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Re: [CQ-Contest] down the path with Dave

To: cq-contest@contesting.com
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] down the path with Dave
From: W0MU Mike Fatchett <w0mu@w0mu.com>
Date: Sun, 02 Dec 2012 15:32:16 -0700
List-post: <cq-contest@contesting.com">mailto:cq-contest@contesting.com>
Using skimmer requires a completely different tool set to use it effectively.

How much skill does it really take to turn a knob?

Mike W0MU

On 12/2/2012 10:05 AM, Pete Smith N4ZR wrote:
Tom, I think maybe you misunderstood where I'm coming from. Unlike Joe, W4TV, I believe that using Skimmer is just like using a cluster, only more powerful. I have never argued for Skimmer use *not* putting someone in the assisted category. I was simply trying to refute Charly's argument that it takes all the skill out of operating.

One of the interesting things about CW Skimmer is that it is cumulative. For a single op, that means that you can mute the Skimmer SDR while you're transmitting, and it will pick up with spotting as soon as you stop. I see this happen all the time here - Skimmer will spot a station or two as soon as I am not transmitting any longer.

73, Pete N4ZR
Check out the Reverse Beacon Network at
blog at reversebeacon.blogspot.com.
For spots, please go to your favorite
ARC V6 or VE7CC DX cluster node.

On 12/2/2012 10:29 AM, Tom W8JI wrote:
Charly, the only thing that Skimmer replaces is the physical act of tuning the radio.

For me, the objectionable part of skimmer is the removal or lessening of operator skill. I equate it to using a code reader. Local skimmer, used in single op, replaces the three acts of tuning the radio, copying the call, and entering the call in a data base. It gives the local station a form of automatic spotting system.

The local technical requirements of isolating the receiver from the transmitter are significant on lower bands with high power, but it is possible to do. A conventional SDR here overloaded badly from the transmitter on 160 meters, but I'm sure that could have been cured. On 80 meters and up a local SDR here can get into noise floor without local transmitter problems. The result would be a window filled with locally generated "spots" that require no operator assistance.

I'm not saying this is good or bad, but it sure seems to be contrary to real single-op unassisted. With a low noise floor, a bandmap could fill with hundreds of useful locally generated spots. There isn't much difference between that and using a cluster.

73 Tom

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