I’ve been reading dialog on the CQ-Contest “reflector”. Reflector? Call it what it is, it’s a damned mailing list. The software running this list is the same software that has existed for ages [in internet years at least]. M A I L I N G L I S T
Ok, I’m done with that rant. Back to the topic. People — (a few NA contesters) are rambling on about exchanging QTCs, being requested to send QTCs by the EU guys, and possibly trialing a WAE CW whereby QTCs are both sent and received. You’d think the world was coming to the end. They are saying (1) that they don’t want to receive QTCs and (2) that they don’t want to be nagged to send QTCs. Some say they are in the contest just for fun and that being interrupted by an EU station who wants to know if they have QTCs is annoying and ruins their fun. Read the rules — the spirit of the contest involves QTCs. If you don’t want to send any, then don’t. But don’t bitch about being asked if you have any to send by an EU station.
To this I say:
- If you don’t like sending and/or receiving QTCs or don’t like being nagged for them, don’t operate in the contest. There are 101 more productive ways to spend your weekend anyway.
- NA isn’t putting on this contest — shouldn’t be our job to make up the rules, just to follow them.
- Are you afraid that having to reliably copy QTCs would require you to up your skills? This must be it. There are some phenomenal NA contesters. Certainly they are a few who are up challenge, no?
I know what you’re thinking… Who the hell is this Mike guy? He’s running a low dipole and 100w and has been “contesting” for a few months — He sure has some nerve interjecting. Perhaps you’re right. But sit back and think about what I’m saying. I had enough difficulty figuring out how to send QTCs, especially when having to worry about whether the EU station would even be able to copy my weak station reliably enough. I sure as hell wouldn’t want to think about having to copy QTCs as well. You know, some of those guys are sending/receiving at 50+ wpm. I’d have to really up my game, and I’d be hard pressed to do it. BUT, I like the spirit of the contest — passing some sort of traffic instead of just the simple RST SERIAL.
Let’s not forget that sending/receiving QTCs is not a requirement. And if you are wanting to up your score, you certainly benefit from sending/receiving QTCs. If you’re in it just for fun and don’t care about a score, then simply don’t send/receive. But don’t complain about being asked for QTCs by an EU station.
I really liked the idea that by sending QTCs I could increase my points while at the same time I could help, in some small way, the EU stations to do the same. If they are game for receiving them [by far the more difficult of the two], then certainly I’m glad to oblige them. I am at the bottom of the pack as far as score. I’m competing against only myself. I operate in these contests to have fun, improve my code copy, and possibly get some additional LOTW confirmations.
The vast majority of contests require only a minimal exchange, no additional traffic to pass. If you don’t like the thought of sending/receiving QTCs, spend the WAE weekends with your family and have some fun outside of ham radio.
UPDATE: I just read a post on the CQ-Contest mailing list that sums it all up quite nicely. I won’t quote it. Read it here: http://lists.contesting.com/pipermail/cq-contest/2010-August/091329.html . I agree with this contester wholeheartedly.