I really understand your position. Not only because it comes from the person
that means to me what KH6IJ meant to you, but also because of your personal
experience from the DX end of the pile up from so many different places
throughout so many years.
I started using the dx clusters in 2003. I'm a computer guy myself and I
love i'net technology. Nevertheless, I must totally agree that this
technologies changed amateur radio contesting impacting negatively in many
and in some ways they impacted in a positive manner.
Again, don't get me wrong, I use dx cluster and I love the band map populating
more and more in N1MM logger.
The negative impacts to me are as follow:
1. The most important is: cheaters using the cluster and claiming themselves
being single ops when they send their logs. Hard to detect, even with the
implementation recently designed algorithms.
2. It generates quite a bit of wrongly spotted callsigns thus increasing the
chances of dupes calling you thinking you are someone else. People in the
assisted category really need to pay attention and listen, not just send out
call and exchange and promptly click on the next available spot in the band map.
3. It certainly diminishes the skills to search and pounce the old fashioned
The philosophical aspect of it.
Is it real radio, real contesting, real DXing? Certainly not, if we consider
paradigms of ham radio operation must remain the same throughout time.
Is it good for contesting in terms of attracting casual operators and helping
the club score grow bigger? I believe yes.
Is it challenging? It depends on the perspective from which you look at it.
Stations in the assisted category are always well below the scores of regular
single ops. In my case It's a challenge to see how close (or far) I can come
respect to the plain single ops in my area. Or even from multi single stations.
Fact is, not only Single ops use clusters, MS, M2 and MM do it too.
Furthermore, now MS, M2 and MM are using skimmers maximize their scores.
But to me, the main problem is the distinction between single op and single op
assisted for both single band and all band categories.
I've been proposing for the past ten years that this distinction needs to be
eliminated and the use of packet should be incorporated to a single category
called single op.
Those who like to use packet will be able to do so. Those who don't like it
because they make bigger scores not using it, can continue to operate without
it. The important thing is: EVERYONE will be playing by the same rules. And the
use of this technology will be just a matter of likes and dislikes. A little
asterisk right next to the entrant’s callsign in the results will indicate the
use of DX spots. The packet cheating issue will be resolved for good.
I know people who don't like this idea bring to attention several other ways of
cheating in our hobby, but we are not talking about those, in this case we are
talking about the use of packet, telnet, web clusters, or even DX alerts made
friends on VHF.! And consequently, adapting the rules to what it is nowadays
an attempts to eliminate a distinction of single op categories, based on
something that is hardly detected.
The use of packet in amateur radio contests is recurring thread. Hope someday
the contests committees do something about it. And if they don’t at least they
publicly acknowledge at least this is being discussed.
One thing is for sure, in WPX contests the use of packet is not something to
recommend. I compared a couple of entries o’mine to others from my area and I
would have made bigger scores without dx spots distracting my focus to run run
I also recall IARU 2007. Where no packet is allowed for single ops. I really
used the second RX to chase mults during the 24 hour period a whole lot. Only
find some single op stations worked monstrous amounts of mults, even more than
MS stations and even more than several HQs!!!!!!
Hope somebody does something to eliminate this. There is already a good
of a major contest not making the single op distinction based on the packet
usage WAEDC. At least in that one, regarding this topic, I know for sure we all
play by the same rules.
Very best of best regards to you Jim. Hope we can meet again sometime soon.
[CQ-Contest] N6TJ AXIOMS OF LIFEJim Neiger n6tj at sbcglobal.net
Sat Jul 17 00:09:14 PDT 2010
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I will comment about your last paragraph David, since obviously you've never
ran a contest pile-up from the DX end, when often hundreds are all calling on
the same frequency. But then your statement: "ONLY if you DON'T have the skill
to know how to deal with it". I've been contesting 50 something years now,
there's never one where I don't learn something new. So please, go out
somewhere rare, and show us all how to do it. It's not that I don't send my
call frequently enough; some operators better than I, say I send it too
often. But growing-up when KH6IJ was my idol, I signed on to Nose's manner of
just sending my call at the end of the QSO, which when you're in a 4 per
minute rhythm (cw of course), the skilled operators calling simply know it
means 3 things: (1) I QSL your exchange and call; (2) I am XXX; and (3) QRZ.
It's simply musical poetry. No, David, that is not the problem. It's those
like you, and others, promoting packet, skimmers, nets, lists, etc. that have
destroyed the ability of many (most?) to copy. I send ZD8Z. Your students
post ZD9ZZ. Or 2D8Z. or ZD8MI. You opine that I should "just work the dupes
that don't listen and get them out of the way". I do this 99% of the time.
But often to the considerable detriment to my score. Like in the 1997 CQ WW
CW from ZD8Z. I did single band 15, and became the first to ever do 5000+
QSO's on a band. It's still the world record. But, because of your wonderful
technology operators, who busted my call in some of the above ways, I ended up
with an outrageous 7% DUPE rate. Help me out with the math, please, David:
7% of 5000 = 350 QSO's lost by DUPES. Which is equivalent to wasting about 3
hours of the contest. As you don't appear to be a serious contester, I can
understand why you don't care about wasting 3 hours. But for those of us with
a goal to operate 48 straight, can you understand why we might not be too
pleased that the generation you are fostering can't even copy code? And I
cannot let your last words of learned advice pass without a note: You said "
while adding a comment about what your real call is again" Ever try that, on
cw, when you've got 500 stations constantly calling you, and every dit you
starts a new fever of calling? Ever try to inform a DUPE, on CW, that he is
just that, when (1) he has no clue as to what your call is, and (2) obviously
doesn't believe he's DUPE'd you. And further to that, most likely his top
speed has maxed out somewhere around 15wpm. Again, please go out somewhere
this fall, and show us all how to do it. I'm always willing to learn. It's
late, and now every time I read the word DUPE, it's increasingly looking like
wrote DOPE. No insult intended, but I think I better quit here. Vy 73 Jim
Neiger N6TJ -------------------------------------------------- From: "K1TTT"
<K1TTT at ARRL.NET> Sent: Friday, July 16, 2010 4:13 AM To: <CQ-Contest at
contesting.com> Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] N6TJ AXIOMS OF LIFE >> NO. 548
Packet spotting, skimmers and that ilk, corrupts and perverts >> any >> attempt
to demonstrate operating skills, absolutely. > > Only if you consider packet
spotting not a part of operating. By now we > are > all aware that packet
spotting exists, it has existed for many years, and > it > will continue to be
a part of contest operating for the foreseeable > future... so learn how to
handle it and make it a part of your skill set. > >> They're happy, and I'm
with a DUPE. Wonderful. My only solution >> then >> is to QSY. Then watch
DUPES disappear (for awhile, at least) > > ONLY if you DON'T have the skill to
know how to deal with it... ID more > often, call a couple CQ's with your call
or 3 times, and just work the > dupes that don't listen and get them out of the
way... while adding a > comment about what your real call is again. > > David
Robbins K1TTT > e-mail: mailto:k1ttt at arrl.net > web: http://www.k1ttt.net >
AR-Cluster node: 145.69MHz or telnet://dxc.k1ttt.net > > > >
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