[CQ-Contest] What's your Opinion on 2BSIQ ?

wc1m73 at gmail.com wc1m73 at gmail.com
Thu Jun 4 13:13:11 EDT 2020

I agree with Kevin. I say this even though 2BSIQ has put a dent in my prospects for winning SOAB HP USA in CQ WPX CW. I've managed to stay close to the top with my middling station and skills since 2002, but in the last three years 2BSIQ has pushed the score gap into the multimillions. Yeah, super stations, some operated remotely, have played a part in that, but I've always been up against better hardware and like the challenge of pitting my skills against it. In addition to making it harder for me to win, 2BSIQ also has the potential to significantly increase the scores of good ops with lesser stations, which will increase the number of competitors with a chance to land in the top 5 or 10, leaving ops who don't learn 2BSIQ out in the cold. As Kevin says, 2BSIQ is a skill, and that's the arena in which I want to compete. So it's on me to learn it or get left behind.

IMHO, any op who puts in the time and effort to get good at 2BSIQ deserves to reap the rewards. If we try to limit use of innovations like 2BSIQ, or push them into separate categories, we're hurting ourselves. Contesting stagnates, pandering to those who are only comfortable with the way it's always been. We have way too much of that attitude in ham radio as it is. Ops should be rewarded for finding new ways to win, for developing new techniques and for improving their skills.

I expect the next controversy will come when someone develops AI code to make 2BSIQ easier -- i.e., the computer figures out what's going on (fill requests, slow CW, etc.) and helps optimize switching and responses. The argument against this is similar to using a local CW Skimmer -- no help from other ops, but you don't have to tune and listen. Most of us felt that was a big enough difference to push local Skimmers into the Assisted category, but I'm not sure that opinion will persist. As AI and personal assistants proliferate in every part of our lives, I suspect the next generation of contesters will be much more open to using computer assistance. That won't kill contesting. In fact, it might save contesting.

73, Dick WC1M

-----Original Message-----
From: Kevin Stockton <aluminumtubing at gmail.com> 
Sent: Thursday, June 4, 2020 9:12 AM
To: cq-contest at contesting.com; ku8e at ku8e.com
Subject: [CQ-Contest] What's your Opinion on 2BSIQ ?

Hi Jeff,

2BSIQ may currently be the only fair aspect of contesting.  The development of that skill can occur anywhere so long as the individual has a computer, headphones, and the necessary desire to push hard towards achievement of a goal.  It's not talent.  It's only a skill.  It's just
practice.    It's time consuming. It's hard.  It's only a skill.

Success with the development of 2BSIQ isn't determined by proximity to Europe, massive stacks, or operating from a 3 point location.  For those that sufficiently develop the skill, it opens up a world of possibilities to access stations from around the world.  It's the budding contesters golden ticket to some truly amazing experiences.

However, you are completely right with your premise.  Operators using 2BSIQ and SO2R have a massive advantage over one radio operators.  The advent of 2BSIQ has shown the potential for amassing staggering scores.  Using those operating strategies fit into the current single operator definition but like other rules in contesting they are archaic and do not address the current realities.

There are other just as glaring rule problems with our sport that must be addressed.  Perhaps at some point, the handful of people that control contesting will acknowledge our current state and make a genuine effort to address this and other problems.

Kevin, N5DX

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