[CQ-Contest] The Paper log one radio, the SO2R and the SDR generations
José Nunes CT1BOH
ct1boh at gmail.com
Fri Mar 22 20:55:25 EDT 2013
The Paper log one radio, the SO2R and the SDR generations
The discussion about merging Assisted and Non Assisted categories, very
passionate as one would expect, is interesting because in my view it has to
do with different ways to look at the value of information (callsign and
frequency data). This information (call sign and frequency data) has
different value depending on what generation you are coming from because
contesting is done in different ways. I see three dividing generations:
The paper log one radio generation
The SO2R generation
The SDR generation
In the paper log one radio generation we have people who started their
contesting careers when there was no PCs or packet systems. Back then the
most important skill was to decide when to stop the RUN and go on S&P mode.
Stopping the RUN to go on the hunt in S&P mode was fundamental, because it
was the only way to increase in dramatic terms the multiplier numbers.
Deciding those moments and finding rare mults was fundamental, therefore
the value of this activity is very very high for this generation.
The SO2R generation came to full throttle with PC, advanced loggers and
The big thing about SO2R generation is they managed to extend the
contesting time from 48 hours to ~77 hours because they can listen to a
second radio while the first radio is transmitting (~60% of the time of the
contest). Also the contest was accelerated in a way that demands both
physical and concentration abilities not necessary with a SO1R scenario
(paper log generation). To the SO2R generation operators the value of
callsign and frequency data is much less than the value attributed to the
same data by Paper log one radio generation operators. SO2R operators have
much more time to work the multipliers. They do it with the second radio
and there is no need to stop the run. They S&P while running. Therefore the
value of callsign and frequency data is much less than the value to the
paper log one radio generation. The game has a very different nature.
In the recent SDR generation a dramatic event has occurred that is changing
and shaping contesting. The contest went from audio only to audio/visual
event. Not only the operator is listening to the audio of his channel but
at the same time he is seeing the full band and the individual traces of
signals of the stations in the panadapter with different resolutions to
choose. The SDR generation went from a 500hz dimension event to a full band
dimension event and for real hard core SDR operator to a full six band
dimension in six different panadapters. The value of call sign and
frequency data to SDR generation operators is less than the value
attributed by SO2R generation operators because it is quicker and easier
for them to get to stations and of course it is much less than the value
attributed to paper log one radio generation operators that can only work
rare multipliers by stopping their RUN.
But a question remains - is the value of callsign and frequency data zero
or close to zero so that we can say merging the Assisted and Non Assisted
categories has no consequences? It's closer to zero for SDR generation.
It's very far from zero to paper log one radio generation.
But there is still value in callsign and frequency data. Looking at Top
SOAB (SDR generator operator) versus top SOAB Assisted station and MS
stations, I estimate the value of callsign and frequency data to be around
8-10% percent. A top SOAB SDR generation that decides to jump into SOAB
Assisted category and do things right (i.e. follow only the really valuable
“spots” and don't mess with RUN) will be able to increase his multiplier
totals by around 8-10%. It's different but not that different to have a
striking opposition to merging the Assisted and Non Assisted categories
A laughable point to me in this discussion is the notion transmitted by
paper log one radio generation that they are the ones who know how to do
things and they do it the noble way. I say laughable, even though I have
great admiration by some of those paper log one radio generation icon
operators, because they have no idea of what they are talking about. They
are stuck in a time and in a contest that is very different form the
contest that is played by the new generation.They try to preach to a
generation that doesn’t want to go back because things are more dynamic,
more interesting, more intense and for sure more fun.
The paper log one radio generation unique skill of knowing when to stop the
run and go S&P is no longer necessary when using SO2R and SDR/Panadapters
and topped with assistance it’s even more heartbreaking to them. But that’s
the way things are. There’s no time machine and the clock keeps ticking
forward. In an image, the paper log one radio generation operate as if they
are stuck inside a cave listening to a signal coming from the end of the
cave, while the SDR generation are out at night, looking at every signal in
the universe represented by the stars - the contest the later are playing
is that different!
I consider myself in the SDR generation because that is the way I operate
from CR3E. I have no problems combining the Assisted and the Non Assisted
category. It is an inexorable trend and I have no doubt it will be just a
matter of time, sooner than later. It is what the SDR generation want, I
dare to say, because contesting will become more interactive, more
“social”, more integrated, more real time and for sure a lot more
attractive to the younger generation of contesters.
Also have not doubts that the winners in the SDR generation need to have
more skills than the ones that were needed in the paper log one radio
generation or in the SO2R generation.
José Nunes - CONTEST CT1BOH - http://www.qsl.net/ct1boh
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