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Re: [CQ-Contest] Spot Abuse - An Intermediate Suggestion

To: "CQ Contest" <cq-contest@contesting.com>
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] Spot Abuse - An Intermediate Suggestion
From: "Ward Silver" <hwardsil@gmail.com>
Reply-to: Ward Silver <hwardsil@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 13 Dec 2007 19:52:38 -0800
List-post: <mailto:cq-contest@contesting.com>
> Ward Silver wrote:
>> What this does require is for the logging software authors to create a 
>> feature called "Spot Prefixes Only" or "Spot First Three Characters Only" 
>> (yes, the special 1x1 calls will get a free ride...so what) in new 
>> versions of the program.  How about it N1MM programmers?  This should be 
>> really easy, since the program already determines the call sign prefix 
>> for multiplier and heading information.  It's a "simple matter of 
>> programming".
> Sure, it could be added to N1MM (although, when you think it through, it's 
> not so "simple"), but the scenario would look like this:
> Within moments of a "G4" spot showing up, some do-gooder will spot the 
> full call. In fact, the do-gooder will be doing this with the full support 
> of every assisted and multi-op station. The assisted and multi's are going 
> to hate to see a band map full of "G4" stations - they want the full call, 
> so that the bandmap only shows needed stations, not a bunch of ambiguous 
> "G4" spots. Sure, some more "simple" programming could be done to only 
> self-spot full calls, and not broadcast them to the world, but this 
> wouldn't really benefit anyone.

OF COURSE they want the full call.  So what?  They would have to listen for 
10 seconds and not barge in and out like an over-sugared two-year-old?  When 
I'm operating at a multi-multi where the level of accuracy has to be 
super-high, you better believe I listen for and verify the full call.  The 
number of busted spots is high enough that verification is already required 
of the serious spot users - they are already doing what needs to be done. 
The only players that really take a hit are the Bad Behavers and the 

The do-gooders are probably going to bust enough spots that the duplicate, 
full-call spots are still not risk-free - no change from the present.  But 
respotting stuff is boring and takes time.  I suggest that it will be easier 
to listen and decide than to re-spot.

Self-spotting full calls only takes a tap of the space bar in N1MM or 
dialing off the frequency.  No additional programming is required.

Yes, it will slow things down a little bit.  To my mind, that's a good 
thing.  It would not be an overnight sensation or take the place of the 
mudshark in your mythology (sorry, broke into oscillation there...), but it 
makes cheating less rewarding and it increases emphasis on two good 
operating practices; tuning and listening.  It just tips the balance a 
little bit back the other way.

There isn't a magic bullet that slays the demons that come from spotting 
networks while leaving the good stuff.  It will be a series of small changes 
that can be implemented at low cost within the existing infrastructure of 
radiosport.  Remember that WE ARE the spotting network.  If we want change 
it - then be the change that you want to see. (Hmmm...I've quoted Zappa and 
Gandhi in the same post...time to quit.)

73, Ward N0AX 

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