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SO1R Nostalgia

It’s long time since I would like to share my SO1R thoughts.
It looks like this category is here, but it seems it’s not.
In other words, if one John will participate in SO category, but without two radios, he violates nothing, and his log will be accepted for refereeing, and he even might be able to get one of the high places between other Johns, and between more advanced and ambitious Joses, who use TWO sets of equipment instead of one, but nevertheless, participating in the same category as Johns.
Such breakdown calls up for very illustrative comparison.
See, it’s like in the moving boar shooting sports, if one sportsman would have single-barreled gun, and the other would have double-barreled gun.
“No, I'm not sobbing, nor even crying”…
(Song by Yuli Kim)
Personally I operated five 48-hours contests, full SO2R, from UA9AYA club station, and made a few Zone 17 and As. Russia records.
I certainly know the subject under discussion.
Today I’m in my 54th year. I know what stress is this – to operate 48 hours with two radios.
Unfortunately, my health conditions are not that great today to stand such loads without consequences in the future.
Moreover, I’m not able to build a station with double equipment and antennas setup. (my estate is 37.8 hundred sq.m, on the coast of bitter lake Karataban, 40 km South of Chelyabinsk; my land plot won’t allow me to build real SO2R station, with features at least approaching to the stations of Vadim, R9DX aka UA9CLB, or Anatoly, RC9O, etc.
This certainly brings up the question “What to do?”
The answer is simple, - operate with pleasure, and forget about records.
But this is not good enough for me!!!
I think, I’m still strong in my operating skills, and I’m still able to compete with the most big-names for top positions. The last thing is that I just want to compete in MY OWN weight category. There is still one important point of the matter in hands, refereeing reliability.
Any referee, who judged extramural HF competitions, will support my statement that SO2R contestant log looks exactly the same as MS station log.
By the way, a contestant may state he operated as SO2R, but actually he could operate a contest together with his friend(s) as club station, using SO rules that do not restrict QSYs, unlike MS rules!
I think, the times is around the corner, when SO’s will ‘cook’ MS’s on a broad scale.
Look, today is the tenth anniversary of the CQWW SSB SOAB world record made by Jeff Steinman, N5TJ, from EA8BH position (nowadays, EF8M operates there); this record exceeds the world M/S record of VP2E by 0.5M points!
It’s very important to note that Jeff was VP2E team member.
Even more, their setup consisted of three SO2R operating positions.
Yes, of course, it was not 3-points Africa. I personally believe that Jeff is a UNIQUE ham radio operator, and his operating abilities are the same as famous chess player Bobby Fischer had in chess.
I personally would like to believe, Jeff made all that himself.
But nevertheless, here is the fact, - single operator overextended the score he made himself with a team of other, as elite as him, super operators. By the way, his record UBN of 0.6%, with such number of QSO’s, also gives a reason for doubts.
From Finnish members of Jeff’s support team I know many other challenging details of this phenomenal record, but the paragraph is not about this.
I gave this example to illustrate the problem depth only.
In the same time, a log of contestant honestly operated with ONE RADIO looks absolutely different. Even more, in this log, like in a mirror, one can trace all operation and state clearly, with high reliability, whether a ham operated alone and without DX cluster or he used external assistance.
It would appear reasonable that the above is related to contests where SO categories with and without cluster are not mixed in one pile.
If we review contestant log, say, in RDXC, where there are no restrictions for cluster assistance, we will be unable to assert whether the contestant operated alone, or somebody assisted him, for example, to work cluster mults or normal QSO’s.
Even in the case we have his audio records.
In my opinion, nowadays we have plenty people like me. What's wrong with it if sponsors of big contests would fit them for us?
They do not require many efforts for that! They’ll need to establish SO1R-No Any Assistance Category.
Refereeing such category is all lavender.
There are no dilemmas such as whether SO or MO, whether DQ or “We have no reliable evidence for such penalty”, etc.
Actual top-rank operators shall be identified in this category; the operators who know that ‘golden compromise’ between run and S&P; who know propagation by heart, and not from cluster announcements; who know other things which are not needed if you work unfairly, with external assistance, but claim yourself as Single Operator.
In general, I think, we need two categories: “SO1R without ANY ASSISTANCE” and “SO2R with ANY ASSISTANCE available except for direct other men’s assistance”. Then let referees sort out the second category, whether external assistance from the third persons was rendered or not (I can assure you right away, - they will never clear this up!); but the first category contestants will be all clear from the first log glance, and audio records would be handy for disputes.
What we have today in Big Contesting is this very same second category, - but not split into ASSISTED and UNASSISTED.
That’s all right, but one can always pretend he operated two radios. That’s where referees’ problem starts.
I want refereeing, at least, in my category, to be reliable and with no trouble.
Those who wish compete in the most advanced category SO2R, assisted with all these Internet technologies, distant receivers, skimmers, cluster networks, your station remote access, etc., - shall be split into this “SO2R with ANY ASSISTANCE available except for direct other man’s assistance” category, - and let them and referees deal between themselves then.
Why, there are still archery tournaments in the Olympics, and here I am, willing to shoot bows, and not a gun. In one word, I want to operate contests as before, when I fell in love with contesting.
73’s & GL, Willy UA9BA