[CQ-Contest] Plant lemon trees

David Robbins k1ttt at arrl.net
Sat Jul 27 15:03:52 EDT 2002

Sri if some of this has been said already, but there has been so much
talk on this subject that I just can't read it all.

My feelings are this:

Leave the 30 days to get logs in for now, but in the mean time instead
of just listing logs received, publish the claimed scores as they
arrive.  The log rx robot should be able to handle this, after it
accepts a log just extract the claimed score, entry class, and club and
sort it into a web page listing.  This will make the 3830 list
redundant, I hate sending the log one place, and the summary to 2
others(3830 and yccc's internal score list).

As logs get checked just update the list from above with the verified
results and resort. Probably starting with the biggest claimed logs and
working down so the most likely winners see their final standing first.
This would be similar to knowing the winner of a race before everyone
has even finished.

I would like to see more use of real time reporting like w1ve has done
for Writelog at http://www.contestlogs.com/live/default2.asp.  I think
the wrtc demo of real time reporting has shown that there is some
interest in this concept.  This will take some work on the part of
contesting loggers to send periodic updates in a specific format to a
server, but anyone that has telnet access to the web should be able to
do this.  i.e. for something like dos CT I could make my wintelnetx
program grab a line score broadcast on the ct network and send it to the
w1ve server, all k1ea would have to do is add a periodic broadcast to
his network that has the right data in it.  With a bit more work I could
probably make something to duplicate the ct log as it is sent on the
network and rescore myself to get the data.  Other loggers would
probably be not much harder.

David Robbins K1TTT
e-mail: mailto:k1ttt at arrl.net
web: http://www.k1ttt.net
AR-Cluster node: 145.69MHz or telnet://dxc.k1ttt.net

> -----Original Message-----
> From: cq-contest-admin at contesting.com [mailto:cq-contest-
> admin at contesting.com] On Behalf Of Jim Idelson
> Sent: Saturday, July 27, 2002 12:27
> To: CQ-Contest Post
> Subject: [CQ-Contest] Plant lemon trees
> WN3VAW said:
> >I think we should be more concerned with using the proposed changes
in a
> positive way to encourage more potential contesters.<
> Thank heaven somebody finally said something a little bit strategic!
> is
> the first hint of forward thinking that I've heard in this entire
> conversation.
> Talking about a 15 day change in the results schedule seems to be an
> effort when the implications of this change are much more
> Over the past six months, about thirty-five of us got together and
> contributed
> to a major proposal about ARRL contest coverage which was submitted to
> BoD just before their meeting. I didn't expect to get an official
> from
> HQ right away, but I did expect to hear some reaction and conversation
> about
> the proposal here on the reflector.
> Maybe it was too much trouble to click on one of the links in my
> message:
> PDF version:
> http://www.designet.com/k1ir/Downloads/ContestProposal_071702.pdf
> or
> HTML version:
> http://www.designet.com/k1ir/ContestCoverageProposal_071702.htm
> So, I'll attach it here. Unfortunately, the formatting of the charts
> make
> it through the reflector, so you'll have to look at one of the
> documents if you are interested in those.
> Honestly, I am quite disappointed. I was really hoping that you'd take
> look
> at the hard work done by your peers and engage the subject fully.
> Here are a few points and questions to get you thinking:
> 1. The group concluded that contest coverage in QST is really lacking,
> that
> the pages remaining after line scores are removed should be used much
> creatively. Ideas have been presented. Which do you like/hate?
> 2. While the web is now being used to effectively present contest
> there is still a need for a more permanent record and for hardcopy.
How do
> we
> do both?
> 3. The web is much more appropriate for conveying the contesting
> "experience."
> We can do it with sound, graphics and video. It can be stored. It can
> live.
> How can we get this done?
> Jim Idelson K1IR
> email    k1ir at designet.com
> web    http://www.designet.com/k1ir
> *********** Forwarded Proposal ***********
> Contest Coverage Working Group
> Guidelines and Proposals
> 2 July 2002
> Lead Author ? Jim Idelson, K1IR
> Approach
> The Working Group has developed three interrelated proposals and this
> overview
> document, which addresses the process and integrates the component
> proposals.
> The proposals are:
> Proposal #1:    General Guidelines for Allocating Material between
> and
> Electronic Media
> Proposal #2:    New Ideas for Contest-Specific and General Contesting
> Material
> Proposal #3:    New Ideas for On-Line Contest-Specific Data
> The goal of these proposals is to serve as a vehicle for defining
> based
> understandings of what is and is not desirable, as well as to present
> ideas
> for coverage. All three are intended to undergo continual revision as
> ideas
> are encountered.
