[CQ-Contest] Use of CW decoders in contests

Hank Greeb n8xx at arrl.org
Thu May 27 20:03:08 PDT 2010

I seem to remember that Samuel FB Morse started out with a "Code Reader" 
- i.e. Ink Pen driven by his relays, which the operators read and put 
down onto the Latin Alphabet.  They "learned" audio code by osmosis - 
learning they didn't need to ink reader.

Methinks we'd not have much competition with a Morse reader, and it 
"probably" would be a way to encourage folks to learn to "read the code" 
via audio instead of via a computer.  I don't believe a computer can 
"read" randomly generated CW nearly as well as the vacuum between a good 
CW operator's ears.

Of course, a CW skimmer, et. cetera., which looks at the entire spectrum 
and finds the "rare ones" is definitely an aid which puts its use beyond 
the pale of SO category.

Lettuce B real - and encourage, not discourage the newcomers.

Or, we'll find CW dyiing off with the aging population of the CW ops.

73 DE n8xx Hg

On 5/27/2010 10:20 PM, cw-contest-request at contesting.com wrote:
> Message: 1
> Date: Thu, 27 May 2010 11:54:50 +0100
> From: "Paul O'Kane"<pokane at ei5di.com>
> Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] Use of CW decoders in contests
> To:<CQ-Contest at contesting.com>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Tom Macon"<tmacon at wi.rr.com>
>> - Should the use of CW decoders be disallowed by sponsors, or should there be a separate entry category for entrants that use them?
> I don't know Russian, so I can't have a conversation in Russian.  The only way I can communicate with a Russian speaker is to use a decoder - human or otherwise. Although I may have had two-way communications with a Russian speaker, it has not been in Russian.
> In the same way, any contester with a decoder can have two-way communications with a CW operator, but that does not mean they have had a CW QSO.
> Using a decoder reduces CW to the status of "just another data mode".
>> - Can CW entries that use  a decoder be considered digital entries?
> Yes.  I suggested previously it be described as DM01, data/digital mode 01, to distinguish if from other data modes - for example RTTY (DM02), Amtor (DM03) etc.
>> - Have any contests disallowed CW decoders or put them in a separate entry category?
> Well, Skimmer is a CW decoder, and is not permitted in contests with a SO-unassisted category.
>> - If a contest introduced such rules (to prohibit decoders), how might it affect the perception of that
>> contest in the contest community?
> It's likely that the only objectors would be those who don't know CW.

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