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Re: [CQ-Contest] Remote Control in Contests

To: CQ Contest <cq-contest@contesting.com>
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] Remote Control in Contests
From: Zack Widup <w9sz.zack@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 12 Apr 2012 22:54:06 -0500
List-post: <cq-contest@contesting.com">mailto:cq-contest@contesting.com>
I see several scenarios here. It seems that each has proponents and
opponents. There may be more but these seem like the current

1. There is a lot of activity using Echolink/IRLP. These are usually
made through Internet connections to VHF/UHF FM repeaters. Someone
calls up the Echolink connection through his local repeater. The
connection to somewhere far away then takes place via Internet, where
it connects to a repeater at the other end. Only part of this path is
by radio. I'm sure this is a lot of fun, but I myself don't consider
this amateur radio. More like amateur Internet. But it's easy to spot.
When you hear someone talking to Australia via the local VHF FM
repeater, you know only a small part of the path is by radio waves. It
hasn't interested me much. But some people really get into it.

2. Someone can sit at his home with his own
transmitter/receiver/antennas but augment his receiving by using a
remote Internet DX tuner in another part of the country or even in
another country. He would transmit using his own station's
transmitter. This could allow you to hear some station(s) better than
you're hearing them on your own radio. I would frown on this for DXCC
or other award contacts, and most contest rules don't allow it. It
could be fun for run-of-the-mill QSO's for ragchewing, etc. It would
be more difficult for anyone to know it was taking place.

3. A remote station which is a complete transmitter/receiver/antenna
in one location controlled over Internet. Unless someone told you this
was taking place, it would be very difficult if not impossible to
detect. In my opinion, since the complete station is in one location,
it doesn't matter where the operator is. The contacts are still
completely by radio, from transmitter/receiver to the aether via the
antennas. I think it would be fine to use such a station in contests.
The contest QSO's would of course count as the station's location, not
the operator's. I would think that if you worked such a remote
station, the QSO would count for DXCC for the location of the station
(not the operator). Perhaps the operator could go for DXCC from the
site of the station? (i.e. the operator is in the USA but the station
is in the Caribbean. Maybe it would count for DXCC for the Caribbean
station and callsign?)

Back in the early 70's a friend of mine put together a station control
unit using a pair of CB walkie-talkies. It had a range of a block or
so. He couldn't tune the radio with them, but once a QSO had been
established, he could walk around in the yard or go down the street
and talk to the station at the other end via his HF rig. This was long
before computers were around.

And I was in a contest (I think it was Phone Sweepstakes) at W9YH, the
University of Illinois club station, in the mid or late 70's. We used
remote logging via a phone modem to the university's DEC-10 computer
about 15 miles away.

So a lot of this isn't new. We've just come up with better ways to do it!

73, Zack W9SZ

On 4/12/12, David Gilbert <xdavid@cis-broadband.com> wrote:
> Paul, you've flogged this topic to death so many times and still always
> miss the point that the rest of us, as well as the various contest and
> awards sponsors, don't really care about the link between the OPERATORS
> ... they only care about the link between the STATIONS.  You may not
> like that, but that's the reality of the situation.  The funny thing is
> that everyone, including you and including me, pretty much agrees that
> "the path of relevance" is defined by what the RF is doing.  If I am
> physically located in Arizona but operate a legally licensed remote
> station in Aruba that makes a contact with a station in Germany everyone
> agrees that the only allowable claim is for a contact between Aruba and
> Germany.  Your insistence that the RF needs to extend to the operator is
> purely arbitrary and without any foundation other than your own
> emotional bias.
> Dave   AB7E
> On 4/12/2012 9:42 AM, Paul O'Kane wrote:
>> What's different about remote control is that it uses the internet
>> (typically) to replace RF in the signal path between the operators
>> concerned. That's what makes the QSO fundamentally different from
>> vanilla QSOs, using RF only. We're back to the difference between
>> hybrid QSOs and amateur-radio QSOs - and that's why remote control
>> entries should be classified separately.
>> 73, Paul EI5DI
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