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RE: [wsjtgroup] Comments on EME Assisted to ARRL

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  • Russ K2TXB
    Hi Barry. Yes it is obvious that they don t understand. And neither do some of the hams, based on responses here. To me the distinction between assisted
    Message 1 of 23 , Feb 4, 2010
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      Hi Barry. Yes it is obvious that they don't understand.  And neither do some of the hams, based on responses here.  To me the distinction between assisted operating and non-assisted is very clear.  What I don't understand is how smart people at CQ and ARRL can take a look at one specific tool (out of many) and say if you use that then you are assisted.  This approach to contest rules is a slippery slope to trying to "level the playing field".  Next we will have rules that you cannot use an automatic antenna aiming system for EME, or cannot use a program that sends CW from the keyboard - or else you are in a different class.
       
      Let's face it.  A level playing field is not desirable, and if it is attempted then contesting will not be so much fun for those of us who like to compete.  (For the ones who are in it just to make new contacts and do not care about their score, the rules should not make much difference.)  But we could end up like NASCAR where everyone runs the same almost identical equipment and the winners win only by driver skill - and luck.  This is not what I want to see for ham radio contesting.
       
      73, Russ K2TXB


      From: wsjtgroup@yahoogroups.com [mailto:wsjtgroup@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Barry Garratt
      Sent: Thursday, February 04, 2010 3:08 PM
      To: 'Clay W7CE'
      Cc: wsjtgroup@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: RE: [wsjtgroup] Comments on EME Assisted to ARRL

       


      Hey Clay,

      Think of it the way Jeremy has presented it but substitute CW Skimmer in
      place of MAP65.

      In other words - CW Skimmer is just a band mapping tool behind your
      receiver, not some secret weapon. The weapon is electronic CW reception and
      a hot CW receiver, which CW Skimmer listens to. CW Skimmer can be utilized
      by everyone whom have advanced their stations to permit using it. I don't
      feel it does anything really, that you can't do yourself by listening all
      over the band. You can decode a dozen calls or better a minute by ear...how
      many does a guy need before he is confused cubed.

      It's obvious CQ and the ARRL don't understand.

      Barry KS7DX

      -----Original Message-----
      From: wsjtgroup@yahoogrou ps.com [mailto:wsjtgroup@yahoogrou ps.com] On Behalf
      Of TdM LABs
      Sent: Thursday, February 04, 2010 11:39 AM
      To: Clay W7CE
      Cc: wsjtgroup@yahoogrou ps.com
      Subject: Re: [wsjtgroup] Comments on EME Assisted to ARRL

      Aloha Clay,

      MAP65 is just a band mapping tool behind your receiver, not some secret
      weapon. The weapon is cross polarity reception and a hot stereo receiver,
      which MAP65 listens to. MAP65 by can be utilized by everyone whom have
      advanced their stations to permit using it. I don't feel it does anything
      really, that you can't do yourself clicking all over Linrad's spectrum
      display. You can decode a dozen calls or better a minute by hand...how many
      does a guy need before he is confused cubed.

      This is the craziest argument, almost all of us have our own specialized
      vision!

      Hope you all get what it is to have a great time. I also hope contests
      continue to have winners that "Won".

      Jeremy
      www.w7eme.org

    • Russ K2TXB
      ... from participating. ... on. Participation in the EME contest is voluntary and possible for all. Not having an assisted class in no way excludes any EME
      Message 2 of 23 , Feb 4, 2010
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        Jordan wrote:

        > This is exactly my point...every operator will have his own point
        > of view and opinions on what constitutes assistance.
        >
        > And I think that screams the need for different classes, rather than
        > exclusion of a large number of operators.
        >
        > Base the criteria however you like, but don't prevent or discourage ops
        from participating.
        >
        > What I do know is that this will only become more of an issue as time goes
        on.

        Participation in the EME contest is voluntary and possible for all. Not
        having an assisted class in no way excludes any EME capable station from
        entering the contest and making contacts. For example, I have made over 20
        two meter contacts in the ARRL EME Competition, 2 years running without
        using any form of assistance, nor any prior schedules. (I am not against
        prior schedules though - they are a long accepted practice for VHF
        contests.)

        I did this with a very modest EME station. Two 16 element Yagis in my back
        yard at my previous QTH. I was blocked by trees and by my house below about
        30 degrees at both moonrise and moonset. I also had a lot of line noise to
        contend with at times. (Up to S6 at times). I did not have MAP65. I used
        WSJT version 6, and good old Morse code, and found stations by tuning the
        band. If I can do that then anyone can.

        By use of Map65 I bet I could double my number of contacts. And by using
        dual polarity antennas with Linrad and Map65 I could probably double it
        again. No assistance required.

