[CQ-Contest] Fishy spots in WPX SSB

David Robbins K1TTT k1ttt at arrl.net
Fri Apr 11 20:53:41 EDT 2003

> Look, folks....there is NO way to police spotting. There are local
> packet nets, local VHF/UHF voice nets, many telenets & the ICQ nets on
> internet.  Best thing to do is to take away the "assisted" catagory,
> period.

it is not the 'assisted' category that is the problem.  The problem are
abusers who enter in any category where the contest sponsors have
forbidden self spotting, or any use of packet at all, and who then break
the rule by spotting themselves.  

As seen in this thread there are some ways to detect POSSIBLE abusers by
studying patterns in network spots.  Determining who is actually putting
in the spots is more of a problem... there are 3 distinct cases that
must be examined...
1. rf users... anyone can use any call in a tnc with no way to verify
who is really there.  The only way to track this is for the local sysop
to know who normally uses their node and compare signals, user patterns,
etc...  some dumb users have been caught doing this because they
disconnect from the node using one call, change their tnc, reconnect, do
something bad, disconnect, then reconnect with their real call... do
this enough times and it gets pretty obvious who is the abuser.
2. telnet users...  the sysop of all telnet accessible nodes can see the
ip address of all the users.  By comparing ip addresses of suspect
spotters to normal users you can fairly easily match up abusers with the
suspect spots.  Even users with dynamic ip addresses can be fairly
easily matched up as the addressed don't change every time and are
normally out of a fairly small block of numbers that the isp uses for
dialup numbers.
3. dxsummit spots... so far I have been unable to get any response from
their sysops when I have requested ip addresses that they say they log
for every spot.  It would be nice if they appended the ip address to
each spot on the web page or on spots shown on the search pages.  This
is done in other dx chat web pages like magicband and 50prop.  this
would make it instantly traceable and remove that anonymous user factor
that makes it such a target of abuse.  It may be worthwhile to exclude
dxsummit spots from the rest of the network until they make this data

As far as eliminating spots completely...  Spotting networks were
created by contesters to allow club members to help each other.  The use
of them by dxers was an afterthought as contesters who set up the nodes
realized that in order to build a reliable network they had to keep the
nodes on 24/7 or risk losing their frequencies to other packet users....
I know in my case if spotting networks were disallowed in contests I
would shut my node down as it would no longer serve any purpose for
me... and I know there are many other contesters who would do the same.

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

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