(LONG) One mans spot is anothers QRM!

BK1ZX70SFL at aol.com BK1ZX70SFL at aol.com
Sun Apr 21 21:42:56 EDT 1996

There is one Florida station, W4VQ, who consistantly puts the best (juciest)
Florida spots out onto the Florida Cluster. As Red, K0LUZ, has pointed out
here on the Contest Reflector the Florida cluster just ain't happenin' when
it comes to frequent good stuff coming over packet.

W4VQ, is on the DXAC, a great operator....and a very active DXer, he is also
an ardent believer that Florida spots should originate from Florida
stations....he out and out has a fit whenever someone interconnects with
other clusters...why? Bob doesn't want a spot from a W6 telling him about an
Asian satation and feels the W6 doesn't want to know about an opening on 28
MHz to EU over AF!

I used to feel very strongly along Bob's way of thinking until I saw the
amount of traffic a big contest club generates during a contest weekend! This
completely changed my outlook on packet and its effect on contesting. Packet
took off after I left the Northeast and it wasn't until we were able, via
radio, to tap in to one of those Northeast clusters several contests ago,
that I understood the value of these spots- and why many clubs are zealous
when it comes to protecting them.

To truly comment on this you have to have watched a screen during a contest
weekend when a big club is cookin'....the spots are at a blistering speed.
When we had a propagational slump on 20 on Sunday afternoon and I switched
the filter on CT to any new call spot - not just multipliers....I worked all
the random Euros that were being spotted on 20 and was able to maintain a 60
hour rate! This is no small stuff, on a Sunday when you have worked over a
1000 QSOs on a band to be able to S&P (without S-ing) to a 60 hour! Wow.

The schools of thought on the value of clusters vary, I see them as very
important to contest CLUB scores....they are indeed the product of lots of
ears working in conjunction to create lots of spots. Truly a club activity.

The clusters are very valuable, but most valuable to uping toi scores of the
middle and lower level CLUB members....they make it hot by spotting all they
hear, and they benefit by adding larger scores thanks to their club members
spots. If they are submitting larger scores they are probably having more
fun, too. If they are having fun, it is a good thing.

As long as someone doesn't pull the lame stunt of claiming he didn't use the
cluster and enters as non-assisted I think Packet is a plus for the contest
community....the new guys get hooked harder, sooner! As long as their mentors
explain that there is a next tier, of going "sans" packett that is.

If everyone's cluster gets interconnected to everyone elses cluster there
will be a gawd awful amount of stuff coming in to digest! Just the three
Northeast clubs could surely overload the buffers of most guys' software! 

Is this what we want? If it is then we need to address this as it will be a
nightmare technologically.  The big question is whether it is what we want.

We may be shooting ourselves in the foot, though. 

Probably the biggest thrill in contesting is when we see our own scores grow
as we get better and learn more. If we create mega "databases" of what is on
now so we can arrow our way to that contact are we really learning anything?

The lesson to the new guy might be seen as he who uses his computers best,
not his radios best, is the winner. This is previously covered ground on the
reflector but the idea of the Internet as a backbone for the clusters is
perhaps the final phase of ushering in this era. Is it operating?

If a computer user can function key his way to 60 hours and all the juicy
multipliers, he will be coming real close to typing his way into the top ten!
The only thing left to do is run EU/JA and he could win. Huh, what happened
to knowledge of when and where to be?

Just a thought, I still haven't learned my DX propagation paths and by the
time I do I don't want to be upstaged by an assisted guy with a hot pinky on
the arrow keys! I like to think I am on my way to being a more savy operator,
Pinky - well...he is on his way to being a better typist!

How much is too much? When will we stop operating all together and totally be
packett grabbing clones?

Oh yes, a good operator plus the packet wealth creates some monster
scores....and has more fun than without them....but what about teaching the
new guys? Passing on the knowledge of propagation paths lil used....will that
still be important?

Enough. I need a good contest fix.

Jim, zx        k1zx at contesting.com

>From Pete Smith <n4zr at ix.netcom.com>  Mon Apr 22 02:32:22 1996
From: Pete Smith <n4zr at ix.netcom.com> (Pete Smith)
Date: Sun, 21 Apr 1996 18:32:22 -0700
Subject: Contesting and the Internet
Message-ID: <199604220132.SAA26685 at dfw-ix4.ix.netcom.com>

In all this discussion, I think we're losing sight of an essential point.
We do ham radio contesting using ham radio means because it wouldn't be the
same competition otherwise.  I like the analogy of sailboat racing -- it's
fine to use the latest technology to design your boat, trim your sails, and
even sail your course, but when you use something other than the wind for
power *it isn't a sailboat any more.* 
73, Pete Smith N4ZR
n4zr at contesting.com 

>From Felipe J. Hernandez" <0006627542 at mcimail.com  Mon Apr 22 02:55:00 1996
From: Felipe J. Hernandez" <0006627542 at mcimail.com (Felipe J. Hernandez)
Date: Sun, 21 Apr 96 20:55 EST
Subject: Internet,NOnet or Skillnet
Message-ID: <72960422015527/0006627542DC1EM at MCIMAIL.COM>


  Since a lot has been said about the internet connections, present and
  past (dejavu?) I would like to post a couple questions here.

