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Encyclopedia > Contesting controversies


Like most other sports, Amateur Radio Contesting has its share of disputes and controversy. These disputes are long-standing and may see no thorough resolution for a long time. They are presented for their informational value, with the positions in dispute summarized. There are several online forums where these topics can be discussed. Alex Teimurazov, 4L5A, especially designed the D4B station on a Cape Verde mountaintop to win international radio contests. ...

Contents


Controversies in HF contests

High frequency (HF) radio frequencies are between 3 and 30 MHz. ...

Packet clusters

A packet cluster system allows radio operators or shortwave listeners to "spot" transmitting stations by submitting their call sign and frequency of operation to a computer system which redistributes the information to all other connected users of the system The term "packet cluster" is derived from the use of AX.25 packet radio as the original connection mode to the computer systems; today, connections are commonly made by telnet over the Internet instead. Packet clusters are designed to help radio operators share information so that other stations can find transmitting stations that might be of interest to them. The original packet cluster systems were deployed by members of the Yankee Clipper Contest Club to help their fellow club members improve their contest scores. There are two main controversial aspects to the world-wide deployment and use of the packet cluster system today. A Grundig Shortwave receiver Shortwave radio operates between the frequencies of 3,000 kHz and 30 MHz (30,000 kHz) and came to be referred to as such in the early days of radio because the wavelengths associated with this frequency range were shorter than those commonly in use at... Call sign can refer to different types of call signs: Airline call sign Aviator call sign Cosmonaut call sign Radio and television call signs Tactical call sign, also known as a tactical designator See also: International Callsign Allocations, Maritime Mobile Service Identity This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid... AX.25 is a data link layer protocol derived from the X.25 protocol suite and designed for use by amateur radio operators. ... Microsoft TELNET client animation. ... Alex Teimurazov, 4L5A, especially designed the D4B station on a Cape Verde mountaintop to win international radio contests. ...


The most controversial use of the system is in self-spotting, where a competitive station sends a spot advertising its own operation on the air. Almost all contest sponsors explicitly prohibit this activity in their contest rules, so finding stations that self-spot in a blatant manner is uncommon. Most stations that engage in self-spotting do so by hiding or masquerading their identity as the source of the spot. Because of its easy accessibility and lack of user authentication, identifying such abuse on the packet cluster system is difficult, and may lead to false-positives. Enforcement in cases where self-spotting is suspected can be variable. Peer pressure remains the most effective means of curbing this undesirable behavior. A false positive, also called a Type I error, exists when a test incorrectly reports that it has found a positive result where none really exists. ... Peer pressure comprises a set of group dynamics whereby a group in which one feels comfortable may override personal habits, individual moral inhibitions or idiosyncratic desires to impose a group norm of attitudes and/or behaviors. ...


Another controversial use of the packet cluster system is known as cheerleading. A cheerleader in this context is a station that uses the packet cluster system to spot one particular other station for the purpose of promoting that station's contest operation and improving its score. Cheerleading is most evident when several cheerleaders promote a single station, such as when all the members of a contest club repeatedly and aggressively spot a single contest DX-pedition station operated by several members of their own club. Although the station being spotted is not itself abusing the rules of the contest, it may still benefit from the activity of its friends. Many feel that it is difficult to differentiate between undesirable cheerleading and the more normal spotting activity, and that coming up with well-defined rules to prohibit it would have significant negative side effects. A DX-pedition normally is an expedition to an exotic place. ... A side-effect is any effect other than an intended primary effect. ...


Conflict with non-contesters

Contests can bring very large numbers of stations to the HF radio bands in a short period of time. Because the amount of radio spectrum available for use on the HF amateur radio bands is limited, this can result in significant competition for frequencies on which to operate. Stations operating in close proximity to one another may create interference. Contest stations are known for having a very high level of tolerance for interference and operation in crowded band conditions. Alex Teimurazov, 4L5A, especially designed the D4B station on a Cape Verde mountaintop to win international radio contests. ... High frequency (HF) radio frequencies are between 3 and 30 MHz. ... Radio frequency, or RF, refers to that portion of the electromagnetic spectrum in which electromagnetic waves can be generated by alternating current fed to an antenna. ... High frequency (HF) radio frequencies are between 3 and 30 MHz. ... Mrs. ... Interference of two circular waves - Wavelength (decreasing bottom to top) and Wave centers distance (increasing to the right). ...


