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Re: [CQ-Contest] Skimmer musings

To: "\"CQ Contest List\" <"<cq-contest@contesting.com>
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] Skimmer musings
From: bob@reconstructinghistory.com
Date: Sun, 27 Apr 2008 05:41:49 -0500 (EST)
List-post: <cq-contest@contesting.com">mailto:cq-contest@contesting.com>
On Apr 27 00:33, Guy Molinari <guy_molinari@hotmail.com> wrote:

> I suspect you haven't read the e-mails.   I think the debate has been 
> rather thoughtful and healthy for the sport.   If I didn't, I would probably
> opt out of the mailing list.   A choice open to all of us.

I have contemplated opting out of the list, because while this debate at least 
has been (mostly) respectful, it has seldom been thoughtful and quite often so 
pedantic as to be little more than an exercise in mental masturbation.

"My opinion is this, stated without any evidence of thought deeper than 'No 
sir; I don't like it.'"

"Oh, yeah?  Well, you're wrong, because my equally unsupported opinion is 

Yes, there are the odd posts where the poster will actually explore his 
opinion, display the reasoning behind his stance.  But the majority act as if 
the reasons are self-evident why his opinion is the only possible solution.  
And there are seemingly 702,347 of those posts weekly.  It gets to be a bit 
much to endure. ;-)

If ever there was a time when I wanted to opt out of this list, it was the 
recent and resurging cheating threads.  Talk about saying everything and 
signifying nothing - lots and lots of pointless, repetitive bitching, though.

Anyhow, moving on.

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

> And this statement isn't pedantic?

Not really.  It's cut-and-paste from Dictionary.com. ;-)

Seriously, I found it necessary to define the term in order to successfully 
frame the rest of my position.  This list seems to enjoy counting the angels 
dancing, so I thought it useful to define the size of the pin-head. ;-)

> It really depends upon your definition of the radio art.   Some define this as
> technology as an end in itself.   Others view this as a sport where operator
> skill development is paramount.   The consensus seems to be that allowing
> skimmer in the unassisted category does not advance the art and sport of 
> radio.   Why, because the technology is not about automating a process 
> that a single op cannot do.  Namely, copy signals outside of the receiver
> passband.   There has been a debate about SO2R as well.   This IMHO is
> a technological advancement that advances the radio art.   Why?  Because
> it raises the bar in terms of operating skill.   There is no double standard 
> here.

While I think I understand what you're saying, I don't understand why you think 
one raises the bar while the other doesn't.  

You said: "the technology is not about automating a process that a single op 
cannot do."  What about SO2R is about automating processes a single op can't 
do?  Seems to me much of SO2R technology is automating processes a single op 
could do manually, but chooses not to - like bandswitching, logging, etc.  
Hell, you don't even have to raise a finger to flip switches if you don't want 
to; buy the right gear, and with one mouseclick your bandpass filter will 
automatically switch to the new new band, the computer will read the exact 
frequency from the radio, the amplifier will tune itself, and the rotator will 
aim the beam where the prefix you just entered into the log says it should.

This is supposed to raise the bar of operating skill?  [rolls eyes]  

I just don't see the difference.

> If you take this at face value, you will see that this is not about fear.   
> No 
> one is suggesting a ban of skimmer.   Just that it be placed in the 
> appropriate category per the essence and spirit of the definition of 
> assistance
> as currently written.   

This I understand.  I guess I simply disagree that Skimmer is Assisted; I don't 
think it's any different than any other bit of equipment in a well-equipped 
contester's shack.

> I like the technology quite frankly.  I believe that a skimmer network will 
> increase the number of QSO's overall due to the fact that EVERYONE will be
> spotted (cheerleading becomes irrelevant). 73 - Guy, N7ZG

Cool!  I hadn't thought of it in that way.


Bob NQ3X

No cute furry animals were harmed in preparing and sending this email.  
Countless electrons, however, were terribly inconvenienced.
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