[CQ-Contest] Is Self Spotting now allowed in ARRL tests?

Jack Brindle jackbrindle at me.com
Tue Nov 22 14:46:40 EST 2022

Pros 3. Would indicate that self-spotting is perfectly OK if your self-spot is submitted into the ham packet radio network. 
But then we get into a grey area. If that network then submits the spot into the telnet system, is the spot OK? Someone
else is submitting the spot, not the originator. Thus it is seemingly OK.

I would suggest the real problem is the lack of clarity in the rules. These obviously do not meet the word or spirit of that 
Contest Update article, which very clearly says that spotting through just about any means is legal, as is self-spotting.

I saw few stations spotting themselves in the contest, but this one also turned into a weak-stations don’t even try affair.
While most stations were spotted, not all stations were, which really means that our well-honed abilities to find new
stations in S&P were really put to task. And, when unspotted stations were found it really paid off. By late Sunday
there were lots of unspotted stations.
It also is a big push for us to find space somewhere to run. If we are all running, who are we going to talk with?

I look for improved written rules to clarify this situation in the near future.

Jack, W6FB

> On Nov 22, 2022, at 8:13 AM, Tim Shoppa <tshoppa at gmail.com> wrote:
> First, make sure you have the latest rules. ARRL didn't update the November
> SS rules (to the latest, version 1.06) on their website until late August.
> Prior to that we just had a confusing tease about self-spotting from a
> Contest Update earlier in the year.
> Link to current SS rules:
> https://contests.arrl.org/ContestRules/SS-Rules.pdf
> My reading of SS rule PROH.3 in version 1.06 of the rules, is that
> self-spotting is a form of soliciting contacts by a non-amateur radio means
> (in this case Telnet cluster) and thus prohibited:
> "Examples of prohibited conduct [...]: PROH.3. Arranging, soliciting, or
> confirming any contacts during or after the contest by use of any
> non-amateur radio means."
> One clarification in 1.06 does explicitly allow a corner case of spotting,
> that was never previously mentioned in past contest rules. In the
> definition section you will find, "Generating spotting information for use
> by other stations is not considered to be spotting assistance." So for
> example you can be hooked up to a cluster and sending spots, as long as
> you've set all the filters such that nothing ever comes in to you from the
> cluster.
> Tim N3QE
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