[CQ-Contest] Unassisted vs. Assisted vs. Self-Assisted

Randy Thompson, K5ZD k5zd at charter.net
Fri May 21 15:38:12 EDT 2004

I agree that the use of this type of software aid detracts from the overall
value of the contest.

Better suggestion - let's discourage contest software developers from
including database-driven exchange entry capability in their software!

Randy, K5ZD

> -----Original Message-----
> From: cq-contest-bounces at contesting.com
> [mailto:cq-contest-bounces at contesting.com]On Behalf Of John W
> Sent: Friday, May 21, 2004 16:33 PM
> To: CQ-Contest at contesting.com
> Subject: [CQ-Contest] Unassisted vs. Assisted vs. Self-Assisted
> Hi all,
> I recently received the report of the errors in my CW Sweepstakes
> log. While
> I made only a handful of copying errors, there were a large
> number of people
> who "copied" my check as "66", when in fact I was sending "77". I
> was using
> a club call sign which had been used in a previous year, at which
> time the
> check "66" had been used.
> This causes me to suspect that those people who "copied" 66 instead of 77
> were using their software (or a previous log) instead of their ears to
> obtain my exchange.
> A few years back, I operated Sweepstakes as a guest op somewhere
> else, and
> used my host station's call, but I sent my own check instead of his. The
> same thing happened - dozens of people "copied" 63 for my check,
> when I had
> actually sent 77.
> I know it reduces THEIR score and not my own, so maybe I
> shouldn't be miffed
> about this. HOWEVER, I have the following complaints:
> 1) As far as I'm concerned, these contacts were not valid, because the
> person didn't copy what I sent.
> 2) This practice seems to defeat the intent of the contest, which is an
> exchange of INFORMATION, not merely an exchange of a callsign and serial
> number (or, worse yet, just an exchange of callsigns like CQWW).
> Since I know we'll never put a stop to people using software in
> this way, I
> would like to propose we do one of the following:
> a) Ops who use any software or other tool (not including their own brain)
> that supplies them with any data that they do not copy off the
> air shall be
> required to enter in an ASSISTED category (since, alas, they are
> truly being
> assisted, right?!)
> -or-
> b) Create a new "Self-Assisted" category between Unassisted and Assisted,
> thus resulting in the following three categories:
>    Unassisted - meaning all exchanges and callsigns were copied
> entirely off
> the air with no assistance, databases, written lists, etc., and
> no packet or
> internet spotting was used to locate any stations or for any other reason
>    Self-Assisted - meaning no packet or internet spotting was
> used to locate
> any stations or for any other reason, but software or other aids
> may be used
> to provide a list of valid callsigns (super-check partial, etc.),
> previously
> known exchanges, etc.
>    Assisted - No limitations on use of spotting, callsign or exchange
> databases, etc.
> Let the debate begin....
> John
> Certified old school contester
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