[CQ-Contest] SO1R versus SO2R - where to draw the line

n6tr at teleport.com n6tr at teleport.com
Thu Jun 1 21:36:03 EDT 2000

Interesting debate on the SO1R and SO2R.  I learned the two radio 
shuffle just before I turned 35, so I snuck in before the K6LL
deadline.  Depending on the contest - I will use one or two radios.
I used one in the last CW Sprint but almost always use two in the 
SS (because Sunday is just so Boring without it).

Without trying to convince the reader that my view is right, I would
rather like to focus in the criteria one would use to determine if
an entry is SO1R or SO2R.  This looks very challenging.

Many people have used a second receiver to check out another band
to see if signals are present.  The receiver could be most anything
(your old R4B or general coverage receiver) and the antenna can
be most anything (your 80 meter dipole).  You can mostly do all of
this with one radio if it has a built in receiver.

I believe most people would consider this to be SO1R.

Let's say that my main radio is interfaced to a computer and I can
make instant changes to the frequency by pressing a single button.
Furthurmore, the computer is also connected to the second receiver
so that it knows what frequency it is on.  Also, let's assume I
am either running low power or have an Alpha that will switch
bands automatically when I switch bands on the radio.

With some quick button pushing - or clever software - I could find 
someone CQing with the receiver - and then QSY the transmitter 
to the frequency of the station just long enough to call him, and
then go back to my CQ frequency.  Essentially, I would be implementing
the same exact process someone with two radios would be using.
However, I only have one transmitter - albeit a very agile one.

Is this SO2R?  Most people would say yes - but what criteria was
used to make this decision?  I haven't change my transmitter or
receiver configuration (one transceiver and one extra receiver)
and I might be able to do the whole thing with an FT1000MP alone.

I honestly don't know how you could make a rule to prevent this
type of operation.  The current rule of "only one signal transmitted
at a time" is easy to understand and can even be enforced to some
degree by listening over the air.

If I am using a second receiver to find guys I haven't worked, at 
what point does my operation become SO2R?  If I QSY my main radio 
there and not send anything between the time I initiate the QSO
and when it is done - is that enough?  Do we want to limit the
number of band changes someone can make during an hour as a filter?
This would greatly affect the SO1R guys and limit their flexibility.

Again, I am not trying to say I am in favor of trying to make this
distinction.   I am just trying to point out that it might be harder
than you think to come up with a definition for the difference 
between SO1R and SO2R.

73 Tree N6TR
n6tr at contesting.com

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