[VHFcontesting] Understanding HamIM

Duane Grotophorst n9dg at yahoo.com
Wed Sep 8 21:50:28 EDT 2004

--- Ev Tupis <w2ev at arrl.net> wrote:

> HamIM will enable you to be notified whenever a
> rover is passing through. 
> Imagine the power of the system for Rover to Rover
> contacts in remote areas!  It 
> will also antiquate the need to post schedules. 
> When they're "in the area", 
> they'll show up on your screen! :)

Better yet by using radios that provide you a visual
presentation of a 150-200Khz slice of the spectrum
centered around the "weak signal" parts of the V/UHF
bands you can see all activity of *all* types, not
just those specially equipped stations that HamIM
somewhat limits you to. So then you can quite easily
spot the various rovers who are farther away (outside
of FM with omni  range) and pointed your way. All
without hardly breaking the rhythm of your CQ calling
pace elsewhere on the bands. You will also be able to
spot the various fixed stations as they swing their
antennas your way too. So for what it's worth I'll
invest my energy, effort, and $ into improving the
ways that I can really watch and maneuver about the
various V/UHF weak signal bands more effectively.

However don't get me wrong, I don't have a big problem
with HamIM. Nor do I see it as being outside of the
spirit of the rules either provided that those who use
it can assure that they aren't breaking the single TX
signal at a time rule. Where I do have significant
concerns about it is that it is a mechanism,
intentional or not, which tends to promote the closer
by "shoot the fish in the barrel" type of contesting,
as such it can de-emphasize the motivation to make
long haul QSO's. Not unlike grid circling in some
respects, though not at all as blatant as GC is. Yes
160W bricks will extend its range but HamIM still
suffers from the S/N disadvantages of wide band modes
and in a way it promotes the use of lower performing
omni vertical polarization over higher gain horizontal
antennas. Again my position is that we want to
encourage rovers (and all other ops) to build stations
with more RF/antenna performance not just cap it a
level typical of the casual FM mobile op? On the plus
side it could expose some ops to try VHF contesting,
especially those who already have APRS in their


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