Topband: Top Band and JT65

k8bhz at k8bhz at
Sun May 21 16:47:21 EDT 2017

Very well said Mark, thank you.

Brian K8BHZ

On 5/21/2017 4:29 PM, Mark K3MSB wrote:
> The issue is not one of any mode being more "valid" that the other,  
> nor is it one of a QSO being "valid" or "invalid" based upon the 
> mode.    If a two way exchange is completed between two legally 
> licensed amateur stations using lawfully authorized modes,  the QSO is 
> valid.    I think it's that simple.
> But that's not what I had brought up in my post of several days 
> ago.    The issue I brought up is that of a level playing field for 
> competition / award purposes.
> Modes that require a computer to effect a QSO should be in a different 
> category than modes that do not.    By "require" I do not mean "make 
> easier",  but rather could not be accomplished without a computer.     
> My ICOM makes a  QSO easier than my ARC-5s,  but both still need a 
> human's skill to complete the QSO.   Stated alternately,  modes that 
> requires a human skill should be categorized differently than those 
> that do not -- and by human skill I do not mean downloading software 
> and  pushing buttons.  As someone pointed out,  the DXCC rules are not 
> part of the 10 commandments.   It is my opinion that technology has 
> reached a new level in which the rules need to be changed to 
> accommodate that level.
> The same is true of remote operations.    I can whip out my credit 
> card and use a station on the west coat and get my 5 remaining zones 
> on 80 to complete my 5BWAZ.   I will not do that as I feel it is 
> unsportsmanlike to do so.   Are the QSOs legal as per the rules?   Yes 
> (unless CQ has changed them recently). But, to my way of thinking,  
> the journey is an important part of getting to the destination.
> This issue is not about validating someone's worth as a "real 
> amateur"  (no code, know code, extra light etc),  but rather 
> recognizing that human skill in achieving a goal should be treated 
> differently than letting a computer alone achieve the same goal that 
> requires no such skill.
> There is nothing wrong with the JT modes;  they are a wonderful 
> advancement in communications technology in the spirit of the 
> advancement of amateur radio.   But in the light of competition based 
> upon human striving and skill, they are in a different category.   
> They are not good or bad, they are not valid or invalid;  they are 
> just different.  Technology has moved on to the point where the 
> existing rules need to be changed.
> Mark K3MSB
> On May 21, 2017 6:20 AM, "Mike va3mw" <va3mw at 
> <mailto:va3mw at>> wrote:
>     Glenn nailed it.
>     If you don't like it, don't use it.   No one is forcing anyone to
>     comply.
>     It is really that simple.
>     Mike va3mw
>     > On May 21, 2017, at 6:09 AM, Glenn Wyant <va3dx at
>     <mailto:va3dx at>> wrote:
>     >
>     > If an amateur has interest in  psk, jt65 etc or EME, cw or any band
>     > or mode; it is not for us to judge his particular interests.
>     >
>     > VA3DX
>     >
>     >
>     > ----- Original Message ----- From: <k8bhz at
>     <mailto:k8bhz at>>
>     > To: <Topband at <mailto:Topband at>>
>     > Sent: Saturday, May 20, 2017 11:47 PM
>     > Subject: Re: Topband: Top Band and JT65
>     >
>     >
>     >> Promised myself I'd stay out of this, but it's getting
>     ridiculous....Comments like "I worked 20 new ones on 160, and I
>     never heard any of them!". Wow! That's amazing...I personally
>     can't find any satisfaction in claiming a contact I never heard. I
>     never have...Yes, the digi modes allow easier qso's that would
>     never have been made, but let's face it, you never made those
>     contacts, your computer & it's software did. Any resulting
>     "Awards" should be made out to your computer. Meteor scatter used
>     to be very popular, actually getting to hear the excited voices of
>     those you worked was thrilling. One m/s qso of mine was with a yl
>     from the Carolinas with a most delightful Southern accent...hard
>     to duplicate with digi modes. I don't know anyone who works or
>     talks about rocks challenge. Same with eme, which I
>     pulled the plug on when it was no longer a challenge. How many new
>     eme operators have heard their own voices coming back from the
>     moon?  I migrated to TopBand as
>      one of the last real challenges left....
>     >> I find the litany of excuses about why one has to go to digital
>     means on 160 to be feeble at best." My rig can't cut it, I don't
>     have the antennas, I can't copy code (one of the real elephants in
>     the room!), my location isn't on the coast where it's easy, etc,
>     etc". There are MANY dxers operating successfully on small lots,
>     and there are a myriad of clever, small receiving antennas out
>     there. How about the gentleman on the left coast who worked DXCC
>     on 160 from his mobile!! (without digital modes).
>     >> My TopBand rig is quite modest, no towers or rotors. The TX
>     antennas are wires hanging from trees with no more than 50'
>     vertical rise. The 16 radials under each are only 48' long.
>     Desperately needing a new rig, I bought the very cheapest HF
>     transceiver on the market (no DSP, keyer, antenna tuner, etc). My
>     location in Upper Michigan is not near either coast for "easy" dx,
>     but is unfortunately close to the auroral oval. My amp was a
>     non-working "gift" that doesn't run full power. However, I have
>     233 countries & 37 zones confirmed on 160. I have personally HEARD
>     every qso made & have decoded them as necessary, in my HEAD. I
>     don't spot myself or arrange skeds....I don't have a computer in
>     the shack.
>     >> If ham radio was to go all digital, I would walk away from
>     it....Not because I'm a curmudgeon, but simply because the
>     challenge and resulting thrills would be gone.
>     >> Lest you think I am a ignorant technophobe, I am a degreed
>     electrical engineer and have been a ham for over 60 years. I have
>     a fine computer & am on it actively every day....but I never
>     pretend that it's ham radio.
>     >> I realize from the comment below that it's rather boring to
>     work digi modes, but I suspect that help is on the way....I am
>     truly surprised that no one has produced an "app" that will take
>     the remaining work out of it. You would simply download the app,
>     check the appropriate boxes (DXCC, WAS, WAZ), select the desired
>     bands, and turn it loose 24 hours a day. It would make all the
>     contacts for you (with similar robo-stations) and send you a text
>     or email when it's through. Heck, it could even apply for your
>     desired awards, and then wake up your printer to print your award
>     certificate out! It would then send another message to pick up
>     your award....How truly exciting that would be.
>     >> Brian K8BHZ
>     >> 2017 12:39 AM, DXer wrote:
>     >>> >>>To me, just not the challenge of dxing mostly cw and ssb.
>     >>>
>     >>> Fair enough. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
>     >>>
>     >>> Another angle. I find JT65 to be a very relaxing mode. Which
>     other mode allows one to read and write emails, go get a coffee,
>     answer 'nature's call', etc. while making contacts? Timing is
>     important, but doable. :^)
>     >>>
>     >>> 73 de Vince, VA3VF
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