[CQ-Contest] World Contest Station Database -- new and improved

Pete Smith n4zr at contesting.com
Sat Dec 8 18:32:25 EST 2001

As long-time readers of this reflector know, the World Contest Station
Database was begun by Scott Tuthill, K7ZO in the 1995-97 period.
Information about HF contest stations was harvested from the 3830
reflector, organized in an Excel format, and made available for FTP.

In 1999/2000, I worked with Scott's blessing to adapt the database so that
it could be made accessible on the World Wide Web, and so that people could
submit revised information through the Internet.  Leigh Jones, KR6X,
generously provided a web server as home for the database.  

Response from the contest community was very good, and the database grew by
early this year to over 1700 HF contest stations worldwide.  But as it
grew, so did the burden of maintaining the database manually.  It had
reached the point by this past February that I was spending several hours
of grindingly dull labor a week to do that, and something had to give.  

Initially, I tried to develop a way to permit users to update their entries
directly via the Web, but this approach foundered on technical and security
issues.  Then Mike Reublin, NF4L, came up with the idea of automating the
off-line updating process instead, and wrote an elegant little piece of
software to do the job.

Now that this problem is solved, I've deployed a new release of the
database, with several improvements.  Most notably, the previously separate
databases for US/VE and other stations have been combined, so there is now
only one query form and one form for updating.  The database is faster, and
the display of data is more readable.  All the updates that people provided
from late February up through yesterday have been added, and the database
is ready for use.

With thanks to KR6X for his long and patient support, I've also moved the
database to a new server.  The move should be transparent to most users,
because the previous link through http://www.qsl.net/n4zr remains in
service.  You can also access the database at the PVRC home page,

Please drop by, and let me know what you think.

73, Pete N4ZR

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