I am very impressed by the huge quantity of postings about this topic. For 2 or
3 years that I have been a subscriber to this reflector, It seems to be the
most important subject for years.
And what is the real concern, not really cheating, but in fact spotting.
As mentioned, there are many ways to cheat, perhaps by worse methods (like
submitting QRP category and using HP or having remote receiving antennas in an
other continent,.) , but focus is on spotting, as if use of spotting was the
worse treachery that one could do to the contest community.
Of course, I blame every kind of cheating : The rules are the rules, if you do
not accept them, you are free to not participate.
But my topic is about spotting and the emotion around it.
According to all the postings I have read, it seems obvious to me that it is
the risk of a generalization of the use of spotting which really frighten most
of you, more than the fact of cheating by itself.
The concern is in fact that the assisted category is not recognized at its
right value in the top contesters community.
Most of the best do not compete in this category, most of the criteria for
comparing world class contesters are denigrating assisted category (for
example, the WRTC 2010 selection formula gives only a 70% weight for an
assisted category victory compared to a non assisted one, the RAC annual
Canadian Contest Championship, based on results in several contests during the
year, excludes assisted category entries).
If most of top contesters should compete in assisted category, the things had
changed by themselves and eventually the SO and assisted class had been merged,
with, perhaps, just a difference marked with a little star in the results
listings, like for the WAE.
I find that very strange, because the world "assisted" means ''spotting
assisted'' no mention of the well rested guy who have just to put its back in
the chair of a station he didn't even had to secure a coax plug, no mention of
this same guy continuing to transmit on an other band while his friend (or
renter) is repairing the rotor which had just broken a few minutes ago. No,
this guy is not assisted, he is alone, just with his radio.!
My guess is that the top contesters who are mostly using SO2R, because of the
power of this tool, do not need any spotting assistance. Most of rare mults
(and obviously the spotted ones) are subject to a pile-up and then are very
easy to find on the second radio by the noise of the pile-up.
Since I think that SO2R is a greater advantage than SO1R/spotting assistance, I
find it very strange too that the community is still considering spotting
assistance as a separate category and SO2R not.
Perhaps this questioning could explain (without excusing it) the behavior of
some ''spotting cheaters'' especially those, in some countries crossing
economical difficulties and who do not have the money to pay a second station +
filters + controllers,.
One wants to stay in its former dream, a sort of bubble with just a coax to an
antenna as input/output. I understand that the concept of the guy alone with
his radio for 48h can be a motivation for some, but it is not a reason to
impose it to everybody.
I am ''seriously"' contesting for only 3 years and was then, somewhere, obliged
to abandon the assisted category, otherwise, I would have been too often at the
same time first one and last one in the results listing... So bad, because I
find it very sad to see the bandmap empty or to be unable (more accurately
unauthorized) to read sometimes a funny comment. Sad, because now, I need to go
to SO2R if I want to compete at an equal level with others. In addition, as a
Dxer, It happens that I miss some new WAZ zones or DXCC.
All that for what ? the resistance to change or the dreams of some.
In conclusion, I think that perhaps, the worse fault of packet cheaters, is to
break the dreams of a majority and to awake them to the today reality.
Sorry guys, but, buy nature, I am provocating
Gilles / VE2TZT
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