CAC Happenings

by JP Kleinhaus, AA2DU

YCCC Scuttlebutt #119, October 1995


What follows is a summary of recent CAC actions, which are now pending before the Awards Committee.

1. The CAC, by a vote of 14 to 2 in favor, recommends the addition of an "hours on" data column (with precision to the nearest hour) to the published contest results in QST for all ARRL contests.

Conversations with contesters indicated to the CAC that there is a desire for part time efforts to have recognition. It is the opinion of the CAC that the addition of this data will enhance the enjoyment of the contest for those who elect to participate part time. It will provide a way for those participants to judge their performances against other like-minded individuals. This will enable the ARRL to meet the needs of this contesting sub-group, without the additional expense of running a separate awards program for part-time efforts.

The CAC recommended that the default information be a blank space, if no data about time-on is provided by the entrant.

2. The CAC recommends, by a vote of 12 to 2 in favor, the addition of DXpedition scores to the club aggregate competition totals for affiliated clubs in the ARRL DX Contest.

The Committee feels that this can only improve the personality of the DX contest. In fact, this is nothing earth shattering, as CQ Magazine has been doing this for many years. It is felt that this change is long overdue, particularly by some west coast contest clubs that believe this will give them a way to become competitive in this event once again.

The CAC believes that if even a small percentage of those operators went on the road and activated some new multipliers, it would certainly benefit the contest for all of the other participants stateside. An expressed concern that DXpedition scores distort the meaning of Club scores is something that the Awards Committee will have to consider when making their final decision on this matter.

3. The CAC recommends, by a vote of 12 to 0 in favor, the addition of all bands above 10 Ghz to the ARRL 10 Ghz contest.

The CAC feels that this contest, although not heavily participated in now, provides an excellent forum for experimentation. Given that there exists a fair amount of spectrum above 10 Ghz but that it clearly is not populated enough to merit a separate event, this would seem to be an excellent way for the ARRL to foster experimentation through a competitive event. This seems like a no-lose proposition for the ARRL.

4. The CAC recommended, by a vote of 11 to 4 in favor, to the Awards Committee that the Unique+Activated (U+A, see text below) Rover Scoring proposal be adopted in time for the running of the January 1996 ARRL VHF Sweepstakes, and that it be used for all ARRL contests that include a rover scoring category.

This proposal was based on the results of an extensive poll (464 responses, including 437 ARRL members), which was was sent to every entrant who submitted a log in an ARRL VHF contest over the last three years. [At press time, the Awards Committee had already unanimously voted to accept this recommendation - ‘2R].

The CAC further recommended that rover scores continue to be included in Club Aggregate Competition scores (as before) and that the family rule exception continues not to be applied to rovers (also as before). The proposed wording is as follows:
Rovers only: Multiply total QSO points from all grids by the sum of activated grids and unique band-grids. (A unique band-grid is a grid square worked on one band from any grid square; in other words, if you work EM00 on 50 MHz from one grid, you may not count EM00 on 50 MHz again for multiplier credit. Each grid worked counts only once per band, just as in the fixed-location categories.)

The proposed scoring method eliminates the incentive to grid-circle with another rover, without limiting the stations a rover can work or limiting the multiplier structure. Rovers can work other rovers for the same QSO point and multiplier values as any other station in the contest. Additionally, most current logging software can be used without modifications. Also, the committee believes that the U+A proposal will encourage rovers to equip themselves for additional bands and even act as an incentive to generally improve the quality of equipment taken on the road by a rover. This last fact will directly impact on the enjoyment of the contest by other participants as well because better equipped rovers will be able to work more distant stations in the search for multipliers.