Except it's not that simple because the clusters assist the unassisted.
A single operator travels to a rare multiplier and calls CQ. He or she is
immediately spotted on the clusters. This instant free worldwide advertising
works wonders as hordes of assisteds/unlimiteds swarm the single op station.
The single op enjoys a great run. The "unassisted" station's rate and score are
pushed higher with the presence of the spotting network than without.
This is the underlying logical flaw with the assisted/unassisted classification
-- it overlooks the fact that it takes two stations to make a QSO. Third party
assistance assists both sides of the QSO, not just one side. To have single op
be truly unassisted you either have to make the assisted/unassisted class a
part of the exchange and score accordingly, or have a "vintage" contest where
all forms of assistance are banned for all operators.
It's true the spotting networks are beyond the SO's control, but from what I've
seen, the global spotting networks are so efficient and pervasive now that the
indirect assistance effect is not insignificant.
73 Jim K6OK
"One operator, no spotting networks, no information from elsewhere, no
skimmers, no RBN. Just one operator, his equipment located at his station
and he has at it. One operator, alone. Simple."
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