[Skimmertalk] Category Definitions

Ted Bryant w4nz at comcast.net
Wed Jul 2 16:31:42 EDT 2008

W4TV wrote: "...The problem with defining categories based on what functions an operator is required
to perform is that enters into the are(a) of operating technique and strategy..."

Not at all, Joe.  And the rules do this already: (ARRL - Single Operator) "...One person performs
all transmitting, receiving, and logging functions as well as equipment and antenna adjustments..."
(CQ - Single Operator) "...those stations at which one person performs all of the operating,
logging, and spotting functions..."

Techniques and strategy, for example, are individual operator choices allowed within the bounds of
the "functions" of "transmitting, receiving, logging, operating and spotting".

73, Ted W4NZ

-----Original Message-----
From: Joe Subich, W4TV [mailto:w4tv at subich.com]
Sent: Wednesday, July 02, 2008 10:13 AM
To: 'Ted Bryant'; skimmertalk at contesting.com; 'Pete Smith'
Subject: RE: [Skimmertalk] Category Definitions

Ted writes:

> But, instead of defining the categories in terms of what
> hardware/software is or is not allowed, can the categories be
> defined completely by what functions the operator is
> allowed/not allowed to perform along with what information
> and from which sources he is allowed to use?

The problem with defining categories based on what functions
an operator is required to perform is that enters into the
are of operating technique and strategy.  Taken to the limit
for purposes of example, rules concerning operating technique
could specify particular phonetics or require operation of
the paddles with only the right hand.

Where the contest "objective" is typically "to make contact
with as many stations as possible" using a particular mode,
limitations on the way the signal is generated or received
are significantly outside the scope of contest rules unless
we're talking about something like a "boat anchor" contest
or straight key night.

Pete expanded:

> I'm a little concerned that by trying to ban specific
> technologies, including ones that are attractive to the
> current crop of non-CW licensees, we run the risk of being
> seen as Luddite OFs.  On the other hand, so long as there's
> room for both sailboats and motorboats in our ocean, y'all
> come!

Amateur radio does not care how a particular signal is
generated or received.  A SSB signal is the same whether
it is generated by phasing method, filter method or DSP,
a RTTY signal is the same whether it is generated using
FSK or AFSK.  A CW QSO is the same whether one operator
copies CW by ear, by touch or by sight.

So long as the on the air transmission (which is the core
of amateur radio) is the same, why should contest sponsors
have any concern how that transmission is generated or
received?  Would you propose separate classes for analog
vs. DSP transceivers and why would it matter?

Other than a prejudice against CW decoders and those who use
them, why should those who use cw decoders (or any other
technology) be treated differently than any other operator?
The question is not one of motorboat vs. sailboat ... it is
the manufacturer of the motor used. e.g., Mercury vs. Evinrude,
Ford vs. Toyota or Elecraft vs. Icom.

If you want a contest of CW copying by ear, enter a high
speed telegraphy competition - not a QSO making competition.


   ... Joe, W4TV

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