[CQ-Contest] Get out your rubber

Mark Beckwith swca at swbell.net
Fri Dec 21 08:08:05 EST 2001

I work for an English guy who doesn't have email or even a computer.  When he
messes up his notes on something he says "I'd better get out my rubber."  Maybe
you English guys can help me understand - does he mean his pencil eraser?

In the old days (uh-oh, here he goes again) after the CQWW every year, we would
scurry around all the positions at K6RR and add up all the numbers from the logs
and attempt to make an estimate of how we did, because N6DX (K6BCE) was over at
Rainbow Ridge doing the same thing, and we were about to play the "after the
contest bluffing game."

Once factor which was always an important variable: Average QSO Point Value
(AQPV).  I know I don't have to tell (some of) you all this, but in those days
we would speak in terms of some number between 2 and 3 which we would use to
multiply against the multipliers - say "I think we are at about 2.7, maybe 2.8"
or whatever.

One thing which directly affected this coefficient was just exactly how many
zero-point Ws there were actually written in the log taking up space - padding
the bottom line as it were.  Therefore, to hedge our results, we would ALWAYS
remove AS MANY OF THOSE AS POSSIBLE as standard procedure, because they only
diluted the process.

SO - speaking for myself, I confess I am still in the knee-jerk habit, years
later, of "removing the useless zero-point QSOs from my log" - and I have to
constantly remind myself we don't have to do that any more.  If I want to know
my score estimate it is right there on the computer screen, and it is not
diluted by zero-point QSOs.

Does this sound familiar to anyone else?  Nobody has said a word about it, yet
at one time it was totally standard procedure.

My guess is that when the logging programs were written, since computer scoring
by the sponsor was still a decade down the road, it was still important to allow
this option.  At the time.  It is now a throwback to the past, comeback to

I am glad I just figured out why I STILL have the URGE to delete zero-point
QSOs.  It will be the first step towards breaking the habit.  It is obviously
very counter-productive today.

Mark, N5OT

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