There has been a lot of discussion lately regarding the upcoming ARRL's review of DXCC requirements regarding, amongst other things, the use of "remote" stations. It seems that most folks are either dead against them or all for them, with little middle-ground. But one thing is for certain ... remotes are here to stay and are growing by leaps and bounds.
The biggest controversy
seems to be whether DX worked via a remote should count the same as DX worked
from one's home station. Many think that DX worked via a remote should still be
countable for your DXCC credits but should be in a separate class or have a
separate endorsement indicating such ... others see no separation is needed.
I guess a lot depends on how one views the DXCC program overall. Some
see it as a competition against other stations while others view it is a
personal challenge for one's own satisfaction and the only competition is with
For example, if a New England 160m amateur spends many years
perfecting his system and struggles for those hard-fought Asian or South Pacific
contacts, should these contacts be held in the same regard as the New
Englander's 160m neighbour who works all of the Asian-Pacific with ease via a
remote station on the west coast? Should both DXCC certificates be the same?
There is also the question of remote stations "for rent" and the overall ethics
or "legality" of such within the amateur radio service.
The only direct exposure I have had to remote station operation is hearing what was clearly an
east-coast remote being operated by an amateur on the west coast, while working
Europeans. No problem with that, however, the operator was giving his location
as CN87, Washington state ... clearly deceptive, as many Europeans were
delighted to think that they had just worked a new state in "7-land"!
I suppose that
no matter how strict the "rules" for remote operations eventually become, there
will always be those willing to play by their own rules, as is human nature.
The genie is out of the bottle and there is no going back. I think the
ARRL has some tough decisions to make ... hopefully they will be well-thought
out and not based solely on financial interests.