[CQ-Contest] The Paper log one radio, the SO2R and the SDR generations

Paul O'Kane pokane at ei5di.com
Sat Mar 23 06:54:56 EDT 2013

CT1BOH has given us something to think about.

He describes a scale, an intensity, of contesting
that most of us have never experienced.

Regardless of differences in scale, there remain
basic principles that apply in determining whether
the traditional divisions between the Unconnected
and Connected SO categories (Unassisted and Assisted)
still have relevance.

There are presently two methods of benefiting from
spots - combined callsign and frequency data.
They may come from other people or receivers via
the internet, or they may be generated by local
skimmers, multi-channel CW decoders, running on
each (up to 6) of the panadaptors described.

Either scenario, under current rules, makes the
entry Connected.  On the other hand, if there is
no reliance on the internet AND no reliance on
local skimmers, everything that CT1BOH describes
lies within the Unconnected category.

The fact that 6 panadaptors are used is, in itself,
no different to having multiple rigs, or multiple
antennas, in terms of entry category - unless the
rules for a particular event specify otherwise.

Now, CT1BOH estimates that, by being Connected,
scores are increased by only 8-10% compared to
being Unconnected, and argues this is not a
sufficient difference to justify the continued
distinction between Unconnected and Connected.

He may be right, but that's not the point. Many
of us will not operate Connected, ever!  Why?
because we value the ability to find and identify
stations by ourselves.  We consider that those
who are Connected have lost the run of themselves,
if only in terms of thinking that what they are
doing may legitimately continue to be described
as amateur radio contesting.

The difference between what CT1BOH describes and
what SO Unconnected contesters prefer may be
compared (regardless of the extent of technology
used in each case) to the difference between

  Sailboat racers and Powerboat racers
  Cycle racers and Motorcycle racers
  High-jumpers and Pole-vaulters
  Runners and Skaters

    the list is endless

CT1BOH has missed a basic point.  Unconnected
contesters do not use the internet, and do not
use multi-channel decoders.  Other comparisons
and statistics (or estimates) have no relevance
in presenting a case for the abolition of the
SO Unconnected category.

Paul EI5DI

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