[CQ-Contest] M/S 10 Meter Contest - Question for Entrants

Bill Coleman aa4lr at arrl.net
Sat Dec 29 11:36:20 EST 2001

On 12/18/01 6:23 PM, k8cc at k8cc at mediaone.net wrote:

>That is the point of an octopus - to ensure that only on signal is 


>There are a number of ways to use multiple radios on a band, and yet ensure 
>that only one signal is transmitted.  K3LR uses two radios, two amps, and 
>separate antennas with lockout logic so only one radio transmits at a 
>time.  W3LPL uses two radios but only one amp - ....

Both K3LR and W3LPL are known M/M stations. That's the point -- they are 
M/M, not M/S. M/M don't suffer from 10 minute rules, since they are on 
every band all the time pretty much by definition.

>I don't know why people are so negative about octopi, lockout logic, or 

Octopi are appropriate for multiple stations on a single band at M/M 
stations. Where octopi are a problem is in M/S or M/2 stations.

>I can demonstrate how to put two radios on one band with no 
>outside hardware and single-transmission interlocks, using mostly Radio 
>Shack parts so its not only a game for big, multi-tower stations.  Sure, it 
>takes a certain level of cleverness to implement, but that's what allows 
>one station to get an advantage over another.

The real problem is that contest sponsers didn't want the M/S or M/2 
categories to degenerate into fancy M/M stations with inter-band 
interlocks. Limiting the number of band changes (something that is easily 
observed in the log) accomplishes that.

>I think it makes mult-ops a heckuva lot more fun.  This really applies to 
>Sweepstakes - a "ten minute" or "six band changes per hour" rule would 
>wreck the multi-op category in SS.  There is a multi-single philosophy of 
>"a bunch of guys in a room with one radio" which might be OK for ARRL DX 
>where you have multi-2 to step up to, but contests like SS where mults are 
>mostly irrelevent and ARRL 10 where there is only one band (OK, two 
>counting modes) need the freedom to aggressively pursue QSOs or boredom 
>will set in.
>Again, the ability to only one have transmission at a time is the absolute 

Why not use one frequency-agile transitter and multiple  receivers? That 
would absolutely prevent more than one transmission at a time.

Whenever the arguments invariably arise against SO2R operation -- I 
always propose this solution. There really is only one (active) 
transmitter in SO2R operation, so why not?

Long ago (1995) I proposed putting a little bit of electronics on a PCI 
card and doing the majority of the radio operation in the host computer. 
What's to prevent someone from using two such receiver cards, and one 
transmitter card similtaneously? (Never mind that such gear doesn't 
currently exist -- it's technically feasible)

Why not have a network of such computers, with multiple receiver cards in 
each, and one networked transmitter card? The ultimate octopus.


Bill Coleman, AA4LR, PP-ASEL        Mail: aa4lr at arrl.net
Quote: "Not within a thousand years will man ever fly!"
            -- Wilbur Wright, 1901

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