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[CQ-Contest] 2x4 County designators (was Contest Rules)

To: cq-contest@contesting.com
Subject: [CQ-Contest] 2x4 County designators (was Contest Rules)
From: W2RU - Bud Hippisley <W2RU@frontiernet.net>
Date: Tue, 10 Oct 2006 01:08:43 +0000
List-post: <mailto:cq-contest@contesting.com>
Michael Keane K1MK wrote:

>MARAC adopted W0QE's list of 2x4 county abbreviations for the County 
>Hunters CW Contest because the managers of that contest do have to 
>deal with all 3076 counties being in play at once.
>Whether such a unique-id is of value in regional QSO parties or on 
>weekends when several QSO parties are held is up to the sponsors to decide.
I get in the state QSO parties primarily for the fun of chasing county 
multipliers --  maybe someday leading to a County Hunters certificate.  
As soon as I encountered my first "multi-state" QSO Party weekend, I 
felt the need for exactly such a system as this 2x4 approach.  I believe 
this common format is much more than being simply "of value" for the 
circumstances Mike suggests in his second paragraph -- I believe it's 
*imperative*, and represents a major step on the way to eliminating the 
crazy variations and asymmetries in in-state / out-of-state contest 
exchanges that have cropped up over the years.

Admittedly, there's a short-term "conversion problem' on voice modes 
while we figure out how to best bridge the gap between the spoken county 
name and its typed or handwritten 4-character representation in the log 
entry process, but I'm confident that software methods for converting 
even mis-spelled and mis-typed county names and partial county names to 
the right 4 characters  in the 2x4 County field are less complex to 
implement than many of the *existing* features of today's contest 
logging programs.

Bud, W2RU
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