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

John W xnewyorka at hotmail.com
Sun May 30 10:22:08 PDT 2010

Some interesting thoughts have been voiced on this issue. 

In hindsight, my original post could have and should have used a lot fewer words:


I personally feel that if I am made aware of the callsign and frequency of a station that is calling CQ Contest by any means other than hearing that station myself (i.e. with my ears, assuming I don't have a handicap), whether that means by seeing a spot on packet or the internet, or by someone calling me on the telephone or telling me directly over the radio, or by the callsign showing up in text in my bandmap or on a screen or readout device that is in my view while I am operating (and listening) on some frequency other than the frequency of the CQing station, then I have received assistance, and am obligated, whether by the rules or simply by my own ethics, to say so in my entry.


One person stated that the difference between assisted and unassisted is merely the issue of whether a machine or my hand was turning the VFO knob on the receiver that has the volume all the way down. I have never used a decoder, so I don't really have any clue how well they work, but it would seem to me that if they work at all decently, and I have some good CW filters, then it really wouldn't make a lot of difference whether I blindly turn the VFO to find stations or whether a machine does it for me. I would think I should be able to see CQ TEST WB0XYZ on the screen and tell that this is a new QSO for me.



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