[UK-CONTEST] Remote Control

Paul O'Kane pokane at ei5di.com
Sat Jun 13 06:14:20 PDT 2009

Posted under the topic "New CQ WW Category"

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Roger Parsons" <ve3zi at yahoo.com>

>> .. My remote station is 14km from home and I control it
>> over a 900MHz link - that being an amateur band in
>> Canada. I hope that most people would accept that as a
>> legitimate amateur radio operation for contesting or DXing?

>> My link uses TCP/IP protocol and there is no technical
>> reason why the station could not be controlled over a 14km
>> wire, somebody else's radio, or even the evil internet.
>> How does that fundamentally change things?

and Peter G3LET replied

> Your system just transfers you as the operator from a
> practical radio location to somewhere you'd prefer to
> live, never mind the connecting technology, which
> doesn't provide any additional benefit.   No changes 
> to the rules for the existing sections have been
> indicated, so you should be fireproof!

This issue of remote-control operation isn't quite as
clear-cut as we might expect.  We all consider ourselves
to be reasonable people and therefore, by definition,
nearly everything we do is reasonable.

Roger has a remote station 14km from home, and he considers
this to be perfectly reasonable because that's what he
does.  I have had emails from a Californian contester who
can fire up his Prince Edward Island super-station any
time he chooses and hand out PEI mults.  He thinks this
is reasonable because that's what he does.  Not everyone
will agree.

I believe distance is a red herring - there's something
fundamentally different about remote control operation.
Of course, we are all perfectly entitled to do it.  It's
fun, technically challenging and in some ways even more
difficult than "conventional" operation.

Here's why I believe remote-control operation is
different.  It reminds me of standard professional
broadcasting techniques - the operator is in the
studio, and the RF bits are somewhere else.

Remote-controlled stations are, in effect, personal
repeaters.  I have an aversion to working repeaters,
it doesn't seem quite the same as a "real" QSO and,
after all, I'm a reasonable person?  Not everyone will

Because of almost-universal broadband internet, and
because manufacturers are starting to integrate remote-
contol facilities into rigs, an increasing proportion
of rag-chewers, DXers and contesters will avail of it.
We will soon have super-stations selling access by the
hour/day/week. No need to travel to experience pile-ups
from exotic locations.

It's getting to the stage where regulation is needed.
I believe the first step, as G3LET suggested for the
Xtreme contesters, is to have remote-controlled stations
identify themselves as such.

For more on this topic, please see

Paul EI5DI

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