[CQ-Contest] Re:Contesting in the 21st century

Joe Pontek, K8JP palooka at pyrotechnics.com
Sun Jul 27 09:38:46 EDT 1997

At 07:15 AM 7/25/97 -0700, Jay Townsend wrote:
>Pete Smith wrote:
>Lets start with one point at a time. I would think that consensus on this
>point would at least be fairly easy to obtain.
>> and sole use of human brain
>> power for decoding are two good places to start.
>Since the "sport of amateur radio contesting" already includes elements
>that do not support your above element it should be dropped. RTTY
>contesting which has a long history in amateur radio contesting has used
>mechanical devices to decode for years. It now uses electrical or just
>computer devices and software to do the same.
>In much the same manner that keyboard logging by computer has pretty much
>replaced hand logging in the sport. And the use of computer programs to
>"encode" has replaced hand keys, why then, would it be unreasonable for
>the sport to evolve to using decode devices. And why would anyone care?
>Since decoding probably at this point refers to CW decoding; Do programs
>like S56A's cause you that much concern? The guys like Rich, HC8A, who
>hand log don't seem to worry. Wouldn't another 1,000 entries using CW
>decoding machines make it just more fun ?
>Jay Townsend, WS7I  < jayt at iea.com >
I believe the real question is what is the minimum required human involvement
in the contesting effort.

This could be set according to the mode of transmission used.  Decoding is
in phone operation as well as CW, considering different languages and dialects. 
RTTY requires reading the text, which is not always clear.

There has always been those that distract from the new or improved methods,
usually the "have nots" and those that dislike or can not accept changes.

I can remember discussions about the use of automatic CQ'ers, electronic keyers,
the octopus, and, not the least, computer log checking and logging.

The one constant has been the human intervention in all stages. It has always
required the human to conceive, design, assemble and then operate the "station"
for a given contest.

For the tinker'ers, it is conceivable, they would enjoy developing the fully
station that would do it all and would take pride his accomplishment on Monday
morning, checking and seeing what his efforts did in the contest while he
was away
for the weekend.

This, I believe, is not what REAL contesters enjoy.  I enjoy most, if not
all, of the
automated features we see in todays contesting scene.  Some of those came with
major retraining on my part, particularly the computer interfacing. Yes, I
could as
many as 5 partials from the pileup with paper logs, but remember how many did
not stick around and needed to be scratched?  My mind's data bank is rebuilding
after many years of not being active. It's not rebuilding as fast as I would
like, but 
then I have not been as active as would like to be. I still have the mind's
scratch pad
from the callers and that is nearly as good as writing more calls in the log
before I 
work them and is refreshed during each contact.

It is the contester's mind that is tested DURING the contest and that what
be kept as a constant. His, or her, ability to interface with their
assembled station
to log the contacts and multipliers better than another contester is the
very basic
concept we should use to measure the efforts of the contester in a competion. 

Each contest has it's unique rules that we must accept or adjust to, as well
as our
station, if we wish to compete.

It's nearly forty years since my first contest, the Novice Roundup, and I
this love the
fray!  It's still exciting.  I am still meeting and encouraging new contesters.

73,  K8Joe"Palooka" & Beverly,
K8JP, K8JP/VA2, VP5/K8JP, VP5JP, ex-K8HKM, ex-KN8HKM
And look at "The Contest Traveler" column in the NCJ
[\] NAUI Diver
K8JP at contesting.com
snail mail:
Joe Pontek, K8JP
P. O. Box 59573
Schaumburg, IL 60159-0573
(847) 885-8871 (home)

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