[CQ-Contest] The Skimmer Rule Challenge

David Gilbert xdavid at cis-broadband.com
Tue Jun 10 13:27:35 EDT 2008

I would hope that the major contest sponsors and rule makers, in 
response to technology changes such as CW Skimmer, would try to refine 
their category definitions and regulations based upon a rational and 
forward-looking thought process focused upon what best serves and 
promotes the sport of contesting rather than on how consistent the 
arguments might be on any particular side of the issues, or on whether 
or not there is already inconsistency in the rules.  Possibly I am 
expecting too much ...

Dave   AB7E

Sherman Banks wrote:
> 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
> operators.
> 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.

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