[CQ-Contest] [N1MM] Re: New Contest Country Files - 23 October2005

Richard Ferch ve3iay at rac.ca
Tue Oct 25 06:51:48 EDT 2005

As often happens in these discussions, different people are responding to 
different questions in the same thread (or at least, to the same question 
posed in different environments that affect the answer), so it's no wonder 
the answers don't agree.

I can see at least three questions here:

1. What should a station in UA9S send? To me, the rules are clear, they 
should send zone 16, but of course that is no guarantee for the rest of us 
that this is what they will actually do.

2. What should the rest of us log? Again, the answer seems clear - log what 
you hear. Even if you think the log checkers are going to ignore what is in 
the UA9S's Cabrillo file and penalize you for the wrong zone, how do you 
and they know that the UA9S, when he sends 17, isn't operating from a 
friend's shack in Novosibirsk, which really is in zone 17? And don't bother 
telling me whether the Russian licensing rules would permit him to use his 
home call sign - that is not knowledge the contest rules can require us to 
have at our fingertips during the contest.

In addition, consider this: Suppose a UA9S station sends zone 17 (rightly 
or wrongly doesn't matter), 1000 stations work him, 990 of them log 17 and 
you and 9 others log 16. Who do you think is most likely to be penalized 
(regardless of what the log checkers said before the contest)? If you log 
what you hear and the log checkers do penalize you, almost everyone else 
will be treated the same way, so you won't be at a competitive 
disadvantage. If you are so sure of what the log checkers will do that you 
insist on recording the "correct" zone instead of what the other station 
sends, that's your choice, but if this high-risk contrarian strategy goes 
wrong you will have only yourself to blame.

3. The third question applies only to multi-ops (including SOA) who are 
using the cluster. What zone do you want your software to assume when a 
UA9S station is spotted on the cluster? If there is a reasonable chance 
that stations in UA9S will be sending a rarer zone than their real zone, 
you might want your software to tell you so.

To maximize your chances of getting zone 17 in the log, you might consider 
the following strategy:

(a) use a cty.dat file that will make your software announce zone 17 when a 
UA9S is spotted on the cluster (that way, if he is indeed sending 17, you 
won't miss the mult, and if he is sending 16, it's still a good QSO).

(b) regardless of what the UA9S sends you and regardless of what cty.dat 
tells you, put 16 in your log and add a note (Ctrl-N) to record what he 
really sent (this is so that your software will assume you still have not 
worked zone 17 and will keep on flagging other zone 17 stations as new 
mults so you don't miss them either).

(c) after the contest, go through the notes in your contest log and correct 
any QSOs you deliberately mis-logged, in order to fool your software, so 
your final Cabrillo file records what was actually received.

Am I recommending this strategy? No. When setting the logging programs up 
at our multi-op, I might use (a), but I expect the operators will follow 
rule 2 - log what they hear. Steps (b) and (c) are much too error-prone. 
The KISS rule applies.

My 1.68 cents' worth.


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