[OhQP-mail] Fwd: [MRRC] 160 Meters in the Ohio QSO Party

Kenneth Silverman kenny.k2kw at gmail.com
Tue Sep 1 10:55:26 EDT 2009

I meant to send this to the group, not just to Hal.  Kenny K2KW

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Kenneth Silverman <kenny.k2kw at gmail.com>
Date: Mon, Aug 31, 2009 at 12:47 PM
Subject: Re: [MRRC] [OhQP-mail] 160 Meters in the Ohio QSO Party
To: Hal Offutt <hal at japancorporateresearch.com>


Thanks for writing what I was going to write.  I'm not a supporter of 160
for all of the reasons you state, though I'll add a few more points.  First,
since the MRRC sponsors both the OhQP and MiQP, I would think that this
discussion should be on the MRRC reflector?  Or is the suggestion to make
OhQP different from the MiQP?

I've been looking at some of the other state QSO parties that allow 160m,
and for the most part, I don't see any real benefit in terms of QSOs.  Only
the top echelon of ops get on 160m, and they only make a relatively small
number of QSOs on that band.  There's a 3-year summary of QSOs in the InQP,
and they didnt even include a 160m column since only 3 QSOs had been made
over that time period!  Though as was pointed out, the PaQP does allow 160
and AA3B made a number of contacts on 160 (I think about 10% or less of his
QSOs).  In the CQP, most people don't get on 160, especially the county
expeditions, of which there are many.  One of the quotes I remember (for SS)
and I think apply to the OhQP since it's in the summer:  "if you are on
160m, you are losing".  Also, look at the OhQP top of the cycle results on
15 & 10m - almost no QSOs there either.  One would think there would have
been more activity on those bands, but nope.

The rate on 80m is going to be much better than on 160.  Since we are not
working mults by band, you go where the highest QSO rate is, which is 80 or
40m in the evening.  As noted by others, most of the Oh guys you work are
casual ops who likely don't have a 160m antenna.

Based on my 2 OhQP efforts, I can give a few insights.  In 2008 I was the
high score SO LP, and used a single radio.  In 2009 I was full SO2R LP and
unless K9TM beat me, I set a new LP record.  The biggest eye-opener was the
number of Oh QSOs I made (in 2009):  159 out of 815 QSOs were Ohioans, or
20% of my total.  So you need to work non-OH guys to boost up your score,
but also balance your time to work Oh guys.  About 50-55% of my 75/80m QSOs
were with OH, and most of the OH guys were during the day or around dinner
time.  If you extrapolate the % of OH stations to 160m, and the fact you
won't be on 160m all that long, I don't think it's going to add many OH
stations to your log.  I'd rather be on 80m where the rate is higher.

As a SO (even single radio), you need to be on 75/80m during the day for
short periods at a time.  The QSOs are there, usually 45-60/hr if you CQ (LP
with a decent antenna for OH).  While this may be a lower rate than on
40/20, the ratio of Oh mults to QSOs is worth it in my opinion.  Later in
the evening, nearly all of my 75/80m QSOs were out of state.  Moral:  early
bird catches the worm.  As SO2R, you need to have your 2nd radio on 75/80m
the entire time (at this point of the cycle).  First, its the only place you
can effectively S&P.  S&Ping on 20/40 nets negligible QSOs (again at this
time of the cycle) as almost no-one out of state calls CQ, and you can't
hear the OH stations on 20/40.  Secondly, it's the only place to reliably
work Oh stations, especially the mults.  This year as SO2R, I was amazed at
how many stations were calling CQ on 75/80m from the get-go.

Anyway, I don't think adding 160 will change who finishes first, though it
might slightly increase the score.  Overall, I don't think it's worth
changing things.

73, Kenny K2KW

On Mon, Aug 31, 2009 at 11:20 AM, Hal Offutt <hal at japancorporateresearch.com
> wrote:

> I'm a big fan of 160 but we should ask ourselves what the effect of adding
> 160 would be.  It will benefit some and hurt some, so we should look at the
> total picture.  Yes, it would add another band for close-in contacts, but I
> fear it might also contribute to making the OHQP more of a local event as
> opposed to a national (international?) event.  I note that this has been a
> principal criticism of the PAQP (which also counts counties for in-state
> stations and does allow 160 activity, and is a reason cited by lots of
> out-of-staters for not participating.  (BTW, PAQP sees very good activity on
> 160 from about 11 PM to 1 AM on Saturday night.  But since PAQP is a two-day
> event, the ratio of 160 contacts is lower than it would be for Ohio.)
> Under the current rules, when stations west of the Mississippi have trouble
> working OH on 20, they at least know that they can have a few good hours
> working OH on 40 (and 80) during the last four hours of the contest, but to
> the extent that activity moves to 160, they will have fewer stations to work
> on 40 & 80 and the contest may become less interesting to them.  Adding 160
> also may be seen by some as sending the message "we vallue regional and
> in-state activity and don't care about participation from the stations
> further out."
> I think we have discovered that 80 is useable throughout the contest period
> if people would only listen there, so having more 80/75 activity times and
> more publicity about using 80/75 during the day would help in-staters and
> those from nearby states to work more counties.  Eventually band conditions
> will change to allow more close-in contacts on 40.
> >From the mobile's standpoint, having to add 160 capability to a mobile
> station will make mobiling more challenging.  Challenge is not a bad thing,
> but mobiling is already extremely challenging so I don't know if we need any
> more challenge.  I have operated mobile on 160 in the PAQP but the antenna
> bandwidth is about 10 khz, it is hard to be heard, and the antenna is big
> and heavy.  I'd rather not have to mess with it.  More activity on 160 could
> also make the mobile pileups on 80 CW smaller, and since this is the funnest
> part of a mobile operation, I think this is a potential negative for the
> mobiles.  And since the role of mobiles is crucial to the success of the
> contest, we should be careful about rule changes that discourage mobile
> activity.
> For the above reasons, I feel that adding 160 would probably not be a good
> move.
> BTW, FL has been wresling with a similar issue - whether to add 80 to help
> out the stations in GA, AL, SC, etc. who have trouble working FL on 20.  I
> think they have come down on the side of no 80, but it may be a good idea to
> check with them.
> I think the OHQP has become well established as a major late-summer contest
> event and it has gained a strong following.  If we want to improve it, I
> would say we should focus our efforts on trying to get more in-state
> activity from fixed stations and clubs.  The more of these we get, the more
> overall activity will improve.  Encouraging more DX participation might also
> improve the party, especially as 15 and 10 start to be better.
> 73, Hal W1NN
>  ----- Original Message -----
>  From: Jimk8mr at aol.com
>  To: ohqp-mail at ohqp.org ; mrrc at contesting.com
>  Sent: Sunday, August 30, 2009 9:28 PM
>  Subject: [OhQP-mail] 160 Meters in the Ohio QSO Party
>  A question while the recent OQP is still fresh in the mind:
>  Would it be desirable to add 160 meters to future OQP's?
>  As we wait (and wait, and wait) for sunspots to return, and with that for
> bands other that 80/75 meters to be useful for intrastate distances, would a
> shot to work people again on 160 meters be a welcome addition?
>  Or should we keep things the way they have been?
>  Opinions, and the reasoning behind them, would be appreciated.
>  73    --    Jim   K8MR
>  Chairman, Ohio QSO Party
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