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

Zack Widup w9sz at prairienet.org
Thu Jun 5 08:23:32 EDT 2008

And if you want to go back to the days before 'puters, come up with or 
drag out some old QST's and CQ's to read. I've been fascinated by some of 
the stuff in the QST's from the late 60's (when I joined ARRL) onward.

73, Zack W9SZ

On Wed, 4 Jun 2008, B. Scott Andersen wrote:

> Colleagues,
> 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!"
> http://lists.contesting.com/pipermail/cq-contest/1993-June/001971.html
> A little passion with your common sense isn't a bad thing as evidenced
> by
> 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:
> http://lists.contesting.com/pipermail/cq-contest/1993-July/001928.html
> "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
> Sprint."
> Talk about forward thinking!
> http://lists.contesting.com/pipermail/cq-contest/1994-February/003351.html
> 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.
> http://lists.contesting.com/pipermail/cq-contest/1994-April/003021.html
> "At 10:04am EST Easter Sunday Dana delivered our 1st (7 lb 6 oz)
> harmonic!
> 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!
> 73
> Bill"
> 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
> admiration.
> My point is this: these postings, made by some of the best and
> brightest among us, leaders in the contesting community, are not just
> for
> now but also for the ages. They constitute a historical record for how
> new
> 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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