NAC contesterne i 2022 og frem

De nordiske aktivitetstester (NAC) er i en brydningstid. De digitale modulationsarter giver nye muligheder, men også nye udfordringer i forhold til kompatibilitet sammen med grundlæggende contestregler og analoge modes. Til og med udgangen af 2021 kører der i OZ et forsøg med at adskille MGM og analoge modes.

OZ5TG og OZ1DLD ved radien hos OZ9KY

De nordiske VHF-managers mødtes i oktober for at diskutere fremtiden for NAC testerne (se referat nedenfor). Man blev enige om at nedsætte en arbejdsgruppe på tværs af OZ, SM, LA og OH med det formål at tilpasse reglerne for at langtidssikre NAC som contests og samtidig give plads til den teknologiske udvikling. Medlemmerne af arbejdsgruppen er de nationale contest managers plus en mere fra de respektive landes VUSHF-udvalg. Arbejdsgruppen skal bl.a. kigge på kompatibilitet mellem analoge og MGM modes i samme contest, softwarefunktioner til f.eks at undgå software-assisted QSO, log formater m.m. OZ1FDH vil være koordinator for arbejdsgruppen.

På det Nordiske VUSHF møde sommeren 2022 skal forslag til nye regler præsenteres, og det vil i de efterfølgende måneder at blive diskuteret blandt VUSHF amatørerne inden det endelige regelsæt vedtages senest med udgangen af oktober 2022. De nye regler vil træde i kraft 1/1 2023.

Regler for 2022
VUSHF-udvalget har besluttet, at vi i 2022 går tilbage til NAC reglerne fra 2020. Det vil sige at alle MGM og analoge modes kan køres i alle tester. Der er ikke længere særlige regler for 144 og 432 MHz. Der vil stadig skulle udveksles fuld 6 tegns lokator f.eks JO55HH for alle modes, ligesom software-assisted QSO ikke er tilladte. Contestreglerne her på siden opdateres i december efter årets sidste test.

Læs referatet fra mødet om NAC regler mellem de Nordiske managers nedenfor:

Minutes from meeting between Nordic VHF- and contest-managers October 28.

Present: OH6ZZ, OH5LK, LA1KKA, OZ1FDH, SM6EAN, SM4HFI and SM7GVF

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the state of the NAC contests in general and specifically with regard to the role of MGM and the coexistence with analog modes.

The NACs has as their overall purpose to support and enhance activity on the Nordic VUSHF bands, but they are also contests and as such a radio sport. They have been a success for more than 50 years. Having started from a simple 144 and 432 MHz contest the NAC now covers all bands from 50 MHz and upwards. This has increased the complexity and has during the years lead to rule changes in order to comply. With the strong increase in MGM modes, another layer of complexity has been added.

There was a general discussion about the state of the NAC in each country. The perception and impact of MGM appears to vary. OH has seen a relative harmonic development with relatively constant or increasing participation across bands and modes. OZ has experienced a drastic decrease in pace and activity for the analog modes, and the 144 MHz contest is in dire straits, for the same reason OZ has suggested a general rule change for the NAC.

There is a large geographical variation between the Nordic countries, which is also reflected in the activity, modes and pace of the NAC.

From the discussion it was clear that changes are needed, but there is no apparent clear way forward that would work for all Nordic countries. The development of MGMs is a fundamental change, and we need to make sure that whatever changes we apply should aim at securing the NAC in the long term.

Statistics
OH6ZZ presented statistics and figures from Finland. We need numbers to guide our way forward. There are minor differences in the setup between the countries, but it should be possible to apply the same set of statistical parameters.

For each of the individual contests it is suggested to produce the following statistics from 2010 (or before) and onwards: Number of logs, number of stations pr. prefix area found in the logs, QSO number/log and distribution in % between modes.

Decisions and action points
-Establish a NAC working group (NWG) consisting of 1-2 members from SM, LA, OH and OZ e.g. the VUSHF contest manager and the national committee chairman.

-The mandate and purpose of the NWG is to evaluate the current NAC rules and their feasibility with MGM modes with the over-all aim of adapting the rules to allows for better co-existence between analog and MGM modes.

-The NWG should respect the geography of the Nordic VUSHF-scene. Participating in a contest in central OH is different from the southern part of OZ.

-To the extent possible a general principle of small but effective and consistent rule changes respecting the current format of the NAC should be applied by the NWG.

-There are some minor differences between the rules in the Nordic countries, adopting to local conditions and traditions. This should still be possible, also with future rule changes.

-The NWG should present its work at the Nordic VUSHF-meeting 2022 as well as on the national communication platforms in SM, LA, OH and OZ.

-Ultimo September 2022 the Nordic VHF-managers (or in their absence the contest managers) will decide on the general NAC rules which are to be effective from January 2023.

-All countries are to specify from January 1 2022 that full locators must be exchanged for all modes. The use of software assisted QSOs are not allowed. All elements of a QSO must require intervention by an operator to be valid, i.e. the operator must start a CQ call, actively reply to a call or calling station, actively give the report and actively confirm the exchange of reports.

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