[FQP] FQP Mobile Category Rules

Hal Offutt hal at japancorporateresearch.com
Thu May 3 17:58:39 PDT 2007


Here are some of my thoughts on this issue and on some of the other related 
areas that have come up in this discussion.

As a mobile, the things that matter most to me, in order of importance, are:

1.  Lots of activity
2.  Need for Strategy Planning
3.  Suitable entry category for my form of operation
4.  Lots of competition inside my category
5.  Level playing field in my category
6.  Interesting and sensible rules

I would give the following grades to the FQP for the above:

1.  A+
2.  B
3.  A+
4.  D
5.  A+
6.  A

For the FQP, Item 1 is far and away the most important, more important even 
than the other five items combined.

This is a pretty high overall score.  Obviously, there is a tradeoff between 
items 3. and 4; if you have lots of categories, there will be fewer 
competitors per category.  I personally would prefer fewer categories and 
more competition in each category but the sponsors surely know the 
implications of this and have consciously chosen to have lots of categories 
and to deemphasize competition among the mobiles.  Perhaps this actually 
acts to encourage more mobile stations to hit the road.  Whatever the 
causes, the FQP is working very well as it is.

As to the question of whether mobiles should be allowed to put up
dipoles, masts, beams other similar devices, the current rules clearly 
prohibit this and I believe this is as it should be.  As a mobile, I do not 
want to compete with mobiles who are able to use non-mobile antennas. 
Changing this would bring the score in Item 5 down to a D or F.

Whether a trailer attached to a motor vehicle can be conisdered "self 
contained" is a question for the sponsor to settle.  I don't think this 
would give a station that much of an advantage and it sounds like it could 
be a real pain in the neck to assemble and maintain (violates the KISS 
principle).  I personally don't think it is a big issue, but it would be 
easy to disallow such activity if that is deemed desirable.

I see nothing wrong with having a rover category for those who would like to 
set up non-mobile antennas at a number of locations throughout the weekend. 
Such activity should be encouraged, as it would allow such stations to be 
louder on phone, and the FQP probably needs more phone activity to interest 
the newer hams.  And if those stations want to operate mobile as they move 
from one location to another, that's fine.  And if the sponsors want to 
create yet another category combining rover/mobile, I guess that's not the 
worst thing that could happen.  However, there must be a point beyond which 
adding new categories becomes counter productive (not to mention extremely 
expensive to send out all those plaques).  Ops should be free to try new 
things but do not have the right to expect that a new category will be 
created for whatever they want to do.  Sometimes operating simply has to be 
its own reward.


Hal W1NN

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