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

Neal Campbell nealk3nc at gmail.com
Thu Jun 5 09:44:29 EDT 2008

Being a cluster sysop since '89, I was always amused at the local hams
that equated it with the phone systems ("if I wanted to know where all
the dx was I would just call them on the phone and ask them!").


On Thu, Jun 5, 2008 at 8:23 AM, Zack Widup <w9sz at prairienet.org> wrote:
> 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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Neal Campbell
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