I'm playing with the new JS8 mode. One feature I find particularly interesting is an ability to relay messages using rigs of other OP's. Though I'm not sure whether such QSOs should count as valid ones. Especially if it turns out that the station you try to contact runs in AUTO mode. I feel like I'm cheating.
Here is a particular example:
22:37:31 - (2187) - R2AUK: HB9AVK STATUS? ⌁ 22:37:59 - (2185) - HB9AVK: R2AUK STATUS HB AUTO RELAY SPOT 0M V1.0.0 ⌁ 22:38:49 - (2180) - R2AUK: HB9AVK SNR? ⌁ 22:39:29 - (2185) - HB9AVK: R2AUK SNR +05 ⌁ 22:39:37 - (2180) - R2AUK: HB9AVK HEARING? ⌁ 22:40:14 - (2184) - HB9AVK: R2AUK HEARING KD8UJG KB8HTU KK4WTI CO2DC ⌁ 22:41:24 - (2187) - R2AUK: HB9AVK> KD8UJG LETS QSO VIA RELAY HW CPY? EIH ⌁ 22:42:44 - (2185) - HB9AVK: KD8UJG> LETS QSO VIA RELAY HW CPY? VIA R2AUK -UR ⌁ 22:44:14 - (2184) - HB9AVK: R2AUK> ACK VIA KD8UJG ⌁
In this case I got a response from KD8UJG, though the template 'ACK' response suggests that this station runs in AUTO mode. Unfortunately I got no response for a relayed 'STATUS?' message or any other messages to confirm this - it looks like the station disspeared.
Though technically there was a contact. I don't see how it differs from using a satellite or a repeater in UHF case except that HF were used here. Wikipedia says:
An amateur radio contact, more commonly referred to as simply a "contact", is an exchange of information between two amateur radio stations. The exchange usually consists of an initial call, a response by another amateur radio operator at an amateur radio station, and possibly a signal report. A contact is often referred to by the Q code QSO. It is often limited to just a minimal exchange of such station IDs.
According to this definition a QSO over a relay counts, even if one of the stations (besides the relay) runs in AUTO mode. The only problem is that I'm not sure whether this is a generally accepted definition of QSO. Is there any reason (like existence of other definitions of QSO, or any other) why described case may not counts as a QSO?