[CQ-Contest] The Skimmer Rule Challenge

Joe Subich, W4TV w4tv at subich.com
Sat Jun 14 16:20:43 EDT 2008

> If Skimmer acts like Packet WE DON’T LIKE IT! If Skimmer is 
> even nearly as efficient as the world wide spotting network 
> everything to avoid it in this case. 

It simply DOES NOT MATTER whether you like it or not - if you 
don’t like it, don't use it.  

The rules do not prohibit technology or we would not have 
memory keyers, computer logging, history files and SCP.  The 
rules speak only to participation by individuals other than 
the station operator.  

If you want to change the rules to include the EFFECT of 
technology then change the rules to define QRP/LOW/HIGH 
power based on EIRP to account for the EFFECT of antennas. 
Change the rules to reflect the number of receivers that 
can be operated at the same time - or in bands other than 
the transmit bands - to control both skimmer (which is a 
receiver) and SO2R (which many have contended is "unfair"). 
Change the rules to include use of data files (history 
and SCP) as participation by individuals other than the 
operator.  Change the rules so that equipment or antenna 
adjustments and repairs during the contest period by any-
one other than the operator is considered "participation 
by another individual."  

Modern computer logging has the same EFFECT as a "logging 
assistant" did 30 years ago but we have not reclassified 
everyone who does computer logging as "multi-single."  SO2R 
has the same EFFECT as a spotter and another transmitter but 
SO2R has not been reclassified as either multi-single or 
multi-multi.  Big antennas have the EFFECT of high power but 
we don't reclassify a station with stacks of monobanders 
and no amplifier "high power."  Rules are not designed to 
control the RESULTS - they are there to see that everyone 
in a given class has access to the same resources.  In no 
case does skimmer represent an additional resource - it is 
not participation by any other individual. 

Contest rules are designed to be flexible.  There is nothing 
to be gained by eliminating flexibility simply because you 
do not like the effect of some new technology.  If you want 
to address a perceived "issue" with the results, address the 
issue through rules that deal with the resources available to 
the operator not by specifying how those resources can be 
used and not by trying to "pick winners."  

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Tonno Vahk [mailto:tonno.vahk at mail.ee] 
> Sent: Saturday, June 14, 2008 2:49 PM
> To: 'Joe Subich, W4TV'; wc1m at msn.com; 'cq-contesting cq-contest'
> Subject: RE: [CQ-Contest] The Skimmer Rule Challenge
> We keep hearing many smart and silly arguments in this 
> everlasting debate but claiming that packet does not help SO 
> much as unassisted guys keep dominating the assisted ones is 
> the most ridiculous of them all. Can we please stop it for good!
> Packet is HUGE advantage and especially to top notch SO2R 
> guys with top stations should they choose to use it. They 
> don't as they participate in non-assisted class because that 
> is were you get real credit for what you have done in terms 
> of developing your skills and building your stations. There 
> are some that have taken unfair advantage of packet gaining a 
> lot of mults and have been also disqualified.
> Packet adds at least 10% to the score ceteris baribus if we 
> look at well equipped SO2R station. I have said I can make 
> 100 mults more in CQWW with packet and that means 15% in 
> score. SO2R is as big advantage really and usually also gives 
> 15-20% increase in score but that is what we like to do. We 
> can keep doing something interesting instead of listening to 
> monitor while TXing on 1st Radio and we can really put our 
> skills in better use.
> If Skimmer acts like Packet WE DON’T LIKE IT! If Skimmer is 
> even nearly as efficient as the world wide spotting network 
> everything to avoid it in this case. So my question really is:
> Is Skimmer similar to Packet in it's results on not? Can we 
> please refrain from this endless and meaningless debate from 
> now (some of you guys could though write a book on that I 
> guess) and produce meaningful and fact based evindence as to 
> how efficient a skimmer can be used in one specific location. 
> Could we please hear from guys who actually used it in some 
> contests as to how it compares to packet?? Let's gather some 
> data and decide then. If it is indeed obvious already now 
> that it gives similar output as packet and is as accurate 
> then we should of course change the un-assisted rules ASAP 
> and get this thing off the table.
> 73
> tonno
> es5tv
> -----Original Message-----
> From: cq-contest-bounces at contesting.com 
> [mailto:cq-contest-bounces at contesting.com] On Behalf Of Joe 
> Subich, W4TV
> Sent: Saturday, June 14, 2008 9:30 AM
> To: wc1m at msn.com; 'cq-contesting cq-contest'
> Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] The Skimmer Rule Challenge
> > Because it won't make any difference whether you operate in
> > one category or the other: pointing and shooting will dominate 
> > the mult game.  
> "Assisted" does not dominate the single operator class today. 
> What makes you thing that type of operation will dominate if 
> skimmer used routinely in the single operator class?  There 
> are instances of very good operators entering the assisted 
> class today and they still do not dominate the top single 
> operator scores. 

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