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Re: [CQ-Contest] CQ WW Survey Results - part 2

To: cq-contest@contesting.com
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] CQ WW Survey Results - part 2
From: Franki ON5ZO <on5zo@telenet.be>
Date: Wed, 30 Dec 2015 21:10:00 +0100
List-post: <cq-contest@contesting.com">mailto:cq-contest@contesting.com>
I was amazed to see...

I was amazed to see the 'remove uniques' graph. I'm pretty sure most people who voted 'yes' on removing the true unique, don't quite get what that means. Assuming the log checking process goes deep enough to separate the uniques from the busted calls...

I will always remember what Top Dog Contester Chris KL9A told me more than a decade ago, when we were still truly Y as in WWYC. He told me about a certain contest he ran from home. Tons of casual stations called him for the KL7 DXCC. Genuine valid contacts, people who worked him because it is Alaska. They only worked him and of course they didn't submit a (check)log because they were after a DXCC and couldn't care less about the contest. You can guess what the log checking process did to his log after removing uniques. And you can guess what he did NOT do on the weekend of that contest the year after. I hope you don't mind me telling this Mr C, and you probably even forgot we had this IRC conversation, but I remember it well as a prime example of the consequences of removing uniques.

Another example. For a few years now, I've been involved in the log checking of the UBA DX contests. The software (with some human intervention) really does its best to match a unique to a known callsign in the database. What remains are true uniques with serials like 001 or 002. When I check my own log and look for the uniques out of curiosity, I notice that some of these flagged uniques have already sent me a paper QSL the week after the contest ('tnx first ON') or appear as confirmed on LotW. So it would be outrageous to remove these from the log. Typically top scorers in the UBA contests have a very low percentage of uniques. This is a bit more for big stations in a monopolized multiplier like 5B or HZ, but still it is relatively low. We check the number of uniques and when a log has more than x% uniques, it is flagged for scrutinizing but that hasn't occurred even once since we implemented this routine years ago. Just to say that uniques are not always log padding nor busted calls. BTW I remain vague about percentages because otherwise people could stuff the log and just stay under x% and fly under the radar ;o)

I was NOT amazed to see...

On the other hand, I was NOT amazed to see that EU wants to merge assisted with non-assisted. I'd hate to see this happening. I always operate assisted when the rules provide a fitting category, but people wanting to do without should not be tossed on the heap with those who do. Now what does NOT surprise me is the difference in point of view between EU and NA. Here in EU almost everyone uses the cluster. And I have my doubts when EU ops say they don't. Maybe some are honest and sincere. But I wouldn't put my chips down on that square. Maybe I am too cynical?

So I can relate to SV1DPI's message, and he also points out the cultural 
difference between EU and USA, although I don't share his views on merging both 
categories as a final solution.

Where does it end? Like the power category, you can't make sure if it's under the limitations of the category. Do people having '3500W key down' amps really limit to 1500W? Or to 400W if national laws set this as a limit? And are single ops still single when they badly need a nap or need relief? Who can tell especially on CW? And what's up with using remote RX nowadays? And my favorite: self spotting and cluster cheer-leading. Everyone knows that even in the age of skimmers, a classic spot means rate through the roof and not appearing in the bandmaps means time to read the newspaper (or just hop spots yourself in S&P). I really miss K1TTT's spotting analysis after the major contests. That was pure gold!

Nothing is fair in contesting. Because there are always people who don't follow 
the rules. I've come to terms with that.
Let the contest sponsors try to find blatant abusers and cheaters and expose them. Credibility down the drain. Then move on. Not too much whining. Not too much rule changes. Each contest should keep its unique aspect. For CQ WW it's that forty eight hours marathon that makes us miserable even a week after. I hope the CQ WW people don't change the format.

Keep it fun. The world is burning, in some places even literally. Let's enjoy our hobby. Let's work each other again and again. Let's make sure us in our 40ies still have thousands of people to log when we're in our 70ies (no clue how though). CQ Contest!

73 de Franki ON5ZO / OQ5M
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