[CQ-Contest] Packet vs. No Packet Contesting

Guy Olinger, K2AV k2av at contesting.com
Fri Feb 22 23:32:58 EST 2002

There are a lot of presumes in there...

1. Presumes we don't look anywhere besides the band spots. The HUGE
majority of our mults were worked normal S&P or on the run frequency.
We watch the packet to make sure we get them all.

There was a period when one op was just going up the bands getting
calls and doing local (in the station) spots, and another was
following behind working the spots. As I recall few of the stations
worked in these passes (mult or no) were already there from the
internet spots. There seems to be this idea that people are just
setting around like robots waiting for the next packet spot. If they
are, they aren't making scores.

2. Presumes packet is the major method in the overall contest effort.
It's not. If you depend on packet as a major method, you're dead. Not
going to beat anybody.

3. Presumes packet is only for mults. It's NOT. Part of a skilled S&P
effort is being able to avoid spending time listening to stations
you've already worked. Get on a band for S&P and first thing work out
any stations in the band map (from packet) not worked, including
mults. This is normally very fast. Then go back to top (or bottom) and
listen to everything NOT mapped on the band map. Work or mark dupe all
those calls to get them in the band map too. Skip every spot where you
have to wait to get the callsign. Repeat the process. You will get it
down to the point on CW where you have a current call every 1/2 Kc or
so. And when the map is FULL, go to another band and repeat. My
experience doing something like that, maybe 1/4 of the stations worked
were packet.

4. Presumes there's no skill in working packet piles. Au contraire.
They are the WORST, most difficult piles because of all the no-think
fast-finger freddies who hit the F key and send their call without
hearing the DX, often on top of the DX. Packet piles are usually
ill-mannered, out-of-control, and guarantee that all one's pile
busting tricks are brought into play.

You need to know when it's a waste of time and need to come back
later. I heard KC1XX call into a packet pile a half dozen times and
couldn't work the DX. NO ONE was. He left, so did I. Listened to the
pile now and then on the aux RX, and when it lightened up I came back
and got him in five seconds.

There are a lot of other packet pile skills, and if you don't have
your own list, maybe you should be asking yourself a few questions.

5. Presumes that packet turns the game into sludge. I didn't notice
anything of the sort. Actually, I have to run, I have to S&P, AND NOW
I have to make sure that packet spot mults don't get away, because I
KNOW that the other guys will have him now. If I'm the only guy on the
band at the time and I'm in the middle of a good run, I have to figure
out how to work him without breaking the rhythm of the run or losing
the run frequency. Makes the run op do SO2R in that situation just to
keep up. Packet makes the game HARDER to play. Not everybody is
staffed with dedicated mult peggers on every band just so the run guy
only has to play F1.

We could do without packet, especially if the other multis all give it
up. But WHY? So things would be "pure" again, so we would be "real
hams" again (see earlier post)?

Who among us is divine enough to know what "pure" is? NOBODY gets to
decide who a "real ham" is, except each one of us for ourselves only.

The other thing, has anybody besides me noticed that among single op
scores, the assisted scores are NEVER the top scores. Why's that if
packet is such a huge detrimental advantage?


----- Original Message -----
From: "Jeffrey Clarke" <ku8e1 at yahoo.com>
To: <cq-contest at contesting.com>
Sent: Friday, February 22, 2002 10:13 AM
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] Packet vs. No Packet Contesting

 My 2 cents worth ......

 Radio contesting has changed a great deal from what it was 20 years
ago(for those of you that go back that far) due to technological
advances that have occurred. The same can be said for just about any
sport like NASCAR,skiing,football,etc.... Back in 1980 having a memory

keyer was a big deal!! (this is making me feel old!!)  Fast foward to
today and we now have computer logging, contest cards, voice keyers,
automatic band switch devices, and the list goes on...

  The advantages of the devices I mentioned above are they are doing
things that in the past that the contester had to do manually. Packet
is different. It is true that if you use packet in conjuction with
a logging program that you don't manually have to turn your VFO to the
frequency of a station that had been spotted. You just hit a key on
computer keyboard and it moves your radio to that frequency. So it
you also have eliminated the manual process of moving the VFO. The
big difference with using packet along with SO2R that you have removed
the "skill" of having to know what band to be on at what time to
all those "rare" multipliers. With SO2R and packet you can basically
everywhere at the same time.

  Don't get me wrong. I'm not against introducting new technology into
contesting to make it more fun for everyone. My problem with packet is
that basically you are being "spoon fed" contacts without any real
effort on your part. Can you really call contesting a "sport" anymore
when this is happening??? Plus you have the negative aspect of dealing
with "packet pileups" , which I think reflects badly on contesting due
to the behavior that takes place by some stations. Plus, how do you
prove that those stations who claim to be S/O are not cheating by
packet ??

  I look at a contest as being like the game "hide and seek". The
of most contests is to work as many contacts as you can but it is also
important to work as many multipiers as you can to have a good score.
If you are that rare DX station it's my job to find you and work you.
Now if someone tells me where you are is the game (i.e. contest)
any fun anymore ???

                         73's  Jeff

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