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Comments to Tesla Cup Rules.

Tesla RC has taken initiative to formulate and sponsor new amateur radio HF contest with aim to provide "better" contest, which would minimize the bias that is present in other contests. Some of the most popular contests were started way back, when things were different. With advance of technology we have seen great impact on contesting and craving for rules that would be more fair. It is hard to come up with rules that would give all contestants equal chance, but we can try to come as close as possible. Here is the first draft of proposed rules, which is outgrowth of IRSA - Radiosporting WRC Contest, which was well accepted, but due to lack of sponsor (and my personal problems - misfortune) has not continued.
Present most popular contests do not allow fair comparison of results. I.e. CQ WW contest heavily favors stations located in another continent next to heavily populated continents. Sponsors are unwilling to accommodate changes for improvement. We are trying to have the rules, where one can operate his own station without traveling South, work everybody and be able to compare their skills and station performance with others. Based on our experience and knowledge of variables we have come up with the rules for TESLA CUP - World Radiosport Championship. (Abbreviation - TC)

The contest is named after the first ham, great inventor Nikola Tesla and sponsored by Tesla RC (and ?). Beautiful TESLA CUP Trophies will be awarded to winners. We hope that this contest will evolve to true and meaningful World Championship, where we will be able to compare the results of our efforts with minimum bias. Station setup and operator skills should be the main factor, rather than bias in scoring. With Single Operator category we try to promote operation by hams with their own stations. It is the reflection of one's ability to assemble the station and to operate it.   YOU - YOUR Call - YOUR Station - setup.

Dates: ideally the dates should be just past couple of weeks after the equinoxes, and not to collide with major popular contests. The best dates are first half of April and October. Propagation is at the swing from summer type to winter type and close to equal for South and North hemispheres and tends to flip depending on solar activity, which makes it variable factor affecting scores. Here any advice, offers to free the weekend from existing contests is very welcome. Should we have two runnings of TC - Spring and Fall? We will start in year 2007.

Having Phone and CW parts on one weekend and separate day/modes, gives chance to those who operate both modes to compete on the same level. You do your best on Phone and CW and see who can come up with the biggest score. If you wish to operate only one mode, you have the same chance as everybody else. Having 24 hour periods helps to keep the pace of the contest and eliminate those dragging, with no takers, CQs. This should be enough time for all serious competitors to work each other, without the need to pickup "bystanders".

Operating Time: we feel that having 22 hour period for single operator is beneficial for the following reasons: It minimizes advantage of those in the South with longer openings due to propagation. It gives chance to rest, play strategy games of picking most productive time frame, compensate for equipment failure, power outage, storms, etc. You can have one or two rest periods only, no "rubber clocking" or having "120 one minute rest periods". Multi stations can operate full time.

1. Objective: There should be no restriction or objective to limit or eliminate some contacts. The purpose of the contest is to make as many contacts as possible. By requesting all participants to submit their logs, we have a means of verifying the contacts 100%. Those deciding to participate should choose the category and have a means for submitting the computer log (if you don't have a computer, ask your buddy with computer to enter and transmit it). If you want seriously to participate in the world championship, you should be equipped for it, that includes computer. We allow for mailing of diskettes for those with no Internet or modem access. Idea that contest will turn into Sweepstakes is not valid, you need to operate all bands (multipliers) and work as many stations in allotted time fame as you can. Stations operating low bands know how lonely it can be after few hours of operating.

2. Bands: All six HF bands are included, with frequency privileges accorded by competitors license. Band allocations and courtesy are to be observed. No WARC bands, leave them to no contesters for the weekend.

3. Exchange: Great discussions have been going on about the best exchange format. We tried to make the exchange meaningful and binding. We all know that everybody is now 59 or 599, so we assume that and skip the report. If you need it for QSL card and awards, just fill in 59 or 599. We have added serial numbers here for the "variable" factor, but this is compromise between speed and complications, but on the other hand it gives another item for checking the accuracy of exchange and gives the idea how the others are doing. Progressive QSO three or four digit number, with use of T for 0 will make it easy to copy the exchange and be ready for the format and the next part of exchange - four character QRA Locator Square ID. This allows to identify the location, give something new to those chasing squares and give us multiplier code. No cut numbers in QRA here for EVERYBODY. Sending full numbers gives some redundancy when copying.  So it will be TT1 FN22, T39FN56 or O-O-One ef eN 22, or O- 3- 9- Fox November Fifty-Six.

4. Points: Before you snicker at split points, let me explain. The reason is that if your counterpart did not get the exchange or call right, YOU will not lose all points. The question is a) Did you work the station? b) Did you get all exchange right? If a) is YES you get one point and keep the multiplier, if b) is NO you lose 1 (or 2 on cw) points - "penalty" for sloppy copying. No three QSO penalties for someone else's errors, etc. CW gets one point boost, due to being a bit slow, more difficult mode and to encourage CW operating and skill development. If you want to be overall champion, you need to master CW besides being able to "speak". No difference who you work, own town, country, continent or DX. The more and different areas you work the more points you get. Simple and fair. To claim multiplier, you must have correct call and exchange. The question might arise if we should have more point value for low bands, but we think that forcing multiplier hunting there will make up for it. Don't want to make it too complicated.

