[CQ-Contest] Endless argument about remote operation

John W xnewyorka at hotmail.com
Sat Jun 22 00:06:19 EDT 2013

Seeing all the notes about remote operation again, I am reminded of why I unsubscribed from the list last time, and why I am about to do so again.
I would like to hear someone who is opposed to contest remote operation present a clear argument by specifying:
 a) exactly who is being harmed, wronged, or being placed at an unfair disadvantage by having to compete against someone operating a remote station; and  b) what is the nature and extent of the harm that they are suffering.
I would also like to propose a truce on this topic. It appears clear by now that people on both sides of the argument cannot be swayed in their opinions. It's just like arguing about abortion or gun rights. You are never going to win the argument, no matter which side you are on.
The only thing that matters is that we all play by the same rules, so that we can compete fairly and our efforts can be judged fairly.
For the record, my guess (and it's just a guess) is that the people who are opposed to allowing remote contesting are opposed because they personally lack either the time, money, motivation or engineering skills to assemble a remote station, and they are simply jealous of the people who do have the time, money, motivation and engineering skills to put one together (or the social connections to gain access to one.) The argument "it's just not ham radio if the internet is involved" is not a valid argument. You can just as easily control a remote station over a phone line with a modem, without using the internet. Or you can control the station using only RF directly on the ham bands. Or, you can string some super long headphone, microphone, and key cables and operate from wherever you want, as long as your cables are long enough. After all, that's all a remote station is, effectively, is a set of really long cables between you and the radio. The guy on the other end of the contact has no way to tell how long your headphone cable and mic cable are, and he certainly doesn't care. The length of your cables doesn't affect his beam heading, it doesn't improve the readability of your signal or help you bust through QRM, and it doesn't have any effect on propagation. In other words, the length of your cables is almost a complete non-issue. The only noticeable effect it might have is actually an adverse effect: The super-long cables introduce latency, so he might think you are a little slow coming back to his CQ and his report. But if you are opposed to allowing remote contesting because you can't be bothered to wait a few milliseconds more for a reply every once in a while, well, that's just a silly argument.
I don't have a remote station, but I wish I had the time, motivation, and engineering skills to put one together, and I heartily congratulate everyone who is able to pull it off. I am happy to compete against them from my home. If their remote station is near my home, then I am directly competing with them, and I know I have the advantage since I am sitting right in front of the hardware. If their remote station is somewhere else, then I am not competing with them, but I wish them best of luck in the contest.
John W2IDQRT yet again 		 	   		  

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