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Re: [CQ-Contest] Remote Control in Contests

To: pokane@ei5di.com
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] Remote Control in Contests
From: Geoffrey Way <wayg@cape-vision.com>
Date: Thu, 12 Apr 2012 09:11:54 -0400
List-post: <cq-contest@contesting.com">mailto:cq-contest@contesting.com>

I've been away from the reflector for over a week, due to the death of a 
close friend and business partner. So I'm sorry if this reply to your topic 
comes late in the discussion.

I respect your desire that contests and activities stay pure, and agree 
that your desire has certain merits. Things like straight key night should 
be just that: straight keys only.

I respectfully disagree with your assertion that a remote operation which 
abides by the rules of a given contest should be discredited, or 
disqualified. DXCC rules are a layer of validity on the value of a given 
QSO, but you seem to be superimposing the spirit of the DXCC criteria on a 
separate event, a contest that in my understanding isn't even an ARRL 
event. The QSO might be valid for the score in a contest yet simultaneously 
have no value toward DXCC in ARRL's view. A real shame for anyone who might 
have thought they were gaining something but found out later they hadn't. 
I've accepted that risk in my operating such stations, and just live with 
it. I also use VHF repeaters, which frequently use echolink or IRLP, and 
have no expectation that the contacts will add to my DXCC totals or (gasp!) 
give me points in a contest. As Niels Bohr said, "The opposite of a correct 
statement is indeed an incorrect statement; but the opposite of a profound 
truth may well be *another* profound truth."

I would encourage you to consider the merit of lobbying that Remote 
Operating may need to be listed as a separate category and not used to 
leverage scoring among non-remote operations, as you might have a truthful 
fact in favor of such a position.

There is a feeling of Puritanism in your sentiments, so I would like to 
indulge in a hypothetical question:

In earlier times, there was no voice operating, only CW. If you had been 
around in those days, what would you have said about the advent of voice 
modulation and its use for operating/contesting? After all, there would no 
longer be a direct connection of one's hand to the key, and now the 
information conveyed is coupled by waves of energy passing through air to a 
microphone. Combined with VOX switching, you no longer have firsthand 
physical contact at all times while sending. Is that any different than 
your assertions on "remote" operating?

I would also encourage you to consider the proposition that raising your 
concerns by suggesting something should be disallowed is a form of 
invalidation to not just one remote operator, but also those who consider 
the idea of doing some remote operating as well, and makes your argument 
far less credible. If the Remote Operating is currently acceptable to a 
contest sponsor, I doubt you'll have much luck getting them to retract or 
revise their rules on that aspect after the event has already taken place.

But if you were to actively promote in a positive fashion that the rules as 
they are represent an unfair practice, perhaps due to the leverage afforded 
by use of the remote location to attain higher standings as a Single Op, 
maybe, and even *that* is a maybe, your assertions might get some traction 
or real leverage because you could argue that Remote Operating is a 
category unto itself. It would also present a more inclusive position that 
is welcoming to future yet-to-be innovations within the hobby.


  "Style is a simple way of saying complicated things."  --J. Cocteau

               \    /
            \  |    |   ---Tao.   A chinese character that
            -- |----|                means "Way, Path."
             / |----|
             \ |____|
             /_________                  Geoffrey Way

      websites: http://www.cape-vision.com/wayg/mrep

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