[CQ-Contest] Remote Antennas and More

Kenneth E. Harker kharker at cs.utexas.edu
Tue Feb 8 10:16:32 EST 2000

On Mon, Feb 07, 2000 at 11:05:14PM -0800, Gary and Jane Nieborsky wrote:
> There is "pushing the contest envelope" but this goes well beyond the pale.
> Remote operating within a reasonable geographical boundary  is technology
> utilized to advance our hobby......5A, 3C0 etc. via a cyber contest
> dx-pedition is entirely against the spirit of the game.  Yeah it's cool and
> might crank the same folks interested in developing/using cyber-sex suits
> but nothing in it advances contesting.

I'm not sure I totally agree with this.

Imagine a group of contesters pools together their resources and buys some 
property is a DX location, but one that happens to have an internet connection 
(i.e. KH2, KL7, VY0, FP, etc...)   They set up a remotable station, with six 
transceivers, six amplifiers, remotely switchable antennas, etc... and 
everything is controllable by remote, and (for the sake of argument) all of
this is legal as far as the governing radio authorities are concerned.
Let's say that during contests, the participants receive no aid other than 
from one another (i.e., they do not listen to a local receiver, they do not 
connect to any packet cluster they couldn't get to from the DX location, etc.)

What would be the problem with operating such a station, even in multi-multi,
if all of the radio hardware were with an appropriate radius at the DX site?  
If it's all legal as far as the governing radio authorities are concerned, 
what's the real magic in having the operator physically sitting there in front 
of the radio?  The remote authors would still have to have a command of
contest strategy and tactics, of propagation at the DX location, and the 
myriad other skills and knowledge that makes contesting what it is.  If 
anything, going remote undoubtedly offers a lot more challenges to overcome.
It's probably not for everyone, and I'm not sure it would ever be for me, 
but I haven't seen the compelling argument yet for why remoted stations
should necessarily be presumed "against the spirit of the game."  

I wouldn't forsee a completely remoted contest station being competitive 
anytime soon, if ever, but I can imagine someone with adequate resources
buying a villa in KP2 or ZF, and setting up a remoted Kachina and making a 
few hundred QSOs in CQWW next year, even...

Kenneth E. Harker      "Vox Clamantis in Deserto"      kharker at cs.utexas.edu
University of Texas at Austin                  Amateur Radio Callsign: KM5FA
Department of the Computer Sciences         President, UT Amateur Radio Club
Taylor Hall TAY 2.124               Maintainer of the Linux Laptop Home Page
Austin, TX 78712-1188 USA            http://www.cs.utexas.edu/users/kharker/

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