Tuesday, February 22, 2011

It's definitely nice to know that folks are reading!

This appeared on the North Georgia QRP e-mail reflector today, it concerns my post from the other night, "Couple O' Things".  This was a concern that Julian G4ILO also mentioned in the comments section of that post:

--- On Tue, 2/22/11, Chris Fowler wrote:

Subject: Re: [nfarl] Re: W4QO and WB4MAK featured in W2LJ's blog
To: nfarl@yahoogroups.com
Date: Tuesday, February 22, 2011, 12:45 PM

 On Tue, 2011-02-22 at 09:46 -0500, Philip L. Graitcer wrote:

 Is it a bona fide QSO when reception and one side of the exchange is over internet?


To which, Jim W4QO (who I mentioned in the post), responded:

If any of you were at HamJam2010, then this is the gray area that Ward SIlver was discussing. It will only get "worse" with time in terms of gray areas.  Award committees will have to examine these kinds of situations and make a ruling.  Awards are one thing; contests are another.

There have always been a lot of gray areas.  Is it ok to drive over near the AL state line in your mobile so you can work a mobile on the other side of the line on 17M and get a W.A.S. 17M?  Tough to work them or S.C. from Roswell on that band.  This does meet the rule that all contacts must be made from a 50 miles apart.

Many of us feel that providing technology that muddies the water is a good thing (otherwise, we all go back to spark gap).  Now what counts and does not count is up to the guys with the green eye shades but we should keep pushing technology to see how far it can go.

A couple things here:

1. In the QRP world, there seems to be a thought that what you use to qualify is up to you.  You hang the award on YOUR wall!  Hence, no QSLs are required for QRP ARCI awards, simply a review of your log with two General Class hams or higher.  I hate to be so morbid but your kids will throw all that in the trash when you die anyway!

2. It is true that most consider Echolink through a repeater in Germany, for example, not valid for an award, but a remote receiver is not quite in the same class.  You still have to hear the guy, if it's CW, you still have to copy the guy.  I once found a station on Mediera Island using the Dutch web receivers.  He was very strong.  I then went to that frequency at home and he was very week but I worked him using my receiver/transmitter.  I felt that event was fine, not unlike someone spotting him on a dx cluster.  Some may disagree.

My conclusion is that for something like K6JSS/2, it's fine and I'd use the contact to get that special WAS certificate at the end of the year.  But I would not use that card for ARRL W.A.S. to avoid any raised eyebrows at the League.    I'd also TRY to work them again without the WEB RX.  I sure wish there had been a WEB RX in AZ last week.  Whew!  That's one man's view.... YMMV and are we still HTMF?

W4QO Jim Stafford
QRP - When you care enough to send the very least!


Jim made excellent and common sense points - and here's my line of reasoning (from someone who's actually been accused of being too much of a "purist" and an OF, by the way).  I don't think that using a InterWeb based receiver is that big of a deal in this case:

A) Tom K6JSS/7 didn't make any transmissions using the Internet.  He used his transceiver.

B) W2LJ didn't make any transmissions using the Internet. He used his transceiver as a transmitter.    And besides, if Tom couldn't hear my transmissions, it wouldn't have mattered what kind of receiver I was using .... period! This wasn't a case of using Echolink or VoiP, it was more of a case like using a remote receiver, which a lot of  Hams do.  I can't say for 100% certainty; but if my neighbor hadn't turned on his plasma TV or whatever noisemaker that he has, I probably could and would have done this QSO in the most "traditional" way.

Like Jim stated, for WAS or DXCC credit, my conscience probably wouldn't allow me to use this QSO.  But we're talking a fun special event here and I already know that I will probably not be able to get all 50, anyway. The key word being FUN, of course! 

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

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