Martin Monsalvo, LU5DX lu5dx at yahoo.com
Sat Jul 17 10:15:58 PDT 2010

Howdy Jim!
I really understand your position. Not only because it comes from the person 
that means to me what KH6IJ meant to you, but also because of  your personal 
experience from the DX end of the pile up from so many different places 
throughout so many years.
I started using the dx clusters in 2003.  I'm a computer guy myself and I simply 
 love i'net technology. Nevertheless, I must totally agree that this 
technologies changed amateur radio contesting impacting negatively in many ways, 
and in some ways they impacted in a positive manner.
Again, don't get me wrong, I use dx cluster and I love the band map populating 
more and more in N1MM logger.
The negative impacts to me are as follow:
1. The most important is: cheaters using the cluster and claiming themselves 
being single ops when they send their logs. Hard to detect, even with the 
implementation recently designed  algorithms.
2. It generates quite a bit of wrongly spotted callsigns thus increasing the 
chances of dupes calling you thinking you are someone else. People in the 
assisted category really need to pay attention and listen, not just send out the 
call and exchange and promptly click on the next available spot in the band map.
3. It certainly diminishes the skills to search and pounce the old fashioned 
The philosophical aspect of it.
Is it real radio, real contesting, real DXing? Certainly not, if we consider the 
paradigms of ham radio operation must remain the same throughout time.
Is it good for contesting in terms of attracting casual operators and helping 
the club score grow bigger? I believe yes.
Is it challenging? It depends on the perspective from which you look at it. 
Stations in the assisted category are always well below the scores of regular 
single ops. In my case It's a challenge to see how close (or far) I can come 
respect to the plain single ops in my area. Or even from multi single stations.
Fact is,  not only Single ops use clusters, MS, M2 and MM do it too. 
Furthermore, now MS, M2 and MM are using skimmers maximize their scores.
But to me,  the main problem is the distinction between single op and single op 
assisted for both single band and all band categories.
I've been proposing for the past ten years that this distinction needs to be 
eliminated and the use of packet should be incorporated to a single category 
called single op.
Those who like to use packet will be able to do so. Those who don't like it 
because they make bigger scores not using it, can continue to operate without 
it. The important thing is: EVERYONE will be playing by the same rules. And the 
use of this technology will be just a matter of likes and dislikes.  A little 
asterisk right next to the entrant’s callsign in the results will indicate the 
use of  DX spots. The packet cheating issue will be resolved for good.
I know people who don't like this idea bring to attention several other ways of 
cheating in our hobby, but we are not talking about those, in this case we are 
talking about the use of packet, telnet, web clusters, or even DX alerts made by 
friends on VHF.! And consequently,  adapting the rules to what it is nowadays in 
an attempts to  eliminate a distinction of single op categories, based on 
something that is hardly detected.
The use of packet in amateur radio contests is  recurring thread.  Hope someday 
the contests committees do something about it. And if they don’t at least they 
publicly acknowledge at least this is being discussed.
One thing is for sure, in WPX contests the use of packet is not something to 
recommend. I compared a couple of entries o’mine to others from my area and I 
would have made bigger scores without dx spots distracting my focus to run run 
and run.
I also recall IARU 2007. Where no packet is allowed for single ops. I really 
used the second RX to chase mults during the 24 hour period a whole lot. Only to 
find some single op stations worked monstrous amounts of mults, even more than 
MS stations and even more than several HQs!!!!!!
Hope somebody does something to eliminate this.  There is already a good example 
of a major contest not making the single op distinction based on the packet 
usage WAEDC. At least in that one, regarding this topic, I know for sure we all 
play by the same rules.
Very best of best regards to you Jim. Hope we can meet again sometime soon.

