David Gilbert xdavid at cis-broadband.com
Sun Jul 18 22:11:59 PDT 2010

Disclaimer:  I almost never operate assisted (in any manner) during a 

That being said, it beats the heck out of me why so many people seem to 
think that change is inherently bad, and that anyone who doesn't do 
things they way they would is in some way a lesser practitioner.  Or 
that anyone who has different motivations for pursuing the same activity 
is getting it wrong.  The dynamics of the world just don't work that 
way, and in general whatever happens ... happens for a reason.

I sincerely doubt that ham radio contesting would have the level of 
participation it does today if everyone operated like you did in 1969.  
It simply isn't that appealing to a large percentage of the population 
any more, and the average contester doesn't care to devote the time and 
energy to it that they might have 40 years ago.  The hobby isn't as 
relevant technically, and as the average age of hams increases many of 
them aren't willing to devote significant hours to the event.  Decry 
that if you will, but that's life.  People used to build their own homes 
from scratch but almost nobody does so anymore, for a variety of 
reasons.  Do those lost skills represent a step backward for society in 
general?  Hardly.  That which is lost by the mainstream is offset by the 
specialization of the few, and the same thing is happening in radiosport.

Take a look at the operating time statistics for the major contests.  A 
large percentage of those who submit a log operate less than one fourth 
the total hours of a contest, yet the high scorers operate almost the 
entire event.  Is either camp diminished by the other?  Not that I can 
tell.  The casual point-and-click operators (who are there simply to 
have fun and couldn't care less what you think about their inferior 
skills) depend upon serious contesters for targets and cluster spots for 
guidance, while the serious contesters are damn glad that the masses are 
still there no matter how the cretins managed to find them.  Take away 
either side and the sport goes away pretty quickly.

If some of those participants (from either camp) decide they want to 
rely more on technology than personal skill ... so what?  If I can't 
tell whether I'm making a contact with a person or a robot, or with 
someone who found me by spinning a knob or by point/click, or with 
someone who enjoys the same aspects of the game as I do or not ... why 
should I care?  How is my enjoyment diminished by any of that?  As long 
as the contest sponsors are proactive enough to maintain entry 
categories that fit everyone's preferences, how does trying to cram 
everyone into your view of the world as it was forty years ago make 
anything better?  I can pretty much assure you that it would make the 
sport smaller.

The future of contesting isn't threatened by technology ... it's 
threatened by intolerance and disparagement.

Dave   AB7E

On 7/18/2010 5:17 PM, Jim Neiger wrote:
> Oh to be young again.  I should know better, but Tonno,  I have no clue as
> to your age or as to when you started this seriously.
>   Having spread my "competitive from DX" over the past 43 years, let me
> assure you my friend, you are having no more fun today, with all the packet
> help, than I had in winning ARRL DX CW (world record), CQ WW SSB, and CQ WW
> CW (world record), all in the same year(1969)
>    Sure, the rates weren't there, but it actually required more skill, and
> thusly was more fun/rewarding/satisfying than just sitting on a frequency
> with endless CQing and pile-ups.   One can only relate to an experience by
> actually doing, naturally.  Did you ever listen to KH6IJ?  Or K0DQ from XE,
> 1973 (I think) when he became the first ever to work 10,000 in a contest?
> Or to W4KFC or W9IOP run Sweepstakes?  Poetry
> "Lucky if you are in such a location..........."??  Luck has nothing to do
> with it.   You just make it happen
> "Packet clusters contributes hugely to the participation.............."  And
> also ruins operator skills.   Again, you will have to trust me on this:
> today's average operator has one-half the skill of the last generation.
> But this generation today is simply "me first", what can I do to get more
> QSO's, with little regard for what the future of contesting holds.   It will
> soon be remote transmitters/receivers, all run by guys like CT1BOH and
> ES5TV, sitting in their kitchen at home, networked computers, and won't that
> be something special?
> Enough of this.  Where's that Maker's Mark that my friend  F6BEE suggested I
> try?
> Vy 73
> Jim Neiger   N6TJ

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