[CQ-Contest] Encouraging Spotting of SSB QSOs in Contests

George Fremin III geoiii at kkn.net
Wed Nov 30 10:39:40 EST 2022

On Sat, Nov 19, 2022 at 10:44:00AM -0500, Pete Smith N4ZR wrote:

> I've been appalled by how few stations spot in phone contests,

>From the early days of the DX spotting systems via packet radio
(packet DX clusters) there has always been an issue with getting folks
to submit spots to the system.  It all relied on humans inputing this
data - and there were only small numbrers of stations submitting input
but a vast number of stations consumming it.

I am sure you can find folks complaining about this in the archives of
this very email reflector.

There were efforts made to get folks to add spots to the system.  As I
recall there were even reports done and posted to CQ-Contest that
listed all the calls and the number of DX spots they posted over the
past contest weekends.  That in itself became a contest of sorts -
could you make the high spot list.

But, we do not do this anymore.  And I am not sure anyone would care.

I suspect that spots being put into the system by humans going down
over time.

There is no reason to do it at all on CW or FT8 or RTTY - the
automated systems take care of those modes.  It has gotten folks out
of the habbit of spotting stations - so when they go to SSB they dont
do it there.  It also has made it seem like there is no activity on
SSB in or out of contests. And I think this is a bit of a feedback
loop - no spots on SSB but plenty on CW/FT8 - so folks go to those
modes to some extent.  You can really see this in multi-mode contests.
We are starting to see what I think is a skewing of the activity in
things like IARU to CW - where the spots flow freely and where if you
go to SSB and call CQ you do not get the instant answers that you do
on CW - so you QSY back to CW.  Even though there are many more people
that know the voice than the ones that know the code.

Does that mean I want an SSB RBN?  No, I would prefer that it did not
exist on CW either.  Or DX spotting at all for that matter.  But I
know that it will likely not go back.

I have seen suggestions that SSB should add some sort of beacon to our
signals so that an RBN system would eaisly work - and I fully expect
that sort of talk to increase over time.  Just like the ADS-B systems
on airplanes. And this step to self spotting is just the first step in
this direciton.  It would be nice if it was over the air but I guess -
why demand that?  When you can more eaisly call CQ on the internet
every time you push F1.

George Fremin III - K5TR
geoiii at kkn.net

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