[SCCC] Anti-Skimmer Petition
daniel_severance at yahoo.com
Tue Apr 29 14:46:54 EDT 2008
I'm a newbie in about every way possible, but I took the time to read the petition and about the only partially valid point I see is in the first paragraph:
> We feel that Skimmer will substantially change the CW Contesting
activity enabling operators to
> simultaneously copy every signal on the
band - a feat dozens of operators could not do without this technology.
That's what it does, but there is still a caveat, since weak calls are unlikely to be properly decoded by the skimmer, while a human is still more capable of picking out and decoding these weak and wavering signals, so advantage human on that weak mult that the pure skimmer op doesn't go after. It's not a perfect piece of technology.
The next paragraph:
> A dramatic increase in confusion and QRM is expected as pirates will
call CQ to see the callsign they used
> on a Skimmer list. Hundreds of stations will occupy frequencies in an attempt to run stations when
> signal is not strong enough to hold a frequency, etc.
The spots are local, not broadcast, so the Pirate comment is irrelevant - it's not a packet network. The comment on weak stations is also irrelevant - you call CQ, find no one coming back, and figure out it's time for S&P - nothing about a skimmer will change that given my comment in the previous paragraph - weak little signals won't be decoded.
The last paragraph (skipping the short redundant one):
> Further, the next logical step will be automated QSO Machines which,
> will actually replace the CW operator in Contesting.
> RTTY is a mode of operation that already requires a computer to copy
what is being sent.
> We feel that if Skimmer type technology were
allowed in this mode of contesting automated
> QSO machines could be
developed and an appropriate category could be designated so
> that this
technology could be enhanced and those who enjoy that type of automated
> operation would have the ability to use it.
Last I checked, no one has developed automated RTTY and/or PSK-31 machines, which are designed for computer decoding - again the strong signals are easy no matter how you do them - weak ones require and op to sample around the signal to find the spot where the weak signal is best decoded (3B8 for instance). The chances of getting caught with a contesting robot is high since many people deviate in responses due to inexperience or personal preference, and the robot is going to give inappropriate responses (unless SAIC, NASA, or some other huge budget org develops it) which can be reported by numerous ops or observers (using skimmers!).
I'm a computer guy - computers are really pretty dumb - a lot of things COULD be done but it's incredibly difficult to make it bullet-proof and there just isn't enough financial benefit to make it worthwhile. Anything done badly will show up quickly (much easlier to spot than using packet cluster).
Again, I'm a new ham, new contester, new everything EXCEPT computer N6ERD hi hi - so the only question I see is whether you treat it like an enhanced packet cluster (tailered to your QTH by direct observation) and call it assisted, or just let people use it and suffer if they rely on it completely (as they will miss a lot)...
It will NOT help much fishing calls out of a pileup (only when the background dies and a strong signal comes in), it's almost strictly a S&P aid.
Just my $0.02 and 73,
----- Original Message ----
From: "n6tj at sbcglobal.net" <n6tj at sbcglobal.net>
To: "Nccc at Contesting. Com" <nccc at contesting.com>; sccc at contesting.com
Sent: Monday, April 28, 2008 11:16:04 PM
Subject: [SCCC] Anti-Skimmer Petition
If you also think that Skimmers contribute nothing to CW Contesting, I'd
like you to consider signing the petition K5GO has started. See the link
Jim Neiger N6TJ
> I wanted to draw your attention to this important petition that I recently
> "CW Skimmer and Related Enhancements"
> I really think this is an important cause, and I'd like to encourage you
> to add your signature, too. It's free and takes less than a minute of your
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