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Re: [CQ-Contest] Assisted or not assisted question (yet again)

To: "David Gilbert" <xdavid@cis-broadband.com>
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] Assisted or not assisted question (yet again)
From: w5ov@w5ov.com
Date: Thu, 31 May 2012 14:07:03 -0400
List-post: <cq-contest@contesting.com">mailto:cq-contest@contesting.com>

You seemed to be more concerned "less able to understand" about how SCP
was not considered assistance, so I focused my reply on that.

However, regarding these propagation sites, I would group the use of those
Internet prop sites in as being assisted as well.

Again, the "murkiness" of assisted is irrelevant. Focus on what it means
to be a single op. If it doesn't fit within the narrow definition I
offered in the earlier message: it just ain't single op.

Your example of "not using any Internet resource" fits right in with the
narrow single op definition I proposed. I would hope that all single ops
were doing precisely what you apparently are. If they're not, they are
probably using something that should cause them to be assisted.

So, while dialing up WWV to check the numbers at 18 minutes after the hour
on 5, 10, or 15 MHz is OK, clicking your way to an Internet aggregation
site of myriad receivers to check propagation is clearly not OK.

The really difficult thing to do is to make the distinction between what
constitutes assistance and what is tantamount to being multi-op - which in
most cases I can imagine would be forbidden because of the multi-site rule

Bottom line for me on this: I never enter contests as single op. Virtually
every entry of mine has been Assisted when I operate from home and I can
use all of that fun stuff and play all I want. Why people want to use all
of this stuff and then not admit they are assisted is very puzzling to me.
A single op is one who doesn't use ANY of that stuff. Conversely, use ANY
of it, and you're assisted. Boom!

There's nothing to be ashamed of as entering and reporting that you're


Bob W5OV

P.S. This is all my personal opinion and does not necessarily represent
any contest committee that I am a member of.

> Actually, the major point of my comment was directed toward getting real
> time propagation information from the internet.  The reference to SCP
> was only peripheral.
> The original poster talked about getting signal report information >on
> his own callsign only< from the RBN to see if the band was open from his
> QTH to there.  You stated (I'm paraphrasing slightly) that "finding out
> whether the band was open not due to your own efforts" should not in
> your opinion be allowed for a single operator entry.  Yet the last link
> I posted below does exactly that and has several times been recommended
> on this reflector (which is how I discovered it) for use during a
> contest with (to my knowledge) never a single objection being raised
> about it.  I'm simply having trouble distinguishing between the use of a
> few external receivers in the RBN reporting only the signal strength of
> one's own transmissions and the use of several external receivers (those
> that generate the information to create that propagation matrix)
> reporting the results of many more transmissions not even my own.  Both
> would tell me pretty much exactly the same thing and both come only over
> the internet.  One seems to be acceptable and the other isn't.
> As I stated, when I operate unassisted (which is most of the time) I
> don't use the internet for ANYTHING, so I'm not trying to argue for any
> particular perspective here.   I simply think that the definition of
> assistance is still quite murky and subject to a lot of individual
> interpretation, and I flat out guarantee that a lot of contesters are
> doing things that they think are perfectly legal and ethical while
> others would consider them to be clear violations.  People who think
> everything is obvious on this subject simply aren't thinking about it
> hard enough, and while most of the major contest sponsors have been
> trying hard to better define "unassisted" or "single operator", in my
> opinion they are still pretty far from having it nailed down.
> 73,
> Dave   AB7E
> On 5/31/2012 3:11 AM, Bob Naumann wrote:
>> Dave,
>> Your point about SCP is well-taken, and many share your perspective that
>> SCP
>> constitutes "assistance" and should be disallowed.
>> How do I justify the use of SCP, and make a distinction that allows it?
>> First, the *static* SCP data does not automatically populate your
>> logging
>> program without you (the operator) typing the callsigns - you have to
>> initially type in the partial callsign and you then make the decision of
>> which possible callsign is the one you're actually working.
>> The SCP data is static and not real-time; in other words, the SCP data
>> is
>> not based on what callsigns are active in the current contest. If SCP
>> were
>> dynamic, real-time data, I would be opposed to its use.
>> While the SCP database can suggest possibilities based on your
>> keystrokes,
>> it does not guarantee that the callsign it suggests is correct nor does
>> it
>> confirm that what you're typing is correct.
>> You, as the operator, have to decide if the station calling you matches
>> the
>> suggestion or not - you have to take the risk of it being wrong and you
>> have
>> to make the decision to log that callsign. If you're wrong, you'll be
>> penalized and lose points.
>> When SCP first came out, I considered it the "great equalizer". I know
>> that
>> some operators spend a great deal of non-contest time on the air and
>> "know"
>> what callsigns are active and likely to be on the air. I see this as a
>> great
>> advantage over those of us who have a life outside of contesting and ham
>> radio.
>> Mainly, because of the mandatory decision process involved in the use of
>> SCP
>> for a single operator, I do not have any problem with SCP nor do I
>> equate it
>> with "assistance".
>> 73,
>> Bob W5OV
>> P.S. This is my personal opinion and does not necessarily represent any
>> contest committee that I am a member of.
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: cq-contest-bounces@contesting.com
>> [mailto:cq-contest-bounces@contesting.com] On Behalf Of David Gilbert
>> Sent: Wednesday, May 30, 2012 5:34 PM
>> To: cq-contest@contesting.com
>> Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] Assisted or not assisted question (yet again)
>> When I operate unassisted I don't use the internet for anything during
>> the contest, period.
>> However, I find this and other similar responses to be very curious.
>> You in particular have previously tried to define assistance as
>> involving outside help with callsign and frequency information that
>> leads directly to a specific contact.  I'm not sure how real time
>> propagation guidance fits that at all.  I'm even less able to understand
>> how callsign fills generated via SCP during the contest for a station I
>> may have never previously worked doesn't count as much greater contact
>> assistance, especially given the interpretation of assistance ("not due
>> to your own efforts") you just gave below.
>> But aside from that, I'll bet that a ton of people use some sort of real
>> time propagation guidance during a contest anyway and are convinced they
>> are operating unassisted.  It would be interesting to see how many hits
>> these web sites get during a contest, and who those hits are coming
>> from:
>> http://www.spacew.com/www/realtime.php
>> http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/rt_plots/xray_1m.html
>> http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/today.html
>> http://www.dxzone.com/cgi-bin/dir/jump2.cgi?ID=5447
>> http://www.radiosport.ca/zoneprop/
>> That last one even seems to get publicized here on this same reflector
>> before many major contests as a good site to monitor during the contest.
>> I guess a lot of this discussion just sounds skewed and even
>> hypocritical to me ....
>> 73,
>> Dave   AB7E
>> p.s.  Before anyone accuses me again of trying to stretch the rules as
>> has happened here in prior similar threads, please reread my first
>> sentence above.
>> On 5/30/2012 10:14 AM, w5ov@w5ov.com wrote:
>>> Clearly, getting information like this from the internet is assistance.
>>> Regardless of how narrow you make it, getting this information is not
>>> due
>>> to your own efforts. This will tell you that the band you're on is
>>> open,
>>> etc.
>>> I say NO. This should not be permitted as single operator.
>>> Bob W5OV
>>> P.S. This is my personal opinion and not necessarily representative of
>>> any
>>> contest committee I am a member of.
>>>> 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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