[CQ-Contest] CW Skimmer, PJ2T During 2009 CQWW 160 CW

Vladimir Umanets ua9ba at mail.ru
Mon Sep 23 22:47:01 EDT 2013

What Jeff calls "an invaluable contest tool!" I call a "TOTAL DESTROYER of 

One no longer needs to know the propagation, how to S&P most effectively,
no need for sharp short memory to tune the bands and instantly know by the
sound of signal or style of operation the call sign of a station and so on,
and so on...

Some will say to this that I am an old fart and know nothing of new technologies
and how to implement them properly. Partialy that's true and I can live with it OK.

My concern lies in a different plane. With these skimmer technologies it has become 
absolutely impossible to tell by inspecting the log the difference between a 
true S&P and a skimmer initiated S&P. I could see the susequencies of this effect in
a number of recent contests :-(( which is very sad news. 

I know, I know. We can't stop the progress! I only pray to Gods of amateur radio
that it will take at least another decade for the smarts to develope a SSB skimmer.
So far SSB mode remains the only mode that requires true operating skills. 

So,the big contest sponsors, please,keep separate the assisted and unassisted at 
least in SSB mode! As for CW it no longer is needed. No way one can catch the 
skimmer cheater in the post contest log checking proccess.

73, Willy UA9BA (ever since fond of CW)

>I've recorded a short (90 second) video of CW Skimmer operation during the
>2009 CQWW 160 CW Contest at PJ2T, as a demonstration of the value of CW
>Skimmer to the Multi-Op or Single-Op Assisted contester. It's posted on
>YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZarmnghuQK8 (Viewing in
>'Fullscreen' strongly recommended!) 
>This 90 seconds was recorded on January 24 starting at 0514Z, as sunrise was
>moving across Central Europe. The receiver was an RFSPACE SDR-IQ and the
>antenna was the PJ2T 1000-foot Europe Beverage. The entire 25 hours of
>operation were recorded during the contest, and this is a short sample of
>that set of recordings. Typically, we have two or three CW Skimmers running
>during a Topband contest, each listening on a different receive antenna. The
>typical configuration is shown at
>Shown in the video is a Writelog Bandmap window on the left, and the CW
>Skimmer windows on the right. This is exactly what CW Skimmer would have
>spotted had it been turned on at the beginning of the recording: the video
>is not speeded-up in any way. The spots shown were decoded while PJ2T was
>calling CQ and working stations at 84 QSOs per hour in the same room, and
>you will see the overload on the Skimmer display. Although CW Skimmer
>decodes all callsigns, only those callsigns calling CQ are passed via telnet
>to Writelog. Note that CW Skimmer decoded 240 callsigns during that
>90-second period!
>CW Skimmer is an invaluable contest tool! 
>73,  Jeff K8ND
>(PJ2T was the #3 Multi-Op in the 2009 CQWW 160 CW Contest and set a new
>South America record. Operators K8ND and W8WTS)

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