[CQ-Contest] Contest ethics and packetclusters

David L. Thompson thompson at mindspring.com
Thu May 21 13:50:32 EDT 1998

If you are entering any contest as single operator then its not right to
make any use of packet clusters.  Its a clear violation to actually use
packet for finding stations but I agree with several discussions about
the packet use as a help or hinderance.  I feel that unless you are really
good and have adequate practice..you are actually slowed down.  Its a
violation of contest ethics to even post solitations.  The rule of thumb is
don't do it.  I don't mind if someone else puts out posts on you especially
if rare like Idaho, Mississippi, or Vermont.

Where packet spots really help are with multi stations where you actually
have a multiplier station.  Works great and the mult station is worth its
weight in gold if it can quickly move to and actually work most of the spots.

Another area I worry about is the two radio stations that hold a freq and
use "something" to find spots.  If its just tuning the band (s) thats Ok but
any use of spotting networks is illegal in single ops.  I also don't think
its good ethics to leave a "run" freq open for 2 or 3 minutes and then
expect to get the run freq back if its now being used.  This happened to me
twice in the CQ 160 SSB..in one case I was on my 5th contact when the other
station tried to take back the freq.  You just can't turn up the volume and
start again on a freq like that..... bad ethics and terrible sportsmanship!

With regards to OH2BUA and now the "DX" summit, most of the spots are made
by mults or casual stations during a contest.  Clubs like FRC, PVRC, SEDXC
like for their members to make spots to aid the cause.  These are on the
local packet, but go to the multi-state clusters and often to the web
network.  The Dx summit lets you make your own spots and even comments but
the call has a @ suffix appended (K4JRB-@ for example).  I do worry about
the use of the web clusters as there is no trace.  The same goes for the few
areas that have "DX Alert" where packet spots are read off on a simplex
freq.  I saw a write up on a piece of gear that also sends them out in CW.

73, Dave K4JRB

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