[CQ-Contest] down the path with Dave

Pete Smith N4ZR n4zr at contesting.com
Sun Dec 2 12:05:06 EST 2012

Tom, I think maybe you misunderstood where I'm coming from.  Unlike Joe, 
W4TV, I believe that using Skimmer is just like using a cluster, only 
more powerful.  I have never argued for Skimmer use *not* putting 
someone in the assisted category.  I was simply trying to refute 
Charly's argument that it takes all the skill out of operating.

One of the interesting things about CW Skimmer is that it is cumulative. 
For a single op, that means that you can mute the Skimmer SDR while 
you're transmitting, and it will pick up with spotting as soon as you 
stop.  I see this happen all the time here - Skimmer will spot a station 
or two as soon as I am not transmitting any longer.

73, Pete N4ZR
Check out the Reverse Beacon Network at
blog at reversebeacon.blogspot.com.
For spots, please go to your favorite
ARC V6 or VE7CC DX cluster node.

On 12/2/2012 10:29 AM, Tom W8JI wrote:
>> Charly, the only thing that Skimmer replaces is the physical act of 
>> tuning the radio.
> For me, the objectionable part of skimmer is the removal or lessening 
> of operator skill. I equate it to using a code reader. Local skimmer, 
> used in single op, replaces the three acts of tuning the radio, 
> copying the call, and entering the call in a data base. It gives the 
> local station a form of automatic spotting system.
> The local technical requirements of isolating the receiver from the 
> transmitter are significant on lower bands with high power, but it is 
> possible to do. A conventional SDR here overloaded badly from the 
> transmitter on 160 meters, but I'm sure that could have been cured. On 
> 80 meters and up a local SDR here can get into noise floor without 
> local transmitter problems. The result would be a window filled with 
> locally generated "spots" that require no operator assistance.
> I'm not saying this is good or bad, but it sure seems to be contrary 
> to real single-op unassisted. With a low noise floor, a bandmap could 
> fill with hundreds of useful locally generated spots. There isn't much 
> difference between that and using a cluster.
> 73 Tom

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