[CQ-Contest] NAQP CW + Skimmer

David Gilbert xdavid at cis-broadband.com
Thu Dec 23 10:22:52 PST 2010

Sorry, but I don't think you managed to clarify the rule at all.  In 
fact, I think it got less clear, and from the outside it indeed looks 
like you changed it.  The way it was previously written it sounded like 
decoding of "the" contest exchange, i.e., the one you were making at the 
time, was legal by technological means such as CW decoders ... including 
CW Skimmer when used in narrow band 3KHz audio mode.  Now it sounds like 
simultaneous decoding of exchange information for MULTIPLE signals is 
allowed ... i.e., use of CW Skimmer in broadband SDR mode as long as it 
is receiving those multiple signals from within your own station.  I 
guarantee that nobody will know for sure what you intend based upon the 
current wording of the rule, especially in conjunction of the prior 
wording of the rule when you say that the rule itself didn't change.

Again, as I stated in an earlier post, this is what happens when contest 
rule makers focus on tools instead of simply and unambiguously defining 
the result they want, and why these message boards are constantly filled 
with folks debating and adding their own personal bias to what the rule 
maker intended.

Dave   AB7E

On 12/23/2010 9:38 AM, Aldewey at aol.com wrote:
> I would like to take this opportunity to make a few comments on this
> subject on behalf of NCJ.
> When multi-channel band decoders for CW started to show up several years
> ago, there were strong feelings on both sides of this issue.  Some felt
> strongly that, as long as there was no assistance from any source outside the
> station , including the Internet and packet cluster of course, than it should
> be  treated like any other technological advance.  Others felt that is it
> indistinguishable from packet spotting assistance and even, perhaps,
> superior to it.
> Although NCJ does not have an official "Contest Committee", issues related
> to the NCJ contests are discussed among all the NCJ contest managers.
> Often, input is solicited from others also. Final decisions rest with the
> Contest Manager for each of the 6 contests we sponsor.  For the Sprints, it  was
> obvious that the allowing the use of multi-channel band decoders made no
> sense because of the QSY rule.  It really came down to being an issue for
> the CW NAQP.  We decided to allow it in the Single Operator Class as long  as
> there was no connection via the internet or any other outside source.   In
> 2009, the NAQP rule was changed to state:
> "Technological methods of copying the information in the contest exchange
> are permitted as long as they are entirely contained within the station."
> This rule was intended to allow technologies like CW Skimmer as long as
> they were self contained within the station.  It has been in place for two
> years.  Ironically, because we did NOT get any feedback on this, we began  to
> suspect that they rule was unclear.  Did some people, perhaps, think  this
> was referring to MASTERDAT and Contest Exchange Data bases?  So, for  2011,
> we change the rule to state:
> "Technological methods of copying the information in the contest exchange
> (e.g. CW Skimmer, Code Readers, etc.) are permitted as long as all
> components are entirely contained within the station."
> So we have not CHANGED the rule - we have only CLARIFIED it.
> Also, we understand the danger of identifying a specific tool such as CW
> Skimmer in the rules but, at this point in time, this is what contesters are
> aware of.  This is why we identified it as an example.  As new
> technologies arrive, this will have to be revisited.  The fact that adding  CW Skimmer
> as an example rather than just using the words "technological  methods" sort
> of proves this point.
> I realize that this is a very sensitive subject.  In fact, I cover  this
> topic in a little more detail in my editorial for the Jan/Feb , 2011 issue  of
> NCJ.  I also realize that this will not make everyone happy.   Personally,
> I do not plan to use CW Skimmer myself in NAQP as I enjoy the  challenge of
> finding the multipliers myself.
> 73,
> Al, K0AD
> In a message dated 12/23/2010 6:47:48 A.M. Central Standard Time,
> k1ttt at verizon.net writes:
> that  just goes to prove my point that brand names should be avoided.  CW
> Skimmer is well known for generating spotting information so many people see
