[VHFcontesting] The meaning of coherence [was: [WSVHF] [VHF] VUAC Seeks Input]

Marshall Williams k5qe at sabinenet.com
Sat Dec 5 12:10:52 PST 2009

Hi Ron....WELL SAID....I posted something similar recently to my VUAC 
rep.  I encourage you to send your post to your rep as well. 

Here is what I sent privately to another op on this question:

Unfortunately, these QSO's ARE allowed in the contests.  That is what 
the rule in question is all about.  IF you make a "laser" contact with 
the proper electronic decoding, it counts as a QSO in the contest. 

This whole deal seems like someone got a rule inserted so that they 
could "contest" with their experimental laser setups.  That seems 
innocent enough....let someone experiment with exotic gear and have 
fun.  Then came the guys that just insist on driving a freight train 
through every possible loophole in the ARRL's rules(and there are plenty 
of them).  Someone started making flashlight contacts across the grid 
lines.....and the race was on to rape the rules yet again. 

I have posted that the rules should not allow contacts in a RADIO 
contest that were not made on RADIO.  We are a licensed service.  If a 
frequency does not require an Amateur Radio License to use, then it 
should not be in an Amateur Radio contest.  Simple.  This cuts out all 
the "light" QSOs and all the crap.

Here are some important questions:  Who is benefiting from this rule?  
Who wanted it put into the rules in the first place?  How many laser 
contacts are being counted in the logs?  Inquiring minds want to know.  
Since the ARRL refuses to make the logs public, I am not sure how anyone 
can know. 

Another point--the number of such "QSOs" has to be vanishingly small.  
IF all such "QSOs" were banned from the contest, I cannot believe that 
it would significantly change anything. 

I do NOT oppose the experimentation going on with lasers and all sorts 
of gear above the 275GHz(or 300GHz whatever) frequency limit.  More 
power to those hardy souls up there.  Let them do whatever they want.  
However, the issue here is, "Why should this be part of an Amateur Radio 
contest?".  Since practically everyone admits that lasers are NOT radio, 
the answer is that laser contacts should not be counted in the contests. 

73 Marshall K5QE

Rogers, Ron wrote:
> This part of the VHF contest rules has been suspect and open to debate for at least 30 years now and I have been VHF-UHF contesting for over 40 years.
> Why not get rid of the debate and/or need for further "definition of terms" by simply restricting all operation and point scoring to "the RADIO frequencies" within the approved US amateur bands between 50 MHz and 300 GHz.
> Most of us veterans have never seen any practical value toward "advancing the state of the art" by even allowing light wave transmission and detection for the purpose of these contests. 
> Ron 

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