[CQ-Contest] self help during contest

Dick Green WC1M wc1m at msn.com
Mon Dec 8 10:20:53 EST 2008

With the same disclaimer as Doug (i.e., this is not an official opinion),
here's my take on the question:

As far as I know, no contest has explicit rules against recording QSOs and
reviewing/editing them *during* the contest. While not the purest way to
compete, my feeling is that as long as it takes place during contest hours,
and is counted as operating time, it's legal and acceptable. 

Counting the review/edit time as operating time isn't much of a factor in
ARRL 160 or ARRL 10, when there's plenty of time that those bands aren't
open enough to operate. As Doug says, if that's the way you want to spend
your time, instead of sleeping or relaxing, then it's legal. Personally, I
don't care for the practice, but there aren't any rules against it, and it's
not an open-and-shut case of "not in the spirit of the competition."

If you're doing a limited (less than 48-hour) effort in a big contest like
ARRL DX, CQ WW, etc., then you're free to exchange valuable operating time
for editing/reviewing time (though that's probably not a good choice.) I
suppose if a solar flare wiped out propagation for a while, you could busy
yourself with reviewing/editing. Again, I think it's legal, but not the way
I would want to compete.

But in contests that restrict operating hours to a subset of the contest
period, such as ARRL Sweepstakes, CQ WPX, etc., if you review/edit during an
off time, then you're doing an operating function and the time must be
counted as operating time.

73, Dick WC1M

> -----Original Message-----
> From: kr2q at optimum.net [mailto:kr2q at optimum.net]
> Sent: Monday, December 08, 2008 6:21 AM
> To: cq-contest at contesting.com
> Subject: [CQ-Contest] self help during contest
> N7DF said,
> [snip]
> For that matter, why should an activity that involves only yourself
> not be acceptable?
> In other words, why can't you record the contest operation and use
> your recording,
> after the contest is over, to check the accuracy of your log?  You are
> not creating new
> QSOs, only corrrecting ones that have already been made.
> [end snip]
> Here is my two cents with the usual disclaimer (ie, this is MY opinion
> and should not be
> construed as anything official from any contest committee with which I
> may be associated).
> The contest period is the defined time frame where your effort as a
> contester is being judged.
> This includes accurately logging QSOs during the heat of the battle.
> The heat of the battle
> is one of the few areas where the playing field is sort of level.  We
> are all tired; we all suffer
> from QRM and maybe QRN and we all make mistakes for various reasons.
> As the contest
> progresses, we get more tired and may be prone to make more mistakes.
> If you "double check" your work after the contest with the use of a
> recording, well, then you
> are artificially extending the period of competition.  You're giving
> yourself a 2nd shot at
> getting it right, AFTER the contest is OVER.
> Analogy:  You are taking an exam at university.  It is a timed exam
> and you have one hour.
> When the exam is over, you decide that you would like to "review" your
> answers and,  you
> discover that, because of STRESS during the exam, one or more is/are
> wrong because you filled
> in the "wrong" circle on the exam answer sheet. Should you be
> justified in correcting it?  Does this
> sound legit?  Not to me.
> History:  Once upon a time, a happy and famous Finn decided that he
> would record the entire
> contest and NOT LOG ANYTHING during the contest; he would simply do
> that "chore" later.
> After all, all he was doing was listening to himself make QSOs.
> Additionally, if he discovered
> any mistakes he made in responding during the QSO, he could simply NOW
> log the correct
> information.  It really was NOT a correction because there was no
> original LOG (unless you
> consider a recording equal to the log).  For me (yes, this is still
> all MY opinion), this potentially
> gave him a huge advantage...not only in terms of accuracy, but in
> during the contest period.   Don't think logging accurately DURING the
> contest is stressful?
> Think again.  I remember when "cruise control" first came out.
> Gosh...wasn't that silly.  How
> hard is it to keep your foot on the accelerator?  Well, on a long trip
> (analogy = contest period)
> one discovers that not having to keep your foot on the pedal is a BIG
> stress reliever.  It lets
> you concentrate much more on other things.  At least it does for me
> (YMMV).
> So...what about listening DURING the contest (in a contest such as 160
> where there is so much
> dead time).  For me, this is easy.  It is still DURING the contest.
> If you choose to use your time
> for reviewing (and potentially correcting) your log instead of getting
> sleep or relaxation, then that
> is your choice; perfectly legal.  Try that same thing AFTER the
> contest?  Nope...the contest is
> OVER.  Put down your pencils.
> By the way, when you review your log after the contest, you are, in
> effect, adjudicating your own log.
> Adjudication is the role of the contest sponsor, NOT the entrant.  Can
> you imagine taking a spelling
> exam and then after the exam, consulting a dictionary to "correct" the
> errors?
> Is it in the rules?  Not exactly.  Here is what it says in the CQWW
> Handbook, 1994 Edition on page 45,
> Item #10, sub-item 1.
> [snip]
> 1. Can I change a call sign in my log after the contest is over?
> No. All you can do is remove bad calls and duplicates.
> [end snip]
> Of course today, no contest sponsor wants you to remove duplicates
> from your log and I would wager
> that nobody wants you to remove a BAD call from your log either (as
> opposed to fixing a typographical
> error such as "KP2A08" in CQWW, all entered into the CALLSIGN field of
> your logging program ).
> End of my 2 cents.....Hope this helps.
> de Doug KR2Q

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