[CQ-Contest] Busted Packet Spot Analysis

Gerald Boutin gboutin at infinichron.com
Sun Apr 22 17:01:04 EDT 2007


I also did a similar, although much less intensive, analysis than you did.
You mentioned filtering on uniques only spotted once or twice. I was looking
at it from a slightly different point of view, that being examining spots
that were repetitively being busted.

It has also occurred to me that busted spot analysis might benefit through
the use of technology used in anti-spam software.

We already have a level of "white-list" processing with the masterdata
files. I think a "black-list" capability at the user level would be helpful.

I was thinking of something along the following lines.

When a spot arrives, if it is unique (new) and not in masterdata, flag it as
"suspect". How this gets presented to the operator would depend on the
logging software used or pre- spot processing software.

There are then 3 scenarios in dealing with the spot.

1. Callsign is confirmed as legit.
a) Work the station. The call is now added to a dynamic white-list and is no
longer considered "unique".

b) Unable to work the station at this time. Manually add the callsign to the
dynamic white-list.

2. Callsign is determined as Busted.
Manually add callsign to black-list.

3. Didn't get around to evaluating the spot.
Nothing happens, the spot just times out. It'll be suspect if it shows up

Calls added to the "Black-List" would then be filtered out for the remainder
of the contest.

Gerald Boutin, VE6WA

From:  "K7ZO (Scott Tuthill)" <k7zo at cableone.net> 
Date:  Sun, 22 Apr 2007 08:56:00 -0600 
List-post:  <mailto:cq-contest at contesting.com> 

For those of you who have operated in a multi-op you know that chasing spots

is an important way to add to your mult and QSO totals. You also know how 
frustrating it can be to chase down busted and erroneous spots.

As a forward it is worth describing how I identified busted spots. I started

with a full list of spots made in the contest that K1TTT captured. I then 
reduced this down to just US/VE spots of DX stations as that is what is of 
interest. Then I started examining the file in several ways to identify 
spots that might be broken. I looked for spotted callsigns that showed up 
only 1 or 2 times. The idea being that a busted callsign is not going to 
appear as often as a good callsign. I am sure I missed some by limiting the 
examination to only 1 or 2, but I have probably gotten most of them. If I 
found a callsign this way I then would look at it to see if it was busted. 
Sometimes it was obvious based on known good callsigns being actively 
spotted in the contest. If not I would then look at it three ways to see if 
it might be busted: 1.) Was the callsign in our NK7U log, 2.) Was it in the 
supercheck partial master file, 3.) I would look it up on-line to see if it 
was a good callsign. Another method I used was to look for comments in spots

that identified prior spots as being busted. There were several operators 
who played the role of "spot police" during the contest noting busted spots 
for others to see.


These patterns while interesting are not that useful in preparing for and 
during a contest. If a new unique callsign gets spotted, it may have a 
nearly 2/3 chance of being busted, but you probably can't afford to not 
check it out. What is needed is a way of examining the spotted callsign in 
real time to see if it has a high likelihood of being busted. I will leave 
this idea for others to think about for now.

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