I see where Paul's coming from. I disagree with him, in general, on the
subject, but I see his point.
It is one thing if I run a remote station (however it's controlled), and
identify myself in the contest based on the location of the transmitter &
antennas. From what I've been reading since this topic reared its head
again, few have a problem with that. We may disagree on the specifics of
how to adjust (if necessary) the rules of a contest to fairly allow for
this, but the basic operation is OK.
However: (and this is where I believe Paul has his major issue)
It is another thing if I run said remote station, but identify myself based
on MY location, or another random location, regardless of the transmitter
location. The hypothetical case of a Midwest contester running a remote
from the Northeast, to gain an advantage over other Midwest stations trying
to work into Europe & Africa, would be one such example. Or a North
American station in a major DX contest running a remote transmitter on 160
in Europe, to work stations he can not hear from his home QTH, would be
another. [ IMHO, this is akin to running 100 W or more but claiming your
power category as QRP. ] Again, from what I'm reading, this is not so
acceptable to the group. Or am I wrong?
The key difference is ethical. IMHO, ethically, you ID your contest station
based on the transmitter. (And almost certainly, this is legally required
in most countries anyway, but that's not my point)
The reality is simply that RC stations aren't going away. The underlying
technology and infrastructure is constantly improving, and it fulfills a
need for so many who have few or no other options.
Therefore, it would be pointless to outright ban it. So do we ignore it?
Or adjust the rules to make clear what IS and IS NOT acceptable?
Related to that, I would argue that we may be approaching the point where is
many contests, it makes sense to create a separate category for RC stations.
Not to "protect" the "traditional" operators... I suspect that at least for
now, in most cases, they don't need it.
To my thinking, it makes sense so that the RC stations, which have technical
issues and complications that the traditional station don't, should compete
in their own category head-to-head. It would encourage those who have more
modest RC stations, who figure that they don't have a chance of beating the
guy down the road who can sit in front of his rig (and don't have latency
issues, or have to worry about what happens if the RC goes down or off line
on them, to name two) and beat the pants off them.
After all, isn't that the main purpose behind the categories? To give
similar situations a chance to compete against their peers?
73, ron w3wn
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