I don't doubt that being spotted helps rates. I wonder the extent to which
spots reach saturation, however.
This raises an interesting question: by what mechanism do we make operators
responsible for the actions of others over whom they have no control?
If I go to J7 for a contest, I'm certainly not going to be shy about telling
my friends where I'm going. Hey, if my friends are going somewhere, I want
to know about it, if for no other reason than I can look them up on the band
and work them, even if I'm not seriously playing that particular contest.
Now, if while I'm at J7 some of my friends in Winnipeg decide without my
knowledge to become cheerleaders, how fair is it for me to be punished for
actions I had no part in nor any control over?
You can't ban packet from contests. Period. Why? Because contest sponsor
have control over only those who submit logs and by so doing, agree to be
bound by the contest rules. Casual ops are under no such obligation, and
I'll bet that it's the casual ops who make the most use of the packet spots.
So you might end the 'assisted' class, but there'll be no end to the use of
packet by those ops who aren't planning to submit. (Or by those ops who now
wrongly claim 'unassisted' and will continue to use packet in any
I know that when I'm at a good station with good prop, regardless of what
class I'm in, I'm far too busy running CQs to be chasing spots.
I think Ken's example, while interesting, is pretty obscure. As someone else
said, if you think you can drag my sorry but to some exotic DX locale just
to have me cheat on spots while you get all the fun, you've got a screw
loose (or rivet, as the case may be).
----- Original Message -----
From: "Kenneth E. Harker" <email@example.com>
To: "CQ Contest" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Sunday, November 07, 2004 8:53 AM
Subject: [CQ-Contest] Packet Cheerleaders
> It should be obvious to most now that packet presents serious
> challenges to fair play in radiosport. Not only is the use of packet
> spots by an operator who claims to be unassisted a problem, but the
> obvious problems of self-spotting and what, for lack of a better term,
> we call "cheerleading." Most packet spots are generated by the
> disinterested and favor no particular station in their selection -
> but cheerleaders spot one particular station over and over again with
> the objective of improving that station's score and place in the
> Contrary to IV3TAN's assertion, it is not always Italian stations
> that find themselves suspect of the cheerleader phenomenon. The most
> extreme example, which was discussed at great length on this reflector,
> was ZF2MM in the 2002 ARRL DX Contest, Phone. That was a USA op
> being spotted by numerous cheerleaders in his home USA contest club.
> There was a great deal of discussion about whether or not this level
> of off-site cheerleading support should be considered fair or in good
> Imagine the following scenario. Two hams travel to a contest
> station. Ham A operates the radio for 48 hours as a single-op unassisted
> contest entry. Ham B's main purpose in life for those same 48 hours is
> to watch A's radio dials and logging software, and every time A changes
> his run frequency, or his rate drops below a certain level, B spots A
> on the cluster network, using B's callsign (which might be in a different
> country from the contest operation.) Since B never actually touches
> the radios, he's not an operator, and A claims "unassisted" status.
> Since the spots are only ever sent by B, and B is not an operator, it
> doesn't count as self-spotting, right?
> I don't believe this is what happened at D44TD in the CQWW SSB 2004,
> but it could have already happened somewhere by now.
> Kenneth E. Harker WM5R
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