        Sitting at a computer making skeds with stations, working them and then
        going right back to the internet is not amateur radio contesting. It never
        has been. And it is very frustrating for non-assisted operators to spend a
        significant amount of time decoding a station and figuring out when his
        contact is complete, then calling for minutes - only to discover that he has
        immediately left the frequency at the conclusion of his internet contact. I
        think that is the primary reason so many are against an assisted class in
        the EME contest. If the assisted operators even made a try at working
        random callers, or even attempted to call CQ while bla bla'ing on the web
        page, I guess it would not have been so distasteful to regular contesters.
        (I know there are a few exceptions but that is the way most assisted class
        operators operate.)

        And I do not see that situation changing if an assisted class is instated.
        Assisted is the lazy man's way of contesting and lazy people do not attempt
        to make contacts the hard way. So I will continue to voice my opposition to
        assisted classes in all VHF contests. The lack of an assisted class no
        doubt discourages some people from operating the contests. But because
        there will be those who do put forth the effort, it makes the contest better
        for us all. If you really need an assisted class EME contest then why not
        make it a separate contest just for that (and not on the same weekends!).

        Note that the above has nothing to do with the previous discussion of CW
        Skimmer and Map65. Also note that I have nothing against the use of
        internet chat pages for EME or other contact liaison when not in a contest.

        73, Russ K2TXB
      • Russ K2TXB
        Clay I d like to call your attention to two reasons why Map65 is a totally different situation than CW Skimmer. The first reason hinges on why so many
        Message 3 of 23 , Feb 4, 2010
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          Clay I'd like to call your attention to two reasons why Map65 is a totally
          different situation than CW Skimmer. The first reason hinges on why so many
          traditional CW operators are against CW Skimmer. They feel that the CW
          contest should be all about Morse code skill. Thus they have voiced a huge
          opposition to the use of the program. That is not the same situation with
          Map65. Map65 is just WSJT with a larger passband. The mode of operation
          has not changed - it is still a digital mode (unlike switching from a manual
          mode to a digital mode in the case of skimmer).

          The second point is technical. WSJT already has a passband wide enough for
          users to decode multiple signals at the same time. (Indeed many people use
          this feature daily.) The only difference for Map65 is a wider passband so
          that more signals can be decoded at once. So the question would become; Are
          there going to be rules that a 3 KHz passband is ok but a 50 KHz passband is
          not? Remember that it is possible to fit at least 15 separately decodable
          JT65A signals in the normally achievable 3000 Hz receiver passband. In fact
          this is being done regularly on 20 meters. So technically the programs are
          the same except for the receiver bandwidth. Hard to exclude one and not the
          other...

          When I worked 20 contacts in the EME contest, I simply adjusted my receiver
          to have a 5 KHZ passband, and then tuned the EME band in 5 KHZ segments,
          watching for any decoded signals - a manual implementation of Map65's multi
          decoding system.

          The real advantage to Map65 is it's ability to do dual receive with vertical
          and horizontal antennas, and then combine these signals in computer software
          in a way that can automatically get the same signal to noise ratio as if a
          linearly polarized antenna was correctly aligned with the incoming signal.
          AND it can then calculate the correct polarity for the transmitter when
          responding - almost assuring a contact during any conditions. (For those
          who do not know, signal polarity rotation in the Earth-Moon-Earth path are
          usually not reciprocal, and can often be 90 degrees apart.)

          So, I still do not believe that ARRL or anyone else will outlaw Map65 from
          contests.

          73, Russ K2TXB

          > -----Original Message-----
          > From: wsjtgroup@yahoogroups.com
          > [mailto:wsjtgroup@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Clay W7CE
          > Sent: Thursday, February 04, 2010 2:10 PM
          > To: wsjtgroup@yahoogroups.com
          > Subject: Re: [wsjtgroup] Comments on EME Assisted to ARRL
          >
          > >
          > > The criteria is very simple, if you are communicating
          > simultaneously
          > > in real time in any way other than through your radio
          > station, it is
          > > assistance. That is Not an opinion.
          > >
          >
          > Jeremy,
          > Your definition of assistance is accurate though incomplete.
          > CQ Magazine and the ARRL have both declared CW Skimmer to be
          > assistance (currently the ARRL rule only applies to HF
          > contests). CQ magazine has also declared that the use of CW
          > Skimmer-like programs is only allowed in the assisted and
          > multi-op categories, and the ARRL has declared that
          > "multi-channel decoders such as CW Skimmer" can only be used
          > in the Single Operator Unlimited category (assisted) and the
          > multi-op category. CQ Skimmer, like Map65, is a program that
          > runs on your computer utilizing only information from your
          > receiver, yet it is still considered assistance by both major
          > contest organizers. There is absolutely no doubt that Map65
          > is a CW Skimmer-like, multi-channel decoder. So the
          > definition of assistance has now been expanded to include
          > some tools that run solely on equipment at your operating
          > location utilizing nothing but information gained from the
          > receiver(s) at your operating location. If this trend
          > continues, it's only a matter of time until the ARRL applies
          > the "multi-channel decoder" rule to VHF contests as well.
          > While I disagree with not allowing CW Skimmer and
          > Map65 in the unassisted categories, the multi-channel decoder
          > rule should be applied consistently to all ARRL contests,
          > including the EME contest.
          >
          > 73,
          > Clay W7CE
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > ------------------------------------
          >
          > To unsubscribe, send an email to:
          > wsjtgroup-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
          >
          > WSJTGroup HomePage http://www.ykc.com/wa5ufh/
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >
          >
        • Clay W7CE
          See comments below. ... If automatic decoding of CW were the primary argument, then all automatic CW decoding programs would be disallowed, but they aren t.
          Message 4 of 23 , Feb 4, 2010
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            See comments below.

