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Re: [CQ-Contest] Where did it all start?

To: cq-contest@contesting.com
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] Where did it all start?
From: Steve Harrison <k0xp@dandy.net>
Date: Thu, 13 Dec 2007 18:19:01 +0000
List-post: <mailto:cq-contest@contesting.com>
At 07:33 PM 12/12/2007 -0500, John Unger wrote:
>I've been trying to remember where and why the whole packet/internet 
>spotting started during contests. I seem to recall that it originated with 
>the large contest clubs that had big MM stations. The basic idea was that 
>during big contests all the club members would feed spots to "their" MM 
>station to keep the ops on the multiplier rigs from getting bored (?) and 
>thereby increase the MM station's score. Of course, this was all done 
>locally with VHF/UHF packet systems that had probably originated just for 
>DX spotting.

Not sure if we're talking about exactly the same thing; but before packet,
there were 2m phone spotters for multipliers in many clubs, both large and
small. I'm sure that if we look long and hard enough, we can find pictures
somewhere of long-gone big contest stations with a SCR-522 or similar
mounted in some rack next to a push-pull pair of 450THs or 833s. I seem to
remember such a pic where the caption pointed out the spotting mike at each
operating position. While Don Wallace's station had such amplifiers, I
don't think he ever had such a 2m spotting setup unless a guest operator
brought a rig along, although I remember Don did have one or two 2m
vertical antennas on short poles next to the station building. As far as I
know, Don never used 2m for anything although I believe the Southern
California DX Club (from which many of the SoCal contesters came before the
formation of the SCCC in the '70s) did have a 2m net. He used the telephone
for his day-to-day DXpedition spotting. His station also wasn't normally
set up for multiple operators and I don't think more than a handful of such
MM ops were ever conducted from his place.

Steve, K0XP
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