> The guidelines and proposals presented in this document are not
> to
> address questions such as: the proper balance between contest and non-
> contest
> content in any particular medium; what constitutes an adequate number
> pages;
> or how much contest related content is appropriate in a general
> publication such as QST.
> Background
> In 2001, faced with the prospects of operating deficits for the next
> several
> years, the ARRL Board's Administration & Finance Committee requested
> identify areas of potential cost reduction. ARRL management's response
> included
> a plan for publishing QST with fewer pages of editorial content per
> One
> element of this plan would eliminate contest line scores from QST, to
> replaced by Web-based line scores. News of this proposal immediately
> sparked a
> series of reactions from the contesting community expressing concern
> contesting's presence in QST would be diminished to a damaging degree.
> The strength and breadth of feeling in the contest community regarding
> proposed changes was reflected in the 18 January 2002 joint statement
> request of U.S. contest clubs addressed to the ARRL Board of Directors
> signed by the presidents of twelve ARRL-affiliated contest clubs.
> Following
> through on the contest club presidents? proposal, concerned contesters
> from
> across the U.S. and Canada have joined forces to form the ad hoc ARRL
> Contest
> Coverage Working Group. This group is engaging the issues in a
> and
> constructive manner ? assisting the ARRL staff to find ways of
> the
> limited number of QST pages allocated to reporting contest results in
> concert
> with alternative electronic media to obtain the best possible
> of
> contest coverage.
> New Technology, New Opportunities
> QST, NCJ, CQ and the recently demised CQ-Contest magazines have long
> the
> primary outlets for contest reporting in the U.S. Due to limited print
> space,
> the reporting is of necessity rather restricted and has converged on
> abbreviated format of summary, limited breakdowns, top scores, line
> scores, and
> a small amount of background information on or from individual
> competitors.
> Web pages and email-distributed newsletters, which have extremely low
> distribution costs, have become new outlets for this material. Because
> their
> low cost, constraints on the volume of material have essentially been
> removed.
> This allows expansion of many elements of contest coverage beyond what
> print medium could afford. In addition, electronic distribution
> is
> much more timely than print, enabling multiple editions and frequent
> updates of
> material. It is expected that the current levels of quality and
> control
> for published material would be met or exceeded, regardless of media.
> Electronic media can also go beyond print media in bringing new
> of
> contest coverage and information to the audience. With database
> technology,
> contest logs can be sorted and filtered to meet any imaginable data
> analysis
> need. Using audio and video technologies, we can now convey more than
> basic
> reports on contesting; we can truly convey the experience of
> A number of important points emerged from the discussion, and these
> cut
> across all forms of contest coverage. They are summarized below:
> Visibility
> One of the most commonly raised issues regarding a shift of line
> from
> QST to the Web is the reduced visibility of the contesting community
> the
> broader amateur community, especially to casual participants and
> newcomers. It is strongly felt that the acknowledgement from
> scores
> and calls, no matter how small the score, serves to attract and
> entry-level contesters to the sport.
> Contesters at all levels have always been honored to see their call
> and
> performance in the ?bright lights? of QST. With great pride, they like
> refer
> other hams to the magazine and show the magazine to their non-ham
> and
> family. There are widely held concerns over the loss of such
> visibility should scores be moved to the Web.
> Opportunities for Visibility:
> Include contest results announcements in the general news section of
> www.arrl.org with links to full coverage
> Use visual cues (highlighted links, graphics, or pop-up windows) to
> ?surfers? to visit contest coverage
> Capture information about those who visit contest sections of the
> and
> solicit them with opportunities to see more coverage
> Use the log submission mechanics to obtain email addresses to which
> results may
> be sent automatically.
> Continue to provide contest report articles in the ?traditional?
> including line scores, via an electronic medium.
> Connectivity
> Recognizing that various print and electronic media will continue to
> separately, and that there will not be a complete duplication of
> in the
> various media, every effort must be made to provide many references
> the
> different coverage vehicles. This implies many links in the electronic
> media,
> and many references to Web and email from the print media. For
> coverage of contests should push readers towards Web-based coverage
> describe the expanded coverage options available.
> Opportunities for Connectivity:
> Every printed article should contain numerous and clear references to
> relevant
> electronic media.
> Many active links between electronic media presentations should be
> introduced
> and maintained.
> Cross-references from print media to electronic should not be limited
> QST.
