[CQ-Contest] Eliminate SO Unassisted?

Mike Fatchett W0MU w0mu at w0mu.com
Mon Jun 16 01:06:35 EDT 2008

It would seem to me that most of our technology is purchased. Most no longer
design their own radios, antennas etc...

Skimmer is not going to make an SSB op a top CW finisher.  It might help him
and it might bring more people into cw contesting which is a good thing.

Skimmer is nearly undetectable IMHO.  Smart ops will not get caught using
packet either.

Why create rules that are nearly impossible to enforce or prove? 

-----Original Message-----
From: cq-contest-bounces at contesting.com
[mailto:cq-contest-bounces at contesting.com] On Behalf Of Doug Renwick
Sent: Sunday, June 15, 2008 7:59 PM
To: dieven at comcast.net
Cc: cq-contest at contesting.com
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] Eliminate SO Unassisted?

It is great that each of us has a variety of skills and a variety of skill
levels.  However, because some of us are deficient in some of the human
skills needed to become a top cw contester, does not mean that we should be
able to prop up ourselves with some technology to become a straw man top
Some of the technology you refer to are not in debate ... it is routinely
accepted by the cw contesting group ... computer logging & electronic
keyers.  And has made contesting more enjoyable and less time consuming.

What skill means to me is the human ability to perform and hopefully perform
well.  Usually it is something you have been blessed with and have trained
yourself hard.  For example, a world class athlete (drug
free) is first born with an ability and then trains hard to perfect that
ability.  Technology will be used to perfect that ability, but it will not
be on the race track in any major significance for the race.

A lot of cw contesting comes from technology that can be purchased which
separates it largely from skill.  You don't have to build your own radio,
you can buy it; you don't have to install your own tower, you can hire
someone to do it; you don't have to have a lot of computer skills, you can
hire someone to set up your entire station, everything.

But when the clock ticks over it should be human skill vs human skill.
If someone can listen to 2 radios, tell his children a bed time story, eat
lunch, watch a football game, listen to his wife, and dodge lightning
strikes, all at the same time, then that person has skills that most of us

If I want to play computer games, why would I choose cw contesting?


-----Original Message-----

Doug, aren't the skills required of a modern contester just different than
the skills required 20 years ago?

I can't maintain a manual dupe sheet at all well.  I never got very good at
it. I also have difficulty reading my own handwriting.  I can't send at any
reasonable quality all the contest calls and exchanges with a straight key.
I cannot log with one hand while keying with the other. 

But I can configure a modern station. I can write some of the software that
amateur radio operators use.  I can use, with very limited success, a second
radio in a contest. I would suggest that some of the things most of us can
do now would baffle our predecessors.

Do I have the skills and have I trained myself as my predecessors in the
skills of dupe sheet maintenance and manual CW keying?  Nope.

Could my predecessors with their skills do what I can do with my training
and effort to create, learn, select, and apply these tools?

How has this use of technology to replace laziness or training "dumbed down"
contesting? It has changed it.  It has resulted in higher scores.
And it has resulted in more enjoyment for me and for the people who have to
copy my CW. I frankly don't think the manual dupe sheet and manual CW skills
I have been to lazy to learn are very important in today's contesting world.

Whether CWSkimmer should be permitted in SO is a valid thing to debate. 

But would suggest that the "technology improvements are bad for a
technology-based hobby" argument does not hold water.

Dick, K6KR

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