  1. Which years in the s/o assisted class did the assisted operators
     make a better score than the unassisted? I bet not many, if any.

  2. Do the Hundreds of spots from all over the world (most of them
     not of your area) sometimes distract you?
  3. Do you feel that now you can spend more time calling in that
     zs pileup and just wait for that new spot to come? (Well if the
     big spotters don't find the mult you certainly won't, right?)
  I don't have any problems with the people that say that having the
  connections gives them a more enjoyable time, as much as I can 
  Im trying to be objective, but I believe it all comes to the point
  that if you think it's right or not, and if it fullfills your desires
  as an operator.

  Being on the other side is great when you are spotted, especially when
  you hear all the club members and their cats calling you. But It makes
  you think if everything becomes so automatic, that pretty soon your radio
  will probably work the station for you. That would not take that much
  effort or skill.

  Im not trying to bring anyone down , but its like I hear some parents
  say, I want my son to become a computer wiz, to get all the knowledge
  from the resources available (ex.internet and other interactive devices)
  so he will be ahead of everyone. That's great, but what happened with
  playing baseball, running around the neighborhood and others? My point
  is, I still believe its better to have a skillful kid with strong bones   
and not needing to wear glasses... Im sure the knowledge will get to him.


  Felipe NP4Z

>From Ed Tanton N4XY <n4xy at avana.net>  Mon Apr 22 04:15:16 1996
From: Ed Tanton N4XY <n4xy at avana.net> (Ed Tanton N4XY)
Date: Mon, 22 Apr 1996 00:15:16 -0300
References: <Pine.3.89.9604211826.A14769-0100000 at inet.uni-c.dk> <317AFA88.224C at unix.cde.com>
Message-ID: <317AF9C4.75AB at avana.net>

Dear Bob... Hopefully THIS won't be a flame even tho I feel strongly 
about the subject, and had to remark on the subject-BRIEFLY.

Certainly DX-PEDITIONS ought to be able to decide their operating plans. 
The choice of the word 'DISGRACE' **might** be too strong... but as far 
as I am concerned there are two significant groups of operators such an 
operation is DELIBERATLY choosing to ignore: 

1) Those who LIKE CW and PREFER to operate it

2) Those who, for many reasons CANNOT effectively PLOW through SSB 
pileups. Perhaps they do not have the power, antennas, license, or even 
just do not have SSB to start with. 

Whatever the reason, I do not think their exclusion is an example of a 
well thought out adventure cum service. If it is deliberate-for ANY 
reason, then let the word stand: it would be disgraceful.
        Ed Tanton  N4XY  (770) 971-0436  Marietta, GA
        email: n4xy at avana.net   URL: Coming Soon

>From w6go at netcom.com (Jay O'Brien - W6GO)  Mon Apr 22 05:48:08 1996
From: w6go at netcom.com (Jay O'Brien - W6GO) (Jay O'Brien - W6GO)
Date: Sun, 21 Apr 1996 21:48:08 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Contesting and the Internet?
Message-ID: <199604220448.VAA05440 at netcom17.netcom.com>

> Have been trying to get W6GO,  keeper of the SF Bay Area Cluster
> to allow OH2BA to post spots to his world-wide internet page.
> We have no useful DX cluster here in KH6/7 land,  and would be
> helpful,  I  think,  to know what is being heard in California.
> Not that far East of Hawaii.  So far no interest by them to
> allow a telenet tap onto their cluster.  Jukka only takes info,
> he posts back nothing.  Brad Wyatt told me,  the Bay Area Cluster
> tried a link with Europe awhile back,  and they got to much info
> back that was of no use to them around SF,  so they dropped off.
> This would not happen allowing Jukka to post their spots on the
> internet.
> Interesting topic,  but I suspect there is a fair amount of "if we
> have them spotted,  why share them with you?" attitude,  tho
> would hope this is not the case.
> 73,  Jim,  AH6NB,  jreid at aloha.net
  You really should get your facts correct before you flame someone on a 
  73, Jay
      w6go at netcom.com

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