> All ARRL publications should cross-reference relevant electronic
> Ease of Use
> As electronic outlets for contest coverage are increasingly employed,
> is
> important to ensure that those who wish to view the content have an
> and
> attractive way to navigate amongst the many types and sources of
> information
> that will be available. The approach to Website navigation and use of
> email
> will be an important part of the electronic media design.
> Suggestions for Ease of Use:
> Focus design on accessing all aspects of each contest from a single
> ? a
> contest home page for each contest. Include access to rules,
> announcements,
> current and historical results, discussions, Soapbox, etc ? all from a
> single
> home page.
> Avoid grouping of information by ?type?. For example, listing Soapbox
> links for
> all contests is not particularly useful, since few if any individual
> contesters
> will be interested in all contests.
> Beyond the Written Word
> The real secret to a successful shift from printed media to the Web is
> taking advantage of the capabilities that are unique to electronic
> If
> use of the Web is restricted to duplicating the same kinds of material
> that
> would previously have been presented in magazines ? then the
transition to
> electronic media will not be as swift and powerful. Implementations
> electronic media to recreate and convey the excitement of the
> experience will make it impossible for this new approach to fail.
> Opportunities for Going Beyond the Written Word:
> Provide data in downloadable format wherever possible
> Add audio and video to the types of information available
> Include audio and video interviews with the winners and other entrants
> with
> something of interest to contribute
> Allow viewers to add data or audio/video to the available material
> Accessibility
> Access to electronic media distributed via the Internet is good and
> continues
> to improve. Even so, Internet access remains far from universal. In
> the
> U.S. Census Bureau reported that 51% of U.S. households had a computer
> 41.5% of households had access to the Internet. Neither percentage
> depended
> strongly on age group for adults in the range of 18?65 years old. The
> rates of
> computer ownership and Internet access both increase sharply with
> household income and higher levels of education.
> Access to the broadband Internet connections, necessary for realizing
> full
> potential of powerful multi-media technologies such as video, is
> improving as well. The FCC reports that 7.0% of U.S. households were
> subscribed
> to high-speed Internet services as of July 2001, up from 4.7% in
> 2001,
> and 1.6% in July 2000.
> Focusing specifically on the amateur community, a recent survey
> commissioned by
> the ARRL concluded that 89% of its members had Internet access
> only
> 51% of the ARRL membership had registered as users of the ARRL
> only Web
> site by October 2001. The number of electronic versus the number of
> logs
> received by both the ARRL Contest Branch and the CQWW Committee
> that
> the contesting community already is highly ?wired.?
> Suggestions for Accessibility:
> Print copies of unabridged contest announcements including the
> rules
> and ?traditional? contest report articles including line scores should
> available for those members who lack Internet access.
> Content produced for electronic distribution should also be published
> high-density, archival quality media, e.g. CD-ROM and DVD.
> Thinking Globally
> Contesters outside of the U.S. constitute a sizeable fraction of
> contesting community. Anyone holding to the narrow view that ARRL
> sponsored
> contests are solely parochial affairs of interest to an exclusively
> (or
> North American) audience is in error. Non-U.S. stations submitted 50%
> the
> logs received for the 2000 ARRL 10-Meter Contest; 55% of the logs for
> 2001
> ARRL International DX Contest; and 70% of the logs for the 2001 IARU
> World
> Championships. In 2000, DX stations accounted for one-third of the
> contest logs processed by the ARRL Contest Branch and one-third of the
> scores
> printed in QST.
> Clearly, active contesters exist in substantial numbers around the
> yet
> they represent a virtually untapped market distinct from the ARRL?s
> traditional
> membership base. Like their U.S. counterparts, many international
> contesters
> are enthusiastic and excited about the prospects for expanded and
> contest coverage being discussed. And they share an interest in
> such
> coverage.
> Historically, the costs of reaching a worldwide market using print
> been
> prohibitive, keeping demand to an absolute minimum. NCJ is not
> outside
> USA/Canada yet much of its content is relevant to contesters
> The
> very low distribution costs of electronic media now permit existing
> content and
> expanded coverage to efficiently reach a global audience.
> Suggestions for Connecting with A Global Audience:
> The ARRL offer non-U.S. contesters access to the expanded and enhanced
> contest
> coverage on the ARRL Web site; possibly in exchange for payment of an
> appropriate fee.
> Use e-mail addresses harvested from log submittals for the targeted
> marketing
> of expanded contest coverage, NCJ, membership, etc.
