[CQ-Contest] What should we use packet to promote?

Jim White, K4OJ k4oj at tampabay.rr.com
Wed Dec 3 21:25:27 EST 2003

W2UP and now K3ZV have noted:

"you should only spot stations that you can work for points.  While
spotting your buddy in the next town may not be against the rules, it does
make one wonder if the stations who participated in this activity made
arrangements to do it prior to the contest.  If they did, then maybe 
they should be classified multi-single ??"

My take on this is:

I have seen this type of behavior often on packet... lots of it is 
members of a club promoting the operations of others within their club 
and usually a GO CLUB comment tied to it... I like club enthusiasm but...

Where have you guys been for the past ten years - the Europeans started 
doing this on day one for their fellow hams!!!!!  Now that we are seeing 
the US guys doing it more and more, now something is wrong?

How do you say who you can and cannot spot?

If you cannot spot someone in your own country how about if a member of 
your radio club goes overseas for the contest and you spot him... his 
score still goes to your club, should we not be able to spot him?  Is 
this not like guru N6AA dislikes when he says that a station just 
working one guy mebbe should not be allowed to count since that is a 
form of favoritism...

Personally I LOVE UNIQUES, I had a piece of e-mail on Monday from a DL 
who congratulated us on working his station running 80 milliwatts... 
that is pretty cool, if my antenna system is better than the 
competitions enough that he could make QSO with me whereas my 
competition could not pull him out I think this is EXACTLY why I spend 
hours doing this stuff!!!!!!!! And, if he drops his power lower and then 
only my station can make the grade... I do not want that to somehow work 
against me!

I know that a big portion of doing well in "reading" packet spots is 
being quick enough to see who made the spot.  Chasing a spot that pops 
up in Alt-A window can be futile if it is a function of a different set 
of propagation than you are in...for this reason the ALt-O window is 
usually up on the savvy guys screens - they need to know what is worth 
taking the time to chase, something Alt-A does not provide! i.e. a US 
ham running down an Asiatic spot to no avail - if he knew it was made by 
a European he would know not to other going!

Sometimes you CAN work those weird spots by virtue of being able to take 
advantage of a different propagation path or perhaps you are "next door" 
  to a KP3Z, etc...

BUT.... I cannot imagine how you can "police" packet spots to be able to 
ascertain that it was a spot from a ham for the same country he was in 
when K1TTT has shown that just because a call says it was a spot form 
county X the ISP may from country Z.

We are so focused on packet it seems we are starting to forget what it 
is that really draws us to the rigs several times a year... are you 
actually looking forward to a packet spot run?

I confess to personally being guilty of calling before hearing a packet 
spot this past weekend... my bad... in a weak moment I jumped on a spot 
for ZF2A... as soon as I did and hit F4 the band captain looked at me in 
shock and awe and said "you know that is ZF1A, right" - gulp... Did I 
feel like a lid or what!

I dutifully apologized ot W5ASP... but I guess what I am saying is the 
underlying theme of these posts might better be do we like what packet 
has done for contesting or not...

I am on the edge... I still am awed at the flow of spots through the 
clusters, SO MUCH INFORMATION!  The high tech of it (which I imagine by 
industry standards is not all that much) still impresses the heck out of 
me - even more so seeing it flow through ten networked computers in a 
flicker... but, as a second op on a band I still found that the act of 
finding a new one was just as much fun as ever... perhaps even more so 
knowing that I beat the point-click and call brigades!

Even with all that packet though I ask... where the heck was zone 12 - 
we only found them on 10 meters :-(

Mebbe NP4Z should have sent his remote station to CE :-)

Let me add my agreement with others, the CQ WW CW is without doubt the 
biggee - congratulations to CQ for keeping activity hot and heavy and 
for giving so many of us that needed mainline injection of contest 
adrenaline!  I floated around this weekend filling in for others who 
were sleeping, etc. - it was hard!  I wanted to get down and dirty with 
the other guys - good thing I was so exhausted from getting the station 
ready otherwise there could have been a frequency fight :-)


Jim, K4OJ
Team W1CW

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