Dick, I gotta disagree. Specific technology was developed and the rules
were changed to add the "assisted" catagory. Those who don't want to
use the technology may still enter the unassisted catagories.
Further, K3EST's editorial in the OCT CQ contest column is disheartning
as well as it regards use of the PacketCluster by SOA class stations.
Assisted means just that, assisted. There is no way that a SOA station
can be considered single-multi. The remote operators providing putouts,
comments via TALK messages/ANN messages, and the like, can never operate
the SOA station (they are not there). The SOA operator performs all of
the logging, operating, etc. The SOA class should be entitled to use
the PAcketCluster (tm) to its FULLEST USE. That includes using the TALK
function to communicate with other stations and ask: "How's 20?", for
example. Or look at the PacketCluster input screen and gleen info from
the ANN message: "JAs are in on 15. Heading = 270 DEG"
Why, the SOA may indvertently observe some of these messages! Would
that disqualify him/her as a SOA? Does that mean SOA's must use an
external PC to monitor the PAcketCluster and not use CT (because there
is no way to shut off T, ANN messages on the CT screen)?
Or should SYSOPS who operate SOA (hummm, who might that be?) turn off
their Node PC display because T to T messages between connected
stations might be seen? Or ANN messages might be seen?
RIDICULOUS, I SAY!
The SOA class means: USING PackerCluster. That means full use of it.
Giving and requesting fellow SOAs (and multis, for that matter) scores,
strategies, etc, during the contest.
As long as the SOA does all the logging and operating, use of the
PacketCluster for any purpose is allowed. Single multis have additional
1. Operator changes/relief/break times keeping the station on the air.
2. Spotters who can spot locally on an adjacent (within shouting
distance) rig on premises.
3. Other operators who can spot stations on the other rig(s) and
immediately work the multiplier on the multiplier station.
The SOA must build/configure his/her station to maximize use of those
elements which are within the rules, including PacketCluster.
Let's open up the SOA operations to use the PacketCluster to its maximum
capability and not think of SOA as another catagory to be restricted.
Heck, that's why SOA was invented!
Norton, Richard wrote:
> Some comments on the concept of some competitors aiding some other
> competitors in activities similar to radio contesting follow.
> 1) Birding
> Birding, or sport birdwatching, is about the closest activity to radio
> contesting that I know of. Birders look for rare things that are mixed in
> with common things. They have the equivalent to DXCC honor rolls, the
> equivalent to new and deleted countries. They even have the equivalent to
> packet spotting of rare ones, done by telephone.
> However, when it comes to their contests, there is no spotting or helping
> allowed. Competitors are not allowed to look at rare-bird bulletin boards at
> the entrances to parks. If another birder sees you looking for birds and
> starts to talk, you are supposed to interrupt him and tell him that you are
> in a contest, and ask him to please not give you any aid today.
> If you see a group of people looking into a tree with binoculars, you are
> allowed to investigate the pile-up, but you are supposed to tell them that
> you are in a contest, and ask them not to identify the bird for you.
> 2) Bridge
> The card game of bridge is similar to radio contests in that players try to
> use clues to decide their play, just like contesters use clues to decide
> whether and where to CQ or search for multipliers.
> Rank beginners might play hands with the opponent's cards exposed. It's
> pretty hard to make a mistake. However, when there are tournaments, there
> are no mirrors around so that some "assisted" players can see exactly what
> they should do. It would affect the outcomes of the serious players, just
> like packet-users affect serious radio contesters today.
> 3) Any "Sport"
> It is a key rule in any sport that competitors play their best to win. They
> do not play poorly or aid friendly teams so that their friends can win, have
> big scores, or set records.
> California baseball teams do not have an agreement that they should pitch
> easy to each other, so that the home-run champion will be from California.
> The concept of some competitors aiding other competitors in a sport is
> simply unsportsmanlike.
> Help make radio contesting a sport. Support elimination of packet-spotting
> in any serious radio contest.
> Dick Norton, N6AA/VK5