[CQ-Contest] pot contest log correcting--redesign the contest

W. Wright, W5XD w5xd at alum.mit.edu
Thu Jul 2 16:18:01 EDT 1998

One solution is to design the contest such that undetected 
cheating is impossible. Like what N6TR and company did with 
the internet sprint. Here is a contest that doesn't have 
the problem:

1. Part of the transmitted exchange is computed from the 
station's log book at the time of the QSO (like the 
previous name in INT or serial numbers). I suggest a 
two or three digit hash computed from all existing 
callsigns and received exchanges in the log. This 
piece of the exchange is sort of like a serial 
number--it changes with each QSO--but looks like a 
random sequence to anyone that can't see the entire 
log. Using letters A-Z and digits 0-9 for the hash 
and making it two characters long should makes
for 1000+ combinations making it pretty much 
impossible to edit a QSO without changing 
the value for 99.9% of all subsequent QSOs. 

The log checker would be able to compute the hash 
as well, of course.

2. Any QSO that is not identical in BOTH logs 
is lost in BOTH logs.

3. The problem of stations that can't send their 
own callsigns without error can be addressed by 
adding another character or two as a checksum for 
my own callsign. This one doesn't change with each 
QSO. I can instantly detect I have incorrectly 
copied your callsign, so I ask you to send it 
again. Because of rule #2 BOTH of us have to 
repeat until its right.

Don't think this has to make contest unwieldy, either. 
In CQWW CW you can drop the 599 and replace it with
the coded has and make the exchange exactly the same 
length as it is now. Then drop the zone number from
the exchange--everybody will use a database anyway--
(no, I'm not really serious here) and it gets even
shorter--records should go UP of course!

Wayne, W5XD
w5xd at alum.mit.edu

I wonder my postings to cq-contest get there with no
subject or return email address???

CQ-Contest on WWW:        http://www.contesting.com/_cq-contest/
Administrative requests:  cq-contest-REQUEST at contesting.com

More information about the CQ-Contest mailing list