by Dick Pechie, KB1H
YCCC Scuttlebutt #117, June 1995
For quite a few years, the SYSOPs maintaining the nodes which service the YCCC membership have operated as a loose but functioning group. In the beginning there were the driving forces of K1EA, AK1A, KY1H, and others. Much of the equipment in use today was purchased with funds given to the network from CT donations. For the past few years, "the engine has been running" but there has been nobody driving, as individuals became busier and busier in their business and personal lives (yes, contesters have life besides radio). Thus came the need for the YSA, or at least a organization of some sort. If a more formal group could be established there would be a focal point for inquiries, hardware problems, operational decisions, backbone link repairs/upgrades, etc. Sharing and delegating the work would hopefully get the network back on track towards improved and efficient operation. Probably unknown to many users, the network is operating with quite a few bandages applied. The backbone itself is very fragile as one should realize from the interruptions during some of the contests and severe winter weather.
Begun at Boxboro in October 1994, the task of establishing a SYSOP group was given to a few individuals. Warp through 4 major contests to April 1995.... on April 1st (no significance meant by the date) a meeting was held in Connecticut. At this meeting the YSA was formed.
Since that meeting, the document which was adopted has been uploaded to the Nodes and also to the YCCC Internet Reflector. Please read this "Statement Of Purpose" if you have not already.
What is the purpose of the YSA? Cutting out the chaff of the document, let me try to state simply our goals. First and foremost the YSA wants to provide the best and most efficient contesting/DX spotting network in existence. In its early years, the YCCC network was the flagship of networks. We cannot say so now!! Believe me when I say there are other systems doing a better job then us. This will change. With the recent commitment by the YCCC members to win the CQWW and ARRL contests we must change. Our second goal is to provide to all users the vast amount of data that can be accessed via your node. Databases, lists, and files should be available on every node. Your SYSOP needs help in this and the YSA will provide that help.
Next, operational decisions: when to go to "Contest" mode, policies for messages, what to do about system abusers. All these decisions should be made as a group. One very important point: the YSA does not intend to tell your SYSOP, nor you as a user, how to run his/her station. We will make suggestions, and, of course, in the case of someone crossing legal lines, the YSA will protect the SYSOPs license as necessary. The YSA does not intend to be a "SYS-GOD". Finally, the task of identifying weak links, improving or providing redundant paths, coordinating repairs, and managing the PacketCluster Fund all will be part of the YSAs responsibilities.
The YSA and its SYSOP members want to give the YCCC the competitive edge a well-managed network can provide in club-competing contests! WOOF!!!!