Martin, LU5DX 

[CQ-Contest] N6TJ AXIOMS OF LIFEJim Neiger n6tj at sbcglobal.net 
Sat Jul 17 00:09:14 PDT 2010
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I will comment about your last paragraph David, since obviously you've never  
ran a contest pile-up from the DX end, when often hundreds are all calling  on 
the same frequency.  But then your statement: "ONLY if you DON'T have the skill 
to know how to deal with it".  I've been  contesting 50 something years now, but 
there's never one where I don't learn  something new.   So please, go out 
somewhere rare, and show us all how to do  it.  It's not that I don't send my 
call frequently enough; some operators  better  than I,  say I send it too 
often.  But growing-up when KH6IJ was my idol, I  signed on to Nose's manner of 
just sending my call at the end of the QSO,  which when you're  in  a 4 per 
minute rhythm (cw of course), the skilled  operators calling simply know it 
means 3 things:  (1) I QSL your exchange  and call; (2) I am XXX; and (3) QRZ.   
It's simply musical poetry.  No, David, that is not the problem.  It's those 
like you, and others,  promoting packet, skimmers, nets, lists, etc.  that have 
destroyed the  ability of many (most?) to copy.  I send ZD8Z.  Your students 
post ZD9ZZ.  Or 2D8Z.  or ZD8MI.  You opine that I should "just work the dupes 
that don't listen and get them  out of the way".  I do this 99% of the time.  
But often to the considerable  detriment to my score.  Like in the 1997  CQ WW 
CW from ZD8Z.  I did single  band 15, and became the first to ever do 5000+ 
QSO's on a band.  It's still  the world record.  But, because of your wonderful 
technology operators, who  busted my call in some of the above ways, I ended up 
with an outrageous 7%  DUPE rate.  Help me out with the math, please, David:   
7% of 5000 = 350  QSO's lost by DUPES.  Which is equivalent to wasting about 3 
hours of the  contest.  As you don't appear to be a serious contester, I can 
understand  why you don't care about wasting 3 hours.  But for those of us with 
a goal  to operate 48 straight, can you understand why we might not be too 
pleased  that the generation you are fostering can't even copy code?  And I 
cannot let your last words of learned advice pass without a note:  You  said " 
while adding a comment about what your real call is again"  Ever try  that, on 
cw, when you've got 500 stations constantly calling you, and every  dit you send 
starts a new fever of calling?  Ever try to inform a DUPE, on  CW,  that he is 
just that, when (1) he has no clue as to what your call is,  and (2) obviously 
doesn't believe he's DUPE'd you.  And further to that,  most likely his top 
speed has maxed out somewhere around 15wpm.  Again,  please go out somewhere 
this fall, and show us all how to do it.  I'm always  willing to learn.  It's 
late, and now every time I read the word DUPE, it's increasingly  looking like I 
wrote DOPE.   No insult intended, but I think I better quit  here.  Vy 73  Jim 
Neiger  N6TJ  -------------------------------------------------- From: "K1TTT" 
<K1TTT at ARRL.NET> Sent: Friday, July 16, 2010 4:13 AM To: <CQ-Contest at 
contesting.com> Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] N6TJ AXIOMS OF LIFE  >> NO. 548    
Packet spotting, skimmers and that ilk, corrupts and perverts >> any >> attempt 
to demonstrate operating skills, absolutely. > > Only if you consider packet 
spotting not a part of operating.  By now we  > are > all aware that packet 
spotting exists, it has existed for many years, and  > it > will continue to be 
a part of contest operating for the foreseeable > future... so learn how to 
handle it and make it a part of your skill set. > >> They're happy, and I'm left 
with a DUPE.  Wonderful.  My only solution >> then >> is to QSY.  Then watch the 
DUPES disappear (for awhile, at least) > > ONLY if you DON'T have the skill to 
know how to deal with it... ID more > often, call a couple CQ's with your call 2 
or 3 times, and just work the > dupes that don't listen and get them out of the 
way... while adding a > comment about what your real call is again. > > David 
Robbins K1TTT > e-mail: mailto:k1ttt at arrl.net > web: http://www.k1ttt.net > 
AR-Cluster node: 145.69MHz or telnet://dxc.k1ttt.net > > > > 
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