R. Hunt 136 Remley Circle Hazlehurst GA.31539 ph 912 375 4018
also have alinko 110 and 112 2 meter rigs need help and some ADI handy talkies. old Hammarlund recievers.

Posted by W4MTE on March 14, 2012

Results So Far...
Well, so far this has been a most interesting survey,
unscientific & unprofessional though it may be!

The results seem to be supported on any of the big
contest weekends: it's absolutely amazing, for instance,
the width & breadth of the participants that are active on
the air & making exchanges during the CQ WW 160-
Meters CW event, for instance---who would have thought
that so many stations were "Topband ready"? One NEVER
seems to hear them on the band otherwise...

Thus far, the percentage of those "in favour" of contests is
67% (participants are either in need of a "fix", or operate
occasionally)---conversely, anti-contestors number just
23% (either they hate them, or will never participate). That
leaves 10% remaining who are neutral, & who could swing
(possibly) either way...

Add this latter bunch to the existing 23% in opposition, &
the result is still a minority. Place them into the pro-
contest 67%, & that faction would have an even larger
majority.

So in conclusion thus far, I guess, "...LOVE 'EM OR LEAVE
'EM", contests have a definite place on the Ham radio
scene of to-day, for better or worse. Frankly, I'm a tad
surprised by the overwhelming numbers in favour of such
on-the-air events, but again---and as has been stated
before in a previous survey---this is strictly for
entertainment purposes, & is hardly conclusive...

Posted by VE3CUI on March 14, 2012

Results So Far...
Well, so far this has been a most interesting survey,
unscientific & unprofessional though it may be!

The results seem to be supported on any of the big
contest weekends: it's absolutely amazing, for instance,
the width & breadth of the participants that are active on
the air & making exchanges during the CQ WW 160-
Meters CW event, for instance---who would have thought
that so many stations were "Topband ready"? One NEVER
seems to hear them on the band otherwise...

Thus far, the percentage of those "in favour" of contests is
67% (participants are either in need of a "fix", or operate
occasionally)---conversely, anti-contestors number just
23% (either they hate them, or will never participate). That
leaves 10% remaining who are neutral, & who could swing
(possibly) either way...

Add this latter bunch to the existing 23% in opposition, &
the result is still a minority. Place them into the pro-
contest 67%, & that faction would have an even larger
majority.

So in conclusion thus far, I guess, "...LOVE 'EM OR LEAVE
'EM", contests have a definite place on the Ham radio
scene of to-day, for better or worse. Frankly, I'm a tad
surprised by the overwhelming numbers in favour of such
on-the-air events, but again---and as has been stated
before in a previous survey---this is strictly for
entertainment purposes, & is hardly conclusive...

Posted by VE3CUI on March 14, 2012

propogation
Contests are a good check of propogation. Nost of the time the bands are dead because they are not being used.It gives an oportunity to pick up some need countries

Posted by W7KNA on March 12, 2012

Conpests!!
Try operating a demonstration station for the Scouts on a Saturday afternoon on HF with all those CQ contest exchange of silly numbers. It doesn't exactly make the hobby look interesting to young people does it?
They can't understand why they can't find someone who really wants to speak normally with them!

Posted by G1YGJ on March 12, 2012

50kHz PER BAND TO NON-CONTEST
Let's be real:
INTENTIONAL QRM is an integral part of
contesting.

Once that is acknowledged by all, we can move
forward as a species :)

I give credit to contesting for helping me
hone my CW speed above 40WPM. But, contesting
has changed for the worse. Contesting isn't
nearly as cool now as it once was when we
used pencil & paper logs.. prior to DX-
cluster-CAT-automation.

Now, I find myself not wanting to contribute
to being a part of a weekend campaign of
chaos and destruction of the ham bands
anymore.

Contests could be wonderful, if only contest
organizers, at bare minimum, would take some
responsibility to:

1. Disqualify every participant found to have
broken radio regulations during the contest.

2. Disqualify every participant operating in
a NO-CONTEST WINDOW such as 50KHZ or 25KHZ on
phone/CW on 20m and 40m.

Examples:

PHONE NO CONTEST WINDOW:
7275-7300
14300-14350

CW NO CONTEST WINDOW:
7075-7100
14070-14100

Note: Please don't bother with that stupid
retort "The non-contesters can use the WARC
bands!" Every contester certainly knows: the
propagation on every band is unique. So we're
not fooling anyone here.

