[CQ-Contest] Skimmer

Stan Stockton k5go at cox.net
Sat Apr 26 20:09:28 EDT 2008

This is just my opinion.  I realize others have 
opinions that differ and I respect the right of 
others to have a differing opinion.

After all this debate regarding Skimmer, and after
initially thinking it would be okay in the assisted 
category, I have changed my mind regarding this 
technology.  I think Skimmer should not be allowed 
at all in ANY category of CW Contesting.

Some would argue that Packet Spotting has not 
been good for contesting.  Regardless of 
opinions It is too late to ban packet after it has been 
used for so many years.

Some would argue that other technologies 
that have also been used for many years are not good 
for contesting, but it is too late to ban any of them either.

Skimmer is the one stepping-stone technology that will 
eventually lead to the replacement of the operator.  
It will do something that no operator could ever do - 
simultaneously copy every signal on the band.  Although 
it is not perfect at this stage, it will become very good 
over time.

Skimmer will lead to a substantial change in contesting 
in a matter of a few years.  It will become much the same 
as RTTY and will look like a computer game and a 
not a very good one by today's standards.

Pirates will be calling CQ to see the callsign they used 
show up on the Skimmer list, there will be more confusion
and QRM as a result and it will diminish the whole sport.

Arguments that it will bring in new, young contesters
are conjecture at best.  As some have pointed out, those 
it brings in will most likely move to a digital mode that 
is better than CW.  A very low percentage of those who 
start with code readers and Skimmers will bother to learn
the code.  N6TJ is correct in what he has said
regarding those who want the Skimmer crutch.  My opinion 
is perhaps even stronger in that regard.  

Every other sport says NO to certain developments that 
come along in order to preserve the sport.  This is the time 
it should happen in CW Contesting.

Stan, K5GO

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