[OhQP-mail] 160 Meters in Ohio QSO Party?
James M. Galm, W8WTS
jim at w8wts.com
Wed Apr 15 20:36:29 CDT 2020
I had not thought about Hal’s point regarding 160 m changing the local versus national “character” of OQP, but that might be the best argument of all for not adding 160 m. My preference would be for OQP to attract a national audience. Ohio is a large state with many active operators. We have a great group of mobiles and rovers to activate mults and keep the contest lively. We have every reason to run with the big dogs of QSO parties. I concur that adding 160 m would not be a step toward larger and wider participation.
From: OhQP-mail [mailto:ohqp-mail-bounces at ohqp.org] On Behalf Of Hal Offutt
Sent: Wednesday, April 15, 2020 8:20 PM
To: ohqp-mail at ohqp.org
Subject: Re: [OhQP-mail] 160 Meters in Ohio QSO Party?
Jim W8WTS makes some very good points.
Basically, I believe including 160 would be a plus for big Ohio stations and others within 200 miles of Ohio, but not so good for small stations, mobiles and everyone else. If you're in Iowa, Florida or California and many of the Ohio stations disappear to 160 during the last two hours to work each other, you may just QRT.
When I was mobiling in the OHQP, the last hour on 80 was typically my best hour of the contest. Allowing 160 would probably adversely affect mobile rates. Not a good thing if you want to encourage mobile activity.
The PAQP has included 160 for a long time, so looking over their results might be instructive, although condx in October are a lot different than August, and the PAQP two-day format makes it a very different animal. When I operated the PAQP as a mobile, I felt that I needed a 160 mobile antenna and I usually managed to make an extra 60-80 contacts there, but I was very weak and could only be heard when the band was quiet. Mobiling on 160 in August is pretty much hopeless.
I guess it comes down to how the committee views the identity of the Ohio QSO Party. Does it want to make the OHQP into a PAQP with lots of instate action and not so much out of state participation, or does it want to make it into a truly national QSO Party? Right now, clearly the OHQP is much more like the PAQP than it is like the FQP, the CQP or even the NEQP. If you want to keep and enhance that character, adding 160 may help a little. If the committee aspires to increase the national character of the OHQP, perhaps they might consider giving more points to high band contacts to lure more stations there instead of adding 160.
Not an easy decision. Good luck.
73, Hal W1NN
On 4/15/2020 1:48 PM, James M. Galm, W8WTS wrote:
I would argue against including 160 m, for a variety of reasons. First, while there are stations that one can work on 40 m that are not possible on 20 m, and there are stations on 80 m that are not possible on 40 m, there is absolutely no station that one can work on 160 m that cannot be worked on 80 m. That is just a fact of mid-summer D layer absorption. It is true that 160 m would add the potential for additional QSOs (QSOs counting once per band per mode) for those who have access to 160 m, but that tends to be the larger stations. 160 m does not create any new multiplier opportunities, since mults are once per mode. It seems unlikely that the mobile stations would get much traction on 160 m. Consider starting with a mobile 80 m setup, then take half of the effective antenna aperture and double the losses.
Worse of all, adding 160 m skews the playing field in favor of big stations, at the expense of everyone else. The big stations can go on any band, be S9+20 dB and command everyone’s attention. They will do so on 160 m and run their scores up even higher. Small stations cannot command attention, they have to S&P people to work. Adding another band will spread all of the participants out, making it harder for small stations to find QSO partners, particularly on SSB. In an ideal world, everyone would be on one band at the same time so that it would be easy to find each other. The world of propagation is not ideal, so we have to hunt more than one band. Adding 160 m makes hunting less productive and being loud more productive, decreasing the low scores while increasing the high scores. It might instead be better to level the field so that more stations can be competitive.
Regardless of what the committee decides, I look forward to seeing everyone in August.
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