[CQ-Contest] NIL, the real story

David Thompson thompson at mindspring.com
Sun Sep 19 21:26:30 EDT 2004

Having just finished going through the 1300+ CQ 160 CW logs I can say that
NIL's are a real problem.  This is the first year I had enough logs in one
format (cabrillo) to have a decent cross checker.  I am finding that its a
two way street.

In my checking, I find that more than 50% of the time the call is busted in
the other log.  Less than 50% are true NILs.  The busts are caused by either
miscopy, not verifying the call, or a typing error.  For example I find a
call such as WB9Z as W9BZ.  Even veteran contesters are guilty of this.

NIL's usually occur because of timing of return on 160 or wrong call on
cross band 40 SSB.  But busting the call is a correctable problem.

A word to the wise.  Make sure of the call and check your typing.  Even
running at 100 Q's per hour plus you have time to correct a call several
lines back.  The worst typing errors are adding extra letters or numbers to
a call.  K4JRB becomes K45JRB or CO8LY becomes CO08LY and these are often
placed into unverified contacts unless the contest checking software can ID
them as busted and associated with a good call.

Removing 3 additional QSOs is enough penalty.

Dave K4JRB

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