[CQ-Contest] Log checking questions

Bob Naumann - W5OV W5OV at W5OV.com
Fri Dec 16 09:00:46 EST 2005

N2IC's hypothetical situation occurs often in DX contests.  During the
contest, someone will bootleg a rare DX callsign, and the generally few
operators who work the pirate have no knowledge of its non-validity, and
reasonably, they take a WFWL approach.  Happens all the time.

Given that it is known by the log checkers that the real XY8Z was not
active, all qsos with that call in any log would simply be zeroed out.  No
qso or mult credit, no penalties for anyone.  This would *not* be an
*uncommon* occurrence.  Again, it happens all the time.  The packet spot of
that call on the band/freq & time would serve to confirm that the call was
being bootlegged rather than indicating anything else.

It is also unlikely that one such zeroed-out qso in a log would cause a log
checker to presume packet cheating.  There would typically need to be more
evidence.  However, given that "many of the logs claiming to have worked
XY8Z were submitted as single-operator, without assistance", and presuming
that the fictitious log checker noticed this pattern, it might cause him to
group those logs together to be reviewed more closely for funny business
later on.  The closer the log in question is to first place in the category
(or to being a regional certificate winner) would also drive the level of
scrutiny given to the individual log.  

If packet cheating is suspected, the entire log is examined and
cross-checked with other logs on a qso by qso basis to determine what the
operator was doing.  It is relatively easy to spot packet cheaters with all
of the data available through the other logs submitted as well as with
public information - like packet data.


Bob W5OV
Ex N5NJ, KR2J, V26O, et al 

-----Original Message-----
From: Steve London [mailto:n2ic at arrl.net] 
Sent: Thursday, December 15, 2005 12:25 PM
To: CQ Contest
Subject: [CQ-Contest] Log checking questions

Put yourself in the shoes of a contest log-checker.

(All calls, contests, and times in this example are completely ficticious.)

In checking the logs, you notice that a number of stations claim to have
worked XY8Z between 1700-1730Z. No other QSO's with XY8Z occurred at other
times during the contest. You have personal knowledge that XY8Z was not
active in the contest. On a whim, you go to the DX Summit and enter XY8Z in
the spot database search. You find a single spot for XY8Z at 1658Z. You also
notice that many of the logs claiming to have worked XY8Z were submitted as
single-operator, without assistance.

Were those logs entered in the wrong category, either accidently or
maliciously ?  What would you do as contest log checker ?

Steve, N2IC
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