[CQ-Contest] What Skimmer is!
k5zd at charter.net
Wed Jun 4 09:58:08 EDT 2008
Does anyone else find it funny that the guy advocating for skimmer on the
grounds of technology advancement is then arguing that contacts should
require a human to be manually involved?
If we can make rules requiring human involvement (I assume as a way of
keeping it a human sport rather than a robot/technology exercise), then why
can't we draw the same line around the skimmer? I.e., we want to keep
humans in the call finding business rather than having skimmer do it.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: cq-contest-bounces at contesting.com
> [mailto:cq-contest-bounces at contesting.com] On Behalf Of Joe
> Subich, W4TV
> Sent: Wednesday, June 04, 2008 12:48 AM
> To: 'Richard L. King'; cq-contest at contesting.com
> Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] What Skimmer is!
> Richard and many others continue to raise the specter of "robot wars"
> as a result of Skimmer technology. I do not believe that is
> - or needs to be - the end result of skimmer evolution.
> Instead, consider a set of principles defining the required
> minimum level of involvement by the [human] operator in ANY
> contest ...
> 1) all QSOs must be initiated by the operator - either by manually
> calling CQ/answering a CQ or by some overt physical action to
> cause a memory keyer, logging computer, voice keyer, tape loop,
> etc. to call/answer.
> 2) the operator must determine the operating frequency/band
> and manually
> select the station to be answered - whether by "turning
> the knob,"
> clicking up/down with a mouse, pressing arrow keys on a keyboard,
> by clicking on a call in a "bandmap" display or by
> entering a specific
> frequency in a logging program.
> 3) the operator must satisfy him/herself that the received
> callsign and
> exchange is correct - either by copying by ear or by use
> of locally
> operate technology (CW decoder, voice recognition, RTTY decoder,
> of sufficient reliability
> 4) the operator must acknowledge all received callsigns and
> exchanges -
> either manually or by specifically causing the
> acknowledgement to be
> transmitted (e.g., memory keyer, voice keyer, preset function in a
> logging program, etc.)
> Any appropriate technology may be used in transmitting,
> receiving and/or
> logging but the hardware/software may not make any
> transmission on an automatic or autonomous basis - that is
> initiate or acknowledge a QSO without overt operator involvement.
> Appropriate technology - under the present state of the art -
> includes but is not limited to: memory keyers, computer
> logging, digital voice keyers, multiple receivers capable of
> simultaneous operation on multiple
> frequencies and multiple bands (e.g. SO#R), scanning
> receivers, bandscopes, CW Decoders, Computer Aided/Computer
> controlled transmitters and receivers, digital (e.g.,
> RTTY,PSK31, etc.) decoding software, dedicated beacon and
> WWV receivers, grayline maps/software displays, propagation
> prediction software, history files, SCP databases, etc.
> "Assistance" is defined specifically as any information
> concerning other stations (including calls, frequencies and
> operating schedules), pre-arranged QSOs, or participation in
> station operation (including equipment repair, modification
> or configuration during the contest) provided by any person
> other than the station operator whether provided locally (at
> the transmitting site) or remotely (via telephone, internet,
> packet, VHF/UHF voice, wireless LAN, WiFi, or any other means of
> ... Joe, W4TV
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: cq-contest-bounces at contesting.com
> > [mailto:cq-contest-bounces at contesting.com] On Behalf Of Richard L.
> > King
> > Sent: Tuesday, June 03, 2008 11:11 AM
> > To: cq-contest at contesting.com
> > Subject: [CQ-Contest] What Skimmer is!
> > Hello all.
> > I have watched and read the debate about Skimmer.
> > I admit that my prejudices are against it. But I have to admit that
> > both sides make a strong argument for whether it should or
> should not
> > be allowed or whether it should or should not be limited to
> > or multi-op categories.
> > But thinking about Skimmer brings me to what it really is.
> It is the
> > beginning of robotics used by contesters. Think about this and
> > consider that all the past technology advancements still had your
> > brain or your fingers involved in the copying, identifying, and
> > completing QSOs.
> > Many complained about SO2R, but it still requires your
> ears, brains,
> > and fingers to do anything with it. A skill for your brain to be
> > learned.
> > Memory keyers required that you make the decision of what button to
> > push and when to push it.
> > Computer logging requires your brain to identify the data and your
> > fingers to enter the data.
> > But Skimmer is a robot!
> > Not a complete robot yet, but the first step of what could
> > be be a totally robotic contesting station. Currently it
> decodes and
> > presents to you a band map of workable stations without any
> > skill needed. At this stage of development you still need
> to look at
> > the Skimmer list and select who you want to work in a
> manner similar
> > to using packet.
> > The technology is there now for full robotics as we move in that
> > direction. It will soon be possible to have your station
> call and work
> > another station without your presence in the ham shack. It
> will just
> > require a lot of programming and the proper algorithms to identify
> > what needs to copied, entered, and replied to.
> > If we allow Skimmer for the single-operator category now we
> will set
> > the precedent for allowing a full robotic contest station
> to compete
> > in the single-op category later. The single-op winners in
> the future
> > may no longer be the best operators but, instead will be those with
> > the best automated stations.
> > Years ago, N6TR set up a "KL7 sniffer" for SS CW. It was
> supposed to
> > find a KL7 and ring an alarm. I don't think it found a KL7 that
> > weekend, but it was a glimpse into the future.
> > I would really like to continue contesting with my own brain doing
> > most of the copying and decision making. But I have always loved
> > contesting and will likely do what is necessary to remain
> > I think a lot of contesters are like me. They don't really
> want this,
> > but they will have to do it to stay in the game.
> > 73 to you all.
> > Richard - K5NA
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