Tic ring rotators

NJ8M at delphi.com NJ8M at delphi.com
Thu Aug 18 01:49:43 EDT 1994

I had lunch with a rep form G
enn Martin eng. in Missiour and he said that Tic 
Ring was almost bankrupt and in recievership.  They were thinking about buying Tic Ring and adding it to their product line.  In any event it is interresting to
note that Tic-Ring did not show up a dayton.  Their booth was empty!  Rumor had
it that they had no bucks to show...according to the lunchen meeting.  Had they 
showed up at dayton 94, I would have had a ring rotator coming home with me.

Anyway good luck.

					73 Morgan NJ8M

>From Field, Don" <field at btq2ec.igw.bt.co.uk  Thu Aug 18 13:12:00 1994
From: Field, Don" <field at btq2ec.igw.bt.co.uk (Field, Don)
Date: Thu, 18 Aug 94 12:12:00 GMT
Subject: Packet Spotting etc.
Message-ID: <2E535060 at smtpgate.agw.bt.co.uk>

I see the discussion about use of packet spotting has reared its head again. 
I guess this one is set to run and run. However, there do seem to be some 
misunderstandings and hidden assumptions which need to be brought to the 
surface if the debate is to be truly helpful.

1. Despite the way it has been positioned by some correspondents, the use of 
packet spotting is not a new technology like memory keyers. Its virtue lies 
in the way in which it gives you access to a host of additional human 
spotters. Ergo, it is multi-op. That doesn't mean it should be ruled out - as 
many people here have pointed out, it can add to the fun of a contest, 
especially for casual ops. But contest organisers do need seriously to 
consider whether it should be a separate category.

2. Which brings me on to point two. Several correspondents on here have 
suggested that packet doesn't need a separate category because it doesn't 
actually do anything for the score of top operators. I would suggest this 
statement reflects an underlying assumption behind much of the discussion 
here on the reflector, and an assumption which really needs laying to rest. 
That assumption is that there is only one contest - CQWW - and that there is 
only one category - multi-band. WRONG. Last year I operated single-op multi-
band assisted in CQWW CW and I have to agree that, if anything, chasing 
packet spots slows you down. G4BUO worked many more mults than I did, 
operating in the unassisted category. HOWEVER, the same is by no means true 
of other contests and other categories. In the recent WAE CW for example, 
there were few enough mults for we European stations to work, so every packet 
spot was potentially a significant score booster. And, unlike CQWW, activity 
was much lower so there was a smaller time penalty in chasing a spot and less 
downside to losing a run (because there weren't any runs to speak of ....). 
In CQWW CW I frequently work 160m single-band. Again, a few extra mults 
gained from packet spotting can make a VERY substantial difference to the 
final score and placing.

3. There are also some interesting issues for multi-op stations. It is now 
possible in Europe and many parts of the US for multi-ops to run and not to 
search at all, simply picking off the multipliers as they appear on the 
packet screen. The "easy" countries (which don't get spotted) will come to 
you anyway. So multi-op is becoming rather anti-social in that it can be all 
take and no give. This.may be within the rules of the contest, but unhealthy. 
By the way, one of the reasons we have stopped undertaking multi-single 
DXpeditions to GJ and GU in recent years is that there is currently no 
Cluster access from the islands. Without Cluster we would face an uphill 
battle, rare prefix or not. (I hasten to add, that's by no means the only 
reason we haven't been back recently)

Which, of course, leads to the question of where all these developments are 
taking us. I recall a QST article from the '50s (no, I'm not that old, but I 
was once given some back copies), in which a guy built a computer (valves 
back then) to control his station which then worked the stuff to put him on 
honour roll, all without his intervention, and printed out the QSLs. All he 
had to do was mail them. Within no time he had taken up a new hobby, because 
he found his amateur radio boring. Fortunately we are not at that stage yet, 
but we do need a healthy debate on new developments as they come along. We 
can't preserve the good old days, and can't always compare with old records, 
any more than you can compare old and new athletic or tennis records given 
that the technical advances in the equipment which is used have enabled new 
standards of performance to be reached. We can't live in the past, but an 
unquestioning acceptance of everything new is a poor basis on which to run 
our lives.

One suggestion I would make to reinvigorate contesting is to reintroduce 
something which the operator actually has to copy during the course of a QSO. 
The better contests seem to be those which are moving this way - The Internet 
Sprints are an example. Perhaps it could be a random number (easy to generate 
if you use a computer). Better than a grid square because with grid squares, 
name of your favourite aunt, or whatever, they don't change from one contest 
to the next so sooner or later someone will encapsulate them all in an 
extended MASTER.DAT and we will be back where we started.

By the way, we have plenty of duff spots on the European Cluster system too. 
Just a couple of examples from WAE CW: HS2PK (HH2PK of course) and YS1OB (if 
only ... but it was YV1OB).

Enough rambling on. Just one final comment relating to an earlier thread. I 
don't know how much power W5WMU uses, but what I do know is that of a dozen or
 more S9 US stations I heard on 80m when I operated ZS6/G3XTT in ARRL Phone, 
WMU was the ONLY one who heard me and who I was able to work.

73 and keep up the lively discussions.

field at btq2ec.igw.bt.co.uk

(PS Visited ON4UN a couple of weeks ago - now that's a serious contest 
station! Yet another tower and a 4-square for 40 being installed right now for
 multi-single efforts in CQWW Phone and CW later this year).

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