Saturday, April 17, 2010

Contester Criticizes New Technologies

Traditionalist contester and DXer Giuseppi Giancarlo, IB1OF (Italy-Bravo-One-Oscar-Foxtrot), is highly critical of new computer and internet based technologies begin introduced into the realm of HF DXing and contesting. Giuseppi, who has been licensed for over fifty years and an active DXer and contester for most of that time, complains that the blending of computer and internet technologies is destroying the core RF basis of amateur radio.

“All this computer and internet stuff is like rowboats competing against sailboats for traditionalist like me. Once they put those big sheets on tall masts, the real, he-men rowers couldn't compete. No matter how many big, strong paisons you had pulling an oar, it's just not fair watching those “sailors” pass you by while they sit there letting the wind do all the work,” said Guiseppi.

“Me, I believe in amateur radio they way Guglielmo Marconi invented it. They won't let me run my spark gap anymore, but I still use my TNT transmitter and regen receiver. And I still log everything on paper by hand. Well, it's actually parchment, and I use an ink-dipped quill and record every QSO in calligraphy.”

A log checker for a major international DX contest confirmed that Guiseppi's submitted logs are on parchment and in handwritten calligraphy. “They are absolute works of art, but it is a complete PITA to deal with them because someone has to read that stuff and enter it all into the computer for cross-checking. His log takes five times longer than any other just because of that,” said the log checker who requested anonymity.

“All this DSP, and Skimmers, and clusters, and internet stuff. Pretty soon, we won't need the radios and antennas all together,” Giuseppi complained. “It's not the way Marconi did it and it's not the way Hiram Percy Maxim would have done it. Ham radio is supposed to be an old man and his radio, that's it.”

Giuseppi's criticisms were aired on both a posting to the CQ-Contest reflector and on his blog page.

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