A few months back, in response to Tom Taormina's editorial on non
CQ soliciting of contest QSOs (ie, at club meetings, from friends
"dropping by on your frequency with spots", etc.) I wrote a
reply. In my reply I postured "Can you ask another operator on
the air if he has worked, say, Yukon, or Wyoming in Sweepstakes,
and if so, when and where?" I have decided it is okay to do this
as it doesn't involve spotting in the true sense of the word if
the other operator doesn't give an exact frequency and call sign,
and isn't dedicated to hunting stations for you."
Well, this past Sunday afternoon in phone Sweepstakes, needing
Yukon, Puerto Rico and Delaware for the sweep, I started asking
high scoring contacts if they had worked the ones I needed. One
station told me VY1QST was on 14306.5 a half hour earlier. He was
still there 30 seconds later. A few hours later, another station
told me KP4CZ's frequency, although I couldn't bust the pile. A
few hours later, a station gave me NP4Z's frequency, who I
worked. I was also told the call signs of two active Delaware
stations. A half hour later I happened upon WN3K (who I knew was
on beforehand from his Internet post) for the sweep.
So now about my ethical dilemma. I'm getting exact frequencies
and calls. Is the operator I'm querying looking at his packet
screen and reading me the spot? If so, must I submit a Multi-OP
log. I think not. (Is he? Maybe he is Multi-OP, so using packet
is fine.) Do I have an obligation to ask if he is going to give
me packet info? Maybe he just worked the guy. I passed on the
same info three or four times later in the contest, so getting an
exact call and frequency doesn't mean it came from packet.
Brief conversations with other operators, apart from the
exchange, about band openings and conditions, multipliers,
scores, etc., has always seemed to me to be part of the "buzz" of
a contest, which adds to the fun. I don't think this should be
restricted. Who to ask for information, and when, is part of the
contesting strategy. So I still don't have a problem with asking
for and receiving such information, as long as it comes without
premeditation, that is, without being established beforehand that
another station is going to pass me spots.
Very truly yours,
Ken Widelitz, AB6FO
With all the discussion about packet spots and SS, I thought I'd
post a letter I'm sending to the NCJ on the subject.
>From D. Leeson" <email@example.com Tue Nov 23 08:28:00 1993
From: D. Leeson" <firstname.lastname@example.org (D. Leeson)
Subject: W6QHS (KM9P) SS SSB
W6QHS (KM9P, op.) SS SSB: 2241 x 77
Bill arrived Thurs., sat down at rig Sat. for an hour or two, then
proceeded to dive into contest. Amazing how best ops can adapt to
strange station and new propagation. Congrats to Rich, KI3V!