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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: W0MU Mike Fatchett <w0mu@w0mu.com>
Date: Wed, 11 Apr 2012 10:04:31 -0600
List-post: <cq-contest@contesting.com">mailto:cq-contest@contesting.com>
I agree with Pete 100 percent.

Remote radio is becoming the next big advancement and that is a good 
thing.  It allows people who are handicapped, live in covenant 
controlled communities, or have other issues that do not allow them to 
operate a ham station to do so remotely and very legally.  If it gets 
more people on the air and enjoying our hobby I think it is great and 
even better to have more people involved in a contest.

I think so people need to step back and remember this is a hobby.  We 
get paper awards and 100 dollar plaques for our troubles and investments 
in our stations.

I would love to be able to rent a Caribbean station for a contest 
weekend and be able to operate it from my house in Colorado.  Sure I 
would miss out on meeting local hams and getting to visit a nice warm 
island during the winter, which are things I very much enjoy but can 
only do so often.  I would also save a ton of $$$, time and the hassle 
of dragging a bunch of gear on an airplane, having to strip for TSA etc....

Some people are resistant to change and become angry, others embrace it 
and continue to be happy.  Nobody is requiring anyone to use these 
modern day advances like RBN, Skimmer, Remote control, packet, JST, 
PSK31, SSB, AMTOR, SSTV.  Operate the way you want, with the modes you 
like and be active.

If a remote station is built well you would never ever know they were 
remote.  So explain how this affects you and your fun in a contest?  The 
internet is medium in which the person hears the stations calling.  
Should we ban long headphone cords or cordless headphones because they 
allow an operator to wander the house?  What exactly is the difference?  

When people pay for my stuff and pay my taxes then they can tell me how 
to operate.   The same person complaining about the internet over and 
over is getting old.

Contesting is still on the rise.  submissions are up, participation is 
up which are all great things.  I could point to the internet as one of 
the main reasons we are seeing more participation not the other way around.

Mike W0MU

W0MU-1 CC Cluster w0mu.net

On 4/11/2012 6:54 AM, Pete Smith N4ZR wrote:
> 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 
> reversebeacon.blogspot.com,
> 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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