Other users of the radio spectrum, however, may find the large number of contest stations on a big contest weekend irksome. Since stations in the Amateur Radio Service must share spectrum and are not assigned specific channels, no one station, contester or otherwise, has a right to use any particular frequency in a radio band. Nevertheless, some non-contesters complain that during big contest weekends, all or almost all available radio frequencies on the HF bands are occupied by contesters, and even though any individual contester has as much right to use a frequency as a non-contester, the result is that non-contesters as a group feel that they are left without adequate spectrum in which to operate. Mrs. ... High frequency (HF) radio frequencies are between 3 and 30 MHz. ...


Some contest sponsors have been sympathetic to this complaint and have adapted their contest rules by defining non-contest windows. A non-contest window is a portion of the band in which stations may not solicit contest contacts. Contesters feel that these non-contest windows are unnecessary and have been successful in eliminating them from some contest rules. Contesters offer that several HF Amateur radio bands (30 meters, 17 meters, and 12 meters) are completely contest-free, and more suitable for those who wish to avoid contest activity completely. Non-contesters counter that these bands are smaller and far less popular than the bands contesters use. High frequency (HF) radio frequencies are between 3 and 30 MHz. ... Mrs. ... This article needs a complete rewrite for the reasons listed on the talk page. ... Shortwave bands are frequency allocations for use within the high frequency radio spectrum. ... Shortwave bands are frequency allocations for use within the high frequency radio spectrum. ...


Some amateur radio stations meet in nets on a particular band and time. These nets are groups of individuals with a common interest, and for convenience often try to meet on a particular frequency. During large contests, any given net frequency might be already occupied with a contest station operation at the time the net is scheduled to operate. Although the net has no more legal right to use a particular frequency than any other station, the participants of some nets remain highly motivated to hold their net operation on a particular frequency. In the best case, this involves a polite request for accommodation made to the contest station in question. In the worst case, this can involve poor operation, or even jamming or other illegal behavior. Some net operations believe that their long-standing use of the frequency in question, their public service orientation, or the desire of multiple stations to use the one frequency, should give them preference in its use. Mrs. ...


Controversies regarding voluntary band plans

The amateur radio regulations in some countries restrict which mode of emission can be used in which portions of each radio band. One subband may allow CW or RTTY whereas other subbands may be designated for telephony or image communications. In some portions of the world, these subband designations are not regulated, but are specified in voluntary bandplans. Mrs. ... This article describes a type of political entity. ... The word emission generally means sending something out. ... A continuous wave (CW) is an electromagnetic wave of constant amplitude and frequency. ... Radioteletype (RTTY) is a telecommunications system consisting of two teleprinters linked by a radio link. ... In telecommunication, Telephony encompasses the general use of equipment to provide voice communication over distances. ...


The most controversial voluntary bandplan is the IARU Region I bandplan for 40 meters. The 40 meter band is smaller than most of the other HF bands, so competition for available spectrum in which to operate can be intense during large, worldwide contests. The IARU Region I bandplan specifies that phone emissions should remain above 7040 kHz, with CW emissions below. In major worldwide phone contests, stations often operate phone below 7040 kHz, including those in IARU Region I. Many argue that during a few contest weekends a year the level of activity merits the use of the spectrum by phone operators. Others argue that a voluntary bandplan in one portion of the world should not impair spectrum use in other parts of the world. Others, however, object to the use of phone emissions in spectrum designated for CW use and argue that contesters should treat observe the bandplan just as others do. The International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) is an international confederation of national Amateur Radio organisations that allows a forum for common matters of concern and collectively represents matters to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). ... This article needs a complete rewrite for the reasons listed on the talk page. ... High frequency (HF) radio frequencies are between 3 and 30 MHz. ... In telecommunication, Telephony encompasses the general use of equipment to provide voice communication over distances. ... The word emission generally means sending something out. ... A continuous wave (CW) is an electromagnetic wave of constant amplitude and frequency. ... The word emission generally means sending something out. ... In telecommunication, Telephony encompasses the general use of equipment to provide voice communication over distances. ... A continuous wave (CW) is an electromagnetic wave of constant amplitude and frequency. ...


Controversies in VHF contests

Very high frequency (VHF) is the radio frequency range from 30 MHz (wavelength 10 m) to 300 MHz (wavelength 1 m). ...

