[CQ-Contest] The Meaning of Assisted

Richard F DiDonna NN3W richnn3w at verizon.net
Sat Sep 18 04:27:14 PDT 2010

Oh God.  Here we go again with the same rationale as a couple years ago.

As one who has operated from a top flight contest station in MANY contests 
over the past few years and who has won several contests, I can tell you 
from personal experience that Skimmer is a quantum level of difference from 
computers, band maps, split VFOs, memory keyers, etc.  It is a fundamental 
game changer.

Skimmer fills in an entire band map for you without your having to tune the 

Skimmer will tell you where your competitors are at all times.  It will also 
tell you when they have gone on breaks....

Skimmer will tell you when a band is first showing signs of life and when a 
marginal band has become wide open.

Skimmer will tell you how fast a station is sending CQ and which station is 
sending CQ.

Skimmer will tell you where unusual openings have taken place - unexpected 

Skimmer will tell you where holes in the band are so that you can exploit 
them to start a new run frequency or to move a mult.

Etc., etc., etc.

This is a level of information that is so far above and beyond what 
traditional operating is expected to be.  One person listens and decides, 
using their own judgment, what a callsign is, when a bandchange should be 
executed, if  a particular path is open, etc.

When you log a QSO in your computer, you're doing it with your brain and 
your fingers.  When you make a QSO, you're using your ears and your mind. 
When you tune the band you're doing so with your ears and your mind and your 

When you're using Skimmer, you do not have to listen for QSOs or callsigns 
because Skimmer has already pre-filled the entire band map for you.  You 
don't have to listen for a call to figure out if you've worked it before - 
Skimmer has already basically done that.  You don't need to put a second 
receiver on 10 meters and check it periodically because Skimmer will alert 
you that others have begun CQing on that band.

You don't have to wonder if K5ZD has decided to move to 15 meters because 
Skimmer will tell you that he has.

To consider this a simple extension of technology of your own shack simply 
ignores the principles of single operator contesting that we have known for 
over 75 years.

73 Rich NN3W

On Sep 17, 2010, Joe Subich, W4TV <lists at subich.com> wrote:

> I cannot, for the life of me, imagine how ANYONE could consider
> Skimmer to NOT be an assistance aid. You have the entire bandmap
> laid out for you without your mind doing anything. It is a complete
> game changer and should NOT be ever placed into the same category as
> an unassisted operator doing all the operating and listening by
> himself.

As one who remembers contesting before computers and before bandmaps,
*ALL* of the things done by computer were game changers. How anyone
can not consider computer logging, bandmaps, SCP, etc. anything other
than *assistance* is beyond me.

The whole point is that the assistance does not come from any other
*person* either directly or via telephone, packet, internet, etc.


... Joe, W4TV 

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