No FT8 ROBOTS allowed in ARRL Contests!

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by WA6MHZ, Aug 13, 2019.

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  1. W4NNF

    W4NNF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    It would also eventually result in you causing QRM. Due to crowding on the FT8 frequencies, it is vital you also check "Hold TX Freq" and move when necessary. You know, but looking at the waterfall finding a clear spot for your signal and, well, clicking. :)
    K4AGO and AG6QR like this.
  2. KK5JY

    KK5JY Ham Member QRZ Page


    If the League's goal is to prevent "robots" in digimode contests, they will need a lot more specific text than what the OP quoted.

    Maybe they could start by defining the term "robot." :)
    W4NNF likes this.
  3. AF2Z

    AF2Z Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hah, hah! Welcome to the point-and-click modes.
    K4AGO likes this.
  4. KP4SX

    KP4SX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Maybe they should get lawyers in the mix. That might help :eek::eek::eek:
    KK5JY likes this.
  5. W5TTP

    W5TTP Ham Member QRZ Page

    Clicking a mouse , or keying the mic button....what is the diffrrence? NAAR contests, including Field Daze, are "competition". He who scores the most points wins the trophy and bragging rights. By the NAAR's looking to advance the antiquated ARRL events and move us all into the digital age, we need to say goodbye to old methods and practices. Computers have been effectively proven to be more efficient than the insertion of an analog operator. Why not fully automate or stations? Why waste time building when off the shelf items are available? Why support brick and mortar hobby stores when Amazon is available 24/7? We can, and should, even eliminate mundane call signs. These can be replaced with visible ip addressing for positive identification of a station. Remembet, the operator has been removed, therefore no longer is here a need for vanity call signs. LOTW entries would be automatic and definetely less complicated. And on, and on, and on. Now, I must get back to my TS130S and dipole....I hear a station calling cq using cw.......
    WN1MB and KK5JY like this.
  6. N8OHU

    N8OHU Ham Member QRZ Page

    Robot: Station that, once the software has been started, operates without further intervention from the licensed amateur.
  7. KK5JY

    KK5JY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Got a citation for that? If it's not a rule somewhere, it's really just your opinion. FCC defines "automatic" operation as operation without a control operator at the control point. ARRL's contest rules don't currently discuss automated operation (not in the "control operator" sense, nor in the "user interface" sense) at all (which rather surprised me).

    But for the sake of good discussion, let's assume that your definition of "robot" was in the rules somewhere, either contesting or FCC, or both.

    The problem is that without a timeframe, that definition of robot is meaningless. If I click a macro, the PC and radio will do two T/R transitions, and send a large number of bits, all without further operator intervention. So even in the short term, that definition won't work.

    If you then go the other extreme, and say "...without further intervention from the licensed amateur for the duration of the event...," you still have a problem, because if the operator periodically changes the waterfall frequency in FT4 (for example), or moves the dial during a RTTY contest, but the rest of the user interface is automated, your definition still won't work.

    And that's the problem with the quote from ARRL posted by the OP. Without a lot more detail, there will be a lot of automation on the air during contests -- much of which could be considered robot-like -- but it won't break the letter of the rule.

    All digimodes (*) involve some level of automation, because the humans don't key the individual bits. So the question is where on the scale from 0% to 100% of automated UI is the "break-over" point for UI automation. And as you can see, there isn't a point on that scale that is safe from users automating their station in "robot-ish" style while still remaining compliant, especially since there is no "robot" that ever totally reaches 100%.

    (*) ...somebody will point out that Morse CW is digital-ish. Meh. :) The time is soon coming when that mode will be fully-automated, as well. Pattern recognition of a Morse stream is trivial when compared to modern technology such as facial recognition.
  8. N8OHU

    N8OHU Ham Member QRZ Page

    My definition, of course. And the only operator intervention would be starting or stopping the software during the contest period. Everything else was previously configured, assuming the software was capable of supporting it from the developer's default installation package, not some custom compiled from source code version.
  9. NN4RH

    NN4RH Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Just click on the "Win Contest" button in the hidden menu, then go binge-watch some Netflix series.
    KF5KWO, WJ4U, K1OIK and 1 other person like this.
  10. KK5JY

    KK5JY Ham Member QRZ Page

    You're certainly getting closer to what it appears ARRL is after.

    That said, even under those restrictions, a single manual band change would push an otherwise fully-automated UI into safe territory.

    They may have good intentions, but they have a lot of work to do to reach their purported goal. :)

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