[CQ-Contest] down the path with Dave

W0MU Mike Fatchett w0mu at w0mu.com
Sun Dec 2 17:32:16 EST 2012

Using skimmer requires a completely different tool set to use it 

How much skill does it really take to turn a knob?

Mike W0MU

On 12/2/2012 10:05 AM, Pete Smith N4ZR wrote:
> 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
> http://reversebeacon.net,
> 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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