[CQ-Contest] No more Unassisted in ARRL VHF Contests?

Peter Sundberg sm2cew at telia.com
Sat Nov 15 14:01:07 EST 2014

You are absolutely correct Paul, this is madness. For almost 30 years I
have annualy taken part in the ARRL EME contest, partly because I enjoy the
fact that single op is unassisted. Operator skills determine who you work
on what band, and I've been fairly successful on some occasions. 

Allowing telephone exchange style assistance to make QSO's is just plain
silly. If I hear station A working station B I can be sure that none of
them will listen for me as a random caller, they are off chasing the next
"queued caller" (QSO) on the Internet without paying attention to the Ether. 

I know this for a fact having played a few times in the VHF-contests that
allow Internet assistance. Working rare DX off a list has been considered
unethical by many because of the low demand of info via the radiowaves. Now
people can add stations and multipliers in a VHF/UHF contest as they pick
apples in the garden. HF to come..

Because I am pretty certain that this change is not about allowing someone
to watch the cluster for spots, this is for using N0UK or ON4KST chatrooms
during the contest to "self spot". This has been demanded by highly vocal
US VHF-contesters for many years now. Their pressure on the ARRL has paid
off. Take a look one day at the N0UK EME JT65 chatroom to see what
selfspotting is in real life. 

The ARRL reasoning behind the change, as presented on the website you link
to Paul, is nothing but pathetic. "The less-predictable nature of VHF+
propagation and the necessarily higher-gain, narrow-beamwidth antennas used
make finding someone to work largely a matter of chance." huh... isn't that
supposed to be the contest challenge!!?

How did we ever do it before linking the Internet to our hobby? How could I
work 300 stations on CW EME on different VHF/UHF-bands in two weekends
without the Internet or a packet cluster? I must have been mad going for
it. Fortunately I didn't know better..  

Same goes for the big European contesters who used to work 500-1000
different stations in a weekend during the big terrestrial VHF/UHF
contests, without help of the Internet/clusters. Was this for real, did it
ever happen? 

"Sailors don't use engines in competition, otherwise they become drivers".
How true Paul.

To sum it up - the evangelism of RBN doesn't do very well on VHF/UHF so let
Internet "selfspotting" fix contest contacts instead. Well done ARRL, smart
thinking. That sure "helps the Amateur Radio Service increase its pool of
skilled operators" as you say on your organizations webpage. 

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Thanks for pointing this out Paul.

Peter SM2CEW

At 11:29 2014-11-15 , Paul O'Kane wrote:
>According to the ARRL Letter of November 13, the ARRL
>is recommending some changes in VHF/UHF contest rules -
>recommendations that, if carried, are likely to set a
>precedent for HF contesting.
>The first recommendation is -
>   "Removing the current prohibition on the use of amateur
>   and non-amateur forms of assistance for all operator
>   categories, with such use having no impact on entry
>   category."
>In plain language, this means that, to be competitive,
>single ops will have no option but to use the internet
>while contesting.
>It seems to me this is about as sensible as doing away
>with the distinction between sailboats and powerboats.
>Sailors don't use engines in competition, otherwise
>they become drivers.
>ARRL members have until December 15 to comment - to
>vhf-input at arrl.org 
>Paul EI5DI
>CQ-Contest mailing list
>CQ-Contest at contesting.com

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