Spectrum congestion? Zero sunspot count forces global CQWW DX SSB contesters to focus on 20m and low-bands like 40- and 80 meters. And a box score this weekend may depend on the top band, 160m? Twenty meters, on the other hand, may achieve spectral grid lock as signals compete for limited bandwidth. Such congestion may influence rate numbers without the influence of 15- and 10 meters. The high bands like 15m and 10m are sorely missed.
The abnormal bottoming elongation of Cycle 23 or the frustrating start/stop of Cycle 24 may influence global participation numbers this year. Highly motivated too motivated contesters are certainly packing the bands however the needed casual contester Qs may trend downward. Propagation effecting participation.
Global activity may well shift into the evening hours as casual contesters take advantage of low-band skip. Contest strategy may shift as multipliers increase in value per Q as rate trends downward. The difference might well be measured in multipliers this year instead of Qs. Search and pounce operators will see their value increase and yield greater score returns especially on day two.
Information availability such as packet, telnet, and live amateur radio scores (link) may improve situational awareness and decision making as well. However information accuracy on spotting networks such as packet and telnet may diminish returns if the data is unreliable. Spinning and listening maybe more efficient than diverting attention to the networks. Wet ware or brain biology may demonstrate greater efficiency when processing audio versus the networks?
2 hours ago