While I can appreciate the time you've put into your analysis, I have to sum
it up as follows:
- Because we cannot trust anyone to be honest, we all have to surrender to
those few who cheat and give up on the traditional un-assisted single
Is this really what we want? Are we all really that dishonest?
Some opinionated comments below: **
I guess I'm in the minority, but I'd like to voice my support for Randy
K5ZD's suggestion to merge assisted and non-assisted.
1. Assistance works in both directions: When you're running and someone
spots you, you're receiving the benefit of assistance even though you may
not be connected to a cluster yourself. Since the bulk of QSOs tend to come
from running rather than S&P, I suspect this is one of the main reasons why
unassisted scores are still higher than assisted.
** Not really - unassisted scores are higher because the challenge draws the
best talent. I also don't buy into premise of the non-assisted person being
assisted because those who are assisted call him. Assistance does not work
both directions. It is one-way only.
2. You may want to compete against other unassisted stations, but you can't
know for sure whether they're not assisted or just saying they aren't.
** See my summary above.
3. The rules that make someone be "assisted" are fairly arbitrary and hard
or impossible to enforce. If I left my PC upstairs connected to a cluster,
but never referenced the data during the contest, am I assisted? What if I
accidentally left my logger connected to a cluster for the first few minutes
or hours of a contest, and glanced at but didn't seriously use the data?
What if I was connected to cluster, but only worked the contest for a few
hours and spent the entire time running?
** Which contest has a rule about assistance that is "fairly arbitrary"? I
would like to see one.
** Unless you use the information from the cluster/network/skimmer you are
not assisted - by definition. Is there any contest rule that would cause one
to conclude that any of these non-use of assistance scenarios as you
describe would be considered assistance and therefore would be cheating?
** Enforce-ability is a "red herring" in discussions like this. There are
many rules that cannot be enforced in the traditional sense of finding
evidence which leads to a specific penalty. QRO is another clearly
"unenforceable" rule in that sense.
What if I'm connected to a local Skimmer, but I'm only using the data to
** Since in this scenario, you admit to "using" the information, you would
be assisted. This is the key - are you going to be honest about it?
I have my own opinion, but what if the Contest Committee investigates and
** If the entrant says he didn't use assistance, they have to go by that. If
they find evidence otherwise, he's going to be disqualified.
4. It's one less thing the Contest Committee would need to investigate and
** Again, see my summary above.
** The other thing is that many people "imagine" that it must be impossible
to detect packet usage. Well, it is not impossible. Cheaters do and are
** While it is reasonable to presume that someone could cheat very minimally
and get away with it - say, by working one packet spot multiplier per hour
during the entire contest (48 cheated mults!) we have to consider: is this
possibility sufficient reason to change the landscape of contesting in this
way?... because of a few low-life cheaters? Is that what we really want?
If the consensus is to retain the differentiation of assisted vs.
non-assisted, then perhaps non-assisted stations should be required to
register beforehand, so that clusters won't forward spots for their calls
during the contest. Then they would be truly unassisted. Silly, right?
** It is silly, but only because someone could "register" and then go ahead
and cheat anyway.
** Well, not really.
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