[CQ-Contest] Skimmer for S/O in IARU

Michael Coslo mjc5 at psu.edu
Tue Jun 3 15:47:46 EDT 2008

On Jun 3, 2008, at 9:31 AM, George Fremin III wrote:

> On Tue, Jun 03, 2008 at 08:56:46AM -0400, Michael Coslo wrote:
>> I then click on the signal, and it takes me there. While it does not
>> identify the signals, it lets me know where they are, and I can then
>> ID them more accurately that the Skimmer does, so it is one
>> disadvantage, balanced by an advantage. And believe me it is quick
>> once you get the hang of it. And it works on SSB too.
> CW skimmer also decodes and identifies the stations for you.
> CW skimmer does something that a human can not do - it decodes
> hundreds of CW signals across the band segment it is listening to.
> All of them it can hear across 70 kHz or more.

Quite true. CW skimmer does things that my PC bandscope does not do.  
Fortunately I didn't say they were the same thing. That is it's  
advantage. That my bandscope tells me where the SSB signals are too  
is part of it's advantage.

>> Maybe computerized logging should have been banned when it became
>> available? I haven't done paper logging, but I have to imagine that
>> the difference between computer and paper logging has to be much
>> greater than any presumed Skimmer advantage.
> Not even close.

Others disagree.

> I learned how to do this contesting thing using pencil and paper.
> http://www.kkn.net/~k5tr/photo/k5tr/sslog-large.jpg
> I often hear folks talk about computer logging as some really big
> advance in contesting and I do not agree - computer logging is just a
> tool to record the contacts.  It is true it does make it easier - no
> more filling in the dupe sheet - something that is hard to do at the
> rate shown on that SS log page above.

The number of people who send in hand written logs to me are becoming  
few and far between.  No one with a hand written log has won anything  
for as long as I've been involved.

>> - I would say that Skimmer is not a threat to begin with,
> I do not think you understand what it is able to do.

	Respectfully, I think I do. But I'm always willing to absorb an  

	Let's assume that the contest sponsors get together to discuss  
issues like the skimmer. We won't just come together and say "Hey,  
lets ban the Skimmer" or Use of skimmer indicates assisted class" or  
"Skimmer is the best thing since sliced bread!"

If we convene after some fashion, the first question on the agenda  
will be "What constitutes assistance?", followed by "What technology  
constitutes assistance?" Question three will be something like What  
technologies have been banned by Amateur contesters before?"

We have people seriously asking us to ban a technology that is  
setting all by itself on a computer, and has no way of being detected.

Which of course, would beg the next question - "How would we enforce  
a ban?"

I can assure you that question number two will be a very sticky  
point. We've seen a post here about partial checking being a  
"problem," or automatic dupe checking. There have been other points  
brought up about technology that could be considered assistance.

	The sticky wicket in all this is that people have to watch what they  
ask for. They might get that and a lot more.

That being said, if you want to influence the outcome, why not get  
involved with running a contest?

-73 de Mike N3LI -

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