Rerun of Jim's GAZETTE Newsletter #118


Rerun for those who couldn't get the attachement...Jay N3DQU.

Newsletter #118
20 March 2002

Please feel free to forward this newsletter to any and all interested
parties, or to reproduce it in
any other publication. All we ask is that you give credit where it is due.

SHORT NOTES: Peter G3PLX has fulfilled a request and sent along a spectrum
shot of Pactor III from his monitoring efforts on 20 meters. It's an awesome
Take a look at And special thanks to Peter
for the time and effort.

Somebody made a mistake (no names, please). There IS new software for the
DXP-38 on the HAL website, but NOT for the P-38. Bill Henry was quick to
my cranium on that one. Hi! Sorry, P-38 owners.

The Congo! TN3B and TN3W (EA3BT and EA3WL in disguise) will operate from 17
to 27 May. RTTY will be included in the two-station operation.

You need it if you chase DX. The latest, correct 16-page listing can be
found, ready for printing, at, then click DXCC and take the
table of your
choice. Quite a site!

Dean W5PJR, a dedicated RTTY-only, DX-only type, might, just might, show up
on PSK31 one of these days. Never one to have a conversational QSO, he might,
just might, catch the fever. Look for a big signal out of New Mexico and
please drop me an Email if you see him on the air. (no more HO-HUM, Dean).

For or against SO2R (single operator, two or more radios in a contest)?? Vote
for or against at Scroll down to 'survey.'

There's no more room for additional short notes this time around. Two issues
flared up, down and around in the past two weeks. Both need space.

The first relates to remote control-an old subject with a new twist. The
discussion began when Don AA5AU admitted to the entire world that he had a
QSO with
another station while operating his rig at home . . . from his office. There
are two issues here, one of which we can't answer. 'Does his boss know about
this?' Only
Don knows and he is not talking. HI!

A more complicated issue exists as well. Bill W7TI summed it up precisely by
writing, 'I can see the day when a person no longer needs a station in the
usual sense.
Instead, simply operate a station anywhere in the world . . . Imagine the
future. Enterprising hams will set up stations for rent all over the world.
Log on, pay by credit
card and operate. The technology already exists.'

Reactions were many and varied, humorous and serious, fanciful and concerned.
Ed W1MAG-'We can get rid of all our ham gear, post our Internet address and
Email each other. What fun!'

Bob NT1V, 'I want to assemble and tinker with and be responsible for my own
station. That's what ham radio is all about.' And, Don AA5AU agrees but adds,
can imagine sitting in the duck blind with my Internet-ready cell phone
controlling my station at home and working RTTY.'
Phil GU0SOP, philosophizing, asks 'The technology exists, but WHY? It can be
done totally automatically and then where would we be? A little software
development and we could have VIRTUAL radio from anywhere, including
countries that don't permit it! The possibilities don't bear thinking about!'
And Shelby
K4WW, 'All awards will lose their significance and there would be no reason
to have any equipment other than a computer!'

And, finally, Tom W7WHY doesn't ask why, but imagines '. . . a station in
Oregon with radio and tower in G/ZS/JA and ZL, all accessible via the
Internet. Man,
what would the rules be for that?'

Many others commented along the same lines. Most said, in one way or another,
that technology has outrun some parts of our hobby. If we keep abreast of
technology, the traditions, rules and regulations and practices of ham radio
become meaningless because they apply to a different science in a different
age. A few
serious questions illuminate the point. Do you really believe that there
isn't a completely automated, remote controlled contest station out there
even now? Do you
really believe that we won't soon be working rare DX from a distant station
(s), utilizing the best propagation paths to the target? Do you really
believe today's rule
and regulations have any relevance to today's technical reality? Think about
it. These are not facetious questions at all.

On the second front, I have recently been bombarded with Email and copies of
Email from Vic W5SMM, Peter G3PLX, Rick KN6KB, Steve K4CJX, Skip
KH6TY and others (who shall remain nameless). This eruption apparently began
with our earlier discussion of Pactor III and it future impact on the digital
space and
on those mailbox operators who were scanning the PSK31 frequencies. One thing
naturally followed the other and it soon turned into a full-blown discussion
automatic vs semi-automatic operation, sub-bands, bandwidths, and other
digital possibilities including voice. Along with the discussion, the words
also threw an
occasional spear or two in the direction of the other camp but, fortunately,
no blood was shed.

For a time, it looked as though the exchange would wind up in a flurry of
accusations and threats, as is so often the case in the field of Advanced
communications. But two things happened, each without notice, and the storm
subsided and moved on its way. First, Rick KN6KB took a longer-term look at
problem. He believes, for example, that there have always been new modes to
bother the bands and upset existing users. Citing RTTY, AM, SSB, NBFM and
SSTV, Rick points out that there was tremendous resistance to these new kids
on the block because they had to borrow spectrum from an existing mode. And,
he is
certain that there will more of the same in the next generation as Pactor III
and digital voice start flexing their muscle. In the end, Rick endorses the
idea that there
should be a regulation segmenting bands by signal bandwidth. New modes of
similar bandwidth could then compete with existing modes within those basic
Thus, for good and sufficient reason, he endorses the G3PLX concept and joins
the group who feel Pactor III and any other wideband digital mode must go up
in the
HF packet space.

In other communications, the ruckus between the band-scanning MBO's and the
PSK31 users boiled anew. Rambling conversations covered every aspect of the
argument from legality to common practice. It was, for the most part, more
than most of us need to know about digital stuff. The charge that some MBOs
were still
scanning in the PSK space, as pointed out in Newsletter 117, seemed to be at
the root of the issue. If MBO stations scan there, then some client stations
will call
them there. It's as simple as that.

Steve K4CJX, head of the Winlink2000 group poured oil on troubled waters. In
a widely distributed note, he agreed that such was the case and immediately
contacted the offending stations to correct the matter. These stations were
innocent of any wrongdoing because nobody had informed them of the
limitations. Steve, in
a memo to one of the new MBO's said after admitting his failure to inform
him, that 'complaints say that our group breached an agreement. Since this
seems to be the
only working 'gentleman's agreement' in the entire hobby, we want to keep the
peace and do what we can to accommodate those using PSK31." In radio, says
Steve, no one is 'correct,' and no one is 'right.' What a constructive,
productive move!

In a footnote, Steve added that HS0AC would be going off the air on 5 April
for an extended period of time. Too bad!

Moved, seconded and approved. May we all now rest in peace! Subject closed!!

73 de Jim N2HOS

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