[CQ-Contest] A wish for the well-considered discussion

B. Scott Andersen bsandersen at mac.com
Wed Jun 4 20:52:30 EDT 2008


I'm sure some of us on the list are unhappy with all the Skimmer
talk. I'd like to not advocate either position in this message
but instead urge the group to keep the discussion going, in a
disciplined way of course. Nobody wants to see ad hominem
attacks, or folks doing the internet equivalent of stomping their
feet and holding their breaths. But, I believe there is a great benefit
to keeping a well-ordered and thoughtful discussion here.

You see, this isn't the first time stuff like this has come up. And,
while I've not been around forever (like many of you) I have
dug through the archives to find many an amusing and
enlightening thread highlighting brouhahas of the past.

There was a discussion of a ratings system in June of 1993. Here is
an exasperation from WB4IUX that makes many interesting point, including
"No matter what you do, you can't please all the people all the time.  
Matter of fact,
when it comes to ham radio contests and DX you can't even please a few  
of the
people any of the time!"


A little passion with your common sense isn't a bad thing as evidenced  
this note from 15 years ago. Also from this era is a discussion in  
July 1993
anticipating "Robot stations". Consider this gem called "Computer op,
unassisted" by N6TV:


"Yes, as I mentioned before, I would love to see a "Computer op,
unassisted," category. This is a significant technical challenge
worthy of reward. Remember the guy who offered some large cash award
for the first human powered flight across the English channel? I'd
love to see someone offer such an incentive to the first completely
automated amateur station capable of making 200 CW QSOs in the NA

Talk about forward thinking!


And, just to break the monotony here, there was a note in February 2004
asking people to get those guys working 3Y0PI a break. Imagine that!
People complaining about DXpedition operations... not that such things
happen now-a-days. {grin}

There is also an occasional message that is sobering.


"At 10:04am EST Easter Sunday Dana delivered our 1st (7 lb 6 oz)  
Baby (Graeme) and Dana both doing fine.
Not that I'm pushing for a future contester...  But, Graeme seems to be
picking up on dual receive of CW signals FB.  Looks a little funny  
with the
earphones on though!



In this case, this is Bill Fisher (W4AN ex. KM9P) overjoyed by the
birth of his first child. I did not know him, but I can read his posts
and try to follow along with the things that engaged him, made him
happy, annoyed him, and made him the object of so many people's

My point is this: these postings, made by some of the best and
brightest among us, leaders in the contesting community, are not just  
now but also for the ages. They constitute a historical record for how  
challenges, new technologies, and new controversies were addressed.

In private conversations I've had the notion is repeated raised,
"haven't we been through things like this before?" Yes. And there is
an excellent record of it in the archives of this list (among other
places). You might have to dig. You might have to read a while.
But, it is all there.

I would like to see the issues of today discussed here, like
Skimmer, so that a few years from now we have the benefit of these
archives when those future vexing problems nag the next generation
of contesters. And, when you made your posts, remember there are
always pains-in-the-neck like me who will dig through 20 years of
archives to see what you said, and how you said it.

That's my small wish for today. Thanks and 73!

-- Scott (NE1RD)

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