Trig point activation criteria

General W.A.B. Discussion

Trig point activation criteria

Postby m1maj » Wed Jan 28, 2015 12:49 pm

The rules for the trig point award state:

"To be valid for the award, the activating station must be located within 30m of the pillar measured horizontally or vertically whichever is the closer." [emphasis in the original]

I have thought about it long and hard and the only interpretation I can put on it is that either the horizontal or vertical separation between operator and trig point must be less than 30m. It cannot mean, as some seem to be suggesting, that you must be within 30m of the trig point (which could be said much more straightforwardly without the complicated references to horizontal and vertical).

Is this really what is intended? In relatively flat parts of the UK, it means that trig points could be activated from kilometers away. There are likely to be places which are within 30m vertically of several trig points simultaneously. My home QTH is within 30m vertically of the Little Ouse trig point, which is about 35km away horizontally. It makes no sense to me at all.

I raised a discussion of this on the SOTA forum and some suggested that I should apply "common sense". I really don't see that as reasonable. If there is a rule, it should say what it means and mean what it says. If the intention is that you should be within 30m of the trig point, why not just say that?
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Re: Trig point activation criteria

Postby g4iar » Wed Jan 28, 2015 4:42 pm

In the case you quote, the horizontal measurement is the closer and that's the one you take as within 30m. At worst case you'd be 30m both horizontally and vertically away from the trig, a little under 42.5m point to point.
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Re: Trig point activation criteria

Postby m1maj » Wed Jan 28, 2015 10:40 pm

g4iar wrote:In the case you quote, the horizontal measurement is the closer


Pardon? In what sense can you regard the distance which is further away as the one that is "closer" ? Surely this is the wrong way round!

If you actually mean that both measurements must be within 30m, why not say that? Qualifying it with "whichever is... " opens up the possibility that the other one might not be.
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Re: Trig point activation criteria

Postby m1maj » Thu Jan 29, 2015 8:56 am

Having thought about it some more, I think I can see where you're coming from.

I believe you are thinking in terms of drawing two boundary lines on the ground, one based on the horizontal measurement and the other based on the vertical measurement, and choosing the boundary that is closer to the trig point.

I on the other hand am looking at it from the point of view of an activator trying to decide whether a chosen spot is valid. I make two measurements to the trig point, one horizontal and the other vertical, and the rule says that whichever of those two measurements is closer must be within 30m.

Both interpretations are possible. It's a bit like those ambiguous drawings (http://www.optical-illusion-pictures.com/ambig.html). Once your mind fixes on one interpretation, it takes an effort of will to see the other, equally valid, interpretation.

An ambiguous rule is a bad rule. It's unhelpful to argue that one of the interpretations is the one you meant and the other is wrong.

Wouldn't it be ever so much simpler to rephrase the rule to remove the ambiguity? Simply requiring both horizontal and vertical distances to be within 30m would do it nicely.
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Re: Trig point activation criteria

Postby g4iar » Thu Jan 29, 2015 12:02 pm

We have a review of the definition in hand. However, I must say that over 100 trigs have been activated to date with no other queries about the rule.
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Re: Trig point activation criteria

Postby m1maj » Thu Jan 29, 2015 12:45 pm

g4iar wrote:We have a review of the definition in hand. However, I must say that over 100 trigs have been activated to date with no other queries about the rule.


Thanks.

I think my interpretation came because I started from a SOTA perspective. Under SOTA rules, you can be as far as you like horizontally from the summit, as long as you are within 25m vertically. This trigpoint rule seemed on first reading like it was intended to be similar. But of course that would only make sense for trigpoints which happened to be at a point with sufficient prominence, which many aren't.

I think if you eliminate the ambiguity over exactly what "whichever" refers to, and simply say that both horizontal and vertical distances must be within 30m, the rule would be ever so much clearer, and probably shorter!
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Re: Trig point activation criteria

Postby g4iar » Fri Jan 30, 2015 7:28 am

Noted on the possible re-word - thanks.
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