> Feature contests sponsored by sister IARU societies in reciprocity for
> similar
> exposure given to ARRL contests.
> Comb international sources for content. Acquire English language
rights to
> the
> best contest related content being produced worldwide.
> Cultivate international distribution channels and develop foreign
> outlets for ARRL contest coverage.
> Line Scores
> At present, line scores are the largest individual component of
> coverage, occupying half the pages of contest reports in QST. Faced
> falling page counts and shrinking publication budgets but growing
> participation, we are forced to confront a nasty dilemma. Either
> publication of line scores displaces all other aspects of contest
> from
> the pages of QST with contest reports being reduced to a listing of
> and
> call signs. Or the contest related content that is best suited for
> distribution
> to a broad audience remains in QST with line scores relocated to the
> The guidelines in Proposal #1 are intended to be used as an aide when
> considering the optimal utilization of scarce resources. Several types
> content are judged by the Working Group as being better suited than
> scores
> for occupying a limited number of QST pages (see Table 1 in Proposal
> If
> the ARRL Board of Directors makes the determination to cut deeply into
> number of QST pages available for reporting contest results, an
> application of
> these guidelines would lead
> one to conclude that the least undesirable alternative is relocating
> scores to the Web. By using linkages and references, readership can be
> guided
> to the electronic media where line scores would be published in full
> possibly even in expanded form, as the 2001 ARRL November Sweepstakes
> results
> show.
> PROPOSAL #1 ? Allocation of Coverage to Print and Electronic Media
> Lead Author ? Ward Silver, NØAX
> Contributing Authors ? Michael Keane, K1MK and Sylvan Katz, VE5ZX
> Scope
> This proposal addresses the general question of how to allocate the
> relative
> proportions of contest coverage between print and electronic media. No
> distinction is made between the different forms of either media (i.e.
> magazine vs. newsletter or Web page vs. email). No attempt is made to
> specify
> the details of coverage content or to rank the most valuable, most
> desirable or
> most enjoyable content.
> Purpose
> The purpose is to develop a set of general guidelines to provide
> to
> publishers for developing and distributing contest coverage material.
> Also, it
> may serve to encourage discussion about the development of new types
> forms
> of material.
> Background
> Currently, print media is the primary form for distributing contest
> information
> and results to the amateur radio community. Electronic media, however,
> rapidly becoming an accepted norm for distributing this type of
> information due
> to its cost advantages, timeliness and increasing public acceptance.
> question has become not if, but when and how much contest information
> should be
> made available electronically.
> In this rapidly changing environment, it is important that publishers
> readers have a good sense of each other?s needs. This document
attempts to
> provide information on the general types of contest coverage and the
> suitability of distributing each type of content in print or
> form.
> Print media is discussed as either General or Specialty. General
refers to
> media dealing with the full spectrum of ham radio, such as QST.
> refers to publications aimed at contesters such as NCJ.
> Electronic media is discussed as either Push or Pull. Push refers to
> actively
> distributed formats, in which information is delivered to the consumer
> the
> initiative of the publisher ? the publisher is the active party.
> of
> push media include newsletters (email or print), bulletins and
> Pull refers to passive sources of information, in which information is
> accessed
> or retrieved from the publisher at the initiative of the consumer ?
> reader
> is the active party. Examples of pull media include web pages,
> boards,
> ftp sites, books, CD-ROMs and libraries.
> Coverage
> Contest announcements and results should be available in printed and
> digital
> media. An announcement is any advance notice that provides information
> the
> time, rules, awards, etc., about a specific contest. The results
> information describing any aspect of the contest that is distributed
> the
> contest.
> Table 1 shows the relative suitability of using each of these media to
> distribute specific announcement and results content; i.e. ? Is the
> the
> one best suited to distribute this type of information to the target
> audience?
> The suitability of each content type is rated as high, limited or low.
> ratings attempt to account for all aspects of the medium including
> quality, readership, archival, timeliness, etc. The ratings are
defined as
> follows:
>    High    ?    the medium is well suited to both the information and
> target audience.
>    Limited    ?     the medium is not the best method for distribution
> the
> information to the target audience.
>    Low    ?    the medium is poorly suited to the information, the
> audience or both; distribution of the information via this medium may
> inefficient, untimely or costly
> Table 1 ? General Allocation Guidelines
> PROPOSAL #2 ? New Ideas for Contest-Specific and General Contesting
> Material
> Lead Author ? Brian D. Smith W9IND
> Contributing Authors ?Ward Silver NØAX, Gary Breed K9AY
> Scope
> This proposal discusses existing contest print coverage. New ideas for
> coverage
> are presented, both for print and electronic media. Details of
> implementation
> are not addressed, neither is the allocation of coverage between types
> media.