            > Clay I'd like to call your attention to two reasons why Map65 is a totally
            > different situation than CW Skimmer. The first reason hinges on why so
            > many
            > traditional CW operators are against CW Skimmer. They feel that the CW
            > contest should be all about Morse code skill. Thus they have voiced a
            > huge
            > opposition to the use of the program.

            If automatic decoding of CW were the primary argument, then all automatic CW
            decoding programs would be disallowed, but they aren't. Only programs that
            can decode and display multiple CW signals simultaneously (multi-channel
            decoders like CW Skimmer).

            > That is not the same situation with
            > Map65. Map65 is just WSJT with a larger passband. The mode of operation
            > has not changed - it is still a digital mode (unlike switching from a
            > manual
            > mode to a digital mode in the case of skimmer).
            >
            > The second point is technical. WSJT already has a passband wide enough
            > for
            > users to decode multiple signals at the same time. (Indeed many people
            > use
            > this feature daily.) The only difference for Map65 is a wider passband so
            > that more signals can be decoded at once. So the question would become;
            > Are
            > there going to be rules that a 3 KHz passband is ok but a 50 KHz passband
            > is
            > not? Remember that it is possible to fit at least 15 separately decodable
            > JT65A signals in the normally achievable 3000 Hz receiver passband. In
            > fact
            > this is being done regularly on 20 meters. So technically the programs
            > are
            > the same except for the receiver bandwidth. Hard to exclude one and not
            > the
            > other...
            >
            > When I worked 20 contacts in the EME contest, I simply adjusted my
            > receiver
            > to have a 5 KHZ passband, and then tuned the EME band in 5 KHZ segments,
            > watching for any decoded signals - a manual implementation of Map65's
            > multi
            > decoding system.

            How do you get a 5 kHz window to display in SpecJT so that you can decode
            signals over that bandwidth. I've not seen any indication that WSJT can
            decode anything outside the +/- 1 kHz SpecJT window. If I'm missing
            something major here, please teach me. My receiver has a 192 kHz passband
            but I've never found a way to take advantage of it. I've been tuning the
            band 2 kHz a time with no success. The only success I've ever had making
            random EME contacts was by calling CQ and letting the Map65 users find me.
            For me the difference between being able to decode a 2 kHz window with WSJT
            and a 90 kHz window with Map65 is huge.

            >
            > The real advantage to Map65 is it's ability to do dual receive with
            > vertical
            > and horizontal antennas, and then combine these signals in computer
            > software
            > in a way that can automatically get the same signal to noise ratio as if a
            > linearly polarized antenna was correctly aligned with the incoming signal.
            > AND it can then calculate the correct polarity for the transmitter when
            > responding - almost assuring a contact during any conditions. (For those
            > who do not know, signal polarity rotation in the Earth-Moon-Earth path are
            > usually not reciprocal, and can often be 90 degrees apart.)
            >

            I agree that the polarity combining is a big feature of Map65. But so is
            decoding in a window that has 45 times the bandwidth of WSJT. That is not a
            non-trivial feature, and I would happily give up the automatic decoding
            feature if I could do it manually.

            > So, I still do not believe that ARRL or anyone else will outlaw Map65 from
            > contests.
            >

            Read the CQ and ARRL HF contest rules again. Map65, while not mentioned by
            name, is already prohibited from ARRL HF contests (it is a multi-channel
            decoder) unless you are in a multi-op or assisted category. I know we are
            talking EME here, but I suspect that there are a lot more HF WSJT users than
            EME users. It really doesn't seem all that big a reach to assume that
            eventually those rules could make it into the VHF contest rules.

            Just for the sake of repitition, I hope that doesn't happen. I'm personally
            looking forward to getting Map65 running here, and once I do I will be
            active in the EME contests again. Although I guess I'll be using assistance
            then, based on currently popular contest definitions.

