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Re: Topband: Top Band and JT65

To: Mike va3mw <>
Subject: Re: Topband: Top Band and JT65
From: Mark K3MSB <>
Date: Sun, 21 May 2017 16:29:35 -0400
List-post: <">>
The issue is not one of any mode being more "valid" that the other,  nor is
it one of a QSO being "valid" or "invalid" based upon the mode.    If a two
way exchange is completed between two legally licensed amateur stations
using lawfully authorized modes,  the QSO is valid.    I think it's that

But that's not what I had brought up in my post of several days ago.    The
issue I brought up is that of a level playing field for competition / award

Modes that require a computer to effect a QSO should be in a different
category than modes that do not.    By "require" I do not mean "make
easier",  but rather could not be accomplished without a computer.     My
ICOM makes a  QSO easier than my ARC-5s,  but both still need a human's
skill to complete the QSO.   Stated alternately,  modes that requires a
human skill should be categorized differently than those that do not -- and
by human skill I do not mean downloading software and  pushing buttons.  As
someone pointed out,  the DXCC rules are not part of the 10 commandments.
It is my opinion that technology has reached a new level in which the rules
need to be changed to accommodate that level.

The same is true of remote operations.    I can whip out my credit card and
use a station on the west coat and get my 5 remaining zones on 80 to
complete my 5BWAZ.   I will not do that as I feel it is unsportsmanlike to
do so.   Are the QSOs legal as per the rules?   Yes (unless CQ has changed
them recently). But, to my way of thinking,  the journey is an important
part of getting to the destination.

This issue is not about validating someone's worth as a "real amateur"  (no
code, know code, extra light etc),  but rather recognizing that human skill
in achieving a goal should be treated differently than letting a computer
alone achieve the same goal that requires no such skill.

There is nothing wrong with the JT modes;  they are a wonderful advancement
in communications technology in the spirit of the advancement of amateur
radio.   But in the light of competition based upon human striving and
skill,  they are in a different category.   They are not good or bad, they
are not valid or invalid;  they are just different.  Technology has moved
on to the point where the existing rules need to be changed.

Mark K3MSB

On May 21, 2017 6:20 AM, "Mike va3mw" <> wrote:

Glenn nailed it.

If you don't like it, don't use it.   No one is forcing anyone to comply.

It is really that simple.

Mike va3mw

> On May 21, 2017, at 6:09 AM, Glenn Wyant <> wrote:
> If an amateur has interest in  psk, jt65 etc or EME, cw or any band
> or mode; it is not for us to judge his particular interests.
> ----- Original Message ----- From: <>
> To: <>
> Sent: Saturday, May 20, 2017 11:47 PM
> Subject: Re: Topband: Top Band and JT65
>> Promised myself I'd stay out of this, but it's getting
ridiculous....Comments like "I worked 20 new ones on 160, and I never heard
any of them!". Wow! That's amazing...I personally can't find any
satisfaction in claiming a contact I never heard. I never have...Yes, the
digi modes allow easier qso's that would never have been made, but let's
face it, you never made those contacts, your computer & it's software did.
Any resulting "Awards" should be made out to your computer. Meteor scatter
used to be very popular, actually getting to hear the excited voices of
those you worked was thrilling. One m/s qso of mine was with a yl from the
Carolinas with a most delightful Southern accent...hard to duplicate with
digi modes. I don't know anyone who works or talks about rocks challenge. Same with eme, which I pulled the plug on when it
was no longer a challenge. How many new eme operators have heard their own
voices coming back from the moon?  I migrated to TopBand as
 one of the last real challenges left....
>> I find the litany of excuses about why one has to go to digital means on
160 to be feeble at best." My rig can't cut it, I don't have the antennas,
I can't copy code (one of the real elephants in the room!), my location
isn't on the coast where it's easy, etc, etc". There are MANY dxers
operating successfully on small lots, and there are a myriad of clever,
small receiving antennas out there. How about the gentleman on the left
coast who worked DXCC on 160 from his mobile!! (without digital modes).
>> My TopBand rig is quite modest, no towers or rotors. The TX antennas are
wires hanging from trees with no more than 50' vertical rise. The 16
radials under each are only 48' long. Desperately needing a new rig, I
bought the very cheapest HF transceiver on the market (no DSP, keyer,
antenna tuner, etc). My location in Upper Michigan is not near either coast
for "easy" dx, but is unfortunately close to the auroral oval. My amp was a
non-working "gift" that doesn't run full power. However, I have 233
countries & 37 zones confirmed on 160. I have personally HEARD every qso
made & have decoded them as necessary, in my HEAD. I don't spot myself or
arrange skeds....I don't have a computer in the shack.
>> If ham radio was to go all digital, I would walk away from it....Not
because I'm a curmudgeon, but simply because the challenge and resulting
thrills would be gone.
>> Lest you think I am a ignorant technophobe, I am a degreed electrical
engineer and have been a ham for over 60 years. I have a fine computer & am
on it actively every day....but I never pretend that it's ham radio.
>> I realize from the comment below that it's rather boring to work digi
modes, but I suspect that help is on the way....I am truly surprised that
no one has produced an "app" that will take the remaining work out of it.
You would simply download the app, check the appropriate boxes (DXCC, WAS,
WAZ), select the desired bands, and turn it loose 24 hours a day. It would
make all the contacts for you (with similar robo-stations) and send you a
text or email when it's through. Heck, it could even apply for your desired
awards, and then wake up your printer to print your award certificate out!
It would then send another message to pick up your award....How truly
exciting that would be.
>> Brian K8BHZ
>> 2017 12:39 AM, DXer wrote:
>>> >>>To me, just not the challenge of dxing mostly cw and ssb.
>>> Fair enough. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
>>> Another angle. I find JT65 to be a very relaxing mode. Which other mode
allows one to read and write emails, go get a coffee, answer 'nature's
call', etc. while making contacts? Timing is important, but doable. :^)
>>> 73 de Vince, VA3VF
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