[Cwo] some initial reflections

Jim Talens jtalens at verizon.net
Sun Aug 21 08:26:03 PDT 2011

Rob (and Alan, with Don and others who gave birth to CWO), don't get swelled
heads when I offer that you guys really have orchestrated a major new event
that has met with remarkable success the first time out.  I do have a few
minor observations, though.


I sent an earlier message on some log reporting anomalies that hopefully Don
can deal with.   They are minor.  Here are my other comments:


1.        The overall participation, especially for sessions 1 and 2, was
remarkable considering each session was 4 hours.   Like Sweepstakes, there
were a lot of big guns CQing for the last half hour with few answers.   

2.       Given we have 850 or so active members it strikes me as somewhat
surprising there weren't far more participants.  In the 3 sessions, the last
of which I bagged after 90 minutes because I was sleepy and not getting
enough QSO action to warrant staying up all night, I worked, respectively
158, 164 and 77 multipliers.   Take out non-members and assume most
callsigns were repeats as among the sessions, we are talking at most 225 or
so members participating (or, rather, that I worked).  By any measure that
is a minority of the club and to me surprisingly low.   But it was a lot
better than the CWT events.  I think FOC does better for its equivalent, the
Marathon, but it has a long history of the Marathon and even that
participating is decreasing annually, I believe.  They have virtually no
success with activity days, and their QSO parties (BWQP) are no marginally

3.       My guess is that 3 hours is sufficient for a session.  But if next
year sees an increase in participation it will appropriate to return to  4
hours for 2013.

4.       Prevailing radio conditions make a particularly big difference in
international contacts given most EU guys are using modest stations.
Session 1 was my "sweet spot" but I would have thought session 2 to be the
"main event."  It was not, perhaps because there was not great skip to
Europe, even on 40 or 20.  So I am not sure sessions 1 or 2 should be
changed other than shifting each by one hour, i.e.,  shorter at the
beginning or end.  I would think 2100-2400 would be better than 2000-2300 if
it's 3 hours.  For session 1, 1200-1500 seems just fine.  Session 3 I am not
sure I fully understand given it is very early for Europeans and we have so
few Asian members.   Is there wisdom in trying to create skip equality given
low participation by minority membership in Asia?  We need to think about
session 3 a bit, I think.

5.       I did not see a soapbox block in the log reporting.  The big block
was for log information but perhaps could have been used for soapbox
comments.  I don't know and it didn't say anything about soapbox comments,
unless I just missed it.   I think it's advisable to have soapbox comments
posted in a list on the website or in Solid Copy once the log totals are
available.  People like to see what they said, in print!

6.       RDA and Keyman were certainly intrusions (and we to them), and NAQP
may have drawn some members away from CWO.  I also saw some CWops members
active in an RTTY contest during the weekend.  Wasn't the same scheduling
information available when the August dates were selected?  WA7BNM's site
shows July 22 as a good choice, however!   I would think giving notice of it
when results for 2011 CWO are announced makes good sense.

7.       I think next time we need to encourage guys to listen on 80/160/10
on the half hour, where appropriate.


Thanks for reading all this!


Jim, N3JT








From: cwo-bounces at kkn.net [mailto:cwo-bounces at kkn.net] On Behalf Of Rob
Sent: Sunday, August 21, 2011 10:46 AM
To: cwo at kkn.net
Subject: [Cwo] some initial reflections


All told, I think CW OPEN was a success. Given all the factors beyond our
control (RDA, JA "keyman," etc.), the first two sessions were well attended.
Here are some things that need attention:


- the date is not good (NAQP SSB and RDA)

- the last session (unless there are a lot of JAs and EUs is a problem)


First, I looked at the perpetual calendar on Bruce's website and the weekend
of July 23 (or thereabouts) has virtual no conflicts of any kind. So, I
would propose that next year we move it to that weekend, and publicize the
change right away.


Second, maybe if RDA and keyman were not an issue, we would have gotten more
EU and JA players (I hope so). So, changing the schedule would solve that
problem, too.


Lastly, the 2000-2400Z session (session 2) should have been the "sweetspot"
session in North America. If 20, 15 and 10 are all operative, even with only
200 players, a solid 10 meter opening would have minimized the dip when 15
went "soft" but it was still too early for 40 to go "long." That is
something, however, that we cannot control.


I am open to suggestion about changing the starting times on any session;
and open to suggestion about shortening the sessions from, say, 4 to 3
hours. However, if we had sufficient participation, the 4-hour sessions seem
like they should produce results.


Anyway, introducing a new contest that has some significantly new
structures, scoring, and the like is not easy and I think we all did a
creditable job. I will write something up for Solid Copy for the next issue.


Rob K6RB



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