[CQ-Contest] This is Logic?

Bill Tippett btippett at alum.mit.edu
Wed Jun 11 10:09:50 EDT 2008

        Someone replied privately:

Hi Bill,

> As we say, 'In a nutshell'.........
> My sentiments exactly.
> This is precisely why I gave up VHF moonbounce and meteor scatter about 10
> years ago when WSJT and so on appeared and QSOs were completed on
> non-audible signals and also why I never operate digital modes (accepting
> this reflector's resident pedants' point that CW is effectively a digital
> mode). Finding and reading signals is the essence of the operating aspect of
> this hobby. Without that, no thank you.

        I was going to mention WSJT as an example but decided not to since I
don't operate VHF and never used it.  But there are plenty of others who
share your opinion, so I'm glad you mentioned it.


How anyone can compare their EME and MS "accomplishments" using WSJT with
the likes of the guys who did it "the hard way" with big antennas and their
own ears is beyond me.  I liken WSJT "accomplishments" to making DXCC Honor
Roll by sitting on 14256 and exchanging "when last heard"s via the
Listmeister when it's doubtful they ever actually heard anything (i.e. WSJT
becomes the Listmeister).

        If unassisted CW contesting is now added to the trash heap of
machine-to-machine mode assistance, it's a very sad day IMHO.  Unassisted
contesting and low-band DX-ing are one of the few individual operating areas
still uncorrupted by machine-to-machine garbage but I can see the
handwriting on the wall.  We already have Internet QSOs via Low Band Chat
corrupting low-band DX-ing and now even CW contesting is headed the same way
if Skimmer is allowed in Unassisted.  Yes Scott (W4PA), SSB contesting may
be the last bastion of individual operating skill, but it's just a matter of
time (and programming) before Skimmer affects SSB also.

        Someone previously mentioned that the Assisted category has never
been in serious contention with the Unassisted category.  I submit that's
because both the quality and quantity of operators attracted to Unassisted
are many dB in operating skill above those attracted to Assisted.  I also
submit that many of the folks presently in Unassisted are attracted to it
exactly for the same reasons of personal enjoyment and accomplishment I
previously mentioned.  Take that away and I suspect a few others besides
myself will be looking for another hobby.

                                                    73,  Bill  W4ZV


 >As soon as we all using this "non-assisted" advance in technology, we will
be offered the attractive ability to call this station automatically when
our decoding software determines the station is needed, is not a dupe, and
has stood by for a call. ***We won't even have to hear any thing from the
station we have just "worked."***

        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

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