[CQ-Contest] The Skimmer Rule Challenge

Kelly Taylor ve4xt at mts.net
Tue Jun 10 22:35:23 EDT 2008

I think the key is to define what constitutes assistance. Once you have done 
that, then an operator either IS or IS NOT assisted.

Assistance, for the purposes of this contest, shall be construed to mean the 
passive receipt of spotting information from packet networks, computerized 
wideband receivers or any technology hereafter developed. Spotting 
information shall be construed to mean information regarding a station's 
callsign and frequency. Passive shall mean that the operator has not had to 
take any action - save for turning a system on or connecting to a network - 
to receive spots. Examples of this technology include but are not limited to 
packet, DX Cluster and Skimmer.

Note: this means that bandscopes do not constitute spotting assistance. They 
don't now. This also means that anything that is not the provision of 
spotting information is not assistance, to clear that red herring off the 

Once you insert this rule into the existing rules, it's covered. And it also 
covers RTTY and SSB, since there's nothing here that prevents automatic 
decoding of signals you have found on your own.

73, kelly

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Randy Thompson" <k5zd at charter.net>
To: "'CQ-Contest at contesting. com'" <CQ-Contest at contesting.com>
Sent: Tuesday, June 10, 2008 9:10 PM
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] The Skimmer Rule Challenge

> You can't expect the sponsors and rule makers to be clairvoyant.  Or to 
> work
> in a vacuum!
> I have seen very few actual rules proposals floated here compared to the
> volume of dialog on the subject of skimmer.  You never know what twist of
> phrase that someone suggests will generate an "ah ha" moment for a contest
> sponsor tasked with writing rules.
> To those who have contributed proposals, they have been very thoughtful.
> They have also demonstrated just how hard it is to make simple rules that
> are easily understood while not being open to too much interpretation. 
> Keep
> them coming.
> Randy, K5ZD
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: cq-contest-bounces at contesting.com
>> [mailto:cq-contest-bounces at contesting.com] On Behalf Of David Gilbert
>> Sent: Tuesday, June 10, 2008 5:28 PM
>> To: Sherman Banks
>> Cc: CQ-Contest at contesting. com
>> Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] The Skimmer Rule Challenge
>> 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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