[CQ-Contest] The impending demise of SSB spotting in contests - and should we care?

Frank Grossmann dl2cc at outlook.com
Thu Nov 19 15:13:45 EST 2020

Contest sponsors should require all software authors to have the "Spot all S&P QSOs" available AND switched on by default... No harm in doing that. Assuming somebody taking part in unassisted doesn't have a cluster connection anyway.

I've held a presentation at the yearly contest club meeting and showed that most of the guys taking part in WWDX SSB assisted didn't even spot regularly, just consumed spots. 
That's not called social behaviour. 

And: contest clubs should incorporate the requirement for SSB spotting in their contest ethics guidelines unless somebody takes part in the unasissted category.

-----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
Von: CQ-Contest <cq-contest-bounces+dl2cc=outlook.com at contesting.com> Im Auftrag von N4ZR
Gesendet: Donnerstag, 19. November 2020 17:34
An: reflector cq-contest <CQ-Contest at Contesting.COM>
Betreff: [CQ-Contest] The impending demise of SSB spotting in contests - and should we care?

Did you know that over 40,000 different stations made at least one contact with the 8500 stations who submitted logs for  the CQWW SSB contest in 2018?   Without the non-entrant, casual ops, SSB contesting would be a lot less fun for us all.  And why do the casual ops get on? I submit that for most of them, the chance to work new countries, zones, states and so on are what it's all about.  And how do they know which stations to call, to achieve these goals?  They connect to DX clusters.

Okay, so what?  Well, as someone recently pointed out, there has been a pretty steep decline in human spotting of both SSB and CW, at least partly because on CW, there's little need to spot anyone any more.  The RBN takes care of that.  But on SSB -- not so much.

The problem is exacerbated because contest sponsors tend to view any cluster connection during a contest as evidence that the connected station *must* be assisted.  This tends to deter people from spotting unless they themselves are, in fact, in the assisted category.  This, in turn, means that features like N1MM+'s "Spot all S&P QSOs" don't get the use they could.

So, what to do?  It would be helpful if contest sponsors would clarify their rules to specify that stations entering as unassisted can still send spots.

73, Pete N4ZR
Check out the Reverse Beacon Network
at<http://reversebeacon.net>, now
spotting RTTY activity worldwide.
For spots, please use your favorite
"retail" DX cluster.

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