[CQ-Contest] Use of CW decoders in contests - a contrarian opinion

Ryan Jairam rjairam at gmail.com
Sat May 29 16:43:32 PDT 2010

Zack, your definition is fine (and I agree with it) but contest
sponsors have determined that skimmer is the same as being assisted
even though it is entirely within your station.

Ryan, N2RJ

On 5/29/10, Zack Widup <w9sz.zack at gmail.com> wrote:
> If two or more people within your station operate or assist your station,
> you're a Multi-Op. I've always understood assisted to mean "Assisted by a
> source external to your station." Any electronics, computers, etc. within
> your station that are not human still makes you a single-op in my book.
> But I'm probably wrong, as usual.
> As has been said, where do we draw the line? Do keyers make you "assisted"?
> Does computer logging make you "assisted"? Does computer-generated CW or
> voice keyers make you "assisted"? Does someone bringing you a pizza make you
> "assisted"?
> Zack W9SZ
> On Fri, May 28, 2010 at 6:15 PM, John W <xnewyorka at hotmail.com> wrote:
>> Just to play devil's advocate on this issue:
>> Let's say I'm a Single Op Unassisted entrant, and I have an SO2R station,
>> and I am currently running on 20M, and a friend comes over and sits down
>> at
>> my second radio and starts tuning around on 15M and finding stations that
>> I
>> haven't worked on 15M yet, and he zerobeats them, and types their call
>> into
>> the log on a second computer, and points a finger at me when it's the
>> appropriate time for me to hit the F4 key to send my call and make the
>> qso.
>>  Is that still Unassisted, or is that Assisted?
>> That seems to me like Assisted.
>> It also doesn't seem too terribly different from having a display hooked
>> up
>> to my second radio that is showing me what CW is currently being received,
>> in lieu of having my friend doing the copying for me.
>> Bottom line: If you are single op with only one VFO, the machine decoder
>> is
>> a crutch to "help" you copy code you otherwise couldn't copy due to lack
>> of
>> CW skill.  Fair enough, I suppose. But if you are using a decoder to copy
>> code on a VFO other than the one you are listening to, then I don't see a
>> substantial difference between that and using a spotter/spotting
>> network/skimmer to hand you callsigns and frequencies.
>> I am all for doing EVERYTHING possible to increase participation.
>> But I am also all for doing everything possible to keep a level playing
>> field.
>> IMHO, given two great ops who are equally skilled at SO2R, the op using a
>> machine decoder on the second radio will have a definite advantage over
>> the
>> op using one half of his CPU (brain) as the decoder on the second radio.
>> John
>> W2ID
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Ryan A. Jairam,

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