Re: NS RTTY Sprint

Ken K6MR

Thanks for the posting Ed.

The “change it every week” has been suggested several times, but just enabling dupes for a few weeks during the year on CW proves that many do not necessarily read the announcement every week. With only 30 minutes available, by the time you figure out what’s going on it’s over. Setup is also certainly simplified: open the same log setup every week and you are ready. Couple of minutes tops. Also a suggestion of one hour sessions, but with the current level of activity I don’t think that’s practical. We’d also have to move the start time due to the CW NS.

We’ve had the band discussion before, and I totally agree. I was more or less following CW just for consistency. So from now on I’ll post all (160-10). I don’t know anything about 6 meters, and it’s not really a typical ‘HF’ contest band.

I would love to get rid of dupes. The last Ladder we had on RTTY (without dupes) was about 10 minutes of operating and 20 minutes of CQs. I’ve tried sending out notices to contest clubs, getting the posting in the ARRL Contest Letter, etc. I’m pretty convinced that Sprint format is what scares most people away. But having another evening of a few stations sitting on one frequency for the duration (a la CWTs) doesn’t seem worth it. VE2FK put out a note a few months ago asking if anyone would be interested in a CWT style RTTY session, and got no takers. As I’ve admitted to many, I’m addicted to Sprints so I do have a bias. I asked on the NCCC reflector why more NCCC members don’t participate and the replies I received mostly indicated difficulty with the middle of the week time frame. Totally understandable for the non-retired folks or those with significant family responsibilities.

At least for me, dupes allows practicing the physical aspects of operating. Who I work doesn’t matter, it’s learning the routine, or trying a different logger, those kind of things. I recently started using two keyboards and actually doing it every week shortened the learning curve significantly.

We do get new stations who come and go, likely due to other responsibilities. If everyone could bring one additional station that would really boost activity.

Ken K6MR

From: Ed Muns<mailto:ed@...>
Sent: Saturday, May 13, 2017 8:40 AM
To: 'RTTY Reflector'<mailto:rtty@...>
Subject: Re: [RTTY] NS RTTY Sprint

I used to be a regular participant in CW and RTTY NS. The key for me was
making it a habit on Thursday evening. Once I fell out of the habit, it has
been hard to get started again, mainly due to other things that have crept
into that time slot.

I also disagree with three aspects of the evolving NS, both CW and RTTY.
First was the desire by some to change the rules for a given evening. For
me, that was a distraction. I wanted to practice the same routine so I
could improve my operating mechanics. Others argued that since contest
rules are all different, part of skill improvement is to practice different
rule sets plus they liked diversity. Good argument on both sides, but I
still preferred to use my NS time to improve my operating mechanics, which
is better served by stable rules.

Also, I found it annoying to have to take time before NS to configure my
logger to deal as best it could with whatever the evening's rules were.
Sometimes there was no logger configuration that would work, which really
detracted from my desire to practice operating mechanics since I spent time
compensating for the logger deficiency. Many times I was rushing into the
radio room just minutes prior to start of NS which further exacerbated the

Second, the bands used are pre-selected by the organizer and also change
during the year and from Thursday to Thursday. I contend that part of
operating is selecting the best band(s) to be on and that should be left up
to the operator. Allow NS on all 6 HF bands. Furthermore, optimum bands
vary from east to west coast during the NS timeframe, so it will sort out
naturally. Most people start on the highest band(s) where there is activity
for them and work down in frequency as the NS time period passes and
darkness increases. Same as any contest during early evening hours. Why
should we artificially prohibit participants from operating where they might
have propagation on a given night and also encourage them to be on bands
that do not work for them that night? Why decide beforehand that 10 meters
won't be used?

Thirdly, I'm not in favor of dupes, despite the benefit of bogus increased
"activity". It's a crutch that removes pressure from solving the root
problem of too few participants. Instead of participants complaining about
low activity, maybe each should take responsibility for recruiting more
participants themselves rather than leaving that solely to the organizer.
Admittedly, though, this is a trade-off between increasing "activity" on one
Thursday vs. the long-term goal of increasing participation.


Ken K6MR wrote:

Dick has been very successful in the past, so I think his problems were
propagation related last night.

But as I put in every weekly announcement, I (and NCCC) welcome comments and
suggestions on how to improve turnout. We do have some limitations (like
non-interference with the CW NS) and I understand that Sprint format is not
the most popular. Everyone is welcome to post their suggestions (if Bill
doesn't mind the extra traffic on here) and we can openly hash it out.
Don't be bashful, the worst that can happen is we don't do it. I'm certainly
open to a public discussion of any ideas. The CW NS has 2X - 3X more
activity, so it is possible to get people interested. Bill had some
suggestions that I wasn't keen about, but if the larger group would like to
try something different I'm not opposed to experimentation.

So everyone do some thinking and let's hear your ideas.

Ken K6MR

From: Bill Turner<mailto:dezrat@...>
Sent: Friday, May 12, 2017 5:07 PM
To: RTTY Reflector<mailto:rtty@...>
Subject: Re: [RTTY] NS RTTY Sprint

------------ ORIGINAL MESSAGE ------------(may be snipped)

On Fri, 12 May 2017 08:54:31 -0500, KD0M wrote:

I tried to work the NS RTTY Sprint last night and finally gave up.

Something needs to be done to make the NS RTTY more attractive to
RTTY'ers. Several months ago I submitted a few suggestions to the
sponsor but he declined to adopt them.

Would everybody please put on their thinking cap and see what you can
come up with. Post them here or send them directly to K6MR.

Thank you,

73, Bill W6WRT
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