[CQ-Contest] SO vs. SOA definition re Skimmer

Neal Campbell nealk3nc at gmail.com
Wed Jun 4 12:07:08 EDT 2008

On reflection, (again I share the conflicting feelings of technology
versus love of the hobby), I think the prime consideration we should
consider (and direct rule changes, definitions, etc.) is how to grow
the contesting community and bring in new(er) blood. Almost every
decision we make should be based on how to grow the body of active

Technology plays a real role here. We would not see the explosion of
RTTY contesting without MMTTY making it very simple for anyone to have
an excellent and available way to compete in these contests. I think
examining that model and why it is working would be an interesting
topic. The emotional/horrendous SO2R vs SO1R debate rages there as
often as here and we all have gotten very tired of it. I am sure some
of the older guys who are long-term RTTY'ers that won in the past are
not doing SO2R and have some negative feelings (and probably
participate less) because of the SO2R development. Yes, it is a skill
acquired as well as a technology acquisition. I am completely neutral
on the SO2R debate so will not enter into it.

But, the people who have dropped out or participated less in RTTY
contests are more than offset by the new people who have taken up RTTY
contesting. Its healthy enough that other modes are complaining about

It would be interesting to actually know how much participation impact
that debate had with some contesters.

I also agree with the discussion that we really don't know how skimmer
will turn out in the  mid-long term, will it have the same impact as
the introduction of spotting nets or SO2R? Don't know, my gut tells me
no but my gut is a fickle oracle!

But the issue isn't purely skimmer, SO2R, etc., the issue is how to
grow CW contesting, (and the rest of the modes).  We should be guided
by that objective instead of continual discussions of leveling the
playing field, seeking advantage of small cracks in technology, etc. I
don't know what type of paradigm shift can occur similar to MMTTY for
the cw and ssb world, but we should be looking for it and embrace it.
Is it skimmer? My question really is, would the people coming into CW
contesting outnumber the people who would be turned off by it? There
is the question from my angle.

We should also emulate  some of my real ham radio heros who spend as
much time promoting the hobby and providing the tools and techniques
to make the entry of newbies fun and seamless. The biggest example is
Don, AA5AU. Yes, he wins all the time.
 No, he doesn't have a superstation and in fact seems to be a very
balanced guy (not win at all costs). But Don spends more time trying
to bring in more people to the RTTY  contesting world (selfishly so he
can work them I suspect) than any human I have ever met. I have a
feeling that he would be just as happy/satisfied not to win a contest
but see participation increase 30% due to his efforts.

I wish I was more like AA5AU.


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