[CQ-Contest] Re; Skimmer Ultimate Setup

Paul O'Kane pokane at ei5di.com
Sat Mar 22 14:39:11 EDT 2008

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "David Robbins K1TTT" <k1ttt at arrl.net>

> And I contend that experimentation, innovation, and just
> plain pushing the envelope is a necessary part of this hobby.

Can't argue with that.

> And if you grumpy old men try to stifle use of modern
> technology by the youngsters who are going to replace
> you some day they'll go find some other outlet for their
> talents.

I certainly qualify as a grumpy old man - but I'm not going away.

I love technology - how did we exist before computers and the
internet?  At the same time, it's perfectly clear that not all
technology is appropriate in all circumstances.  There is such
a thing as overkill.  Does anyone go duck-hunting with a
machine gun - a little step up from a shotgun.

> CW is just another digital mode, originally copied by machine,

Right and wrong.  Yes, it is digital, and multiple signals
were sent down a single line to be decoded by machine.  That
was a professional communications service - can't say I've
heard of anyone doing that for fun.

When the telegraph ops realised CW could be copied by ear,
they started doing it that way for its own sake, simply
for the fun of it.  Imagine that - doing something, for
fun, when a machine could do it better and faster.

Isn't that, plus the little matter of RF, the fundamental
difference between amateur radio and all other radio
services and communications modes?

We copy morse code, by ear, for its own sake.  As such,
it's not "just another digital mode" - it is the only
digital mode we can decode.  How foolish, when a machine
could do it for us!  It's nearly as stupid as fly-fishing
with a rod and line, or going to sea in a boat with no

> there have been electronic cw decoders out there for a
> long time and they aren't going away so just deal with it.

Likewise, engines have been out there for a long time, so
anyone who uses any form of transport without an engine
should deal with it (and fit an engine - presumably).

>  And remote operation isn't going away either,

Great!  Now we can compete on equal terms with the other
radio services that use it all the time - aircraft,
military, marine, NASA.

> its getting easier and more practical with the higher
> speed internet connections getting more common.

This may be a reactionary viewpoint but it seems to me
that when any part of the signal path, between the two,
(or more) individuals concerned, is anything other than
RF, something is lost - at least in amateur radio terms.

> One of these days I'll set up a fully remote m/m operation
> and sit here in a nice quiet shack with all 6 stations
> being run remotely...  with a network of skimmers filling
> bandmaps from around the world.

I don't doubt it for a moment - just don't pretend it's
amateur radio.

> Will sure save on food and drink here and hours of
> travel time with expensive fuel for my operators!

And occasionally think of how you have debased amateur
radio - then put aside those idle thoughts and relax
while the log fills up all by itself :-)

Paul EI5DI

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