Captive rovers

In North American VHF radio contests, rover stations are those that travel from one Maidenhead grid locator to another. The rules of major VHF contests allow these stations to make two-way contacts with other stations from each unique grid locator in which they travel. Rover activity is responsible for contest operations from many grid locators that might otherwise not have any active contest stations. World map showing North America A satellite composite image of North America. ... Very high frequency (VHF) is the radio frequency range from 30 MHz (wavelength 10 m) to 300 MHz (wavelength 1 m). ... The Maidenhead Locator System or Maidenhead Grid squares is a scheme used by amateur radio operators for identifying positions on the Earth. ...


A captive rover is a rover station whose contest operation is intended specifically or primarily for the benefit of another fixed station. A captive rover might travel to locations in several different grid locators and make two-way contacts only with one specific multi-operator station in the contest. That station benefits from the activity of the rover station, whereas its competition in the contest cannot receive the same potential benefit. A fixed station that is helped by multiple captive rovers can generate a very large score making two-way contacts with only a small set of rovers.


This kind of highly-coordinated operation is very controversial, and several efforts have been made in contest rules to discourage it. Some argue that it is far too difficult to define exactly what conditions would merit disqualifying a station and its contacts as a captive rover station. Others openly acknowledge the activity, and argue that until the contest rules are capable of explicitly prohibiting it in a way that is fair and enforceable, that it should be allowed to continue.


Grid circling

Grid circling is a highly-coordinated operation of two or more rover stations. Two or more rover stations arrive at an area near the intersection of four Maidenhead grid locators, and "circle" through the possible combinations of grid locators, making contacts in each combination. The rover stations then drive to the next intersection of grid locators on their planned route and repeat the process. Stations participating in grid circling do not need to be capable of communicating over distances longer than a few miles. Even without making contact with any other stations in the contest, grid circling stations can generate large scores just by contacting the other stations in their small, tightly-coordinated group. The Maidenhead Locator System is a system for locating positions on the globe commonly used by amateur radio enthusiasts or hams. It is named after Maidenhead, the town outside London where it was first conceived by a meeting of European VHF managers in 1980. ...


Some object to the activity because it does not contribute to the contest at large; the stations in the grid circling effort generally do not contact many other stations in the contest. Others object to the unfairness of these stations competing in the same category as other rover stations that do not grid circle, and who are at a perceived scoring disadvantage. Grid circlers themselves often argue that the technical and operational challenges of such an operation represent significant achievement, and the activity, if discouraged, is not explicitly prohibited. Some suggest that grid circling should be allowed, but such teams of station should be ranked in a separate category from other rovers.


Real-time schedules

Most contests prohibit the use of non-radio means to solicit contacts during the contest period. This does not prevent stations before a contest starts from making schedules (or skeds) with other stations to attempt two-way contacts during the contest. These schedules are often made for attempts at marginal propagation paths, or contacts over great distance, and are often made during the middle of the night when other contest activity is low. The word propagation can mean: Multiplication or increase, as by natural reproduction. ... Alex Teimurazov, 4L5A, especially designed the D4B station on a Cape Verde mountaintop to win international radio contests. ...


Newer digital operational modes such as JT65 and FSK441 require accurate timing coordination between stations. While skeds for contacts made with these modes can be made before the contest, during non-contest times several web sites are used to make impromptu real-time skeds, and these web sites have been used during contests as well. As these advanced digital modes become more popular, the temptation to make real-time skeds with contest stations may remain powerful to some. A website, Web site or WWW site (often shortened to just site) is a collection of webpages, that is, HTML/XHTML documents accessible via HTTP on the Internet; all publicly accessible websites in existence comprise the World Wide Web. ... A website, Web site or WWW site (often shortened to just site) is a collection of webpages, that is, HTML/XHTML documents accessible via HTTP on the Internet; all publicly accessible websites in existence comprise the World Wide Web. ...


Forums for discussion

  • Contesting Online
  • CQ-Contest Email Reflector
  • VHF Contesting Email Reflector

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Contesting controversies (1599 words)
Cheerleading is most evident when several cheerleaders promote a single station, such as when all the members of a contest club repeatedly and aggressively spot a single contest DX-pedition station operated by several members of their own club.
Contest stations are known for having a very high level of tolerance for interference and operation in crowded band conditions.
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