            73,
            Clay W7CE


            >
            >> -----Original Message-----
            >> From: wsjtgroup@yahoogroups.com
            >> [mailto:wsjtgroup@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Clay W7CE
            >> Sent: Thursday, February 04, 2010 2:10 PM
            >> To: wsjtgroup@yahoogroups.com
            >> Subject: Re: [wsjtgroup] Comments on EME Assisted to ARRL
            >>
            >> >
            >> > The criteria is very simple, if you are communicating
            >> simultaneously
            >> > in real time in any way other than through your radio
            >> station, it is
            >> > assistance. That is Not an opinion.
            >> >
            >>
            >> Jeremy,
            >> Your definition of assistance is accurate though incomplete.
            >> CQ Magazine and the ARRL have both declared CW Skimmer to be
            >> assistance (currently the ARRL rule only applies to HF
            >> contests). CQ magazine has also declared that the use of CW
            >> Skimmer-like programs is only allowed in the assisted and
            >> multi-op categories, and the ARRL has declared that
            >> "multi-channel decoders such as CW Skimmer" can only be used
            >> in the Single Operator Unlimited category (assisted) and the
            >> multi-op category. CQ Skimmer, like Map65, is a program that
            >> runs on your computer utilizing only information from your
            >> receiver, yet it is still considered assistance by both major
            >> contest organizers. There is absolutely no doubt that Map65
            >> is a CW Skimmer-like, multi-channel decoder. So the
            >> definition of assistance has now been expanded to include
            >> some tools that run solely on equipment at your operating
            >> location utilizing nothing but information gained from the
            >> receiver(s) at your operating location. If this trend
            >> continues, it's only a matter of time until the ARRL applies
            >> the "multi-channel decoder" rule to VHF contests as well.
            >> While I disagree with not allowing CW Skimmer and
            >> Map65 in the unassisted categories, the multi-channel decoder
            >> rule should be applied consistently to all ARRL contests,
            >> including the EME contest.
            >>
            >> 73,
            >> Clay W7CE
            >>
            >>
            >>
            >>
            >> ------------------------------------
            >>
            >> To unsubscribe, send an email to:
            >> wsjtgroup-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
            >>
            >> WSJTGroup HomePage http://www.ykc.com/wa5ufh/
            >>
            >>
            >>
            >>
            >>
            >> Yahoo! Groups Links
            >>
            >>
            >>
            >>
            >
            >
          • Russ K2TXB
            ... I think you may not see part of that issue. It isn t just that it automatically decodes, lots of programs do that - although I d bet that a lot of the ol
            Message 5 of 23 , Feb 4, 2010
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              Clay wrote:

              > If automatic decoding of CW were the primary argument, then
              > all automatic CW decoding programs would be disallowed, but
              > they aren't. Only programs that can decode and display
              > multiple CW signals simultaneously (multi-channel decoders
              > like CW Skimmer).

              I think you may not see part of that issue. It isn't just that it
              automatically decodes, lots of programs do that - although I'd bet that a
              lot of the ol' timers resent those programs too. But the ability to copy
              many CW signals at the same time is something that a human never can do.
              That is the part that is such an improvement compared with regular
              audio-to-brain decoding. If a human could listen to and decode multiple
              signals at the same time then there would probably not be so much resistance
              to it.

              What I am trying to say is that it isn't so much that a lot of call signs
              are put up on the screen, as that you don't use regular CW skills to do
              that. Thus the intent of a CW contest is circumvented in a way that provides
              the user a huge advantage. For others to compete they have to stop using
              manual CW and switch to a computer.

              But with WSJT you are already using the computer. And for Map65 you use the
              same kind of digital decoding skills and hardware to put those calls on the
              screen. You are thus not circumventing the intent of the contest, or
              changing the mode that others must use to compete.

              I'll answer your other items in a separate email, a little later.

              73, Russ K2TXB
            • Russ K2TXB
              ... As promised, here is the answer to that question. I had to refresh my memory a bit and I am still not quite sure what method I used. If I was using WSJT
              Message 6 of 23 , Feb 7, 2010
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                Clay wrote:

                > How do you get a 5 kHz window to display in SpecJT so that you can decode
                > signals over that bandwidth. I've not seen any indication that WSJT can
                > decode anything outside the +/- 1 kHz SpecJT window.

                As promised, here is the answer to that question.

                I had to refresh my memory a bit and I am still not quite sure what method I
                used. If I was using WSJT version 6, then what I did was to also use
                Spectran to view the whole 5 Khz at a time. That would not be as good as
                being able to actually decode signals however, partly because it is possible
                to decode weaker signals than can be seen in Spectran.

                More likely I was using WSJT version 7 (at least in the last year I
                operated), and with v5, you can click the bandwidth button on the SpecJt
                graph and it will give you a bandwidth of 0 to 4000 Hz that you can view and
                decode. Not quite the 5 KHz that I cited, but close. I think I probably
                used spectran the first year and v7 the second year.

                OK?

                Russ K2TXB
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