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Re: [CQ-Contest] A new "DX cluster" experience for contesters

To: <CQ-Contest@contesting.com>
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] A new "DX cluster" experience for contesters
From: "Paul O'Kane" <pokane@ei5di.com>
Date: Tue, 13 Apr 2010 21:06:09 +0100
List-post: <cq-contest@contesting.com">mailto:cq-contest@contesting.com>
Since one or two people disagreed with my remarks on
this subject, I've taken the liberty of combining my

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Henk Remijn PA5KT" <pa5kt@remijn.net>

> Now everybody in the modern civilized western world has
> access to high speed internet it has became part of life.
> And because of this also it is part of amateur radio life.

The difference between the internet, and most other things
that are "part of amateur radio life", is that the internet
is the only one used to replace RF in facilitating contest

> The RBN is a very useful tool to investigate radio waves
> propagation, which looks like "self-training" and "technical
> investigations" by persons interested in radio technique.

Hans is right, when the RBN is used in that context.  On the
other hand, where, exactly, is the self-training in clicking
a spot generated by the RBN?

> Why not leave them to their experiments and ignore it if
> you dont like it?

It's not the experiments I don't like - it's the fact that
the exerimenters don't know, or refuse to acknowledge, the
difference between the internet and amateur radio.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Pete Smith" <n4zr@contesting.com>

> Why not take solace in the sailboat/powerboat analogy -
> sailboat racing is still alive and well, sailboats don't
> race against powerboats, but they all use the same water,

Agreed - and powerboat racers never claim to be sailing,
because they recognise the fundamental difference between
what they do and what sailors do.

On the other hand, it seems that many contesters feel
free to combine two separate communications technologies,
the internet and amateur radio, and still claim that what
they're doing is amateur radio.  

Call it what you like, but don't call it what it's not -
amateur radio.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Lee J. Imber (WW2DX)" <lee@ww2dx.com>

> I am actually curious why this is a problem?

The problem is analagous to powerboat racers who claim
to be sailing. 

> What is the underlying harm of this addition to the cluster?

I said earlier "They may argue it's just a natural extension
of existing technology - the cluster.  If so, doesn't that
raise a question about the legitimacy of the cluster?

For those who have convinced themselves that the cluster
(the internet) is a natural part of contesting, there is
indeed no underlying harm to this addition.

> "weapon of mass destruction" how? what is it
> destroying?

Is is destroying the ability of contesters to use nothing
other than amateur band RF, and the associated mode(s),
to find and work other contesters.

> How is this any different from the invention of the telephone,
> internet, SDR, auto tuning amps, software logging, computer
> keying etc etc.

There is a clear distinction between accessories, and
alternative, non-amateur-radio, communications technlogies
used in parallel with amateur band RF to facilitate contest
QSOs.  If you're not sure which is which, I can probably

> I'm all ears

You may be hearing, but I hope you're listening :-)

> what is the question about the legitimacy (of the cluster)

It is every bit as legitimate to use the cluster in
contesting as it is to use alternative propulsion
methods in sailboat races.

> The internet is simply a device to move information from
> one spot to another, nothing else.

Wrong!  In certain contest categories, the internet replaces
RF when facilitating QSOs - you don't have to tune up and
down the band to find mults.

> I *think* I am a fairly open minded person I hope to
> grasp a better understanding on your views.

Good - I hope we have made progress :-)

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Robert Chudek - K0RC" <k0rc@citlink.net>

> What's the point? Technology changes everything, whether
> you like it or not.

Really?  Would you not accept the possibility, however
remote, that certain technologies may not be relevant
because either they are disproportionate or because 
they change the nature of the activity concerned.

That's probably why sailboat racers have an aversion to
engines - and why high-jumpers don't use springboards.

> Technology will not undermine amateur radio.

That's wishful thinking - we both know that inappropriate
technology undermines any activity you care to mention.
The cluster/internet undermines amateur radio because it
replaces RF with wires - it could hardly get much dafter :-)

> Operators unable to adapt and take advantage of newer
> technologies will undermine amateur radio.

And those progressive operators who adapt and take
advantage of inappropriate newer technologies are
likely fooling no one but themselves.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "W0MU Mike Fatchett" <w0mu@w0mu.com>

> And the bug, memory keyer, voice recorders, SO2R and on
> and on all killed contesting too?

Please review my comments about accessories and other,
non-amateur-radio communications technologies.

> RBN is amazing technology like it or not.  

I agree 100%.

> The high tech "cool" stuff is our only hope to draw in
> new people to the hobby.  

I'd say that the harder it is to distinguish between the
internet and amateur radio, the harder it will be to
interest others.  In my experience, newcomers perceive
amateur radio to be "cool" precisely because it is

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Idle-Tyme" <nss@mwt.net>
> Just like the instant logging on the new contest from the
> ARRL  the Rookie Roundup.  Unless you have the internet,
> too bad, youre not welcome in this contest.
> Sad when Radio has to have wires to play.

For the record, I support the ARRL's initiative in on-line
logging via the internet.  This approach to logging is NOT
a replacement for RF while contesting.

Paul EI5DI
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