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[CQ-Contest] 3 QSO penalty PS

To: cq-contest@contesting.com
Subject: [CQ-Contest] 3 QSO penalty PS
From: k3bu@optonline.net
Reply-to: k3bu@optonline.net
Date: Tue, 01 Aug 2006 10:28:36 -0400
List-post: <mailto:cq-contest@contesting.com>
Howdy fellow contesters.

Just postscript to the 3 QSO "penalty" thing.

I made my comments addressing the silliness of the 3 QSO penalty in present 
times and state of technology and tried to amplify my point by using some 
stronger language or poor humor.

I have been attacked and bitten by the barnyard greyhounds and sort of 
supported by fine Arabian contest horses. I have not fallen recently off the 
contesting tree to be told that I did not work them, I see the problem, trying 
to bring attention to it in hope to IMPROVE things for us contesters, make 
contesting better, even more attractive for newbies.

1. 3 QSO penalty is the carry over from the days when we did logging with paper 
and pencil. You had to keep the dupe sheet, you were required to check and 
cross the dupes out and not to count them. It was when we had control over the 
dupes and it was up to us to make sure we did not count dupes and put undue 
burden on paper log checkers (who would dupe thousands of QSOs for sloppy 
operator?) The penalty made perfect sense then and no beef there.

2. Computer logging and checking came on the scene, with it Cabrillo format 
that can do only so much. Dupes are no big deal now, 3 QSO penalty rule was now 
"nailed" to "punish" us for sloppy logging. While the logic is weird in normal 
life, log checkers and "rulers" are proud of having this tool in thinking that 
it will bring us to error free loging.

The reality is this, with computer logging, nasty problem creeps in - computers 
and operators crash, goof, make errors. Even If one is perfect, as many already 
mentioned, the other side could have a problem, computer quirk, wrong 
keystroke, typo - causing for you not to be recognized or logged in the other 
log. Merciless computer log checker will flag you as N and swiftly apply 
"penalty" to you for doing nothing wrong. Fair? Hardly.

The point is that we get penalized for not making error or being sloppy, but 
because the other side lost the contact in their log after we both thought we 
made it. Yes, we make mistakes too, but assessing 3 QSO penalty does not make 
me any more precise as just simply taking that bad QSO out. I do not purposely 
go fast like hell not caring what the other station is doing.

Some say what's the big deal, it forces you to be more precise, everybody is on 
the same boat, get a life. For the majority of situations, perhaps no big deal. 
For some situation, like QRP, being close to beating records (which gets harder 
and harder), opening tool for "screwing" someone by feeding them phony QSOs - 
it becomes major concern. Do we really need this "punishment" in this day and 
age of computer loging? I do not think so, YMMV and I will always try to obey 
by the rules, but I will speak out if I think there is a way to improve our 
beloved contesting. Do we want to record whole contest and bring K1VR to be the 
judge in the Court of QSOs?

I perhaps jumped into conclusion that M/S took my QSOs out, without knowing for 
sure what was in their logs. Just based on my and other's previous experiences 
I thought it was de javue. Looks more like case of my QRPeee puny signal did 
not make them comfortable to confirm the QSO and I was perhaps scratched as 
"not sure" rather than "inconvenient". But the case was - I called them (for 
cca 20 min), they came back with my full call, the rest was up them. I 
apologize for accusations.
I promise not to harp on this again, if the consensus of majority is that this 
is the best way to "teach" us error free logging. I also promise not to go QRP, 
unless I am stuck in N. Korea with battery operated peep-squeak. Life is too 
short for QRP, see y'all from serious rhombic farm and no more QRPeeeing.

Stay cool and safe!

Yuri Blanarovich, K3BU

Zero points for your own country QSOs in CQ WW is another story :-)

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