[CQ-Contest] Internet/WebCam in the contest?!

k7mk at micron.net k7mk at micron.net
Mon Oct 2 16:34:50 EDT 2000

For WPX SSB last spring I set up a webcam at the NK7U multi-op.  We had 
a similar setup to what is being used at K1TTT.  A single image uploads 
to the server once every 5 minutes and a Java script on the web page 
refreshes the image.  Most of the images were of the back of peoples 
heads as they sit at the console.  That gets pretty boring after a 
while so we stuck the camera out the window to show the towers.  The 
resolution on the webcams is so poor that unless you stuck the camera 1 
foot from the radio, there would be no way of telling what frequency 
the operator was on.

So I agree that if you have live audio and video streaming out over the 
internet and you make your operating frequency readily available in 
this streaming data, then you are definitely cheating and breaking the 
spirit/intent of the contest.

However, the actual operation and maintenance of the webcam probably 
hurts the overall score.  There is no doubt that the run station was 
off the air numerous times to move the camera, redial the internet 
connection or reboot the server.  For those 5 guys that were searching 
out NK7U on the bands because "they are the guys with the webcams", 
they probably couldn't find us on the air because the netcam server 
took the whole network down and we were all off the air!  We probably 
spent 2 hours before the contest setting up the software and the 
camera.  We should have spent this time working on the radios or on the 
antennas instead of working on the netcam.

So, all and all, the way we used the netcam was just a novelty.  
Hopefully, it only led to some good laughs (remember the butt shot?), 
increased contester camaraderie and maybe it showed some new contesters 
what a multi-op contest station looks like.  Used correctly (i.e. no 
frequencies given out, gratuitous self promotion before the contest, 
etc.) it should help to promote/further the sport instead of detract 
from it.

The example stated below (in the previous post) should be exactly what 
happens.  For example, some guy is sitting around not planning on 
contesting for the weekend, but he remembers someone posting something 
about having a webcam setup.  So he turns on his radio and starts 
contesting.  If he only works the netcam guy, it is a unique and it 
will most likely be thrown out. He, however, will probably set down for 
a while and maybe work 10, 20... 100 contacts.  The only one that 
should be upset here is the guy's wife.  She told him to mow the lawn, 
but he snuck out to the shack and racked up 100 QSO's!  Now he's 
sleeping in the doghouse just because of that darn "Netcam Guy"!

Is NK7U going to have a netcam for CQWW this year???  Probably not... 
I'll be out working on the antennas until 23:59.

73, K7MK.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Michael S. Mitchell, W6RW" <w6rw at earthlink.net>
Date: Monday, October 2, 2000 11:16 am
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] Internet/WebCam in the contest?!

> This to me is using means other than amateir radio to increase 
> your score,
> which is absolutely against the rules. For example, someone that 
> didn't even
> know about the contest sees you on the internet and says "I'm 
> going to turn my
> radio on and work this guy....it looks like fun!" I really think 
> that this is
> against the rules.
> 73 es cul de Mike/W6RW
> Goran ANDRIC wrote:
> > Hi,
> >
> > I am planning to operate SOSB 10m and might using Internet just 
> for pushing
> > my WebCam picture during the contest on the web.
> >
> > Is this count as Assisted or Unassisted category! What's your 
> opinion???>
> > 73,
> >
> > Goran ANDRIC, S55OO.com
> >
> > 
_> Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at 
> >
> > Share information about yourself, create your own public profile at
> > http://profiles.msn.com.
> >
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