[CQ-Contest] contesting in the 21st century

David Robbins k1ttt at berkshire.net
Sat Jul 26 01:44:14 EDT 1997

Pete Smith wrote:
> Just let me register my agreement with Glenn and Cornelius.  What needs to
> happen is for there to be a consensus about what elements constitute the
> essentials of the sport of amateur radio contesting - certainly, sole use
> of amateur radio as the communications medium and sole use of human brain
> power for decoding are two good places to start.
> At the risk of belaboring the analogy one more time, it's a lot like
> sailboat racing.  Nobody argues that you can get from point A to point B a
> lot faster, but the essential component of the sport is that the wind, and
> only the wind, provides propulsion.   It's not that sailboat racers can't
> apply other technologies, but that they choose not to, because it would not
> be the same sport.

i have always liked the analogies between sailboat racing and ham radio
contesting.  they share many aspects of technologic advancement,
planning, training, and reliance on your equipment.  

along this line of discussion sailboat racing and multi-operator
have even more in common.  modern long distance racing makes heavy use
non-sail based technology.  they make use of satellite navigation,
forecasts, automatic tillers, and lots of other high tech devices.  a
way from steering by hand, navigating on paper, and sighting the sun and
stars.  much like modern radio contesting has grown up to use computers, 
the internet, dsp, and other high tech assistance to help improve the

it is true that they still derive propulsion from the wind, much like
make contest contacts using rf (except for one almost-contest that has a
loop hole that permits non-rf contacts).  but both of the spots make use
modern technology to assist the human operators get the most out of

how, the real discussion should be:  do we place blinders around our use
of the most modern technology and limit ourselves to navigating on paper
charts with sextants, or do we continue pushing technology into the

David Robbins K1TTT (ex KY1H)
k1ttt at berkshire.net   or   robbins at berkshire.net

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