9
$\begingroup$

Some use contesting for personal accomplishment, some out of pure enjoyment, others to gather awards, and some to hone their ability to work their craft. For instance, you may learn or improve your skills merely by contesting.

I'm wondering if beyond personal enjoyment, contests perform a useful function for the Amateur Radio hobby as a whole?

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ One could ask if amateur radio itself serves any useful, practical purpose. Is enjoyment a useful, practical purpose? What about practice? $\endgroup$ – Phil Frost - W8II Feb 13 '14 at 20:00
  • $\begingroup$ Good point, let me narrow the question down a bit more. $\endgroup$ – Adam Davis Feb 13 '14 at 20:01
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Or, more succinctly, "Rather than what does contesting do for me, what does my contesting do for the hobby?" $\endgroup$ – Adam Davis Feb 13 '14 at 20:07
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I think that contesting serves the same purpose as reputation on this site. It provides motivation to excel in certain areas that the contest organizers find important and that are hopefully important to amateur radio in general. $\endgroup$ – AndrejaKo Feb 13 '14 at 21:00
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @AdamDavisKD8OAS alternately, contesting serves to raise the price to purchase formerly amateur spectrum when the regulators do take it away, padding someone's wallet. $\endgroup$ – Phil Frost - W8II Feb 13 '14 at 21:32
3
$\begingroup$

Contesting improves operator skills as detailed in this link the OP has in the question. Better trained/skilled operators make ham radio operators more valuable to the community if/when they need our services for communications be that public service or emergency service.

$\endgroup$
2
$\begingroup$

Well, for one thing it keeps our spectrum in use.

Otherwise, some corp or gov entity may swoop down and try and take a band away from us, like 1.2Ghz and repurpose it for wireless broadband.

That I believe is the single most important side benefit of Amateur Radio Contesting.

$\endgroup$
2
$\begingroup$

I have an indirect answer, one that surprised me this past weekend during the ARRL contest. This particular contest was for DX contacts. North America to DX stations, and vice versa. The end result was 40+ new countries/bands in my log in just two days.

So my answer would be; encouraging contacts between stations that otherwise would not make an effort to study propagation, rotate beams, stay up at odd hours. I worked Japan from the East Coast (US) on 10 meters, with just 100 Watts barefoot and a piece of wire hanging off my rooftop - a contact that has been hitherto impossible for me.

$\endgroup$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.