Checking solar conditions (SFI, A/K) via WWV or other means is of little
direct use. I find it mostly to be useful as a confirmation of why conditions
seem bad. If conditions seem good I'm too busy to check.
IMHO general information such as local weather via internet is likewise no
problem, even if it might be of use to know how long until the
thunderstorms will arrive.
Knowing the instantaneous condition of the path from your QTH to specific
spots in the world via RBN is beyond appropriate for single op.
73 - Jim K8MR
In a message dated 6/1/2012 12:19:14 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
If we leave it alone, the precedent was set to allow SO the ability to
check propagation numbers via WWV.
Do those number really mean anything? Obviously the op can check them
right up to the contest. Obviously there is no way to know who if any
are checking propagation numbers during the test.
What about prediction software being run throughout the contest?
The skimmer receiver workarounds are simple enough. Move the receiver
outside the circle or use another call.
Where do you draw the line? Obviously computers and computer logging
are accepted, SCP is accepted.
Some day I see one single op class as it is going to be nearly
impossible to legislate around all the loopholes and it is nearly
impossible to police.
W0MU-1 CC Cluster w0mu.net:23 or w0mu-1.dnsdynamic.com
On 6/1/2012 6:20 AM, Bob Naumann wrote:
> Thanks for the explanation of what the CAC recommended contrasted with
> we ended up with in the ARRL rules. I truly appreciate the efforts you
> in, and know how thankless a job it is.
> That said, I am somewhat puzzled as to why the CAC "intended" to allow
> categories of entry to use remote systems to evaluate propagation?
> "If the CAC's wording for the rules had been used, the practice would
> definitely be legal for all categories. This is exactly what the CAC
> Really? The CAC intended to allow all classes of entry to access the RBN
> over the Internet to "check propagation" of their own signals?
> This goes so against what I believe to be the fundamental non-assisted
> single op "boy and his radio" definition that quite frankly, I cannot
> imagine what you guys were thinking.
> Why would you envision allowing this activity for someone who is
> be doing everything without *any* outside assistance?
> Do we really need to alter what we all revere as traditional single op?
> it necessary to let outside technology in? To what end? Why?
> We already have the Assisted or Unlimited categories that encompass the
> of all this extraneous stuff - why do we need to taint the traditional
> single op category with this?
> Again, I strongly suggest that we not focus on what "assistance" may or
> not be, but instead focus on what "single operator" is and always has
> This definition is much easier to come up with, and is extremely narrow
> Simply, a single operator should not receive ANY information outside of
> own radio "tuning and listening" activity that occurs inside his head via
> his ears.
> You ask: "At the end of the day, does it really matter whether they come
> from your HF radio or the Internet"?
> My answer is an S9 +60db: YES IT MATTERS!
> Why do we need to morph single op into being the same as single op
> / unlimited, when we already have such categories that allow for all of
> The following sounds good on a first read (talking about defining single
> "But with rapid evolution in technology, station architecture and
> techniques, it has become increasingly difficult to define exactly what
> term means.
> Again, it's better to focus on the information received and its impact on
> the competition".
> I have to, once again, totally and vehemently disagree with this
> define single op. This is clearly the wrong approach. Defining single
> operator is very easy.
> Why would a single operating be receiving any information at all, from
> anywhere outside of his own direct actions, abilities and operating
> The underlying premise is completely flawed. A single operator should
> "receiving" *ANY* information from anywhere outside of his own direct
> actions, abilities and operating skills regardless of the impact to the
> competition. How did we lose this perspective?
> Again, while I truly appreciate the work done by the CAC, I think this
> initiative was flawed and completely misguided.
> Bottom line: leave single op alone.
> Bob W5OV
> -----Original Message-----
> From: firstname.lastname@example.org
> [mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf Of Dick Green WC1M
> Sent: Friday, June 01, 2012 2:33 AM
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
> Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] Aniother rules/remote RX issue
> I'm no longer on the ARRL Contest Advisory Committee, and certainly don't
> speak for ARRL, but since I led the CAC's deliberations on Remote
> and CW Skimmer, maybe I can shed some light on the questions asked by
> and Igor. The ARRL rules are fairly clear on the practices Pete and Igor
> describe, but it's a little more complicated than you might think and
> are some issues with the wording of the rules.
> By rule 3.7, use of a remote receiver to check for a clear frequency, as
> described by Pete, is not allowed in the Single-Operator category under
> circumstances. For Single-Op Unlimited and Multi-Operator, the "spotting
> network" exception in rule 126.96.36.199 applies. You could setup a remote
> receiver and have it send Skimmer spots to the RBN. Since those spots are
> available to everyone, this would be legal. But by rule 2.2.1, you could
> send audio or spots from the remote receiver over a Private internet
> connection or phone link.
> Filtering RBN spots of your own call to evaluate propagation, as
> by Igor, is not allowed in the Single Operator category because by rule
> 2.1.1 the use of "spotting assistance and nets" is prohibited. There's
> actually a significant issue with the wording of this rule, which I'll
> address below, but going strictly by what's published, Single-Ops can't
> it. For the Single-Operator Unlimited and Multi-Operator categories, the
> exception in rule 188.8.131.52 would apply, and the practice would be legal as
> long as you get the information via a publicly available spotting
> However, you can't do it with a remote receiver that you install and/or
> control. That would be self-spotting, which is prohibited by rule 3.14.
