[CQ-Contest] When is a QSO not a QSO?

Robert Naumann w5ov at w5ov.com
Tue Mar 20 08:23:15 EST 2007


While it would be nice to limit technical advances in contesting to retain
some reverence for our collective history, time marches on, and what we have
to tolerate must change. Imagine if we considered logging programs a
"dilution" of ham radio contesting?

Remote operations are part of the amateur radio landscape today. There
aren't many of them compared to the regular old-fashioned non-remote
stations, but they are there and likely you have worked them and not known

What you are suggesting would eliminate the participation of all those
operators whose only choice is to operate remotely. 

I'm not thrilled about it, but where I live now, antennas installed for
transmitting purposes are not permitted. So, for me to operate at all from
my home, I must use a remote transmitting site. I know that I am not alone
in this situation. I'm not talking about setting up a remote site in
Gibraltar, just somewhere else here in Texas.

One of the things that we need to be careful of is coming up with
restrictions that would reduce participation in contests. Outlawing remote
stations would have that effect. Therefore, with the limit of all
transmitting and receiving apparatus and antennas being within one 500m
circle or the confines of one's property - whichever is greater, remote
stations should be allowed and even encouraged.


Bob W5OV
Sachse, TX

-----Original Message-----
From: Paul O'Kane [mailto:pokane at ei5di.com] 
Sent: Tuesday, March 20, 2007 3:35 AM
To: CQ-Contest at contesting.com
Subject: [CQ-Contest] When is a QSO not a QSO?

Was "Remote Site Contesting Rules - Getting out of hand".

> --- "Paul J. Piercey" <p.piercey at nl.rogers.com> wrote:
> My point is that when I make contact with a station,
> even in a contest, it's the operator that I am working,
> not the equipment.

Paul is right. Amateur radio, and contesting in particular,
is a point-to-point (single-point to single-point), person-
to-person, solely-RF-based technology.

Any deviation from this, regardless of how much fun or
how convenient or how technically advanced it may be,
serves only to dilute the achievement of completing the
QSO.  Repeater QSOs are an example of "dilution".

With sufficient dilution we are eventually reduced to the
level of EchoLink, Skype and cellphones - all great fun,
all highly technically advanced, but not amateur radio.

> --- "Ken Alexander" <k.alexander at rogers.com> wrote:

> Sorry, no sale Paul.  If I had a ham friend in KH6 who
> let me operate his station remotely . . . At the end of
> the contest, if you'd worked me you would have worked KH6,
> not VE3.

Ken is right in that Paul would have worked KH6.  But,
ultimately, he is wrong because it's not a valid amateur
radio QSO - it's a step towards EchoLink or Skype. 

There's a fundamental issue here - at what stage does a
"QSO" become something else?  I suggest, for contesting
purposes, it's when the operator(s), and all equipment
and antennas, are not physically located within a circle
of 500 metres diameter.

Paul EI5DI
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