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Contesting Online Survey

Survey Question Current Survey Question

Randy, K5ZD, wrote a sidebar titled " Convergence and Change" in the 2015 CQWW CW printed results in CQ magazine. He wrote that the "convergence of personal computers, Internet access, DX clusters, and CW Skimmer have changed the nature of CW contesting". He goes to say that it is "more difficult to police the line between the single operator working alone and those who are using the assistance of DX spotting." In light of this convergence and change is it time to recombine SO and SOA into a single category?

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Two stations are operating in a major contest, each claiming single operator unassisted status. Station A happens to come across Station B while Station B is running a frequency, and after making a contact Station B asks Station A to hold the frequency for him while he QSY's to another band for about 30 minutes. At the end of that time, Station B returns and Station A hands the frequency back to Station B. How do you view this practice?
  Posted: Dec 14, 2009   (209 votes, 10 comments) by AB7E

  Perfectly fine
  Legal, but unethical
  Not legal
  Not sure
  Don't care
    (209 votes, 10 comments)
Survey Results
Perfectly fine 22% (47)
Legal, but unethical 43% (89)
Not legal 21% (44)
Not sure 8% (16)
Don't care 6% (13)

Survey Comments
Completely OK.
Station A relinquished a frequency to another station. No problem. Station B then, 30 minutes later, relinquished a frequency to another station. No problem. There is no evidence of second operator help, backbone spots, CWSkimmer, or other actions that violate the rules for single operator unassisted.

Relinquishing a frequency is not an operating arrangement. We all relinquish frequencies many times during a contest. If there are other actions that constitute operating arrangements involving other individuals which is not in keeping with the rules, there may be an issue. However, relinquishing a frequency is not an operating arrangement.

Posted by W8WTS on January 15, 2010

I have friends all over the world. If I hear them in the contest, I spot them (in case I use packet, i.e. work in SOA or MO category). When they hear me, they spot me. You want to DQ me and all my friends? Go ahead ;)

If during the contest I ask my friend on the other side of the pond, which antenna works better -- would it be a violation of the rule 2.1 mentioned bu LU1DZ? Of course it would! My friend told me that my lower yagi at this very moment is louder than my upper one! Disqualify me!

The same is with other forms of "external assistance". We should not transform our hobby into the maze of ridiculous unnatural limitations. Common sense and VERY FEW basic principles (like fixed number of band changes or limit of 1 signal at each moment) are more than enough. Let's go out and make some Qs, rather than discuss the unnatural possibilities...

To me, there should be no assisted/semi-assisted/almost-assisted/almost-not-assisted/computer-user/non-computer-user categories. Even assisted/non-assisted classes are one too much. Skimmer-shimmer... if you are alone, it should be your discretion, what technology to use, and what not to use. Rules should be simple.

Just my $0.02

Posted by w3ua on January 14, 2010

I'm not sure ...
Obviously it depends first on the rules of the contest. Secondly, however, is that there is no guarantee the station taking over the frequency can hold it. It's not like the frequency is property that can be controlled just because one is operating there. I feel that, depending on the particular rules in play, this is a gray area, and don't know that I'd want to press the point either way. I'm interested to see how others feel, though. Perhaps contest rule makers will modify their rules if they feel this behavior is an issue that needs to be addressed.

Posted by KT8K on January 8, 2010

survey question
Any Amateur-radio activity is JUST A HOBBY ! Should be a hobby ! How crazzy our HAM world has become !

Posted by F6FYA on December 23, 2009

Asking for Help
"The scenario is that a station asks for help.
Regardless if the help is received, I consider this to be a case for a DQ".

YES JUkka, I missed that point.

Thanks for your post.

Posted by LU1DZ on December 16, 2009

Gifting vs. asking to gift
The scenario is that a station asks for help.
Regardless if the help is received, I consider this to be a case for a DQ - at least in CQWW contest.
CQWW rules for assisted say clearly asking for even being spotted is not allowed. This scenario presents an operator asking for direct help in his own operating.

After reading the CQWW rules, I realise the asking to be spotted is not banned directly for the unassisted singleops. I think it is ruled out by dis-allowing any use of any spotting-like system.

Back to this scenario where a direct action for help is asked - my thinking is the case is clear.

Asking for direct assistance from another station in the contest is outside the rules at least for CQWW DX operating of any kind.
Regardless single or multiop, assisted or not.

Posted by OH6LI on December 16, 2009

Frequency gifting
In the PA QSO Party, I have often heard a frequency being "given" to either a mobile or fixed station in a rare county (counties are Mults in this contest). The "giving" station is not helping his own score so he would seem to be unquestionably Single Op. Does the "frequency receiving" station change his status from Single Op to MultiOp by being "given" a clear frequency instead of finding it, or by fighting for it? In my opinion, again NO. The "gifted" station still has to have enough operating skill and enough signal to hold the frequency. I have heard stations pushed off a frequency in less than a minute--after making no QSO's.

All of us will give up a frequency many times during a contest, to take a break, to switch bands etc. Does each QRT or QSY compel us to just abandon the frequency? In my opinion, NO.

Posted by k3yd on December 15, 2009

Dear Jukka:

Yes OK very interesting post.

We dont have the assisted category in the WWSA Contest because there is a third person involved no matter where he is, then FM our point of view the one who is receiving an external help of any kind become a MO station.

"SO receiving operating and/or thechnical help during the contest period will be clasified as a MO station".

Posted by LU1DZ on December 15, 2009

Both are busted
The described kind of operation does not fit into a description of any category.

I have heard this kind of operating, though.

Stretching somewhat, assisted might be the category - in case the contest has assisted category. If not, then DQ.

Multiop cannot be the case as they are two separate calls that are in this example in my mind in separate addresses.

How about a guy that claims unassisted and asks friends to go collect other friends from 3699 to come to give him points on 3799.99?
And then while working the other friends, the guy in DX gets call and report copying assistance from louder guys as the friend in DX location cannot hear all friends too clearly ..?

Posted by OH6LI on December 15, 2009

Not legal
Station B is receiving external help from station A.

Station B becomes an Assisted or a Multi Operated station.

FM ARRL General rules.

2.1.Single Operator: One person performs all transmitting, receiving, and logging functions as well as equipment and antenna adjustments.

2.1.1.Use of spotting assistance or nets (operating arrangements involving other individuals, DX-alerting nets, packet, Internet, multi-channel decoders such as CW Skimmer, etc) is not permitted.

Posted by LU1DZ on December 14, 2009

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