delara newsDelaware Amateur Radio Association, Delaware OH VOL 36 NUMBER 3
Dan Ronamchik KB6NU
This morning, I received an email from Dale Williams, WA8EFK, the Great Lakes Division Director concerning ethical issues regarding the use of remote stations when applying for DXCC credit. I’ve written about this before, but it seems that the issue hasn’t gone away. Dale writes:Stan Arnett AC8W is the Great Lakes Division Representative to the ARRL DX Advisory Committee (DXAC). Stan is asking for comments and suggestions from DXers and interested parties in the Great Lakes Division, as the DXAC considers an important question.From Stan:The DX Advisory Committee has been tasked with examining the DXCC ethics rule, specifically with regard to use of remotely operated stations. I am seeking input from DXers from the Great Lakes Division.I have been told that “there is well known use of US and other remotes by foreign operators who were not properly identifying and were claiming contacts made via US-based remote stations for credit on contacts that were impossible given propagation issues particularly on 6, 2, and 160 meters. There was repeated mention of a perceived problem with “propagation shopping” by the use of remote stations such that again, contacts were being claimed on bands and conditions which were virtually impossible given propagation limitations at the time. There were concerns that there are stateside stations who work contests while using their own station while simultaneously controlling a remote station, and “breaking the pileup” on 160 meters for example using the remote station located (let’s say, in the Northeast) while the actual station working the contest is working from a location in the Midwest and using the remote station to break through the pile-up and then the actual Midwest location to complete the contact and make the report, and other similar concerns.”Our specific tasking is:“Please consider potential ethical issues with regard to legal, remote-controlled operations, and how these operations comport with DXCC rules. Then, please consider DXCC Rule 11”11. Issues concerning remotely controlled operating and DXCC are best dealt with by each individual carefully considering the ethical limits that he/she will accept for his/her DXCC and other operating awards. As the premier operating award in Amateur Radio, DXCC draws intense scrutiny from its participants. As DX chasers climb up the Standings there will be increased attention given to these achievements and the owner of these achievements needs to be comfortable standing behind his/her award and numbers. Peer attention has always been a part of awards chasing, of course, but in these times with so many awards and so many players, it is more important than ever to “play the game” ethically.“Technological advances, while welcome, also add to the difficulty in defining rules for DXCC, but the intent of the rules is what is important. It is never OK to remotely use a station outside of the “home DXXC entity” to add to the home–entity DXCC totals – just as it is never OK for you to ask someone else at another station in another place to make QSOs for you. Remotely controlled stations must be properly licensed if they are to count for DXCC. It will continue to be up to the operator to decide what types of legal remote control operating he/she will use (if any) to contribute to an operating award.”If you have suggestions or comments relative to the ethics issue and the use of remote control I would appreciate your input. Please provide any recommendations for changes to the rule, which would improve the rule and the way participants use remotely controlled stations. Please restrict comments to ethical issues only.If you feel no change is needed that is a valid response.Deadline for comments to me is Monday, May 15. I will compile and synthesize responses for the DXAC.Stan Arnett II, AC8WGreat Lakes Representative DXACac8w@comcast.netWhile I can understand how this can be a big issue for serious DXers, I find issues like this kind of amusing and much ado about nothing. What do you think?