> Purpose
> The purpose of this proposal is to:
> Assess and critique current contest coverage in the print media.
> Suggest how to improve coverage in both print and electronic media.
> Contribute new ideas for coverage in multiple media.
> Background
> The ARRL Staff responsible for publishing a QST having fewer pages per
> issue
> has proposed to allocate the limited resources available for reporting
> contest
> results in ways that are appropriate for a general-readership, monthly
> magazine. This, they believe, would save money and create more space
> articles of greater general interest.
> The following proposal deals mainly with the latter objective. As
> in
> Point 5 of the ?Joint Statement and Request of U.S. Contest Clubs on
> Proposal to Eliminate Detailed Contest Results from QST,? the
coalition of
> ARRL-affiliated contest clubs intends to assist QST in ?making such
> coverage
> more attractive and interesting to a much wider audience than has been
> case
> to date.?
> In striving to attain this goal, the lead author has drawn from about
> quarter
> century of professional journalism experience as a magazine editor,
> newspaper
> reporter and freelance writer. The approach of this proposal is
> complex
> nor radical; it simply suggests journalistic techniques and angles
> traditionally used in the creation of newspaper and magazine feature
> stories,
> newswriting and sportswriting. These approaches are not unknown to
> but
> perhaps by utilizing them more often, the magazine would enhance its
> contest
> coverage.
> Critique of Existing Coverage
> QST?s current coverage includes the calls and scores of every entrant,
> in
> this respect, its articles could not be more thorough for anyone
> such
> information. The lead-in text that precedes the contest results is
> concise, matter-of-fact and esoteric, and perhaps more interesting to
> hard-core
> contesters than the average ham. As long as this is true, QST may find
> difficult to justify devoting so much space to contest coverage.
> Possible Alternatives
> QST could revamp the format of the coverage so that (1) the articles
> more
> interesting to non-contesters and (2) hams with little contesting
> experience
> are encouraged to get in the game.
> General Interest Coverage
> One alternative is to make the coverage more like a ?game story? found
> a
> sports page. For instance, rather than covering a contest from the
> standpoint
> of final scores (?Club ABC got 7.4 million points in the multi-multi
> category
> to edge Club XYZ, which scored 7.2 million?) ? as is typically done in
> ?
> the magazine could approach it from a ?you are there? angle: ?Club
> contest effort almost ended before it began. Only three hours before
> start
> of the ARRL DX Contest, a severe thunderstorm packing 70 mph winds
> their
> tallest antenna tumbling and the entire club scrambling. But a nifty
> of
> improvisation put the station back on the air only 12 minutes before
> midnight
> in Greenwich ?,? etc. Stories like these would have universal appeal,
> regardless of whether the average reader cared deeply about
> How to round up such information? The contest page on the ARRL Web
> already
> has a Soapbox, in which contesters can post their impressions,
> reminiscences, anecdotes, etc., regarding each contest. All that?s
> is to
> set up a similar Web site and inform contestants that QST is looking
> any
> good stories from the contest. Or the magazine could invite them to
> this
> information. The author of the story could then scan the contributed
> for
> the best tales. Many quotes could be lifted directly from the posts or
> mails,
> and further information could be gathered via follow-up e-mail,
> and/or
> even an on-air sked.
> New Approaches
> Looking more closely at newspaper sports sections, we find further
> inspiration
> and possibilities. We see that not everything on every page is a game
> story:
> There are also feature stories, profiles, personal columns and
> (stories previewing important games and events ? for instance, ?The
> Angeles
> Lakers may face their toughest challenge of the year when the Dallas
> Mavericks
> come to town Friday ??). The same elements and techniques that sustain
> sports
> pages across America could be employed in contesting coverage.
> Feature stories, a broad category, might include topics such as ?How
> club
> prepares for a multi-multi event? ? everything from how to recruit and
> schedule
> operators to what food and drink to keep in the fridge. There could be
> discussions of contesting tips and techniques: ?What to do when a
> flare
> zaps the HF bands in the middle of a contest.?
> Profiles could run the gamut ? from the 88-year-old guy who organized
> first
> ARRL Whatever Contest to the club that?s won the last 10 CQWW
> titles.
> Personal columns could also include a broad range of topics, from
> to
> humorous (?WPX: For once in my life, I?m as rare as Mongolia? by WY9A
? or
> ?How
> contesting enabled me to finally achieve DXCC?).
