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Re: [CQ-Contest] Skimmer, CQWW, how to cheat, etc

To: cq-contest@contesting.com
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] Skimmer, CQWW, how to cheat, etc
From: "Leigh S. Jones, KR6X" <kr6x@kr6x.com>
Date: Wed, 23 Apr 2008 18:07:11 -0700
List-post: <cq-contest@contesting.com">mailto:cq-contest@contesting.com>
KR2Q wrote:

> With respect to CQWW, the language (IMHO) is very clear.  Check the rules 
> yourself:
> "The use of DX alerting assistance of any kind places the station in the 
> Single
> Operator Assisted category."
> Use of skimmer is certainly DX Alerting Assistance.  Are YOU finding the 
> DX and QRG
> yourself?  No.  You are getting assistance both in identifying the 
> callsign and the QRG.

I recognize your disclaimer that this was your opinion only.  I'm going to 
have to agree.

I'd have to interpret the word "assistance" as implying that one or more 
assistants are part
of the mix.  Your interpretation of the word "assistance" without an 
assistant could be just as
applicable to any customary piece of hamshack equipment, such as a receiver, 
computer, W9IOP second operator, etc.  I apologize if that last one may be 
to some young readers.

If I were to tune in WWV at the appropriate moment before or during the DX 
contest and
learn the solar flux number, that would assist me to be alert to potential 
DX openings and
satisfy the language of the interpretation you've suggested above.  Yet 
tuning in the WWV
propagation bulletins has never made anyone "assisted" by past rules 

We can, by very fine incremental changes, illustrate the fallacy of your 
interpretation, as
without the distinction of the assisted class receiving "assistance" from a 
human, some
"assistance" is always present an real during contests.  There's a 
continuum, an unbroken
string of connections along your chosen logical pathway that directly 
connects the mundane
pencil to the DX spotting net.

For example, another contester down the highway a mile or two is slightly 
audible in your
receiver as phase noise when transmitting.  You can quickly tune him in 
whenever he calls
in a pile-up.  You're scanning 15 meters Sunday afternoon and he comes on 
the air.  You
happen to tune across him, and stop to work the station he is calling. 
You've just received
DX alerting of some kind.

I could go on, but there's a more important issue.

The clear reality is that the rule was written to prevent the use of DX 
spotting nets,
whether that spotting came via internet, packet, or old fashioned phone 
spotting nets.  It
was intended to be applicable whether the source was a worldwide group of 
of spots, or simply a single cross-town link with one assistant.  The rule 
was not intended
to prevent you from connecting a computer to a second receiver in your own 
unless what was being received by the second receiver was transmissions from 
alerting you to DX.

Now, the rule might possibly be reworded to make its intent more clear; such 
should be expected from time to time.  And, you have a right to hope that 
the new rule
wording or interpretation will fit in nicely to your value system.   In a 
world in which new
technical achievements are constantly possible, we should not expect that 
new rules
will never be needed to deal with new realities.

But to distort the intention of the rule as written only serves to weaken 
your stance.
Judging by your posting, you probably believe that the rules should be 
clarified to
disallow the use of "skimmer" for single operator class entrants.  Here the 
issue should
be that the rules need to be rewritten from time to time so that each 
personal interpretation of the rules can be expected to be consistent with 
those of
other entrants.

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