I've been away from the reflector for over a week, due to the death of a
close friend and business partner. So I'm sorry if this reply to your topic
comes late in the discussion.
I respect your desire that contests and activities stay pure, and agree
that your desire has certain merits. Things like straight key night should
be just that: straight keys only.
I respectfully disagree with your assertion that a remote operation which
abides by the rules of a given contest should be discredited, or
disqualified. DXCC rules are a layer of validity on the value of a given
QSO, but you seem to be superimposing the spirit of the DXCC criteria on a
separate event, a contest that in my understanding isn't even an ARRL
event. The QSO might be valid for the score in a contest yet simultaneously
have no value toward DXCC in ARRL's view. A real shame for anyone who might
have thought they were gaining something but found out later they hadn't.
I've accepted that risk in my operating such stations, and just live with
it. I also use VHF repeaters, which frequently use echolink or IRLP, and
have no expectation that the contacts will add to my DXCC totals or (gasp!)
give me points in a contest. As Niels Bohr said, "The opposite of a correct
statement is indeed an incorrect statement; but the opposite of a profound
truth may well be *another* profound truth."
I would encourage you to consider the merit of lobbying that Remote
Operating may need to be listed as a separate category and not used to
leverage scoring among non-remote operations, as you might have a truthful
fact in favor of such a position.
There is a feeling of Puritanism in your sentiments, so I would like to
indulge in a hypothetical question:
In earlier times, there was no voice operating, only CW. If you had been
around in those days, what would you have said about the advent of voice
modulation and its use for operating/contesting? After all, there would no
longer be a direct connection of one's hand to the key, and now the
information conveyed is coupled by waves of energy passing through air to a
microphone. Combined with VOX switching, you no longer have firsthand
physical contact at all times while sending. Is that any different than
your assertions on "remote" operating?
I would also encourage you to consider the proposition that raising your
concerns by suggesting something should be disallowed is a form of
invalidation to not just one remote operator, but also those who consider
the idea of doing some remote operating as well, and makes your argument
far less credible. If the Remote Operating is currently acceptable to a
contest sponsor, I doubt you'll have much luck getting them to retract or
revise their rules on that aspect after the event has already taken place.
But if you were to actively promote in a positive fashion that the rules as
they are represent an unfair practice, perhaps due to the leverage afforded
by use of the remote location to attain higher standings as a Single Op,
maybe, and even *that* is a maybe, your assertions might get some traction
or real leverage because you could argue that Remote Operating is a
category unto itself. It would also present a more inclusive position that
is welcoming to future yet-to-be innovations within the hobby.
"Style is a simple way of saying complicated things." --J. Cocteau
\ | | ---Tao. A chinese character that
-- |----| means "Way, Path."
/_________ Geoffrey Way
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