If you have been here a while you will have seen various missives from
me raising the undesirable effects that worldwide packet spotting is
having on contesting. This is a new one.
I was working in the ARRL phone contest. I was in the shack whenever I
thought there would be an opening to the states. I followed my normal
way of search and pounce and CQing on any clear frequency I encounter as
I tune the bands.
By 2130 on day 2 I had attained the lofty heights of 75 QSO's. I had not
been able to establish a run anywhere.
I worked a station calling CQ on long path 20. WX3B called and asked me
to go down a couple. I did that and worked him as my QSO number 77 at
2135. He put my call out on packet. At 2210 I lost the frequency to QRM
and a changing band by which time I had a QSO count of 165.
77 QSO's and then one packet spot gives me a further 88 QSO's.
Pure luck - without that spot I would have been hard pressed to get up
to 100 QSO's.
There have always been imbalances in radio contesting, equipment,
location, conditions all play a major part before the skill factor comes
into play. However, non of these is under human control. Yes, you can
change location but only before the contest. However, the packet spot is
human induced "luck".
How about I get one of my friends in the states to put me out on packet
spots as required? Is that really fair competition to other VK's without
that "lucky" break? It certainly is not how I want to play the game!
In my opinion DXing has been terminally devalued by nets and packet
spots are we going to let contesting go the same way?
Tel +61 3 62602600
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