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

Paul O'Kane pokane at ei5di.com
Mon Nov 17 14:47:32 EST 2014

On 17/11/2014 15:25, Kelly Taylor wrote:


> Yet, power levels never get anywhere near the level of hand-wringing ‹
> despite actually being an infraction of actual laws in most countries ‹
> compared to the overwhelming dread someone might be looking at an Internet
> site they're not supposed to?

I started this thread to draw attention to the fact
that the ARRL is recommending the abolition of
"unassisted" categories in VHF/UHF contesting -
leading to the distinct possibility of this abolition
being imposed on HF contesting in due course.

The thread has since been hijacked.  The point of
view expressed above by VE4XT is representative of
those who fail to understand the real issue.

It has nothing to do with cheating, or the ability
to detect cheaters.  The issue is whether we, as
amateur-radio contesters, may continue to be
described as such in the context of routine (and
sometimes absolute) dependence on other, non-amateur,
communications technologies or communications
utilities while contesting.

There's nothing wrong with using the internet while
contesting, and that's what the so-called "assisted"
categories cater for.  Nevertheless, it seems that
any dependence on the internet (to find, facilitate,
make or enable QSOs) undermines whatever right we
have to describe ourselves as "radio" amateurs -
rather than the hybrid-communications amateurs that
many of us have become.

As always, the terms "assisted" and "unassisted"
are misnomers.  "Assisted", whatever it used to
imply, now largely means "connected to the internet",
with Unassisted meaning "not connected to the
internet".  Since all relevant technology assists,
the term "assisted" no longer adequately describes
the connected category.

In recommending the abolition of unconnected
contesting categories the ARRL is, in effect,
forcing us all to become hybrid-communications
contesters (VHF/UHF initially) to remain competitive.

I object to this because I'm an amateur-radio

With regard to VE4XT's comment - "compared to the
overwhelming dread someone might be looking at an
Internet site they're not supposed to", I offer the
following analogies in the hope that they help
others to understand how fundamental this connected/
unconnected issue is in the context of contesting.

What do you call a sailboat racer who uses an
engine when not supposed to?  A driver.

What do you call a mountaineer who uses a ski-
lift?  A passenger.

What do you call a high-jumper who uses a pole
when not supposed to?  A pole vaulter.

What do you call a fly-fisherman who uses a net?
A fisherman.

What do you call a fisherman who shoots fish in
a barrel?  Anything you like, but don't call him
what he's not.

What do you call an amateur-radio contester who
uses the internet, whether supposed to or not?
Anything you like, but don't call him what he's not.

Everyone with internet access has, in effect, free
worldwide person-to-person communications at their
fingertips.  Radio amateurs are different, or are
they?  Don't they do it the hard way, for its own

In competition, how things are done matters.  That's
why I want no part of connected contesting, and will
oppose the ARRL's recommendations.

Paul EI5DI

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