[CQ-Contest] Is it fun any more?

Steve London n2icarrl at gmail.com
Thu Nov 5 17:39:08 EST 2015

And working these rare sections, without using spotting assistance, is 
what makes SS all the more fun. There are only 83 sections - a finite 
number and a laudable and challenging goal. Nothing is more fun than 
having a VY1 call you in the middle of the night, because, in the 
aurora-infested arctic, that's all he/she can hear on any band. Or going 
into Sunday morning, still needing Newfoundland-Labrador, and finding a 
VO1 on 20 meters. Yes, there is a (packet) pileup, but you found him/her 
without it !

You have had 2 weeks to recover from CQWW SSB. Put in a big effort this 
weekend, and make this your best SS ever. With or even without assistance.

Steve, N2IC

On 11/05/2015 01:55 PM, Art Boyars wrote:
> I asked here "Are we about to see the end of rare Sections in SS?"
> I prompted a comment from K3PA (whom I met at a PVRC-FRC Joint Meeting,
> longer ago that we'd like to admit).  Drew's feelings match a lot of mine.
> I also got an off-reflector response that said (keeping private
> communication anonymous):
> "[Paraphrase by K3KU -- Remote operation technology and lots of money could
> make Heard Island as rare as Germany.]
> "What has our hobby gained?
> "I am also amused (not in a positive manner) by all the banter of being
> allowed to send our calls on CW during an SSB contest because the skimmers
> 'don't do SSB'.
> "Don't get me started on packet/RBN's/Internet spotting."
> Well, Anonymous Friend, a long time ago I said "Packet has ruined ham
> radio," and that was before the internet and before RBN and skimmers.  All
> this spotting has, to my mind, made the game very different from what I
> learned and enjoyed as a youngster.
> Then again, so has computer logging (and CAT and all the other station
> automation).  And so did electronic keyers.  And directional antennas.  And
> rotatory directional antennas.
> But none of those later-listed things is quite as big a change as spotting
> (in all it's evil forms).  The thing that is a little disappointing is that
> some operators -- especially those who grew up having the internet -- don't
> understand the difference.  ("Why didn't Johnny Dollar just use his cell
> phone?")
> I had a disheartening flash of the obvious a  couple of weeks ago.  Even
> though I am strictly Class A, my improved performance in SS CW is probably
> the result more of spotting technology (and the equally evil Call History
> Files) than of any improvements in my own skill.
> Remote operation technology will probably improve my scores, but that, too,
> makes the game so much different.
> I would not try to stop the "advance" of technology, nor its application to
> contesting.  If you think it's more fun with all the new technology, then
> enjoy!  You are not hurting anybody. For myself, I'll constantly reevaluate
> how much fun I am having in contesting.  If technology improvements reduce
> my enjoyment of the sport enough, I'll find something else to do.
> Happily, SS CW is still a lot of fun for me.  There are still some rare
> sections.  With the loss of KO7X, who will you work for WY? (Western
> stations need not reply.)  Will you manage to get NL or VI or PR? (Eastern
> stations need not reply.)  Will you nab NE this year?  Will there be a
> surprise rarity -- one year it was SB; another year, SFL.  Can I hit a new
> personal high in QSOs?  We'll see, we'll see.
> 73, Art  # A K3KU 60 MDC
> Tune for Maximum Fun
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