All, Well I jumped the gun a bit (Ok a whole lot) in saying that the ARRL was going to offer a prize of $10,000 for a high speed HF mode/modem. But I was in an extremly happy and euphoric mood when I learned that a prize might be offered for designing and building a new high-speed HF data modem for use by amateur radio operators. The prize may NOT be nearly that much but there will be a prize and/or recognition of the worthy effort and a winner or winners. I heard that the ARRL Board talked about and approved a prize and set aside money for the effort. (Which I understood was around $10,000.) But I didn't have all the facts correct...I should have known better but was so excited at the thought of a prize and recognition for a "better mouse trap." Oh WOW!!!! I couldn't sleep last night just thinking about it. Since there would have to be considerable effort expended by the ARRL to create such a prize/award/recognition, the ARRL will have external expensive in doing so. This makes sense and I ASSUMED incorrectly that $10,000 would be prize money. My mistake...I should have realized that any amount of money was a suggested amount for a "program" and NOT prize money. As with any corporate action...a board can propose or suggest an amount and the financial folks must confirm that the company has the money to take the desired action. This is certainly true with non-profit organizations.My mistake was because I was so excited. Please accept my apology for this mis-information.
Now that I have had time to think about it and have obtain a little more information, I realized that really you may need individuals, not necessarily connected with the ARRL, to evaluate each submittal as well as the cost of testing the mode/modem. Processing entries would be much like you would have for handling an election where voting is by mail...you normally choose and outside accounting firm to count ballots. In this case, you might hire and outside engineering firm to evaluate the mode(s)/ modem(s) to see how closely they fit the design goals and process the entries. That might also mean that the ARRL Lab would purchase some sort of channel simulator and/or other equipment to verify the findings of an outside source. All this would cost money and have to be included in the budget for the project. Additionally, the ARRL would likely have to establish design goals for the mode/modem. This would take some time and would have cost associated with it. So again let me apologize to you and the ARRL for releasing what should have been "confidential" information until the ARRL released it more formally and for not completely understanding what I learned. But never the less, just offering a prize, monetary or a trophy for award or great recognition of an amateur radio operators' efforts is very desirable and the ARRL Board, Executive Committee, Staff and many ARRL members are to be complimented for even considering such an offer. I believe that this effort is one of the most noteworthy things that the ARRL has done in many years. And, if you are a U.S. licensed Amateur Radio Operator and NOT an ARRL member...shame on you. Join and support the ARRL. If you are NOT a U.S. licensed Amateur Radio Operator, you CERTAINLY are welcome to join the ARRL as many of you probably are. But even if you don't choose to join the ARRL, please support it by making cogent comments for or against aspects of amateur radio that hold interest to you. Thanks for your understanding and let us look forward to a renewed effort in high-speed HF digital mode/modem design with possible tangible rewards for your effort. As with the discussion on the use of PSKMail in under developed countries, I believe that this new effort will result in our pushing out new and cost effective communications capability for use all over the world. Let me add something here that I think is very important. If you are an ARRL member, you should always send comments concerning the ARRL to YOUR Division Director and Vice-Director first and generally not directly to the the ARRL President, ARRL Staff or QST Staff. Of course I suppose technical question to ARRL Staff or QST staff as listed in QST or on the ARRL web site are fine. If you are not an ARRL member, then you might want to choose one of the Directors or perhaps one if the ARRL Staff or QST staff as listed in QST or on the ARRL web site. Thanks again and 73, Walt/K5YFW