[CQ-Contest] This is Logic?

W7TMT w7tmt at dayshaw.net
Wed Jun 11 10:02:33 EDT 2008

>          Exactly...and when this happens CW is relegated to 
> just another machine-to-machine digital mode.  This is the 
> end game of allowing Skimmer in unassisted.  Since we already 
> have RTTY contests, why create another computer-to-computer mode?
> When that happens, count me out.
>          What I personally enjoy in DX-ing and contesting is 
> the *hearing and copying* of weak signals with my own ears 
> and brain.  Copying those weak fluttery signals amidst the 
> QRM and QRN crashes.  Remove that element and I'll go find 
> something more interesting to do with my time.
>                                          73,  Bill  W4ZV

Bill's statement represents my concerns about Skimmer usage as well.  The
"real-time human decode" of the incoming data is what makes CW contesting
unique, challenging and fun. I have a completely different feeling
participating in RTTY contests than I do CW. I participate in both but find
the CW contests far more challenging and fun. No, it is not my intent to
denigrate RTTY contesting - as noted I participate in them on a regular
basis, and yes, all of the other aspects of the two are the same - ya gotta
keep your butt in the chair, understand propagation, spend time and effort
on station preparation, band planning etc. No question about that. However,
what sets CW contesting apart from all other modes is the "real-time human
decode" of the data. Taking that away in my mind destroys the very essence
of what CW contesting is about.

Sherm, W4ATL questioned why "...there were no gripes about the Writelog CW
decoder..."? I suspect because it works so poorly. It certainly does not
work well enough to allow anyone serious about the sport to make any
difference in their results. I looked at it in Writelog as a "novelty" item
designed to give non-contesters something to play around with or perhaps a
"gee whiz" kind of thing to attract buyers but certainly not as a legitimate
tool for anyone serious about the sport. The Skimmer technology
significantly changes that since it works so well and so far we've only seen
version one.

I hope the sponsors in their wisdom will retain at least one CW category in
which any technology that does the "machine decode of incoming data" is
banned. Call it whatever you want but please leave something for those us
who understand and appreciate what makes CW contesting so very special.


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