[CQ-Contest] Are you kidding me (AC0C comments)

Jeff Blaine KeepWalking188 at ac0c.com
Sat Nov 21 19:11:35 EST 2020

In the RU and the CQ DX, there are seperate specific categories. Here's 
how the CQ WW DX contest lists it:

*2. QSO finding assistance:* The use of any technology or other source 
that provides call sign or multiplier identification of a signal to the 
operator, other than a single-channel RTTY decoder. This includes, but 
is not limited to, use of a wide-band multi-channel RTTY decoder, DX 
cluster, DX spotting web sites (e.g., DX Summit), local or remote call 
sign and frequency decoding technology (e.g., RTTY Skimmer or Reverse 
Beacon Network), or operating arrangements involving other individuals.

In normal human language, that means having your N1MM cluster connected, 
for example, so that the spots are populated in the program.  It also 
means having an eye on DX Summit, or using a program that feeds 
callsigns onto your bandscope as the Flex and NaP3 apps can.

But the great part about that contest is that I can turn all that stuff 
off.  And then I'm unassisted.  I can run to my heart's content and 
don't need to bother with spots.  I am at 1-2 skip zones removed from 
most of the competition (e.g. AA3B on the East coast) and so I wont' 
have near the reach into the EU mults that those guys will.  But if I'm 
lucky, I can make up for some of that on run volume especially as I may 
be able to hear guys from 7 & 6 land who may be too weak to work off the 
beams of guys in 1/2/3 land.  The guys running Assisted can chase those 
spots if they think that's where their advantage lies.  I won't be able 
to catch a lot of the weaker ones and they take a lot more time 
(relative to a more eastern QTH) to work because I'm 1500 miles west.  
But with some luck by the end of the contest, some of those rare spots 
who don't want to run and fight the endless QRM can S&P and they may 
fine me - if so that's great!  Under this scenario, everyone is happy 
doing the thing that they do best.

I can't say much about the CW & SSB contests.  I'm a marginal RTTY 
contest op, a miserable CW contest op and I don't think I even have an 
operational mic here in the shack now.  But more choices lead to more of 
a draw for any contest, to my thinking. And combining categories, 
further limiting hours and tossing out tradition (hear me on the RTTY is 
now DIGITAL, Mr. ARRL guys) seems a bad thing for a hobby that is 
dominated by a bunch of old, set in their ways guys who for the most 
part respect tradition, play by the rules and look forward to seeing if 
they can beat the last year's score.  Of course I'm probably wrong on 
most of this. But I did not want the impression that the "see how great 
it is in CW WPX RTTY" argument to not stand absent the counter claim.


On 11/21/20 3:19 PM, Douglas Zwiebel wrote:
> Jeff notes that RTTY WPX has no separate unassisted category.
> Perhaps (maybe?) the answer is in the rules.
> Look at WPX Rule IX.2 (QSO alerting...) definition
> The use of any technology that provides CALLSIGN identification of a signal
> to the operator (minor editing on my part).  On CW, even use of a CW coder
> makes you assisted.
> Well, I know there are a lot of really great CW ops out there, but I don't
> think anybody can decode RY by listening to it (except maybe a CQ or a
> string of RYs).
> So it is impossible to NOT use technology to identify the callsign...hence,
> no "unassisted" category (because every entrant MUST be assisted, per the
> WPX definitions).
> Does that pass the smell test?  I dunno.
> de Doug KR2Q
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