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

To: Ron Notarius W3WN <wn3vaw@verizon.net>
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] 2x4 County designators (was Contest Rules)
From: N6KI Dennis Vernacchia <n6ki_73@sbcglobal.net>
Date: Tue, 10 Oct 2006 16:37:10 -0700
List-post: <mailto:cq-contest@contesting.com>
Leave the old Abbrevs in place

SDIE Sucks ( Will cause many repeats and loss of dits in
noise on 40, 80 and 160.)

I say all CA participants should vote on what THEY want

I will not use it

DQ me if you want there will be a lot of uniques in people's logs

We, the contestors should have been consulted on these inefficient and 
confusing  changes

If it works, don't fix it

It's SDG or SDGO


Ron Notarius W3WN wrote:
> Bud, with all due respect, I fail to see this as something "imperative,"  at 
> least for the vast majority of single state QSO parties.
> Let's back up a second and think about why we're using these abbreviations in 
> the first place.
> During the contest, the county abbreviation's primary purposes are two-fold:
> (a) to permit the operators, especially on CW, to quickly and accurately 
> exchange the County multiplier information.  While it may not seem a big deal 
> to send "BUX" for Bucks Co. or "GRE" or "GRN" for Greene Co., for example, it 
> can make a huge difference when sending "LAC" for Lackawanna, or "NUM" for 
> Northumberland, etc.  More importantly, it also helps differentiate (to the 
> in-state op, where applicable) the difference between, say Delaware County 
> (DCO) and the State of Delaware (DEL), or Northampton County (NHA) and New 
> Hampshire (NH).
> (b) to permit the operators or loggers to quickly and accurately enter the 
> county information in the log so that proper credit for a valid QSO is 
> maintained.
> And of course, after the contest, the abbreviation's primary purpose is to 
> help the log checker(s) ensure that the QSO is valid and that the correct 
> county is entered.
> Keeping this in mind... I'm sorry, but I fail to make the "leap of faith" 
> that appears to require the various state QSO parties to adapt the MARAC 2x4 
> county list as "standard."
> For one thing, there will be confusion... I think someone noted yesterday 
> that some stations in the CaQP were still sending the "old" 3 letter 
> abbreviations, not the "new" 4 letter ones.  This is a problem that will 
> persist for years, as some people will (for any one of a dozen reasons) fail 
> to update their software or hardcopies to show the new abbreviations.  So, 
> what are you going to do, DQ them?  I doubt it -- the last thing anyone 
> really wants to do is tick off active participants, to the point where they 
> no longer wish to participate.  (And I sure hope that some of those who 
> publicly swore off the upcoming Pa QSO Party, a few months back, for adding 
> RTTY & PSK-31 modes, have a change of heart and will be active, but I digress)
> For another... also as noted in other posts, there appears to be a 
> discrepancy between the 4 letter lists that CaQP used and that MARAC is 
> recommending.  So, when there's a discrepancy like this, who do you trust?
> So, having said all this (and I could go on, but I trust I've made my point), 
> I suspect that some of the software writers might be better served to provide 
> a conversion table between the MARC 2x4 codes and the existing 3 letter 
> abbreviations.  This way, they don't have to re-write their contest logging 
> software for the new format (I understand CT 10.x has a problem with the new 
> format, tho CT 9.x does not -- and I'm sure there are many others), the 
> contest sponsors don't have to rewrite their log checking routines, and so 
> forth.  And for people like you, you can just let the software "do it's 
> thing," copy and record what's sent, and know that the conversion table will 
> give you the correct input for your county hunting log purposes.
> Trying to force all state QSO parties to change their methods to accommodate 
> the needs of county hunters just seems to be a case of the tail wagging the 
> dog, and it's just not necessary.
> 73, ron w3wn
> --------------Original Message --------------------------
> Date: Tue, 10 Oct 2006 01:08:43 +0000
> From: W2RU - Bud Hippisley <W2RU@frontiernet.net>
> Subject: [CQ-Contest] 2x4 County designators (was Contest Rules)
> To: 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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