[CQ-Contest] Second Century of Radio

VR2BrettGraham vr2bg at harts.org.hk
Wed May 27 17:48:44 PDT 2009

N4ZR replied to EI5DI:

>I think your second principle is too restrictive.  I'd suggest
>instead that we need to define a "bright line" to separate ham radio
>contesting from whatever this CQ100 business is about.  The analogy
>that keeps coming to mind is sailboat racing, where any technology is
>allowed on board the boat, so long as wind power remains the sole
>mode of propulsion.  It's not that you can't have different classes,
>or preclude active coaching on wind conditions etc. from the shore,
>but that if you cross the line, you're no longer racing a sailboat.
>So what's the ham radio contesting equivalent?

What was already in some contest rules: the bit about how
the single operator is to do all the functions of operating:
finding, working & logging stations.  It's this activity that
we are competing against each other, operating.

Having both contested & sailed, the one thing that stands
out to me is how the participants of the two see the basics.
Never once after a race did I hear anyone in the yacht
club seriously suggest it was okay to fire up the "equalizer".

Yet in radiosport quite a few folks felt it was okay for
someone to use something to replace or augment the
function of finding stations to work, that skimming is okay
for single-ops.  Others go further & in the opposite direction,
feeling the use of SCP or a memory keyer somehow is
displaces the operator from the functions of finding &
working stations.

I believe that as long as the core activity on which we
compete is so inconsistently defined & the participants
have their own ideas on what that activity is, we fail to see
the line already drawn.  There's not much point in drawing
new lines until all can see & respect the existing one -
just like we do in sailboat racing.

Heck, it wasn't that long ago right here on cq-contest we
saw participants in a contest comparing notes after the
event, asking if a particular station was really QRV & what
exchange it was sending.  That I would have thought was
a line everybody should see & not cross.  If that line is
no longer respected, there's probably not point in drawing
any other lines, IMHO.

73, ex-VR2BG/p.

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