> ?Pre-games? would supplement the traditional pre-contest coverage,
> typically consists of a long list of rules and regulation. Such
> information is
> valuable to veteran contesters, but complicated and potentially off-
> putting to
> beginners. Naturally, no one wants to embarrass himself on the air, so
> many
> hams who might enjoy contesting may instead decide to forgo the
> rather
> than risk ridicule.
> Attracting Newcomers
> Contesters are often viewed by non-contesters as insular and cliquish
> to
> mention pushy). Undoubtedly, some contesters are less than courteous
> the
> heat of the battle. But as every contester knows, great scores depend
> great
> participation. We need the newcomers ? as many as we can get. So how
> make
> them feel welcome?
> QST and several Web sites publish information on upcoming contests,
> the
> rules may seem overly complex to the uninitiated. A better alternative
> might
> involve creating what?s known in the journalism business as a sidebar.
> Today is fond of sidebars ? read a story about Barry Bonds? current
> run
> total and you might also see a sidebar about ?Most home runs in April
> all-time bests,? etc. Read any newspaper travel story and you?ll often
> find a
> sidebar that summarizes the key information: ?Destination: Louisville,
> Kentucky. Major tourist attractions: Located on the Ohio River, home
> Churchill Downs ?? etc.
> It is this user-friendly format ? the sidebar, which would accompany
> ?pre-game? write-up ? that would work best in attracting newcomers to
> contesting. Instead of having to wade through a plethora of technical
> data, a
> rookie contester could simply glance at the sidebar and learn
> what
> the contest was about and how to participate in it, even if he or she
> only
> a couple of hours to do so.
> Here?s how it might work (?Announced DXpeditions? might lure non-
> contesting
> DXers who are chasing DXCC and other awards):
> Contest: ARRL International DX Contest
> Date: CW, Feb. 16-17; Phone, March 2 and 3.
> How to participate: Get on any of the HF bands except the WARC bands.
> you?re
> in the United States or Canada, you can?t work any station in either
> country ?
> look for DX stations only. For DX stations, the same applies in
> What to say: Give a signal report and your state (for Americans),
> (for
> Canadians) or power in watts (DX stations).
> Announced DXpeditions: HKØHAM, San Andes Island, CT3QRP, Madeira
> etc.
> Quirks: Split operation on 40 because DX stations are assigned to
> different
> frequencies, etc.
> Best reason to participate: You can attain DXCC in one weekend.
> Relative challenge: Easy for all. (Note: An EME contest would
> get a
> different answer.)
> Web links: http://www.arrl.org/contests/rules/2002/intldx.html
> Records: Yet another way to increase interest in contesting is to
> hams?
> competitive fires. How to do that? Create a Web site that provides
> access
> to every record in every major contest. A good reference for records
> list
> more than the ?top? result in a particular category.  By publishing
> results near the top (e.g., top 10, or all of the past results within
> of
> the current high spot), competitors can try to sneak into the listing
> though conditions might not permit them to break an all-time record.
> excellent reference would contain links to more material: the actual
> technical detail about the station which made the record, operator
> background,
> etc.
> This will give potential contest entrants a great many targets to
shoot at
> ?
> and might very well convince a casual contester to go at it for the
> 48
> hours. A ham who knows only the single-op, all-band record might say,
> well,
> no way am I going to beat that. So I?ll just do a few hours here and
> there.?
> But what if W8HAM discovered that the CQWW 8-land single-op assisted
> record for
> 10 meters was tantalizingly low? That puts a different spin on things,
> doesn?t
> it?
> New Ideas for Coverage
> Story Ideas: The final part of our proposal offers story ideas that
> (hopefully)
> will interest a general audience. The following is a list of 20
> stories or sidebars that could be included with contest coverage.
> are
> obviously many other possibilities.
> Trend stories ? ?20 percent of all contesting records were broken in
> year
> 2000,? etc. A snapshot of where contesting is going.
> A feature story about the op who holds more contest records than
> alive.
> The superstations: A guide to the greatest contest stations in
> world. Perhaps a sidebar on the tallest ham antennas in existence
(used in
> contesting).
> The best contesting conditions in history. (Consider sunspots,
> rare DX
> stations competing, etc.) A nostalgia piece loaded with anecdotes
> how
> sweet it was.
> You are there: A weekend with a championship contest team, from
> to
> take-down.