5. Multipliers: Various schemes were bounced on the reflector. Distance scoring (nightmare to calculate, advantage to those being on the side of heavy populated areas). Countries and various zones (call areas are meaningless) are being used by other contests and there is varying distribution of those on different continents. Trying to bring in geographical factor we figured that the most "fair" and easy to use would be first three characters of the Locator code (one vertical column of big square FN2, i.e. FN20 - FN29). This gives fair distribution of multipliers for each locality, slightly favoring heavy populated continents on low bands, but then favoring more distant locations on high bands, some equalizing factor for all band competitors. Using all six digit squares as multipliers would make the multiplier too big and less desirable for hunting and scores astronomical. By counting multipliers on all bands it will force the competitors to visit all those bands and not just run the hottest band for points.

6. Scoring: No brainer here, all band scores are sum of all QSO points times sum of all multipliers from all bands. One band scores calculated same way, multiplying points by multipliers on that band.. Club competition adds individual scores from all registered competitors.

7. Categories: Sorted out by power into H L and Q. Gives you idea of potential competitors and why the signal is so loud/weak. In each power group we will have Single, Multi and Club competition.
Combined Phone and CW is the main competition. Separate modes are attractive for those who hate the other mode and would like to compare themselves with the rest.

Categories A and O are for single ops operating their own stations or setup (portable), no "drive in" or guest operating. This is allowed in P - Single OP All Band - Packet/Guest. This is the all out - super charged category for those wanting to go all out.

Category S is hard to "limit cheating". The time limits lead to funny stuff, we feel the best is going back to good all one transmitter, one running operator with the army of spotters, feeding the information to the "transmitting operator". Opens room for application of technology, networking and bunch of guys having fun. Hard to enforce, we can just rely on honesty, like with the rest of it. One transmitter (exciter) should be only operational, with unlimited switching for antennas (automated). Packet allowed here, it is up to you to optimize the switching arrangements. You can run, you can jump to work multiplier any time any where, or just work'em off the packet.

Category M is the traditional multi-multi, with one transmitter per band, unlimited spotters, packet, etc. This is the king-kong of operating and incubator for new contesters.

Category C is meant for clubs to claim scores of their best members and to force them to have station competing in each category (one bands too) while limiting the number of team members to 22. Clubs may have more teams, but their QTH should be limited to four squares area (or ???km circle?) Club or Team captain should report the team members calls before the contest (to a web page). Teams can be any bunch of contesters, don't have to be from the same club. Limiting it to the area promotes the local activity and team spirit. Fight for yours and your Club/Team glory!

Category E is to try something new - PortaPack, where competitors will operate the stations limited by size and weight of the airline luggage. Our hope it that WRTC competition will pick this as a way of running the WRTC. This will allow qualification runs in countries and continents and the best will advance based on their performance in exactly the same situation as they will (hopefully) compete at WRTC. No complicated qualification "criteria". Year or two before the actual WRTC the scores and winners can be selected based on the qualification runs. Teams of two operators with one judge are envisioned. So it is up to the competitors to pack as much equipment, power and antennas into the packages as outlined. Room to advance technology and operating and have high performance stations/packages ready for emergency operations and expeditions.

8. Awards: We will try to have awards done right after the results are processed, which should be (computers permitting) available on Internet within few weeks after the deadline. No more waiting for a year or more.

9. Trophies: Ditto here, we ask and encourage participation and donors to make it more worthwhile for deserving. Please don't hesitate to sponsor one. Table with trophies will be published on TC home page.

10. Log Instructions: The only way to have fair log treatment and checking process is to have all logs available. It may seem as a stretch, but by the nature of this contest we expect serious contesters to compete, they all have rigs and computers by now. We request all competitors to submit logs. If you made some contacts outside of your category (one-banders) submit them too for checking purposes. If you still don't have a computer, ask someone to enter it for you. We can accept diskettes (IBM DOS format) in the beginning, or even few printed logs. But with time we should have no problem to have only logs submitted by modem (BBS or Internet) and have the results done fast.
If you read the rules, have the equipment, want to fight for top honors, you will do all to supply the logs in computer format. The details as far as log format (trying to have one file for summary and log "sheets") will be sorted out with our computer logging programs gurus. Tree, N6TR has kindly half agreed to help with log processing software. There should be no problem to incorporate the TC into logging programs.
All equipment should be located and cable connected within 550m diameter or property limits. No remote internet receivers. Automated robots allowed in P category.

11. Deadline: We will start with 14 days for email, 30 days for snail mailed diskettes. Eventually we can reduce even that time frame and have "instant" results.

Well, here it is, you asked for it. We are looking for your support, suggestions, help, assistance, trophies or anything you can think of to make this event Number 1 in the world. No bureaucracy here, no establishment, except few dedicated "fools" willing to work hard to make it a success. I think we laid the foundation, lets build on it. We are especially looking for generosity, understanding and help from other contest sponsors willing to vacate the best weekend for our baby.
We are looking for country liaisons, who would promote locally, translate the rules and help with TC and become the members of the Contest Committee.

When we are designing contest rules, we are trying to have them initially the best we can, but also trying to account for possible changes in the future. Those changes should always be such, that they would lead to increase of score in order to preserve validity of records. I.e. dropping the serial number to speed up the pace of contest. Or increasing the number of categories.

Please send your comments, suggestions, offers to help to K3BU E-mail

Thank you and we are looking forward to TESLA CUP being the ONE!
I tried my best, let's see how we can make it better!

For Tesla Radio Club
Yuri Blanarovich
K3BU, VE3BMV, VE1BY, C6AYB, ex P40A etc.
President Tesla RC: N2EE, NT1E, VA1A, VC1A, N8T, N2T, K8V

Box 282, Pine Brook, NJ 07058
tel. 973 220-0087
fax 973 808-1970


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Last modified: 03/07/12