ARRL 10 Meter contest - add Data mode

Discussion in 'Contests, DXpeditions and Special Events' started by W0PV, Aug 4, 2017.

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  1. W0PV

    W0PV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Low solar activity and subsequent low MUF are likely to persist and make 10 meter action during the December contest rather slow.

    Suggestion - ARRL modify the rules of the 10 Meter Contest to allow Data modes, ie, RTTY, PSK, but mostly the newer weak signal data modes, ie, JT65 and especially the latest, FT8. The latter made quite a significant contribution to recent VHF contests on 6 meters, and it would probably do the same for upcoming 10 meter events.

    The standard message data exchanged in JT / FT8 modes would need slight modification, but I believe that is possible in today's available software (WSJT-X) Instead of grid squares, state or province info, or region number. (Serial number sequencing for DX op's could be a challenge for those op's) The typical JT / FT8 signal report data would interchange nicely instead of RS(T) without any modifications.

    There doesn't necessarily need to be a new operating class for Data modes, but that would be OK too. Instead just add Data modes as an option for the already established Mixed-Mode class, ie, CW and Fone. Those modes count as 4 and 2 QSO points respectively, so I would suggest making Data mode Q's count as 3 points each. All other rules kept the same.

    This could impact the contest in several ways. There are lots of no-code op's that may like to do more then just Fone. Plus there are lots of "digi-mode purists" who don't have any option now and yet should be welcomed participants. And contest regulars who like Mixed Mode would find more ways to make points if / when poor propagation limits Fone and CW.


    I wrote an email to Bart W9JJ who is the ARRL Contest Manager. He responded positively but told me this kind of change must be run through their system by introducing it to the proper committee by the ARRL Directors. He kindly forwarded my suggestion to my regional director.

    But I think it may take more then just words from me to motivate them. So I am asking any one else who may also support this to send a brief email of support for it to the ARRL Director in their region. I don't think it would be required that you be a League member, just an interested contester. Feel free to cut & paste and edit anything I wrote above.

    Below is a link with all the email addresses.

    73 de John - W0PV
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2017

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