[SCCC] [NCCC] Anti-Skimmer Petition

Ed Muns w0yk at msn.com
Tue Apr 29 12:00:13 EDT 2008

> I am not taking one side or another on this one, I just have 
> two questions.
> First, will banning skimmers also include banning band scopes 
> (panadaptors), waterfall displays and computer images from 
> the receiver? Second, how could such a ban be enforced?

Most of the proponents of keeping skimmer out of SO unassisted, "SO
Classic", see local skimmer use as a distinctly different, and separable,
operating category, perhaps lumped in with SOA or yet another category.
They see no reason to disallow bandscopes, waterfall displays and computer
images from SO Classic.  The issue is operatorless capture of large numbers
of QSO potentials (QRG, call sign and time).

> With 
> packet, we can correlate single op logs to packet spots. With 
> a skimmer, the data exists in the station's receiver.

This is deemed irrelevant because there are other rules that can't be
monitored, e.g., power level or in-shack assistance.  However, the
technologists claim that a network of skimmers around the world can indeed
collect sufficient data to detect cheater signatures in log data, i.e.,
local skimmer use by claimed SO Classic entrants.

> Aren't we revisiting the other unenforceable topics of 
> listening during off-times, QROOO, operator assistance, etc? 
> As I listened to the debates at Visalia, I had moments of 
> déjà vu from over 30 years ago when W6RR got one of the first 
> memory keyers.

Yes, it is a repeat in the sense that a technology is challenging the
essence of radio-sport.  But, some would argue that skimmer is different
than the other technologies because of what it allows the operator to do
(or, more precisely "not do" ... acquire stations to work).  The issue with
skimmer is not technology automating an operating function, but rather
eliminating what many consider to be a basic skill of the SO Classic
station--acquiring stations to work, either through CQing or tuning.

Like you, I'm on the fence so far.  I think the rational arguments on both
sides have merit.  The emotional arguments, however, are more entertaining.

Ed - W0YK

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