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Contesting Online Survey

Survey Question Current Survey Question

Recently the RDXC committee reclassified P3F to high power from low power without publicly providing strong evidence that any infraction had occurred. They concluded was that the contestant was running HP on 80/40m but not full-time, just 10 minutes here and there without any convincing evidence. It appears they used the RBN as their source of information. Should the RXDC contest have to publicly provide convincing evidence before reclassifying a station from LP to HP?

Recent Surveys

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?
2016-05-28


What's your primary Software for HF Contests ? ( no VHF/UHF ! )
2015-07-17


Are you ready the this year's winter contest season
2015-07-05


What ways have you found to be effective to attract newcomers to our hobby?
2015-04-28


What is your linear?
2015-02-09


View All Survey Questions

Have a good idea for a Contesting Online Survey question?
Enter your idea!


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?
  Posted: May 28, 2016   (123 votes, 12 comments) by VE5ZX

  Yes
  Maybe
  No
  Don't know
  Don't care
    (123 votes, 12 comments)
Survey Results
Yes 48% (59)
Maybe 3% (4)
No 41% (50)
Don't know 2% (2)
Don't care 7% (8)

Survey Comments
Respect the SO , abandon the incentive
The root-cause is about not being able to
control the cheating.

Please do not kill the fun of a large
group, who enjoy the vintage category.
This is a hobby, not the Olympics.

Alternative; since cheating originates
with psychology make SO less interesting
for them by removing the public
recognition and incentive; no wooden
Plaques and such. Move all public
recognition and incentives to the assisted
category.

Posted by pa5mw on February 28, 2017

There is no "unassisted"
"Unassisted" stations get spotted around the
world in 50 msec by the RBN the first time
they call CQ. They might not want
assistance, but they get it anyway. Nobody
is operating unassisted anymore.

Posted by N4GG on December 19, 2016

Combining SO/SOA
In ham radio contesting, the reason we have categories is to level the playing field. There is no way the typical city lot station can compete with the big guns and their antenna farms. Even after declaring numerous categories, station location makes a huge difference. So in the end, the average contester is really only competing with his/her own scores from past contests - and possibly a few others located within a few hundred miles, who are participating in the same category. By combining SO unassisted with assisted, we lose the ability to compare with previous years as well as our geographic areas.

For those running LP or QRP, the dominant mode of operation is search and pounce. So it makes little difference if others are using Skimmer as you rarely get to run and call CQ. Thus there is a big difference in SO and SOA for the little guys.

For those running HP and who are able to establish themselves on a single frequency for a few minutes, yes, they will be picked up by those running Skimmer. For the Big Gun stations, it is critical that they contact as many part time stations as possible, so yes, this station will probably see a boost in score compared to the pre-Skimmer days, even if he/she is running unassisted. By the way, does anyone know what percentage of contest stations run Skimmer these days? That would be a good question to put to the audience, if it hasn't been done already.

My preference would be to leave things as they are. The stations that search and pounce rely on different skills than those who simply pounce on spots. By changing the category to combined SOA, we will force everyone to become dependent on the Internet rather honing those skills purely based on radio. The bottom line is that contesting should be about having fun. If operating without assistance is fun for a bunch of hams, why take it away?

Posted by VE6CNU on September 9, 2016

Combine!
I've never understood the resistance to combine the categories. Look at the top scorers. They're claiming "unassisted" and always beat the "assisted" stations. So what do you have to worry about?

Whenever you get spotted on a DX-cluster by someone else you get assistance!!!
Whenever a skimmer detects & spots you, you get assistance. That should automatically put you into the assisted class!

Fact is no one operates unassisted anymore due to the existing spotting networks.

Other organizer are simply consequent and honest.

Why are computers allowed or elbugs or automated stations? All this gives you operating assistance and advantage over those with paper logs and straight keys.

It is no difference with DX-clusters or skimmers. If you can't switch them off at all than everybody is automatically assisted!

73 Holger
ZL3IO/ZM4T

Posted by ZL3IO on July 31, 2016

What would it achieve?
... except to piss-off those who prefer to
operate single-handed? I don't believe we
have a material problem with cheats
claiming to be unassisted but actually
using skimmers, DXcluster or RBN. The QRO
brigade are a far bigger problem in all
sorts of ways, and more should be done to
call-out and inspect the more obvious
alligators (all mouth, no ears). Automated
monitoring and comparison of signal
strengths would be a good start. Some
entrants plainly stand out from the rest.
If their stations are legitimate, they
should have no objection to being
inspected and certified compliant.

Posted by ZL2iFB on July 9, 2016

Just One category for SIngle OP
This should was be done 10 years ago. Good
example RDXC

Posted by n2tta on June 24, 2016

Assistance is almost inevitable for everyone
Skimmers and RBN have pretty much captured
everyone's signals, whether or not you
actually use their output. That means we're
all "assisted" in one way or another.
Therefore, I'm for combining the categories.
I operate in both, depending on my feeling on
a given weekend, but I don't see much
difference between my results.

Posted by N1TX on June 3, 2016

SO and SOA
Is it time to recombine SO and SOA into a single category? I object to the use of the word "recombine" in this survey - as if they were ever combined.

As a Single-Op, I will never connect to the internet to get more points because the only communications technology I need, or want, while contesting is ham radio. And I want others to know I operate this way. That's what separates SOA and SO.

SOA involves the concurrent use of two or more communications technologies, only one of which is ham-band RF. The so-called SOAs are, in effect, hybrid-communications contesters. SOs, on the other hand, are
ham-radio operators. The SOAs don't like this, and won't admit to themselves that they're hybrid communications operators.

This pressure to combine the two categories is, in effect, intended to eliminate SO - and force all contesters to use the internet to remain competitive.

I'm a ham-radio contester. Ham-radio operators used to be special in that we had the world at our fingertips - for free. On the internet, everyone has the world at their fingertips.




Posted by EI5DI on June 2, 2016

Not That Difficult, Perhaps
Seems to me that there's a substantial
difference in S&P rate between SO and SOA
that can be exploited. Furthermore, running
can be distinguished from S&P from the logs
(frequency doesn't change for run, it does
for S&P). So no, I don't think it's getting
harder to distinguish between SO and SOA. It
possibly would require some recoding of log
review software.

Posted by W2CDO on June 2, 2016

Eliminate SO
Why would contester want to eliminate SOAB, the historical favorite. How about eliminating the Tri-band Wire category as a first step to combining . . .

Posted by W6NV on June 1, 2016

Combine?
Combine really means that the SO category
will be eliminated.

Posted by kk9a on May 29, 2016

Keep single op SO and SOA separate
It is difficult too to enforce the power
rules. So do we eliminate those categories?

Posted by AA1K on May 29, 2016

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