Paul O'Kane pokane at ei5di.com
Fri Jun 29 06:53:20 EDT 2007

Robert Naumann W5OV said:

> I disagree with you totally,

Well, at least I know where we're starting from :-)

If you believe that a QSO can be considered to be a
station-to-station event, do you then consider a VOIP
call to be an ISP-to-ISP event rather than a person-
to-person event?  If so, there's little more to be

> .. I wanted to point out a couple of things in
> your last note that cause me to think that you may
> not have thought out what you are asserting:

> The RF is still there,

There's not as much of it and, to the extent that
it has been replaced (distance is significant) in
the signal path between the operators concerned,
the QSO is devalued.

> .. it's just that the operator is not co-located with
> the transmitter and receiver.

If I wasn't co-located with the stadium, but saw the
match on television, I can truthfully say I saw the
match.  That's not the same as "being there" - the
experience has been devalued.

>> " I could even work myself :-)"
> Uh, no you couldn't.

Yes, I could!  It's possible, and I'm having fun - so,
why not?

> A remote station does not include another local station where
> the operator is physically located. In contests you should
> have to choose one or the other.

Yes, contests are different.  They're not all about
having fun.

> You are operating from the remote site wherever that is. If
> your station is in Dublin, and you operate it from Galway, you
> would still be transmitting from Dublin just the same as if you
> were sitting in Dublin - so, what's the difference?

It couldn't be simpler.  For it to be an amateur
radio QSO, and not partly an internet or wired QSO,
I must be co-located with my station equipment.

> Most remote stations are being set up by people like myself who
> live in an area that bans the installation of antennas for
> transmitting purposes.

That's like saying "I like to drive fast, but I'm
restricted by a local speed limit".  The solution is
to go to where it's OK to drive fast.  Of course, the
other option is to stay at home, and remotely control
your car.  Just think of the technical challenges,
and the fun you could have solving them and "driving"
your car. It could be even better than the real thing.
Imagine the satisfaction in getting it all working.

> So, no one is suggesting that you put up a remote station in
> one country and then operate it remotely claiming to be in
> another country - are they?

That's correct.
> I want to sit about 25 miles back from my radio. Why is that
> a problem?

It's not a problem for me.  What you're doing is
perfectly legal and you're having fun.  However,
distance is significant and, to the extent that
you personally are using something other than RF
to communicate with another person, the event
(an amateur radio QSO) is devalued.  Why is that
a problem?

> The radio is still
> where I am saying it is, my antennas are still there, and whoever
> I have a QSO with will interact with me in much the same way as
> if I was sitting 25 inches from the radio instead of 25 miles.
> What is the difference that gets you so wound up about this?

The difference is that, in the signal path between
me and you, there's something other than RF.  It's
no longer an amateur radio QSO.  Of course, stations
are not point sources - that's we have the 500
meters rule for station dimensions in contests.

Outside of contesting and award chasing, anyone can
do what they like, subject to licence restrictions.
Otherwise, there has to be limits or rules in the
interests of fair play.

For wired circuit limits in contests - 
Is 500 meters OK?  - Yes
Is 25 miles OK?    - Perhaps
Is 250 miles OK?   - Perhaps not
Is 2500 miles OK?  - Probably not

The bottom line is that remote-control QSOs are not the
same as ordinary QSOs.  However, they are not going to
go away any more than packet will go away.  Isn't it
time to think about updating contest rules?

Paul EI5DI

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