[CQ-Contest] SO2R is mainstreamed!

Scott W4PA w4pa at yahoo.com
Mon Jan 27 07:16:28 EST 2003

VE5ZX wrote:
>SO2R should be a category of its own UNTIL it becomes main
>stream. For example, packet is almost mainstream - I could live with
>dropping the assisted category but SO2R is far from mainstream and I
>expect it will remain out of the mainstream for some time to come.


SO2R is very mainstream.  Want to know how I can tell?  When I got
involved with Tennessee Contest Group in 1996, I think that myself
and K1KY were the only two guys in the club who were at least trying
to do SO2R.  The rest of the club were aware of the operating style,
but just me and Tom were actually doing it on the air and not
doing it too well, either - have a look at the scores from then.

Kirk, K4RO set up a reflector for us TCGers to discuss intraclub
"stuff" - and within a couple of years (1998?) several other club
members had started running two radios, too.  This was followed
shortly by some of the more casual contesters in the club getting
involved with SO2R operation more or less just to try it out.
I don't have a survey number of the club population to provide,
but I can say that the majority of TCGers that are getting on
and operating CW contests are now running SO2R - and most of these
ops would be considered "casual", because they don't get on and
operate every single minute going all out to win.  

What has now happened is (as someone else eloquently pointed out
here) that the discussions we have as a club over SO2R operation
are no longer "how can I set it up?".  The discussions we have now
are things like "Can I get two radios on the same band if I use
a Beverage spaced in the distance for the other antenna?" and
"How can I get the antennas back and forth from the radios?"
and "How can I null this interference out?" - and even then, the
pace of discussion of this kind of stuff has even slowed because a
lot of the folks in TCG are already past even those kinds of
questions for SO2R operation.  

Scott W4PA

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