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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: Ron Notarius W3WN <wn3vaw@verizon.net>
Date: Wed, 11 Apr 2012 11:13:41 -0500 (CDT)
List-post: <cq-contest@contesting.com">mailto:cq-contest@contesting.com>
IMHO, there are three related issues here, all of which have been used on the 
corpse of the poor deceased horse at one time or another for years.
Issue 1: Eligibility of Remote Controlled Station(s) in the Contest.
IMHO, so long as the operation adheres to the rules of the contest at hand, 
there ought to be no issue regarding a RC station when the operator is located 
elsewhere. In short, if it's not prohibited, it's allowed. 
Should you disagree that this type of operation ought to be permitted... and 
frankly, from a technical standpoint, if someone can make the remote station 
work with all of the related issues, more power to them... this is an issue to 
take up with the particular contest organizers. Which is not to say that 
opinions from others should or should not be sought out here & other places as 
Issue 2: Eligibility of Remote Controlled Station(s) for DXCC Purposes
I think this one's been settled for quite some time. Under current DXCC rules, 
if the operator of the remote controlled station is not located within the 
boundaries of the same DXCC entity that the station is located in, the station 
does not count for DXCC purposes under either entity. 
The last time that this was discussed, I recall getting a pretty firm 
declaration from someone (not Bill Moore though) at ARRL stating as such. 
Again, if you disagree, make your case to the DXCC desk and/or your rep on the 
DXCC Advisory Committee (DXAC).
Issue 3: Morality or Ethics of the Remote Controlled Station(s) in the Contest
This may be the real issue at hand with Paul and several others. WHY is the 
remote station being used?
Is it a case of an operator who (for any of a number of legitimate reasons) can 
not operate, or operate effectively, from their home? (Examples would include 
someone on a business trip, someone living in an area where they are severely 
limited in antennas, someone in the military... and plenty more, you get the 
Or is it a case of an operator who simply chooses, out of convenience, to not 
travel to the contest station? 
Or is it a case of a remote station that the operator borrows, the so-called 
rent-a-shack? But instead of travelling to a tropical or vacation setting, they 
just rent the equipment & operate it remotely?
And there are many other scenarios one can paint.
The real question is... the real why... is the ultimate purpose less than 
[What's ethical, you ask? Now that's a darn good question, and I'll answer that 
one as soon as I compute how many Angels can dance on the head of a pin, which 
depends on the size of the pin, and whether or not we use the 25 active players 
on the LA Angels roster, or the entire 40 man roster as a starting point, to 
say nothing of the minor leaguers in their system]
Lacking a better definition or working theory, at present, I'd say that if the 
purpose of the operator is to simply operate the remote station, and ONLY the 
remote station (that is to say, he or she is not also a member of a multi-op 
team at another site, or is running part of the contest under the "home" call 
and part under the "remote" call, or other oddball situations like that), and 
is willing to put up with all of the technical glitches that could occur with a 
remote station, I don't have a problem.
Now if the intention is to, for lack of a better term (and I'm not saying that 
this is the case with OH2UA or anyone else, just in general) is to do something 
that is contrary to the spirit, if not the letter, of the contest rules... 
well, I'm not saying it would necessarily be wrong, but I would want to look 
into it. Which doesn't sound very specific, but this happens when you start 
getting into the gray areas, or start breaking new grounds. 
So rather than berate Paul or anyone else for taking a stand contrary to the 
practice of a remote station... maybe it's time for a constructive conversation 
to decide under what circumstances a remote station should be permitted to 
operate & compete in the events. 
Because it's one thing is someone wants to "win" by running a remote station 
from a rare entity. It's quite another thing if someone is using technology to 
operate when they couldn't otherwise. And there's quite a bit of territory in 
So where do you draw the line? Or do you draw one?
THAT is the issue. IMHO. YMMV. 
73, ron w3wn
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