[CQ-Contest] New Contesting Classification

Paul Stoetzer n8hm at arrl.net
Mon Sep 12 15:45:51 EDT 2016

The important thing in amateur radio is the RF-to-RF path. The
internet is just serving as a long cord connecting the operator to the
key/mic/front panel of the radio.

There is absolutely no difference in what I have achieved with my
station if I'm sitting at the front panel or controlling it remotely
via the internet.


Paul, N8HM

On Mon, Sep 12, 2016 at 1:13 PM, Paul O'Kane <pokane at ei5di.com> wrote:
> On 11/09/2016 21:52, Jim Brown wrote:
>> I strongly disagree. I'm lucky enough to have my own station -- I own a
>> large plot of land and have built a nice antenna farm, so I'm happy
>> operating from home. But MANY hams do NOT have that luxury -- they live on
>> small plots of land, or in housing developments where, by conditions of
>> their purchase or rental of the property, are NOT PERMITTED to have any
>> antennas. And there are MANY hams who are surrounded by neighbors with
>> multiple noise sources that make it difficult to hear all but the strongest
>> signals on a band.
> I can relate to almost everything in that paragraph.
> I have a small plot, with a 60-foot back yard - not
> enough room for an 80m dipole without bends, and I
> am surrounded by neighbours with multiple noise
> sources. The site is clearly visible on Google Earth.
> None of this stops me from having fun - with a K3
> barefoot to a TA33jr at 32ft and an off-centre dipole
> for 80 and 40m.
> I can be competitive on 10m by replacing the TA33 with
> a 5-el monobander.  I've done this to get #1 in SOLP
> Mixed (DX) in the 1991 ARRL 10m contest, and #2 and #3
> in subsequent years.
>> If you are one of those MANY hams who cannot build even a modest antenna
>> system, the only thing available to you is remote operation.
> Remote operation is not the only other option. There
> is always the option to operate from another station,
> in my case EI9E in Co. Wexford, abut 85 miles from
> my QTH. From there I got World #1 in CQWW CW SO80 LP
> last year (November 2015) with 85w from the K3 to a
> 4SQ, and World #3 SO80 HP CW in 2014.
> It wouldn't be too difficult to configure the EI9E
> station for remote single-band operation with the K3,
> but that's not an option I will consider.
>> Moreover, you clearly misunderstand remote operation. Communication IS via
>> radio. The internet is no different from a telephone link to a remote site,
>> or a radio link to a remote site.
> On the contrary, I have a full understanding of remote
> operation. The necessary two-way communications between
> the operators concerned take place BOTH by radio AND
> by internet.  There is full dependence on both modes
> of communication.  The internet is serving not just
> to control the remote station, but also as a carrier
> for whatever information the operators are exchanging.
> Without the internet, there can be no communications
> whatsoever between the operators.  That's not the same
> type of rf-all-the-way ham radio I'm used to.  Because
> more than one communications technology is required, I
> prefer to call it what it is - hybrid-communications.
>> Several years ago, K3NA, W3DQ, and I visited an old "ship to shore" HF and
>> MF station north of San Francisco. There are two sites about 20 miles apart,
>> one for TX and one for RX, each equipped with multiple rhombics. The two
>> sites are linked by a dedicated landline that carries multiple CW channels
>> as audio tones of different frequencies, one for each transmitter. That
>> station dates back to 1913 -- see this link for a description of the
>> station.
>> http://www.ptreyes.org/activities/marconi-rca-wireless-stations
> This gets to the nub of the issue.  What Jim has described
> is/was a commercial installation for paid traffic.  In the
> commercial communications world, the priorities for the
> supplier have always been revenue and return on investment.
> For their customers, the priorities have always been value
> for money and reliability.  With commercial communications,
> their customers communicate with one another, not caring how
> the system works, so long as it does work. In ham radio,
> ham-radio operators communicate with one another using ham-
> band RF.  That's what gives us our name, and what gives our
> activity its name.
> Now, if what I've just said is becoming an old-fashioned
> concept, that's OK, but our name and that of our activity
> should change to reflect the changes.
> It's a mistake to ape commercial communications practice
> and believe that it leaves ham radio unchanged - it
> doesn't necessarily represent "the future".
