I agree with several reports that it took several years for amateur radio and
amateur radio contesting to catch up with the computer revolution. I bought my
first CAT YAESU in 1983 but it only supported the old apple not the newer IBM
PC. I would up with a Wang Professional PC in 1985 and finally got a DOS
program and proper interface to run PC control of the transceiver. K4SB (SK)
had written a program for the TRS-80 and adapted it to the IBM PC. Still no
real logging programs insight for contesting until K1EA wrote CT and Dave K8CC
Don N4IN asked me to help with the CQ WW 160 Contests as he needed PC help and
help with the SSB section that started in 1881. He and K4SB had written simple
programs for his TRS-80 The main program was a master list which started with
big logs like WB9Z being typed in. The log checking program was low level and
all logs were hand written so trying to use the log checking program was not
feasible. His XYL Helen got an IBM PC in about 1989 and I got K4SB to help
move the programs to the PC. By 1992 many logs were in NA or CT but culling
out actual QSOs from header and break lines was difficult. Don viewed each log
as a personal letter to him and he would spend hours manually cross checking
the logs. I have examples of logs that were at best almost pure fabrications.
As many as 60% were uniques and one log had maybe 300 good QSOs in a 1200 QSO
log. HE DQed several each year and I now did the same for SSB. We got about
50% of the logs into K4SB's programs but still did
manual cross checking. I got several SEDXC hams to help but it was obvious
we needed something better.
The cabrillo format was designed by several active contesters led by Trey now
N5KO. After Don passed away I found WT4I was writing a log checking suite that
even included a cabrillo converter for programs like CT and NA.
I sure could have used this in past years.
I feel there is still resistance to new technologies today and we OT's can
often stand in the way of younger contesters and innovation.
Back when I started contesting in 1958 many were youngsters as young as 10.
Dave K1ZZ was into contesting at an early age and I remember a quote in a 1969
QST for the ARRL SS "that youngsters were snapping up many awards." As many of
us age we need to welcome the new hams into contesting and remember we are
competing with gamers like my son who spend hours on line. He got his degree
in IT and now works for a Fiber optic Cisco Competitor. His attitude is
amateur radio is far behind the technology curve. This was echoed by the then
the FCC Chairman and son of Colin Powell. On a flight he saw me reading QST and
upon asking if I was a ham he asked if we still used old technologies such as
CW, RTTY, or SSB. This was about 15 years or more ago.
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