ARRL Contest and DXCC Rules Now Prohibit Automated Contacts

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by VK3VM, Aug 27, 2019.

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  1. VK3VM

    VK3VM XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Hi All,

    There has been a bit of discussion around re "automated contacts" and the ARRL's decision to "prohibit automated contacts" for the purposes of contests and awards.

    The main release can be found at:


    There is a bit of discussion (and clarification) emanating from the following sources:


    Just reporting the news !


    Steve I
    VK3VM / VK3SIR
    MI0GTA, W8ESH, W4RAV and 1 other person like this.
  2. NN4RH

    NN4RH Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    All that back and forth over how much automation can be used in "contests", and even in "dxcc", and how to "cheat" and so on ....

    The right answer is that the way we have always done contests and various awards is obsolete; all based on what was very challenging 60, 80+ years ago, but now no longer such a big deal. Contest and award rules and objectives need to be revised and updated to keep up with modern amateur technologies.
    N2NOW, W2KS, KD0QG and 1 other person like this.
  3. W1YW

    W1YW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Its hard to see how automated technology--direct M2M-- need be showcased for DXCC, contests, and other awards.

    The only use--and it is an important one-- for such automation is for emergency communication, and perhaps for propagation work. Others? Like to see your thoughts. None of these are contest nor award oriented.

    No one said that M2M in ham radio isn't valuable.

    What the ARRL is saying is that its place is not in skill--oriented activities such as awards and contests, where the operator is tested, honed, and gains experience. No revision needed, so concluded.

    Many do not know that--now-- you can get on EBay, buy a program for $19, and turn your FT8 station into an operator less (M2M) station.

    Chip W1YW
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2019
    N2NOW, K0BBG, W7XLR and 2 others like this.
  4. N8OHU

    N8OHU Ham Member QRZ Page

    Only bulletin type stuff should be automated and should be readily decodable ; relays or other messaging should remain manual start.
    W7XLR, KE9OL, K0UO and 1 other person like this.
  5. KK6JKC

    KK6JKC Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Is not RATT automation? Perhaps with OLE. If there is some manual determination of proper frequencies, then it is not automated, in my book. We already have RTTY contests, but I fail to see the drive to add JTn protocols to the contest mix. Do they not have QSO parties? LOL
  6. NK9Y

    NK9Y Ham Member QRZ Page

    Some folks enjoy brazing up a stack of beer cans, adding a counterpoise, then firing under a watt to it. And FT 8 doing its thing, picking up signals around the world, 40 db under the noise floor. You go to town shopping, while your station racks up the contacts. When you get back home, you discover that you have already worked 100 countries. Or did YOU? If this is exciting to you, fine.

    As for me? Ears digging out signals just at the noise floor, with a half mile long beverage on 160, and my fist, making the contacts? That IS me. Understand one thing, I'm NOT constantly sending my call. I AM however, carefully stalking my prey. Listening for a pattern of the DX, and hearing the pileup, learning from what they are doing. Suddenly the gray line is in my favor, and one, or two calls later, it's in the log! That is my personal idea of skill/fun.

    Synopsis: With so many aspects of this hobby, there is plenty of room for all. I'll do my thing, you do yours, and the DXCC desk will do theirs.
    AA4MY, N2NOW, K4XJ and 14 others like this.
  7. N6UBO

    N6UBO Ham Member QRZ Page


    I agree 100%!

    Its time we actually talked to each other. We have enough ways to ignore people.
    K4XJ, MI0GTA, W7XLR and 7 others like this.
  8. W4RAV

    W4RAV Ham Member QRZ Page

    "... direct initiation by the operator on both sides of the contact."

    So, are CW, PSK, etc. macros no longer allowed? What really constitutes an "auto contact"? ANY machine code doing the typing/keying?

    IMO, much ado about nothing. SO WHAT if people use computers to auto-populate their logs. Doesn't make your manually acquired awards any more or less noteworthy.
    KD0QG and KK5JY like this.
  9. W4RAV

    W4RAV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Some of us didn't get into this hobby to talk to people. I have a telephone for that. I'm more into the tech than learning about the ailments of old-farts.
    KC1DR, AC3DB, KE8KOH and 5 others like this.
  10. K0UO

    K0UO Subscriber QRZ Page

    I resent that Derogatory statement about "US Old farts"!
    But I guess you can call us "old guys" that and get away with it, we're the only group in America that's not protected by some equal rights movement.
    K4XJ, W7XLR, N6RRY and 10 others like this.

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