[CQ-Contest] Convergence and Change

Larry pacer99 at aol.com
Wed May 25 01:39:58 EDT 2016

hi all,

i note that in the CQ WW CW there are 26 plaques offered for single-op single band. not one for assisted. that causes me to wonder that if the same amount of plaques were offered for assisted operation just how many operators would switch categories?

larry n7dd

-----Original Message-----
From: VE2TZT <ve2tzt at arrl.net>
To: cq-contest <cq-contest at contesting.com>
Sent: Wed, May 25, 2016 4:39 am
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] Convergence and Change

>I'm curious as to why the assisted operators want to eliminate the unassisted category and for that matter why their opinion matters?

The fact to ask that kind of question is by itself a lighting on the abyss of incomprehension around the topic. Just my testimonial.

I enter 95% of my SO contests unassisted when the category exists not because I like the category but because I have not really the choice. Some not exhaustive list of reasons :
- At my level of competition, if I want a comparison id. some decent concurrents, I have no choice, I will not find any one in Assisted category, I will compete alone... The pity is that many of my competitors are thinking like I do (and that's why someone have to push the switch)
- of course no plate, only paper certificates,
- The WRTC qualification rules are giving only 90% of the maximum points to the assisted category when there is one in the contest. For example the WAE, Russian DX, All Asian contests has no unassisted/assisted separate categories so you get 100% whatever you are using clusters or not. It is not the case for the ARRL and CQ contests. So you have no choice but entering the unassisted.

I would prefer to compete assisted for several reasons, here are some:
-It gives a better overview of the contest, a better feeling of participating, seeing what the friends are doing, not that felling of being a bear in its cave (what you call a boy and his radio ?).
- If there is an interesting needed DX to improve my DXCC challenge or my 160 WAZ (need 4 zones) or my 5 bands WAZ (need 2 zones) I have great chances to miss it as unassisted.
- It is very interesting to know when and how you have been spotted especially when your callsign had been busted.
Of course, since the beginning the spotting has very bad side effects on contests, like busted callsigns and the following DUPES, or multipliers station sending their callsign barely often. But it is a fact and nobody will change that. The best way to minimize that side effect is to have the info being assisted.
Through all what I read on that topic on that reflector, my conclusion is that there is a deep lack of knowledge among some pure unassisted guys about use of packet: Thinking that working assisted is just clicking on multipliers and working them is a very short view and surely not the good way to win in that category.
-first, very often the spots are busted so at minimum you have to check.
-second, very often the spotted ones are flooded underneath a temporary pileup and it is a big waste of time trying to work them immediately.
-third if you do not S&P scanning the band traditionally you will miss many multipliers, not all the multipliers are spotted and of course the not spotted ones are the easier to work.

Then, according to me, the best benefits of assistance is not at all that caricatural click and work behavior but rather pieces of info on what happens on the band and the time saved while S&P on the second radio not to wait minutes after stations already worked and sending their callsign every hundred QSO's.

So, it seems to me that the aversion for merging the categories is mostly governed my lack of knowledge about good use of the packet than any objective arguments or experiments.

Gilles VA2EW

On 24/05/2016 17:33, Stan Stockton wrote:
> I'm curious as to why the assisted operators want to eliminate the unassisted category and for that matter why their opinion matters?
> Is there any answer to the question above?
> Obviously, by definition, those who operated unassisted don't want to eliminate it.
> Stan, K5GO
> Sent from Stan's IPhone

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