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

Zack Widup w9sz.zack at gmail.com
Mon May 31 18:11:26 PDT 2010

Does this mean that all entrants to RTTY contests are assisted (given that
they're not multi-ops)?

Zack W9SZ

On Mon, May 31, 2010 at 7:52 PM, VR2BrettGraham <vr2bg at harts.org.hk> wrote:

> W2ID further gets his head around it all:
> > 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.
> Spot on, mate.  The problem is that no contest rule is clear enough &
> deals with what needs to be dealt with, this leaves room for all the
> interpretation we see.
> Unlike phone, CW contests require the operator to decode the code.  It
> has always been part of operating (please no RTTY references here, as in
> RTTY everybody has had to use a code reader of some sort - and please,
> no mention of code sending technologies that depend on the operator
> knowing the code in order to use them... besides, must be at least 30
> years now since [for most here at least] the ability to send has been
> presumed from a demonstrated ability to receive).  The competition is
> based on operating: finding, working & logging stations.  None of that
> is possible if the operator doesn't know the code.
> Code reading technology should never have been allowed in CW contests,
> but since previously it has been inferior to what an operator is capable
> of, it wasn't an issue.  Now code reading technology has advanced to the
> point where it can completely displace the SO from doing the decoding
> necessary to operate.  In a very short time, this has gone from
> non-issue to a big one, faster than we have seen spotting networks
> evolve into the mess they've made of finding stations to work.
> Congratulations to W2ID, you understand it perfectly.  Given the timing,
> if we look at the rules for the recent WPX contest, as written if the
> code reader tells the operator what is on the frequency the radio is
> tuned to & if the radio tells he operator what frequency it's tuned to,
> then the use of the reader appears not to be allowed.  If one is
> entirely objective about it, it isn't necessary to know what frequency
> the radio is on to work the station the reader is copying - seems K5ZD
> was thinking too much of a specific example of code reading technology
> when he wrote the new rule.
> I can't think of a way to allow for the previously accepted uses of code
> reading technology in CW contests without leaving some way for its
> abuse.  The rules & adjudication of the sport needs to catch up with
> where the technology is going, if the S & the O in SO are to mean what
> they've always meant.  The continued debate over what seems to me to be
> so blatantly obvious is a clear indication that this can't be left to
> participants as it has.
> 73, ex-VR2BG/p.
> _______________________________________________
> CQ-Contest mailing list
> CQ-Contest at contesting.com
> http://lists.contesting.com/mailman/listinfo/cq-contest

More information about the CQ-Contest mailing list