>   that name and assume that is its only purpose.  but it also makes a nice
> audio passband code reader.  In this case it is lumped in with 'code
> readers' for copy 'exchange information', after specifically excluding all
> sources of spotting information... so 'obviously' the writer of the rule  change
> understands that it can be used just as a code reader and wants to  allow
> that while excluding the user from decoding a whole band for spotting
> purposes.  While this is an improvement over other ways of writing the  rule, it
> would still be better to leave off that brand name software and just  state
> that audio bandwidth code readers are ok for making  contacts.
> Dec 23, 2010 06:44:53 AM, daven2nl at gmail.com  wrote:
> I normally bite my tongue when these discussions come up,  however
> I'm quite surprised and even more disappointed at the apparent  rule
> change in the NAQP that allows local CW Skimmer usage by single
> operators. I am curious how this rule change came about - was there any
> previous discussion? Does NCJ even have a contest  committee?
> Granted, I may not currently have a dog in this fight since  I am
> currently stationed overseas, however the NAQP has always been a
> favorite contest of mine, and I was fortunate to have had a measure of
> success over the past decade of participating in the CW event. I most
> certainly was planning on participating competitively again upon
> reassignment stateside. With some prior knowledge of the NAQP, the way
> I see it, there are three basic requirements for a top finish in this
> event:
> (1) A favorable geographical location with good propagation (I.E  West
> Coast in January; W9 and W4 in August).
> (2) A relatively good  station, preferably SO2R capable.
> (3) The skill set required to effectively  S&P and operate SO2R while
> maintaining rate, with an understanding of  propagation. Perennial top
> ops such as W9RE, N2IC, KL9A, and N6MJ usually  rack up anywhere from
> 200-400 QSOs through effective SO2R technique, which  separates them from
> the rest. This is a true showing of skill and operator  prowess.
> By adding a local skimmer, much of (3) is negated. In a minute  or
> two, the CW Skimmer user can see *every station CQing on every band*.
> Every band opening. Every multiplier is shown. Sure - Skimmer picks up
> a lot of garbage, but it is easy to know that W0BH is in Kansas and my
> skimmer sees him on 10m where I need the state for a mult. It does not
> matter how good W9RE or N2IC is at skill set (3) above, because the
> computerized 2nd op of the CW Skimmer user will find it first in almost
> every instance.
> As a result, this rule change has serious  implications which puts
> it separate from other contesting advances the  Skimmer proponent uses as
> a defense. CW memory keyers and computer logging  does not find QSOs for
> you. CW Skimmer does. With the elimination of (3)  above, is there
> really any point in competing anyway? Sure - there are  still some
> skills required, such as timing with SO2R, but the unscrupulous  op only
> needs to blast away without an interlock.
> Again, I am  disappointed that this change came about without even
> consulting with the  perennial top finishers who have operated this
> contest for years. In my  opinion, the change should have been the
> addition of an "unlimited"  category, which allows single operators to
> use packet, a local skimmer, or  the Reverse Beacon Network. There are
> no certificates issued for this  contest, so I don't believe a new
> category would cause much heartache for  the sponsors. I still fail to
> understand the psyche that seemingly  portrays "Assisted" category
> participants in a negative light. This psyche  leads people to either
> lie that they were unassisted, or try to force feed  these game changing
> rules into the "One man and his radio" historical  Single Operator Category.
> 73, Dave  KH2/N2NL
> _______________________________________________
> CQ-Contest  mailing  list
> CQ-Contest at contesting.com
> http://lists.contesting.com/mailman/listinfo/cq-contest
> _______________________________________________
> CQ-Contest  mailing  list
> CQ-Contest at contesting.com
> http://lists.contesting.com/mailman/listinfo/cq-contest
> _______________________________________________
> CQ-Contest mailing list
> CQ-Contest at contesting.com
> http://lists.contesting.com/mailman/listinfo/cq-contest

More information about the CQ-Contest mailing list