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

To: cq-contest@contesting.com
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] 2x4 County designators (was Contest Rules)
From: Mike Coslo <mjc5@psu.edu>
Date: Tue, 10 Oct 2006 23:07:42 -0400
List-post: <mailto:cq-contest@contesting.com>
W2RU - Bud Hippisley wrote:

>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.
    It is going to be a *hard* sell to both the contesters and sponsors 
of state QSO parties that it is imperative to them to change their 
designators so that it is convenient for county hunters only!

>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.
    Are you aware of what is involved in doing this? A lot of effort on 
the part of software designers-usually gratis. All the contestants 
having to learn new county abbreviations. Discouraging casual 
contacts.Software becoming obsolete when writers decide they no longer 
want to update it. A whole new set of checks for the log checkers; and 
the last thing I want to do is alienate more log checkers! Changes that 
have an *actual* effect on the parties are implemented with great 
trepidation. A change that grants no real benefit would earn me many 
enemies, probably irritate a fair number of participants into becoming 
former participants, and not add one thing to the party but extra work 
for already overworked volunteers,  is indeed a very hard sell.

    - 73 de Mike KB3EIA -

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