Monday, May 19, 2008

Shock/horror! Human ears beats CW Skimmer in pileup competition

Who'd have thought it? An experienced CW operator can beat the CW Skimmer hands-down

During the KCDXC Pileup competition at Dayton, the CW Skimmer program entered for the first time. Although it obtained a very creditable 31 calls copied correctly, the leading operator, W9WI scored 52! So, the top operators don't really need to feel too threatened just yet.

Perhaps that's the point. Maybe having a CW Skimmer around will improve the 'average' entrant's score, just as a memory keyer would. But it's not going to be the difference between winning or not. That's still going to come down to the operator who's making the strategic decisions for the station - as well as having an ear that, for now, is more adaptive to CW decoding than the best decoding algorithms that we have come up with so far.

Doubtless, the Skimmer technology will evolve and improve. But it should push and encourage all the operators to become better.

That's a good thing, isn't it?

And you can see the KCDXC Pileup results here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Tim,

I'm a bit puzzled why Skimmer 'losing' seems to be met with so much humour from the CQ-Contest / reports.

It still beat half the field...

And a narrow bandwidth 'competition' is not testing much of its capabilities - the bigger threat was with an SDR.

A 3830 report from a SOAB entrant after WPX CW saying they used an SDR-skimmer to pick off lots of extra mults, just like the DXCluster, is what would stimulate the debate...



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