[CQ-Contest] Convergence and Change

Jim Neiger n6tj at sbcglobal.net
Sat May 14 18:17:13 EDT 2016

I was saddened to read Randy K5ZD's article entitled *Convergence and 
Change*, page 27 of the May 2016 CQ Magazine.

Obviously Randy has succumbed to the *dark side* of the force and 
chooses to operate Assisted, and in his last sentence, he's wondering 
when the rest of us will see these merits and "have access to spotting 
information"?  Huh?  But looking at his smiling face on Page 24 of the 
CW Contest Results, with No. 1 World for Assisted, maybe he knows 
something that I don't?  That he would just operate 48 hours and have 
everyone copy calls for him, and all he needs to do is point and shoot 
on his computer screen, and voila -  easy breezy.  I can guarantee I do 
not look so rested, content, smiling after I just slogged through 48 
hours of *REAL* DXing, copying calls, busting pileups, dealing with 
wonderful RBN that Randy so cherishes - putting one hundred S-5 stations 
all zero beat on my run frequency.  Hmmm, maybe Randy's on to something??

But what if we don't want to have others find our DX for us? What if we 
still want to see if we can copy calls ourselves?

I first met Randy 25 years ago when he visited our home in Anaheim 
Hills, California, and my wife whipped up a pot of spaghetti for us.  My 
impressions of Randy:  smart, enthusiastic, hungry, and showed definite 
potential as a serious contester. Little did I know he would end-up 
needing assistance.  Boy was I wrong.

And Randy, I do take some exception to your first paragraph in your 
article.  Running was happening many years before computers ever 
showed.  Let's see, I did my first contest from DX as KX6DB in 1967; my 
first computer operation from ZD8Z wasn't until 1991. I guess that's 24 
years of running.  And hunting.  And of course, KH6IJ was running when I 
first called him in ~ 1955.  And you never lived until you heard W9IOP 
or W4KFC run in the Sweepstakes.

Some think that *all *technological innovations are a blessing and all 
must adapt, or perish.  I can readily list a dozen advances in science 
and technology that none of us want.

Yes, Randy, you're right, contesting has been impacted by the 
convergence of skills with technologies, and yes, some people, like 
yourself, have more "fun" with it.  But as your surveys would seem to 
show, most of rather find our "fun" the old fashioned ways.

Vy 73

Jim Neiger  N6TJ

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