Friday, August 1, 2014

Further commentary related to "ARRL Says Remote access FCC Legal"

Someone recently commented on the response I got back from the ARRL (see this post) asking, 

"This is only a hypothetically question:

Let's say you are in the USA in a condo and don't have any radio equipment or antennas but you are paying to use remote bases....also let's say ALL these remotes that you can use are in the USA. Let's say that you work 100 DXCC's via these remote(s) and submit for a DXCC award based on contacts made from one or more of these remotes.

In your opinion, how will this play out with ARRL? (i.e. Are you eligible for this award)"

Here was my thoughts in my response:

"Regarding your hypothetical Questions, and based on what the Arrl Legal replied to me, they would HAVE to honor the DXCC request.  I mean, in a way....I can understand it.  I lived in FN44 and worked about 135 from there, then have moved to SC, NC, and now MO and worked like 20 more.  So it's kind of the same thing as just using someones remotes from all around the USA (not really), but geographically speaking.  So from that POV I can understand where they're coming from.  There's a bunch of us who've hopped around the country, and according to the DXCC rules it still all counts since we're one big happy country.

But....we hams have also put a TON of time and effort into each station or location we've worked our DXCC's from.  Guys filling out DXCC by renting a box remotely for a few bucks, is NOT THE SAME as the blood-sweat-tears most of us have invested in our own personal 'local' stations.  My current setup just for 6m all totaled probably cost me about $35k and that's just with a 46' high tower.  But a LOT went into building this setup and getting it all working, and so I have a fair amount of pride in it.  

For someone to just rent a super-station for a few bucks, and cq over the internet to the nearest DXCC or whatever that station is hearing...."FEELS"....less valuable than having built something myself that allows me to work stuff that some folks likely won't.

I have to flip-flop on this issue a bit.  My heart tells me remotes are a BAD thing to be allowed in DXCC.  My mind says, but the FCC rules, and the DXCC rules allow it....so maybe I should just shut my big mouth.  (My heart usually tries to win in situations like this).  I don't think I'm alone in this way of thinking.  In fact, I think that's why so many are voicing their opinions on the topic.

I don't see how renting a station like this follows along with the original intent of what we all thought the hobby was about.  Some have even mentioned to me that they think the use of remotes actually falls outside the scope of the Part 97 rules, which would make them illegal.  (don't know if I believe that...)

I think when the 1st DXCC 100% remote rolls out, the ARRL won't be posting that on their website, or in QST to celebrate it (if they do, they're dummer than I thought, and are showing their true intent WITH OUR HOBBY). LOL Maybe this is just something we all have to accept, as 'the wave of the future'.  Personally I don't like this anymore than I liked when they dropped the rules for completing 3 CW exams and 5 written exams to get an Extra License.  I did all that in 13 months, start to finish.  I was PROUD of that, it wasn't easy.  But now they just have to take three written exams, and they walk out an Extra.  CW not even required.  However, if you look at what mode the majority are still using to work long distance, even with JT modes included....it's STILL CW.  Sometimes "Keep It Simple Stupid" works best.

I was ANGRY when I got those responses from the ARRL.  His way of saying what he had to say felt degrading that I was even asking such a question.  

In the end, how I actually feel about the use of remotes where they're being 'rented' and not owned by the operator, is that they should NOT be allowed DXCC, as DXCC should be an honor given to someone that's at least proven they can setup a working Ham station, instead of just pulling out a creditcard and getting "ONLINE"!

I still think, even after the ARRL response, that a 'remote' should be required to ID itself using the callsign of the actual owner maybe at least every 10 minutes.  Similar to how a "REPEATER" functions since that's essentially how these remotes are being operated.  Repeater QSO's are not allow via DXCC.  Why should this be any different?

It's much different if you are working your own equipment via a remote link.  Perhaps not technically....but falling back to my previous comments about 'Heart v. Mind' it's different.  And any avid DXer would probably say the same thing. (but maybe not, who knows).  MAYBE I'M Just getting OLD?"