> By the way, anyone who still believes that it was ham-radio
> operators who pioneered SSB in the 1940s or 50s might be
> interested to know that the Marconi Company started a
> transatlantic telephone service between London and New York
> on 7th January 1927 using long-wave SSB.  On this side of
> the Atlantic, there was a 200kW transmitter in Rugby,
> England and a receiving site at Cupar, Scotland, with
> "a directive aerial system ... covering an area of several
> square miles" (Wireless Over Thirty Years, by R.N. Vyvyan,
> 1933, Page 179)
>> If that station were built today, it would likely use UHF or VHF radio or
>> the internet to link the two sites. But that would not make it an internet
>> system, or a UHF system, or a telephone system. It's STILL an MF and HF
>> radio system.
> Yes, but that's not the full story.  It's a commercial
> communications service with internet relays, and/or
> telephone relays and/or microwave relays, and/or MW
> and HF relays. How the service works (or is advertised)
> is of little consequence to the people who use it to
> communicate with one another.
> Now, if progress in ham radio is measured by how close
> we can get to commercial practice - with free (for all
> intents and purposes), world-wide, on-demand, person-to-
> person communications, then I don't want to know. I'll
> stick with Skype or FaceTime on the internet.
>> Yet another example. W7RH, who lives in Las Vegas, built his station about
>> ten years ago at a remote site in the Arizona desert, which he mostly
>> operates remotely from home. During contests, he operates from the site to
>> provide greater operating flexibility. http://w7rh.net/
>> Building a remote station is no small engineering feat -- it's a LOT more
>> complex than opening a box, pulling out a radio that you've bought, and
>> hooking it up to an antenna. Remote control is a complex engineering
>> problem, and the guys who have built good remote stations have my respect!
> This reminds me of the guy who goes to the doctor
> complaining of a pain in his arm.  He says "Doc,
> every time I move my arm like this, it hurts."
> And the doc says "Well, don't do it".
> If you want to make things harder for yourself by
> operating remote, go right ahead - but don't expect
> either praise or sympathy.  You have elected to
> operate that way - when there is usually the option
> to operate from the remote site.
> In 2011, I was a team member on the FSDXA DXpedition
> to Kiritimati (T32C) - and we hold the world record
> of 213,000 QSOs.  Now, if the team members had all
> stayed at home and operated remotely - what sort of
> a record would that be?  I'd call it "devalued" :-)
> We all know and accept that QSOs via repeaters may be
> fun, but are devalued to the extent that they invalid
> for contesting and DXCC.  Well, it seems to me that
> remote stations are, in effect, personal or private
> repeaters accessed over the internet.
> Remote QSOs, those carried over public communications
> utilities, are fake or counterfeit QSOs - with a
> correspondingly diminished value.  They may be such
> good fakes that they are indistinguishable from the
> real thing, but they are fakes nevertheless.
> However, many operators and organisations do not accept
> this.  They claim that internet relays are just as
> valid as ham-band RF relays and, anyway, it's not people
> who communicate with one another, it's stations that
> do it. They are wrong.
>> Someday, old age or bad health may force us to give up this lovely home in
>> the mountains, but I hope that I can continue to operate some station
>> remotely. And when I do, I will consider it "real" ham radio.
> I'm close to that old age or bad health group.  When
> I am no longer able to operate from home I will either
> go to where I can operate, or do something else
> altogether - like using the internet for worldwide
> communications, just like everyone else in the developed
> world.  I understand and acknowledge the difference
> between "real" ham radio and internet-dependent ham
> radio (hybrid communications).  The only people who
> don't accept this difference are those who choose to
> disregard inconvenient facts.
> I suggest it's time to acknowledge the difference and
> place remote operation in separate categories for both
> contesting and DXCC.
> 73,
> Paul EI5DI
>> 73, Jim K9YC
>> On Sat,9/10/2016 6:47 AM, Paul O'Kane wrote:
>>> If ever there was a group of operators who should be
>>> classified separately, it is remote operators.
>>> Why?  Because the facts are that -
>>> 1.  Those operators are at all times communicating over the
>>>     internet.
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