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Old 25-12-11, 00:07   #1
IZ0IEN
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Location: Frosinone JN61sp
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The Top Contest of Top Contesters: interview to Andy N2NT

Hello readers,

due to a long ragchew with a friend of mine about the topband and the difficults that everyone had to setup a good station on this particular band, shortly after come to my mind what a big effort would be to join the challenge of a contest onto the top band.
And - what a big mess would be *managing* a contest like this !

Therefore, nothing better to ask to the person directly involved !

Andy N2NT is the director of the CQ WW 160 meters contests. He kindly accept to reply to a short interview that i submit him.

I hope that the questions are of general interest. Enjoy reading them, and for the rest.. ask your near topband contester


Q: The obvious question : The CQ WW 160 is the nirvana of the contest, isn't ? Your point of view about the elite of the world ham scene ?? A giant battle ?


The interesting thing about the CQ160 contest is it is more about the station location, antennas,
equipment, and hardware.
The world's elite will operate but many travel to better locations.
The giant battles are among the multi ops, and a few superstations.
The rest of the crowd competes at another level, but still there are fierce battles.
The contest has grown every year with over 2000 participants sending in logs on CW.



Q: Is all written by the physical laws of big antennas and QRO or you
remember some nice unexpected suprise in the results over those years ??


We hope there are no stations using power levels over 1500 Watts. This is a big problem.
Also to keep the LP and QRP competitions fair, all must obey the power restrictions.
This year we made a big attempt at checking for cluster use. It resulted in some class changes and some disqualifications. Next year we have some other tricks up our sleeves for log checking.
But all in all, the results were fair. Not many unexpected results, just some good battles.
We did have one case where we felt someone changed their category after the results on 3830.
This was not fair to the others, and we are working to prevent that in the future.


Q: In your opinion, there is still room for important technical improvements or - maybe - revolutions, or is only a year-by-year
slight optimization of consolidated setups in the TB teams ?



There is always room for technical improvement.
What we would like to see is a level playing field. All stations should inspect their transmitters for key clicks, etc. It is not fair to have a loud dirty signal and ruin receiving capability for the rest of the world.
We also wish to make sure all stations who use the cluster understand they are operating assisted.
The same goes for CW Skimmer, and internet chat rooms. These tools have their place, but you must understand that skimmer puts you assisted, and chat rooms are not to be used by anyone to solicit or confirm contacts.
We want to keep it a RADIO contest!



Q: The hot point: cheating in contest. You think is an ascendent or descendent phenomen ? Penalties are adequate or not ? How today you are facing the problem ?

We hope with the improvements in log checking that cheating will go down. Operators know the rules and should obey them.
With the 2 QSO penalty for miscopied calls or exchanges, you must take time to get it right. It is the same for everyone.
We had some disqualifications for the first time in 2011, which should make the next year's logs a little cleaner.
We also discourage changing your log after the contest by any means. Checking via Email, QRZ.com, or databases to correct the log after the contest is not in the spirit of contesting. We hope to adopt shorter deadlines in the future to discourage this.
The CQWW code of ethics and fair play is the blueprint for contesting today.


Q: The SDR technology: a milestone for new horizons ? Or an excellent way to cheat ?


SDR is great. It can be used to your advantage without breaking rules. For example the pan adapter for the K3 radio will show
a visible display of signals across the band. You can point and click on the signals to immediately go there.
What you cannot do is use the SDR to IDENTIFY the callsigns. as the CW Skimmer will do.
That is the same as using cluster, RBN or a second operator. It makes you multi op or assisted.



Q: What are the most frequent problems on your side, to manage such an event like this contest ?? Have you some tip to share with the contesters ??

The biggest problem is organizing certificates and trophies. The actual log checking is done by computer and requires little
human intervention. Only the paper logs need to be typed in.
Also, answering questions and problems is a big task. Many people have problems and observations after the contest that require attention.
The community must understand it is not our job to enforce the amateur laws of each country. Our job is only to score and judge the contest.
The responsibility goes to the community themselves to keep everything fair.


Q: Last but not least, how you place Italy in the overall scene ? Do you have a single or a team to mention for any particular reason ?


The Italians are great contesters and supporters of the CQ160. Of course the leading team with IK2QEI who went to I4EWH to lead the multi op crews,
and has gone to Morocco in the past comes to mind. IZ4DPV, IR3Z, I2WIJ all with big scores.
I do notice that the top logs from Italy do not belong to any radio club. It would be nice to see you guys submit together and give the Germans a run for their money!


And with those nice words for us Italians contesters, i would thank Andy N2NT for the patience and for the nice sharing of what is "behind the logs"

Merry Xmas to everyone and best 73 de Cristiano IZ0IEN/AB3NT
IZ0IEN non   collegato   Reply With Quote
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