Discussion on the skimmer/RBN issue

Here is a quote from face book discussing briefly on the light and shadow of skimmer/RBN technology. I would present it here for a beginning of the discussion.


I found this sentence on Jim W6YA page in QRZ.com. It made me laugh at first. Seemingly, it keeps the point. I am sure the skimmers have deprived us of more than half of the pleasure in ham radio;

I believe skimmers are the worst thing that has happened to ham radio since I started in 1954. It reminds me of using anabolic steroids to enhance physical performance in sports.

  •  Personally I detest Skimmer, and have never had one. But I got beat in the WRTC qualifying by technically savvy guys who recognized the importance to the Skimmer for contesting, and invested the time and money to learn how to use it fully legally, because at that time it was legal in some of the S/O contests. These things are changing ham radio. They are not for me, but they are the future for most people.
  • JA1NUT:
  •  It seems to me that it has already totally changed the ham radio as a whole. It used to be depend on the technique of operators and the fortune for the good condition. But the skimmer and RBN have made it like wireless internet. No excitement nor skills to achieve a QSO. Boring!! Maybe, we are still the Luddites destined to disappear. The idea of anabolic steroid by Jim struck me as an excellent analogy.
  •  One thing is good. Reverse Beacon Network allows me to find friends, I found you Shin one day that way. Also I saw an old friend who never gets on the air, I switched frequency band, and talked to him. Also it is good on dead band - I turned my beam short path to Africa at 2000Z and saw I was being picked up in Perth, Australia, so I started hunting for watery sounding signals, and I worked several VK, a FK8, and a FO8 via long path. I had forgotten about the LP opening on 20 meters at 2000Z to Perth (10,000 miles) on 20 meters. I worked more stations than were spottee, the RBN just told me long path was open to extreme distance. 73 de DR N1EA
  • JA1NUT:
  •  David, thanks for the comment. I fully understand that you have used it as a handy tool. It is quite evident. In my view, there could be a conflict between unexpectedness and necessity in this argument. I have got an interesting comment from Alan KF3B by peronal mail. I would put my ideas acceting your and others' thoughts into shape and describe it in my blog soon. Please stay tuned for that and give me your further comment. I haven't heard you for several months. See you again soon.

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