> The world?s best contest location(s). (Not stations ? this story would
> give
> scientific reasons for why, say, a place next to salt water is better
> a
> spot in the middle of Midwest farm country. Or why a QTH on the East
> is
> ideal for working Europe on several bands (or whatever).
> Wild weather. Hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards and other examples of
> nature?s
> wrath ? and how their inopportune appearances ruined some major
> or
> contesting efforts.
> Profile of a ham who contests only with homebrew equipment. Or antique
> equipment.
> How to work your way up to the big leagues. What separates a good
> contester
> from a rookie? How do you work several stations a minute? What are the
> most
> common mistakes a newcomer makes?
> How to organize a multi-multi effort. Everything from scheduling to
> feeding the
> troops.
> How to secure a great contesting QTH. A guide to the best locations,
> perhaps a list of specific sites that rent to hams and are already
> equipped
> with antennas.
> Big guns with little signals. A feature story about the best QRP
> contesters,
> and what they do right.
> The case for contesters. Why shouldn?t America?s biggest and best
> form
> the backbone of the nation?s civil defense/emergency response efforts?
> Point/counterpoint: Examining the age-old issue of contest QRM versus
> ?it?s
> only one weekend?/?why don?t you ragchew on the WARC bands??
> On a similar note, a story about the fact that some contesters have
> cited
> by the FCC for deliberate interference during a contest. Is this truly
> fair,
> given the fact that some have said they couldn?t even hear the
> they
> were supposedly QRMing?
> A brief history of contesting. How did it all start?
> Back when. Interviews with the oldest living contesters, and what
> contesting
> was like in their day.
> The lean years. How can you enjoy contesting when the sunspot count is
> or
> near zero? What?s the best strategy?
> Which band is best? A guide to choosing the best band for a
> contesting effort. How do the sunspot count, the A index, the weather,
> etc.,
> help determine the answer?
> Overcomers. Not necessarily the best contesters, just the most
> ones,
> such as a ham who suffered a stroke but nevertheless fires up the rig
> part
> of his therapy, etc.
> Multimedia - Audio and Video
> Electronic media creates entirely new opportunities for contest
> Not
> only can traditional presentations be distributed at vastly lower
> and
> with higher volume, they can include new types of information as well.
> Audio
> and video recordings, as well as interactive graphics, can bring
> completely new
> dimensions to contest coverage. The ARRL is already providing audio
> recordings
> of QSOs in association with other Web coverage, for example.
> Contest coverage would greatly benefit from the following types of
> multimedia
> presentations:
> Audio recordings of contest QSOs
> Audio/video recordings of elements associated with the contest (pre-,
> during,
> and post-contest)
> Photo ?stills? and slide shows
> Interviews with the experts
> Live and still graphics generated by the ARRL and by entrants
> Because the amount of effort to create this type of information is
> substantial,
> it is strongly recommended that the ARRL provide a hosting facility
> contest
> entrants to contribute or post their own information as is currently
> with
> Soapbox. The size and duration of the postings could be limited to
> the
> amount of data space required. The issue of reviewing each post for
> appropriate
> content would also have to be addressed.
> Because these new coverage elements are quite rich in content, they
> also
> likely to generate discussion and comment by the viewers. In order to
> focus the
> discussion, it would be useful to create a posting service on the
> Web
> site where individual comments could be posted for public comment.
> Viewers will have widely divergent access bandwidths ranging from 28.8
> kbps
> dial-ups to broadband. If possible, server technology capable of
> link
> capability (or allowing the user to specify the link characteristics)
> should be
> used for distribution of the larger elements. An alternative would be
> provide large and small versions of elements, where practical.
> PROPOSAL #3 ? On-Line Distribution of Contest Data
> Lead Author ? Ward Silver, NØAX
> Contributing Authors ? Michael Keane, K1MK and Sylvan Katz, VE5ZX
> Scope
> This proposal describes the types of contest data that should be made
> publicly
> available on-line. Detailed data formats are not covered.
> Purpose
> This document is a summary of ideas and suggestions contributed by
> individuals
> in the contesting community. It is hoped it will serve to stimulate
> discussion
> and produce more ideas.
> Background
> Until very recently, the only type of contest data available to
> contestants was
> printed and PDF documents that tabulated the scores of class leaders,
> selected entrant breakdowns, and provided line scores of all entrants.
> Contest
> data in a digital form suitable for doing detailed post-contest
> has
> not been available. With the advent of the Web it is has become
> technically
> easy and cost-effective to make contest data available to everyone in
> format
> suitable for analysis. The excellent 2001 ARRL November Sweepstakes
> reportage
> clearly points the way to making improved data sets available.
