[CQ-Contest] The Skimmer Rule Challenge

Sherman Banks w4atl at shermanbanks.net
Tue Jun 10 12:18:00 EDT 2008

I think what we (the not so smart people according to VE4XT), are looking
for is consistency in the arguments.

Packet spotting was banned for SO because other operators are feeding the SO
with information on the location of stations. This is a correct
interpretation since a SO should not be getting assistance from others

With Skimmer we now hear that it is automated spotting of calls and decoding
CW that provides an unfair level of assistance.  Since there are no
additional operators providing these call signs and all of the equipment
used for Skimmer is within the station circle, then it must be the
technology that people are opposed to.

But automated encoding of CW by a computer is OK. So is the Super Check
Partial that is made from thousands of other operators. The anti-Skimmer
crowd needs to draw the line on where technology should not be allowed. It
appears that the line being drawn is in the decoding of CW since most
everyone feels that automated CW encoding is OK. But there were no gripes
about the Writelog CW decoder - another inconsistency example.

To me, the pro-Skimmer crowd has been more consistent with the intent of SO
and the original packet ban. The anti-skimmer crowd seems to be more vocal
making the numbers appear larger but I need to see some consistency in the
argument against using computer assistance and where the line is drawn in
that assistance.

-----Original Message-----
From: cq-contest-bounces at contesting.com
[mailto:cq-contest-bounces at contesting.com] On Behalf Of ve4xt at mts.net
Sent: Tuesday, June 10, 2008 11:21 AM
To: Joe Subich, W4TV; 'Kerr,Prof. K.M.'; 'Michael Coslo'; 'cq-contesting
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] The Skimmer Rule Challenge

It seems the only people now arguing that computer logging, auto-tune
amplifiers or the like should 
constitute "assistance" are those arguing for the unfettered release of
Skimmer into the contesting 

It has always been clear, spelled out in many rules, that "assisted" classes
refer to those operators 
receiving spotting information (callsigns and QRGs, not merely spikes on a
bandscope). There has never 
been a mention of automation of the administrivia of contesting being

So to argue that to place Skimmer into "assisted" classes means that you
must also place any other 
automated feature of a station into assisted is simply a red herring. The
smart readers of this forum 
have not bought into that particular bit of seafood.

I am not anti-Skimmer: but I do not buy the argument that our forefathers
intended to restrict the 
definition of assistance only to that information coming from other people.
Spots are spots.

73, kelly

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