[CQ-Contest] The contest is over

DR kg0us at sbcglobal.net
Sat Dec 6 16:53:54 EST 2008

I have had some concerns for quite some time that I would like to write about since we are talking the ethics of getting outside help and correcting logs after the contest period is completed.  I have always wondered why does Randy and others take the extra time to record the entire contest while participating in a contest?  I am not accusing him or anyone else of cheating and I am sure that there is a legitimate reason for this, but to me it would be too tempting to use the recording to correct any errors made in the contest log once the contest is over.  Also, it could be a huge stress relief knowing  that everything is being recorded when operating hot and heavy in a SO2R mode and one is not completely sure if they got that last second radio contact completely correct when someone is trying to steal your run frequency on the other radio.
What about the use of Super Partial Call Check?  Each year we are asked to send in our log so that a new Super Partial Call Check database can be created.  Couldn’t the use of Super Partial Check be considered getting outside help to improve log accuracy when we use such a database to fill in missing callsign letters?  The help would come from the use of outside information that was obtained from operators who previously participated in contests and then submitted a log for Super Partial Check database updates.
Lastly, logging programs such as Writelog not only have the ability to record entire contest but the program also has a feature that allows the operator to load in an exchange from an ADI file.  For example, if someone had access to several past sweepstakes contest logs; they could run some macros to focus in on past callsigns, precedence, check, and section information while eliminating outliers.  The resulting data can then be place in an ADI file that can be loaded before the beginning of the contest.  Once an operator enters a persons callsign listed in the ADI file, that persons previous year’s precedence, check, and section will automatically fill.  Of course you have to be aware that people sometimes change power and other information from year to year.  This is also why the program feature allows the operator to filter what part of the fill they want to be displayed.  I am guessing that most operators’ fills will be the same from year
 to year.  I am sure that some of the big boys know about this feature, it did not just get incorporated into Writelog by accident.  The question is, just as with the Super Partial Check database, is this not getting outside help for improving your log accuracy before the contest even begins?
I agree that we probably should not exchange callsign correction on the reflector after the completion of the contest.  However, to me the exchange of a dozen callsign corrections seems petty to the enormous information available above for correcting and improving ones log accuracy before log submittal.
Is the rule such that if everyone has the above tools available to them, whether or not everyone is aware of the tools, then it is ethical to use them to improve your accuracy before, during, and potentially after the contest is over?
Dave KG0US

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