> We expect that detailed post-contest analysis will assist individuals
> the
> contesting community as a whole in gaining a deeper understanding and
> appreciation of what transpires during a contest. Ideally, making data
> available will spur novel ideas that lead to creative improvements.
> Machine-Readable Results
> Quantitative contest results that are normally presented in the
printed or
> documents, such as line scores, leader boxes, records, etc., should
> be
> made available as machine-readable tables of data. In order to perform
> accurate
> and detailed contest analysis the following data is of particular
> to
> the contesting community:
> The output of the log checking process for any entry
> Supplementary details about a contestant?s equipment and precise
> geographic
> location (e.g. Maidenhead grid locator or latitude-longitude
> Data that is provided should be in common formats suitable for
> into
> standard logging programs, databases and spreadsheet packages.
Examples of
> such
> formats would be Cabrillo format for log data and CSV or tab delimited
> format
> for tabular.
> The following sections list the individual data elements recommended
to be
> present in each type of data.
> Log Data
> Summary (Header)
> Station and operator call signs
> Entry Class
> Geographical Region
> Other contest-specific grouping criteria
> QSO data
> Time and Date
> Band
> Mode
> Exchange (Sent & Received)
> Log checking output
> Entry Supplemental Data
> Station and operator call signs
> Entry Class
> Geographical Region
> Equipment Summary
> Other contest-specific grouping criteria
> We note that the techniques and tools for providing on-line resources
> evolving rapidly. On-line resources are also likely to create a demand
> new
> types of data, as well. These recommendations are only a start.
> Third-Party Analysis
> Contest analysis provided by individual entrants should be accompanied
> supporting data tables, graphic objects, and program descriptions or
> ideally,
> the programs themselves. The sponsor may also create novel analysis
> metrics
> that are made available electronically via a database.
> Examples of Novel Metrics:
> Evaluation of geographical impact on performance
> Propagation analysis based on geographical data
> Accuracy metrics and comparisons
> Operator ranking and rating systems
> Comparative performance-over-time (horse races)
> Open Access to Results & Data
> Currently some contest content, e.g. expanded coverage for the 2001
> November Sweepstakes, is available only on the members-only section of
> Web site. While other content, e.g. PDF versions of the contest report
> articles
> from QST, is placed initially on the members-only section for a
> proprietary use
> period prior to its publication in QST. Open access is granted after
> article appears in QST and the PDF files are moved to the general user
> section
> of the Web site.
> It is appropriate for the bulk of enhanced and expanded contest
> including narrative articles, leader boxes, contest analysis, video,
> audio,
> etc., to remain on the members-only section of the ARRL Web site. Some
> content
> may be released for general consumption after an appropriate
> period
> at the ARRL?s discretion.
> However, it is strongly recommended that open access, or at least
> for
> all contest participants, to some minimum set of data be provided. And
> that
> access is granted to these data as soon as they become available.
> Suggested Components for An Open Access Data Set:
> Log data
> Line scores in machine-readable form
> Publication of Log Data
> The DX community frowns upon providing public access to log data that
> includes
> full QSO details. Such access is seen as enabling a form of ?data
> that
> would allow an unscrupulous station to claim credit for a log entry
> in
> truth represents a busted QSO.
> Suggestions for Insuring Integrity:
> Release log data only to individuals who submit a log themselves
> Prohibit the further redistribution of log data by recipient
> Do not release log data until log checking process is completed.
> Investigate ways for ARRL Contest Branch to share log checking results
> with the
> DXCC Program and Logbook of the World project.
> Privacy Issues
> As important as what data should be available is insuring that
> personal information is not released. While certain personal
> such
> as a licensee?s name and mailing address is currently included in the
> that
> an entrant submits, this information is already a matter of public
> and
> readily available from multiple sources. Other, potentially more
> sensitive,
> personal information about the entrant is not included in the log at
> present
> and it is our recommendation that this should continue to be the case.
> Suggestion to Safeguard Privacy:
> Personal data that is not readily available from a public source
> not be
> published or released.
> Preserving Participation
> The mandatory release of log data as a condition of entry may cause
> certain
> contesters either to forgo participating in a contest or, if they do
> participate, to not submit a log.
> Suggestions for Preserving Participation:
> Include a mechanism in the log submittal process so that each entrant
> affirmatively authorize the publication and release of their log data.
> Allow individuals to ?opt out? of sharing their log data without being
> penalized.
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