[CQ-Contest] ETHICS

Dick Green WC1M wc1m at msn.com
Fri Apr 3 12:50:17 PDT 2009

I guess my phrasing wasn't clear. When I said:

> "If, in the heat of battle and the depths of fatigue you accidentally
> make an illegal contact, don't log it."

I was directing my comment to the innocent VE who inadvertently participates in an illegal contact initiated by a US station transmitting out of band. I think the VE, if he/she knows the contact is illegal, should delete it from his/her log. If that causes a NIL for the US station that violated the rules, too bad. That's what you get for breaking the rules.

Now, in the case you cite, it's more complicated what the station accidentally transmitting out of band should do about the log. Ideally, you'd like to tell the VE that the contact was illegal and it shouldn't count. But that would require you to make a second illegal transmission, which is no good. We can't rely on post-contest email to fix a situation like that, so I guess the only thing to do is leave the QSO in your log so you won't cause a NIL for the VE.
I know many would disagree with me, but I think the best overall solution would be for the log checkers to remove out of band QSOs from both logs for a 1-QSO penalty. I doubt anyone would argue that the offending station should get credit for the QSO, but even though the "innocent" station isn't responsible for the violation, that doesn't mean he/she should get credit for an illegal contact (if you work a pirate DX station, DXCC won't give you credit for that, either.) Yes, such log checking would require a change to the currently accepted Cabrillo format (though not the standard), which is problematic but not impossible. I'd hate to think we're stuck with the status quo because of the way log programs currently generate Cabrillo. It will be hard for contesting to progress if that's the case.

I don't think the innocent station should be penalized further, nor do I think the station inadvertently committing the occasional out-of-band transmission should be DQed (virtually all of us have made that mistake by clicking on a packet spot or getting the VFOs mixed up.) But if a log shows a significantly larger number of out-of-band QSOs than the average of logs submitted for that category, or any other evidence of deliberate out-of-band transmissions, then I think the log should be DQed. Intentional out-of-band transmissions are clearly against the letter and the spirit of the rules.  

