Hunting in Africa:

You're ready - sitting quietly, not making a sound. You've been waiting for hours and your eyes are beginning to feel the strain. Just then, a wildebeest slowly ambles into view. It has no idea you're there. You've paid good money for this - every shot must count, so you're not going to miss. You aim carefully, check the wind gauge, hold your breath and, in-between heartbeats, fire. Bang, and 170ms later the wildebeest drops to the ground. The great white hunter strikes again!

You've just shot a wildebeest, and it's lying there, dead. The only difference is it's in the Serengeti, and you're in your apartment on Manhattan's Upper East Side.

This remote-controlled rifle is wonderful. From the comfort of your own home you know what it's like to be on safari and, to prove it, you've bagged a wildebeest.

You haven't had as much fun in ages. Like most of us, you don't have the time or money to actually go to Africa, so you have no other option - there's not so many wildebeest roaming Central Park these days. Apart from that, you're not as young or as mobile as you used to be, and the virtual-reality headset really makes up for your declining eyesight. After all, there's no point in having new technology and not using it - it can't be uninvented and it's not about to go away anytime soon. Travel is all very well for those with money to burn, but this is the real world and the only way you're ever going to add a wildebeest to your collection. In any case, you're an experienced hunter, with a licence to hunt in the Serengeti - so it's all above board.

No one can argue. You, alone, fired the shot. It's exactly the same as if you had been there (or if you had very long arms); the bullet travelled the same distance and the wildebeest is every bit as dead. In some ways it was even harder, because you had to allow for latency as well as wind speed. Oh no, they can't take that away from you (reminds me of a song) - except, of course, you were not there and you have not been hunting in Africa.

You should be ashamed of yourself. What you have done is both a travesty and a mockery. You have brought hunting into disrepute. If you want to hunt in Africa, go there because that's what hunters do. If you want to play amateur radio in Africa or anywhere else, go there because that's what self-respecting DXers and contesters do.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

This extract is from the ARRL Contest Update of 11th April 2012, regarding an entry in CQ WPX SSB.

    "OH2UA was at the controls of CQ8X". . . . "the 4543
    contacts were made over a remote link across the Internet
    - 4500 kilometers from the actual station!"

Seems that Ward N0AX, the Contest Update editor, is impressed by distance on the internet.

Paul EI5DI

Remote Operating

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