Interesting question Igor!
Appreciate straight-forward approach and transparency.
My opinion is that the use of skimmer as a propagation indicator is in the
"greyzone" between allowed - and not allowed.
You for sure do not get the advantage of receiving calls and frequencies
that you later can Search and Pounce, but the usage of the skimmer gives
you a lot of valuable information that you in normal cases would not know
about the present propagation.
Conditions might exist between your station and the location of a skimmer,
but you would not know until you work at least one station from that region
unless you monitor the skimmer. The skimmer gives you instant confirmation
that the path is open and you may continue until you get a QSO (and
possible a mult). If you called 3 minutes CQ without the skimmer, and did
not get a reply, maybe you would have moved to another band and lost that
opportunity for a QSO.
My 5 cents is that ANY USE of a skimmer, no matter limited to receive only
your call, is a violation of the non-assisted rule - and should be avoided
in the non-assisted category.
73 de RA/SM6LRR, Mats
2012/5/30 Igor Sokolov <email@example.com>
> With great number of skimmers used by RBN I have developed a habit of
> checking propagation on different bands by calling CQ on a clear spot and
> collecting skimmers data. VE7CC cluster software allows setting filters so
> that you only see spots for your own call sign.
> Now I wonder would such a technique be a violation of not assisted
> category. In essence I would not get no outside help in locating,
> identifying and working stations in the contest. I just get accurate and up
> to date information about propagation which is basically more accurate then
> what I might have got with the help of propagation prediction software.
> What is contesting public opinion?
> 73, Igor UA9CDC
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