[CQ-Contest] Series and Parallel Radio

Paul O'Kane pokane at ei5di.com
Wed Jan 5 02:51:43 PST 2011

In the ARRL Contest Update for 5th January, Ward N0AX
presented "From Parallel to Series and Back Again"

In the early 1960s, Eddystone Radio (England) offered
a panadaptor for their amateur radio receivers, with
multiple singals visible simultaneously, so at least
one part of Ward's "parallel" concept is some 50 years

The difference now is that, for CW, those multiple
signals can be decoded in parallel. The use of multi-
channel decoders reduces CW to the status of "just
another data mode".  That's one reason they are not
permitted for single-op entries.

The only other parallel concept that is truly new
is the use of other communications technologies to
share spots, and to control remote receivers or
transmitters.  It's what I call hybrid radio or
hybrid contesting.

I don't want any part of hybrid contesting, though
I recognise that many others do - I just wish they
would call it what it is.

Ward asked

  What happens to the series version of radiosport
  and of ham radio in general as radio changes from
  series to parallel?

It's not ham radio (contesting) that has changed,
other than by SO2R operators who have developed the
skill to operate in parallel on more than one band.
It is the fact that, for whatever reason, many
contesters choose to use other communications
technologies while contesting.

This is the brave new world of parallel radio
described by Ward. It is not "assisted", because
nearly all technology assists.  Instead, it is
hybrid radio and, as such, does it really deserve
to be called radio?

It seems to be that, for contesting purposes,
Series and Parallel radio might be better described
as Amateur Radio Contesting and Hybrid Contesting.

Paul EI5DI

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