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Re: [CQ-Contest] Remote Control in Contests

To: cq-contest@contesting.com
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] Remote Control in Contests
From: Pete Smith N4ZR <n4zr@contesting.com>
Date: Wed, 11 Apr 2012 08:54:16 -0400
List-post: <cq-contest@contesting.com">mailto:cq-contest@contesting.com>
It will come as no surprise that I disagree entirely with Paul.  Every 
single QSO that Toni made was a legitimate, unsolicited, 100% amateur 
radio QSO from the Azores.

I think Paul is conflating this legitimate technical and operating 
achievement with the use of remote receivers, self-spotting, 
post-contest log massaging and other clear violations of the essential 
values of amateur radio contesting.  There are "bright lines" in our 
sport, but they are not where he draws them.

73, Pete N4ZR
The World Contest Station Database, updated daily at www.conteststations.com
The Reverse Beacon Network at http://reversebeacon.net, blog at 
spots at telnet.reversebeacon.net, port 7000 and
arcluster.reversebeacon.net, port 7000

On 4/11/2012 5:22 AM, Paul O'Kane wrote:
> In the ARRL Contest Update for April 11, 2012 we read
>      Radio Arcala team member Toni OH2UA was at the
>      controls of CQ8X for a serious contest operation
>      in the Azores for WPX SSB.  That's not unusual.
>      What was unusual is that the 4543 contacts were
>      made over a remote link across the Internet -
>      4500 kilometers from the actual station!  Remote
>      operation is becoming more and more common.  Big
>      scores like CQ8X's 15 million points show that
>      remoting can work well!"
> It's not surprising that remote control works well - it uses
> the internet!  Nevertheless, it seems to me that if the only
> way you can have a "QSO" is to first connect to the internet,
> and stay connected, then, however you choose to describe it,
> the contact is at best some form of hybrid communications
> contact.  Technical and personal considerations, no matter
> how impressive, how challenging or how deserving, cannot
> change this fact.
> By connecting to the internet, contesters abandon the
> communications independence that defines amateur radio -
> the independence that justifies our access to the bands.
> Remote control may be great fun, a significant technical
> challenge and a source of personal satisfaction, but none
> of this is relevant - and especially so in the context of
> contesting.
> Those who claim "it's the only way I can get on the air"
> deserve no sympathy. Those who do it to gain a competitive
> advantage deserve derision.  Remote control serves only
> to undermine amateur radio by putting the wires back into
> wireless.  It doesn't just devalue your contacts, it
> disqualifies them as amateur-radio QSOs.  If you can't
> operate amateur radio, or be competitive, from where you
> are, then go to where you can.
> To those who enjoy being hybrid-communications amateurs,
> I say go ahead and have fun with remote control, but
> please not during contests - and don't misrepresent your
> contacts as amateur-radio QSOs.  The way to promote
> amateur radio, and contesting in particular, is to
> demonstrate and celebrate its absolute independence as
> a communications mode.
> In tolerating remote control, contest organisers lose
> control.
> 73,
> Paul EI5DI
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