> Going back to Pete's question, remote receivers must filter out your
> avoid running afoul of the rule against self-spotting.
> [Hmmm... are stations with dedicated *local* Skimmer radios that send
> to the RBN filtering out their own calls?]
> Now for the problem with the wording of the ARRL rules:
> In 2009, the CAC studied CW Skimmer and developed clearly-worded changes
> the rules to address the technology. Those recommendations were
> their entirety, by the ARRL Programs and Services Committee, a
> of the ARRL Board of Directors. However, the wording that subsequently
> appeared in the official rules does not match the CAC's recommendations.
> didn't discover that until fairly recently, and I don't know why the
> PSC-approved recommendations weren't used when the rules were revised.
> Unfortunately, the official wording is unclear and does not correctly
> express the intent of the recommendations the CAC labored over for many
> months. Perhaps someone at ARRL can explain how and why this happened.
> The problem is that the official rules do not define the terms "spotting
> assistance" and "spotting nets". In contrast, the CAC report uses the
> "spotting information", defined as follows:
> "Spotting Information: Information specifying the transmit or receive
> frequency and any portion of the call sign, identity, exchange
> or location of another station with which a contest QSO could be made."
> In Igor's scenario, when you receive a spot of your own call, you are not
> getting information about "another station with which a contest QSO
> made." Therefore, it's not spotting information. If the CAC's wording for
> the rules had been used, the practice would definitely be legal for all
> This is exactly what the CAC intended. Unlike many of the arguments
> Skimmer that were taking place on the cq-contest reflector at the time,
> that have been resurrected for the current debate, the CAC avoided
> interpretation or definition of the word "assistance". As the public
> demonstrated so well, that's a very slippery slope, especially when you
> to evaluate whether a particular technology is assistance or not.
> we thought it was better to look at the issue from the point of view of
> information is being received and what impact that information has on
> operating requirements and competitive factors.
> The essential point is this: tuning and listening is the heart and soul
> Single-Op. It requires a certain set of skills, strategy and patience. If
> you're using information from any source outside the frequency to which
> radio is tuned to find, identify and work stations, then you aren't
> and listening. That represents a fundamental difference in the operating
> techniques and requirements associated with the Single-Op category,
> dramatically changes the time it takes to find and work stations, and
> changes the competitive landscape. What's more, the result looks exactly
> like what a Single-Operator Unassisted does with packet spots. Looks like
> packet, smells like packet, should be treated like packet. This approach
> makes it very easy to decide whether or not CW Skimmer spots should be
> By focusing on the information and the benefit it provides, we avoided
> difficult semantic arguments over the meaning of "assistance", whether
> there's a difference if the source is man or machine, and whether a
> particular technology, now or in the future, might violate the spirit of
> So, if you look at it from that point of view, using RBN spots of your
> call to evaluate propagation doesn't fundamentally alter the key
> differentiator of the Single-Op category: the requirement that you tune
> listen to make QSOs. Yes, the technology provides some benefit, but it's
> along the same lines as using a band scope to determine if a band is
> It's helpful, but it doesn't drastically alter the playing field. Yes,
> information comes from outside your station, but so do WWV reports, which
> are perfectly legal. Are the scientists involved in those reports
> assistance? At the end of the day, does it really matter whether they
> from your HF radio or the Internet?
> I know the CAC's approach may not be appreciated by those who think the
> rules for Single-Op should be based on the simple premise of "A boy and
> radio". But with rapid evolution in technology, station architecture and
> operating techniques, it has become increasingly difficult to define
> what that term means. Again, it's better to focus on the information
> received and its impact on the competition.
> For those interested in the CAC's deliberations on Remote Operating and
> Skimmer, the reports are published on the ARRL web site:
> Remote Operating
> CW Skimmer
> Each of the above documents is a semi-annual report to the Program and
> Services Committee on the CAC's activities, but at the end of the main
> reports you will find individual reports on the CAC's deliberations and
> recommendations on the two topics of interest here.
> 73, Dick WC1M
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Edward Sawyer [mailto:SawyerEd@earthlink.net]
>> Sent: Wednesday, May 30, 2012 5:33 PM
>> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
>> Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] Aniother rules/remote RX issue
>> The rules in CQ WW state as "call sign alerting assistance of any kind"
>> and "remote receivers" are not allowed.
>> The rules of ARRL DX state as "use of spotting assistance or automated,
>> multi-channel decoders" are not allowed.
>> Specifically, in CQ WW, I believe you would have to consider the RBN a
>> form of a remote receiver and since ANY use of a remote receiver would
>> look to be not allowed, I would interpret as not allowed.
>> In ARRL DX, I believe the "multi-channel" decoder use (public or
>> would be a local skimmer or public RBN. Again, for this reason, I
>> say, not allowed.
>> More interesting would be the use of looking up spots of yourself,
>> especially in Phone contests. No use of remote receiver or decoder and
>> no call sign alerting assistance (unless you consider your own call
>> a call sign alert). That one seems to be squarely in the seams of the
>> rules to me.
>> The contest organizers should really keep updating the rules to clarify
>> such questions as technology is evolving. It would help all of us "play
>> and all play off of the same play book.
>> Ed N1UR
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