73, Dick WC1M

> -----Original Message-----
> From: kd4d at comcast.net [mailto:kd4d at comcast.net]
> Sent: Friday, April 03, 2009 9:47 AM
> To: cq contest
> Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] ETHICS
> Hi Dick:
> An interesting point, but I don't agree:
> "If, in the heat of battle and the depths of fatigue you accidentally
> make an illegal contact, don't log it."
> This triggers a NIL in the log checking and a penalty for the OTHER station.
> If, for instance, I call someone on the wrong VFO on 40 (an EU station, say,
> listening both on his frequency and in the US band) and we have a QSO, I
> don't
> think that I should cause him an NIL penalty.  When I'm working that way, I
> often don't really remember which ear I hear a caller in...
> Now we're back to the problem that Cabrillo doesn't support "no credit" or
> "zero point" QSO's, but that's a seperate issue.  When I have had this
> situation, I put a comment in the header and send an e-mail to the contest
> sponsor.  I suspect these are usually ignored...
> 73,
> Mark
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Dick Green WC1M" <wc1m at msn.com>
> To: "Tom Haavisto" <kamham69 at gmail.com>, "cq contest" <cq-
> contest at contesting.com>
> Sent: Thursday, April 2, 2009 8:20:18 PM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
> Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] ETHICS
> Excellent questions, Tom. I believe the ARRL General contest rules that
> apply to this situation are:
> 2.1.Entrants agree to be bound by the provisions and intent of ARRL contest
> rules.
> 2.2.Entrants agree to be bound by the regulations of their national
> licensing authority.
> 3.1.All operators must observe the limitations of their operator licenses
> and station licenses at all times.
> It's quite clear from 2.2 and 3.1 that if a participant does not observe the
> limitations of the control operator's license and station license while
> making a QSO (for example, a U.S. operator transmits outside of the U.S.
> band allocation) then that participant has broken the rules. This means the
> QSO doesn't count for that entrant. More important, it means the entrant is
> subject to disqualification.
> But it's less clear what this means for the entrant with whom the illegal
> QSO is made, provided that operator has followed the rules. I think any
> reasonable person would interpret the rules to mean that illegal QSOs should
> not count for either party. But I don't know what the Awards Committee
> thinks about this, nor do I know what the log checkers and Contest Branch do
> in terms of enforcement.
> If I were a VE, I'd avoid making QSOs with US stations below their band edge
> out of general ethical principle, to avoid enticing them to break the rules
> (and the law), and to preclude any possibility of running afoul of the
> rules. It may be a pain when they call, and it will slow you down, but it's
> the right thing to do. So, the bottom line for me is that if you know the
> other station is operating illegally, refuse to make a contact. If, in the
> heat of battle and the depths of fatigue you accidentally make an illegal
> contact, don't log it.
> It's much less clear whether the rules require the "accomplice" to be
> disqualified as well. I suspect not, but it's a question for the Awards
> Committee and Contest Branch. While I think it's fair for the log checkers
> to remove the QSO from your log if they know the other station operated
> illegally, I think it would be unfair to disqualify you. I'm guided by the
> answer to your question about whether you should be know the frequency
> allocation privileges of every country in the world. My own opinion is that
> it would be absurd to hold you accountable for that. I certainly don't know
> all the allocations by heart and I don't think I could ever get them all
> memorized. I believe this lets you off the hook for being accountable for
> knowing the US allocations, too. While I would expect a VE to know that US
> stations can't do SSB below 14.150 MHz, I don't see how the authorities can
> pick and choose which country allocations you "should" know. Therefore, I
> don't think you should be disqualified for logging an illegal contact, even
> with a US station. But like I said, I do think it's fair for the log
> checkers to take it out of your log, and I do think the ethical thing for
> you to do is refuse illegal contacts and not log a contact if you realize
> it's illegal after the fact.
> As for working General class licensees in the Extra band, it's not possible
> for you to determine whether the operator has sufficient privileges to work
> in that part of the band. According to FCC rules, the privileges the station
> may use are those of the designated control operator, who does not have to
> be the station licensee or the owner of the call sign used for operation or
> even the person operating the radio. For example, the control operator could
> have Extra class privileges, the station owner could have Advanced class
> privileges, the call sign being used for the contest could have General
> class privileges, and the actual person on the air might not have a license
> at all (yes, that's allowed). In this case, it's perfectly legal for the
> unlicensed operator to transmit in the Extra class portion of the band. In
> other words, you can't tell from the call sign whether the control operator
> has sufficient privileges for the person operating the radio to transmit in
> a particular band segment. Bottom line, just work 'em and log 'em.
> These are my opinions, not anyone's official policy.
> 73, Dick WC1M
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Tom Haavisto [mailto:kamham69 at gmail.com]
> > Sent: Thursday, April 02, 2009 12:36 PM
> > To: cq contest
> > Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] ETHICS
> >
> > Wasn't me, but I have had something similar happen.
> >
> > A few weeks ago, I was around 14.125 - well below the U.S. phone
> > allocation, and I was there on purpose - trying to run Europe.  W_XXX
> > calls.  I tell him he is out of the band.  I call CQ - he calls again.
> >  Again tell him he is out of the band.  After the third time, I gave
> > him a report and he went away.  I did not log the QSO.
> >
> > A few weeks after the contest, I get a direct QSL from him.  On it, he
> > indicated the frequency (14.125).  I returned his QSL with a "Sorry -
> > Not in Log" comment.
> >
> > My question is this:  I know this person is out of the band (for him).
> >  Should I log this QSO?  I assume it will re removed as part of the
> > scoring process - do I get a penalty if I leave it in?  What about
> > someone from Europe (for example) who may be unaware of this issue?  I
> > have heard Europeans at 14.148 (just below the U.S. phone band) work
> > W's, and carry on without comment.  I am not pointing fingers, and I
> > did not write down the calls of the persons who did this.
> >
> > Its not so cut and dry as it may seem.  My assumption is that
> > participants from each country should know their band allocations, and
> > stay within them.  What happens if a U.S. general class holder wanders
> > down into the extra class part of the band?  How am I to know what
> > class of licence he holds?  In these examples, we are using U.S.
> > stations, but on a broader scale, how do I know what allocations
> > various countries have for their respective licence classes, and how
> > do I know they are within their respective allocation?  160 meters
> > being a good one, where various countries have access to only certain
> > parts of the band.  Trying to figure out who can operate where is a
> > problem.
> >
> > If anyone has some easy answers, I am very interested!
> >
> >
> > Tom - VE3CX
> >
> >
> >
> > >  Let me share an example from the last WPX test, although minor,
> > > shows a disturbing mindset.  A very well known VE contester was
> > > running on 20m well outside the US band.  A US station called him
> > > outside his band and the VE station gave him an exchange and
> > > continued.  I would have told the W station that he
> > > was out of the band and that I can not work you here.
> _______________________________________________
> CQ-Contest mailing list
> CQ-Contest at contesting.com
> http://lists.contesting.com/mailman/listinfo/cq-contest

More information about the CQ-Contest mailing list