[CQ-Contest] Minority Report: FT4 - Robotic Contesting

Tom n1mmtomwagner at gmail.com
Fri May 3 05:18:49 EDT 2019

Yes, but what would they do? I'll answer that in a minute.

There has been a bunch of complaining about FT4 and the automation put 
into selecting which station to work.  I'm sure the authors saw the 6 
second cycle time and decided that was a useful thing to add.  The 
problem is that it diminishes the amount of operator intervention 
required and thus the effect of operator skill on outcome.  Worse, it 
makes fully automated stations possible.  What would be the fun in that?

Why not turn a disadvantage into an advantage? Computer games have 
automated "players".  They are used to enhance the experience of the 
humans playing the game.  What if a *new* contest had robots that were 
there to provide bonus points and/or multipliers to the human 
participants?  What if the robots could be worked multiple times during 
a contest, dispensing the bonus points to far away stations during the 
15 minutes, close stations during the second 15, odd grids during the 
third 15, even grids during the fourth 15, etc.   The point is not these 
examples, the point is that the robots would be designed to force 
participants to make tactical and strategic decisions that would require 
operator skill.  These skills would replace those lost due to the other 

Stop thinking about how FT4 will ruin contesting.  Start thinking about 
how one would design a one hour contest (like CWT) that would leverage 
FT4's strengths and get hams with rudimentary antennas interested in HF 
propagation. Or not.


Tom - N1MM

On 5/2/2019 9:51 PM, Hans Brakob wrote:
> For curiosity’s sake, I would be interested in a contest where some robots were in the mix, but a contest of only robots would be a giant yawn.
> 73, de Hans, KØHB
> “Just a Boy and his Radio”
> ________________________________
> From: CQ-Contest <cq-contest-bounces at contesting.com> on behalf of ktfrog007--- via CQ-Contest <cq-contest at contesting.com>
> Sent: Thursday, May 2, 2019 8:40 PM
> To: cq-contest at contesting.com; wsjtgroup at yahoogroups.com
> Subject: [CQ-Contest] Minority Report: FT4 - Robotic Contesting
> I'm sure I'm way deep in the minority but I'd love to see an automated contest run as an experiment.  FT4 could be used as the mode with the appropriate software.
> Control operators would have to be present and the software would need some kind of periodic time out requiring operator input to continue, as well as being able to alert the control ops in case of problems and  governors to keep the program from running amok.
> In the latter case, the software would need a driver for a klaxon.
> Aside from the fact that virtually nobody likes this, is there any real reason not to do it?  Some regulatory issue not covered above?
> 73,Ken, AB1J
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