[CQ-Contest] SO2R

Ron Notarius WN3VAW wn3vaw at fyi.net
Sun Jan 26 10:56:03 EST 2003

Well, this has certainly been an interesting and enlightening discussion.

It is very clear that those who enjoy or who are acheiving to enjoy SO2R, in
one form or another, are quite passionate about it!

But after reading over all the comments the last few days, I am beginning to
wonder (as a few others have mentioned) if creating a separate SO-SO2R
category is indeed the correct question.

So let me ask it this way:

Given that most contests have two flavors of SO entry -- currently SO &
SO-Assisted (ie Packet) under one name or another -- instead of creating a
third flavor (ie SO2R), why not adjust the categories to be:

"Pure" SO -- single operator, single transmitter/transceiver on the air at
one time, no packet or no additional spotting, & so on -- just you and your
rig, just like the good old days.  Possibly to include a minimum time on
band rule (as most contests put in place to block the "octopus" for MS, as I
was reminded yesterday) to help avoid "stretching the envelope," though I
could see some problems with that, but those are details that could be
worked out later.

"Expert" or "Unlimitted" SO -- packet & other spotting, SO2R, and all of the
other technology at your fingertips.  Anything goes within the rules, so
long as their remains one & only one operator at the station for the
duration of the contest.

This strikes me as a more equitable division of the SO category, into those
who choose to operate with a relatively straight forward setup, and those
who choose to take advantage of all technology has to offer.  I'm thinking
that this type of split would allow more of an "apples to apples"
competition within each group.  It would also avoid future
discussions/arguments about application of newer technologies that come down
the pike, ie, if someone can manage SO3R, it's still part of E/U SO.

The bottom line appears to be that as new technologies are developed, and
are perceived as having the potential for improving one's operating ability
in a contest, they will be used.  Some may be disallowed because their
purpose is to circumvent the rules -- ie the aforementioned octopus.  But
most will open up new avenues, as packet assistance did and SO2R did & is

So rather than splintering into many SO categories, why not adjust what we
have to accommodate technological changes?

And for those of you who are taking this a little too seriously -- c'mon,
this is amateur radio, not "I've Got A (Nuclear) Secret" -- I strongly
suggest you look up a little ditty adopted from "Desiderata" by our own
K3FT.  If "Contestiata" doesn't help put things in perspective, you may need
some professional help.

73, ron wn3vaw

'Never attribute to malice that which is adequately
  explained by stupidity.' --Hanlon's Razor

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