[CQ-Contest] Use of CW decoders in contests

Dick Green WC1M wc1m73 at gmail.com
Thu May 27 13:51:15 PDT 2010

In ARRL contests, CW decoders that operate on a single frequency are legal
in all categories. Software, hardware and tranceiver based CW decoders like
this have been used for years and continue to be legal in ARRL contests. CW
decoders that can scan multiple frequencies "simultaneously" for the purpose
of spotting stations (i.e., displaying the call signs and frequencies of
said stations), are not allowed in the Single Operator (unassisted)
category. However, like packet, they are allowed in the Single Operator
Assisted and Multi-Operator categories. This refers to programs like CW

CQ has a similar rule, though the wording and category names are different.
They also have an Extreme category that allows Skimmer.

73, Dick WC1M

-----Original Message-----
From: Tom Macon [mailto:tmacon at wi.rr.com] 
Sent: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 7:57 PM
To: CQ Contesting Reflector
Subject: [CQ-Contest] Use of CW decoders in contests

We are having a discussion in our club regarding the use of CW decoder 
programs in contests, especially smaller ones like state QSO parties.  I'm 
referring to CW copying programs like CWget or DM780, not Skimmer.  I'm 
looking for some outside input - here are some specific questions on which 
we have differences of opinion.

 - Should the use of CW decoders be disallowed by sponsors, or should there 
be a separate entry category for entrants that use them?

 - Can CW entries that use  a decoder be considered digital entries?

 - Have any contests disallowed CW decoders or put them in a separate entry 

 - If a contest introduced such rules, how might it affect the perception of

that contest in the contest community?

Any comments appreciated!
 - Tom, K9BTQ

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