[Top] [All Lists]

[CQ-Contest] Skimmer musings

To: "cq-contest@contesting.com" <cq-contest@contesting.com>
Subject: [CQ-Contest] Skimmer musings
From: R P Davis <bob@reconstructinghistory.com>
Date: Sat, 26 Apr 2008 13:50:17 -0400
List-post: <cq-contest@contesting.com">mailto:cq-contest@contesting.com>
w5ov@w5ov.com wrote:

 > Here is the rule:
 > "Those stations at which one person performs all of the operating,
 > logging, and spotting functions. The use of DX alerting assistance of any
 > kind places the station in the Single Operator Assisted category."
 > Where in the rule is there an implied exception for a new kind of 
 > assistance? The intent of the rule was to be comprehensive does not allow
 > for any kind of assistance. It is quite clear.

First, your whole argument rides on the assumption that Skimmer is 
always defined as "Dx alerting assistance", which is not self-evident; 
that's one of the things this debate is trying to hammer out.

Second, I for one require some sort of citation or reference supporting 
your claim to know the intent of the rule.  Were you involved in 
developing it?  Are you privy to information relating to the rule's 
development?  If so, thank you for your hard work!  If not, you should 
be more careful, because your interpretation of the rule is not 
necessarily the intent of the rule, no matter how self-evident it is to you.

Third, and related to Second, "does not allow for any kind of assistance"?

I think we have to define 'assistance' in this instance.  Assisted by 
another person?  Or assisted by technology?

If 'assisted' means 'aided by another person' - like DX Cluster, another 
operator in the shack or repairing the station, etc. - we're on solid 
ground, as that's a definite .. er ... definition.

If 'assisted' means 'anything that includes aid, whether it's aided by 
technology not impacted by a person other than the operator, or aided by 
another operator (packet or in-shack)' it's a slippery slope liberally 
shaded with different areas of grey.  Everyone's going to have a 
different definition.

For example, Definition Two could be interpreted to mean that anything 
other than "an operator, a radio and an antenna system" is assisted - no 
second radios, no automated keyers (voice or otherwise), etc.  After 
all, do those tools not make the operator's life easier, and is that not 
the definition of both 'aid' and 'assist'?

aid: To help or furnish with help, support, or relief. n.
    1. The act or result of helping; assistance.
    2. An assistant or helper.
    3. A device that assists.

verb (used with object)
    1. to give support or aid to; help: Please assist him in moving the 
    2. to be associated with as an assistant or helper.
–verb (used without object)
    3. to give aid or help.

Thus, it is possible that any sort of assistance whatever, from keyers 
to computer logging to automatic bandswitching, can be construed under 
the rules as "assistance".  Never mind that a contester who holds such 
an opinion is a hopeless Luddite; it must be admitted that such opinions 
are not only possible, they've been seen recently on this email list.

If it runs in the operator's shack and is not impacted by other 
operators, it isn't assistance under the rules.  If you're running 
Skimmer on a second or third receiver, there is no salient difference 
from spinning the knob on a second receiver while operating SO2R except 
- if I'm understanding Skimmer correctly - that the computer is filling 
the bandmap based on what the receiver hears.

Lumping locally-controlled Skimmer in with DXCluster is like banning 
computerized logging.  It's been said in this debate that the CW should 
be received and decoded with human ears and brain.  It can also be 
argued that human eyes and brain should be used to dupe and score a log. 
  Moreover, if we permit an op to SEND Morse by computer, why are we 
petulantly refusing the op the technology to use a computer RECEIVE 
Morse?  How delightfully illogical, and therefore human.

I guess it's just simple for me: if it's not another human aiding me, 
it's not Assisted.

Frankly, I find the whole argument smacks of people railing against a 
technology which they fear in no small way; perhaps it threatens to make 
their CW skills - and by extension they themselves - obsolete.  Talk 
about refusing a paradigm!  Aren't we supposed to be advancing the radio 
art?  Yeah, let's just slam the door on this potentially powerful new 
technology before we make an effort to integrate it into individual 
contesting strategy and technique.

[rolls eyes]

Given past experience with this list, this 'debate' will continue ad 
nauseum, saying everything and signifying nothing, until it just dies 
without solving anything, without accomplishing anything except a 
certain amount of catharsis for participants (guilty!).  I must admit 
I've been deleting most of the posts for days, because I have a low 
tolerance for pedantry and reaction instead of reasoned response.

Y'all have fun, though!


Bob NQ3X


Bob McGann-Davis
Reconstructing History
CQ-Contest mailing list

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>