[CQ-Contest] How frequent to ID? Every QSO? No way!

Tue Jan 18 13:53:30 EST 2005

There is an ancient Chinese proverb: "Figures fool and fools figure".
After reading all the responses, to this thread, I guess the only real bottom line should be this: Can you beat Jim's score..??.. For the overwhelming majority the answer is NO. So then the obvious solution is to do exactly what Jim does and try to improve on it. ID for every QSO.
IMHO I don't think anyone should try to tell Jim how to operate until you can beat him on a consistent basis.

P.S. I know someone will try and point out all the advantages Jim has, ZD8, the equator, ad nauseum. The only real advantage Jim has is Jim.

MAL               N7MAL
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: CT1BOH - José Carlos Nunes 
  To: CQ-Contest at contesting.com 
  Sent: Monday, January 17, 2005 23:03
  Subject: [CQ-Contest] How frequent to ID? Every QSO? No way!

  The importance for a contester, how frequent to ID, is of paramount
  importance to his final score.

  When people say, a contest DX station should sign every QSO, they should
  know better.

  Let's imagine the following situation:

  ZD8Z from Ascension during CQWW CW contest does 8000 QSO's, at a 166,77 hour
  QSO rate, signing his callsign every QSO. He works 170 zones, 550 countries
  with a 2,97 average QSO point for a final score of 17,107,200 points.

  In the same contest there are four ZD8Z clones:

  ZD8Z clone#1 signs his call every two QSO's (1,0,1,0,..)

  ZD8Z clone#2 signs his call every three QSO's (1,0,0,1,0,0,1,.)

  ZD8Z clone#3 signs his call every four QSO's (1,0,0,0,1,0,0,0,1,.)

  ZD8Z clone#4 signs his call every five QSO's (1,0,0,0,0,1,0,0,0,0,1,.)

  With the help of an audio spectrum analyzer, it is known that ZD8Z @ 40 WPM
  lasts exactly 1,655 seconds.

  Let's determine how much time each operator spends in a 48-hour contest
  transmitting his call:

  ZD8Z               1,655*8000=13240 seconds = 3,68 hours

  ZD8Z clone#1 1,655*4000=6620 seconds = 1,84 hours, i.e. saves 1,84 hours

  ZD8Z clone#2 1,655*2667=4414 seconds = 1,23 hours, i.e. saves 2,45 hours

  ZD8Z clone#3 1,655*2000=3310 seconds = 0,92 hours, i.e. saves 2,76 hours

  ZD8Z clone#4 1,655*1600=2648 seconds = 0,74 hours, i.e. saves 2,94 hours

  ZD8Z is working at a 166,67 hour rate (8000/48), the same rate as the

  But the clones, because of the time they saved, not signing every QSO, will
  work more QSO's in the 48 hour period:

  ZD8Z                         8000 QSO's

  ZD8Z clone#1            8000+306 QSO's

  ZD8Z clone#2            8000+409 QSO's

  ZD8Z clone#3            8000+460 QSO's

  ZD8Z clone#4            8000+490 QSO's

  So the final score will be:

  ZD8Z clone#4              18.155.808 (8490/2,97/170/550)

  ZD8Z clone#3              18.090.270

  ZD8Z clone#2              17.980.985

  ZD8Z clone#1              17.762.580

  ZD8Z                           17.170.200

  ZD8Z can be admired for signing every QSO, but the clones will beat him
  anytime. And clone# 4 will defeat ZD8Z with 1.000.000 points!

  Impressive, isn't it!

  The decision making process how frequent to ID has some variables:

    1.. How long since last ID
    2.. The instant rate
    3.. The number of stations calling in the pile-up
    4.. The number of stations coming to the pile-up

  The combination of these four variables will give the contest operator all
  the information he needs, when to ID next.

  Signing every QSO can be the worse decision and the best decision, depending
  on the situation. From a DX location, with constant pile-ups for 48 hours,
  signing every QSO is poor operating practice: not only it will reduce the
  contest DX station score but it will prevent the DX contest station to work
  more contest stations. Of course being for very long periods of time without
  ID is also poor operating practice, and the contest DX station will face
  aditional dupes, pile-up disruption, NIL's of dusgruntled unsportmanship
  operators ;-) etc.

  It is my experience that IDing at least every minute of until someone sends
  "?" is a good way to balance the needs of the contest DX station and the
  needs of those arriving to the pile-up and unaware of the DX contest station


  José Nunes



  PS: This post is dedicated to my very good friend Jim Neiger. My inspiration
  and the reaon why I went into contesting.

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