Since contesting has accepted computer
automation as a part of the contest ethic,
why not just let the computers do all the
contesting for us? Just set up a program to
make the contact and give out the reports,
and scan the bands/clusters for Qs... The
logs could be auto-compared at the end of the
contest, and the winners issued JPG
certificates within a few minutes after
midnight.

Why bother having humans involved at all?

Posted by KQ6XA on March 12, 2012

Contests:
As long as hams play by the rules I like contests. I am thankful for the WARC bands when the contesters cause bedlam on the main channels. I would like contests more if I kept up to speed with how to go about it.

Posted by K0IC on March 11, 2012

Not hated, but...
"Why does it seem like all the rules go out the window when there is a contest?"

That is the precise reason they're disliked as far as I'm concerned.

Posted by K1CJS on March 11, 2012

Contest
Why does it seem like all the rules go out the
window when there is a contest? Are contesters
really more important than all the rest of us?

Posted by KK4AH on March 10, 2012

Contests
I personally have never been a big fan of contests but I don't really knock them as it does promote the use of the bands.I actually don't mind operating on field day as it is a great excercise for emergency ops.What does bother me however are operaters who run way more power than is necessary and this disrupts nearby frequencies.But then again we are in a society of wastefulness that we need a Ford F350 Super Duty Dullie Pickup as a grocery getter.

Posted by VE3MVW on March 10, 2012

Too late, OM !
Re:NA1Q Your post: Very one sided poll

Tough for you, OM, you got on the band wagon rather late NA1Q. The survey on QSL cards ended. You posted your lament on the wrong survey.

You may still enjoy the QSL card & postal increase survey by clicking under recent surveys. It was a gem. - ai2ia

Posted by AI2IA on March 9, 2012

Not my thing
I tried contesting a few years back but it just
didn't do anything for me. I'm not going to
gripe about contests because others like them
and that's fine. I know how to tune up the WARC
bands on contest weekends and can find plenty
of DX and rag chews there, so they certainly
don't interfere with getting on the air.

Posted by N7KFD on March 9, 2012

Very one sided poll!
There is one answer missing from this.....
Continue Sending Cards As Normal.

Obviously someone has lost track of "mailing" a QSL Card. Electronic is for those who don't care to actually hold a rare DX Card in their hand.
And big deal the stamp is going up to $0.50 USD here in the US. Try sending a letter with FedEx or UPS, that will cost you easily over $10.00 USD.

If I receive a QSL card, I will mail one back as long as it is legitimate (I actually still keep a PAPER Log Book)
And if it costs me $5.00 to send it, then it costs me $5.00 to send it. If a ham somewhere was willing to spend the time to ask for my QSL card after a QSO by sending me a QSL Card, then I feel obligated to send one back, plain and simple, and the RIGHT thing to do.

Posted by NA1Q on March 9, 2012

Take it or leave it
This survey really needed a " Take it or leave it " answer, which is the only one that would accurately portray my view on contests.

Posted by K7AAT on March 9, 2012

Would Be Nice....
To actually be able to operate on a Saturday or Sunday on 75/40/20/15 without some idiot shouting "Contest" every other word.
I've operated some contests back in the day, but lately when I hear "Contest" on the air, I hang my head low and feel the disgrace that some poor operator won't be able to work DX on anything other than a WARC band on the weekend, because of a contest.

Posted by NA1Q on March 9, 2012

Competition
Some love to compete all-out in whatever endeavor it is that interests them; others have no competitive spirit whatsoever. The majority fall somewhere in between. Except for Field Day and the IARU contest in July, all major contests are single mode only, so bandwidth is still available for the non-contesters. And of course there's no contesting on the WARC bands.

To each his own.

Posted by K3AN on March 9, 2012

Contests serve their purpose.
Not a die hard contester, but I do enjoy operating them to see how my 100 watt station is doing, and to guage propagation. Contests are also a great way to quickly rack up lots of DX (or new grids on VHF), especially if you are running an average or below average station. I don't look to Ham Radio for lengthy conversation anyway...

Posted by W8KQE on March 9, 2012

None of the Above
I don't have a problem with contests, just they way they operate.

First, it seems to me that REAL contests would be confined to bands that are the most difficult to consistently operate. Leave 20/40/80 alone. ANYONE can make contacts there.

Second, there is the question of courtesy. Nets and ragchewers get QRM'd by overzealous, less-than-courteous operators who care more about their score than they do other operators. The way most contests operate, they end up pitting these groups against each other. There HAS to be a better way.

And finally, contests help keep bands active and provide a fun challenge but I don't think we need so many. How about once a month and never the same type (mode/band) within a 12 month span?

Posted by WD4AOG on March 9, 2012

Like most responders
Like most responders I operate in them occasionally. I have never been a certificate chaser or award seeker, so I don't submit my logs. I suppose deep down that I enjoy rag chewing best, but yet I see the value of contests in keeping the bands busy, giving pleasure and practice to all sorts of hams, and creating opportunities to give rigs, antennas, and other gear a real workout. Since I can work all the HF bands, on those occasions when I don't feel up to a contest, I can easily go to another band, and don't mind doing so in the least.

Posted by AI2IA on March 8, 2012

DXCC and WAS
Sometimes I give out points in order to acquire
a new state for WAS or a new DX entity for
DXCC. I don't suppose that is really contesting
though!!!

Posted by EI4GMB on March 8, 2012

Opportunity to work DX
With only 100 watts and simple antennas,
contests are a good way for me to work new DX.

Posted by ON4CKM on March 8, 2012

Contests
It's interesting to see several comments about just wanting to give out points to see how the station is performing, but really enjoying the activity on Field Day. That is exactly where I am. I have used contests to see how my station is working and to look for new DXCC band countries, but those are becoming less numerous now. I can see how popular contests have become by how busy the bands get, even with CW and RTTY. Who says CW is fading away, not me, the bands are hopping on CW contests. When I just want to tune around and have a QSO, I simply go over to the WARC bands.

Posted by KK9H on March 8, 2012

Yes, contests are a great way to evaluate
station performance, as well as operator
performance.

The only contests I get serious about are Field
Day and CW Sweepstakes. I will give out points
in other contests and try to work some DX
during the DX tests. I used to be pretty
serious about VHF contests, but haven't done
one for a long time.

Posted by K0RGR on March 8, 2012

contests
for the most part a waste, if they would use only a PART of the band, fine but when they use up 95% of a band for a weekend thats nuts too me..have fun but let the rest of us operate as well... 73 K8KAS Denny

Posted by K8KAS on March 8, 2012

contests
for the most part a waste, if they would use only a PART of the band, fine but when they use up 95% of a band for a weekend thats nuts too me..have fun but let the rest of us operate as well... 73 K8KAS Denny

Posted by K8KAS on March 8, 2012

Beer Contest?
Good survey, but it was missing the answer I was looking for. In my case, I use contesters as extra beacons to let me know when the band is open and to test my transmitter. It is an easy and fast way to get a DX signal report.

Would I participate in an on air contest? Only on a club field day, to help get the numbers for the club. Beer would help the insanity go down!

Posted by KI4SDY on March 8, 2012

Contests &*%#@!
Ham radio is gone ... now it's LID radio.

Posted by N4EV on March 8, 2012

A Good Test of MORE Than Just Contest Skills!
Well, love 'em or leave 'em, I've found that contests are a
great way to "fast track" evaluations of anything that one
may have done to "improve" one's station, be it a new
antenna, keyer, rig, etc. ...

Odds are, if the new item in your shack is gonna fail, it'll
do so right in the middle of a contest!

What better way to "...get the bugs out", than in a contest
situation?

Contests are also a great way to get a crash course in
good operating techniques. I swear that after my first
Field Day on 40-meters CW back in 1971, my code speed
had gone up considerably!

While I'm hardly what you'd call a "contest fanatic", I enjoy
getting on & giving out my multiplier to those who might
want it...besides, effectively running a "string" of callers
on a frequency---managing a pile-up, if you will---sure
does stroke one's ego...!

Posted by VE3CUI on March 8, 2012

To post a comment, you must be logged in.

If you are not a member, become one now!