[CQ-Contest] be careful what you wish for

Michael Coslo mjc5 at psu.edu
Fri Apr 10 06:20:46 PDT 2009

On Apr 9, 2009, at 4:23 PM, Sandy Taylor wrote:

> To those who are demanding a literal interpretation of the rule  
> regarding
> the check in SS: be careful what you wish for, you may get it.
> Consider this IS a rule that governs ARRL contests:
> 3. General Rules:
> 3.1.<snip>
> 3.2.All callsigns and exchange information must be sent, received,
> acknowledged and logged correctly by each station for a complete QSO.
> (http://www.arrl.org/contests/announcements/rules-all.html)
> It is there. You cannot argue that it is there. In black and white.  
> It has
> not been enforced: you do NOT (or, N4XM, should not) lose credit for  
> busts
> made by the other station.

Hi Sandy. I agree with your thoughts about needing sunspots, but....

That rule has so much vague verbiage that it is easy to poke a hole in  
it when trying to decide if it means that the QSO's between stations  
must match.

We'll break it down now according to that interpretation:

Sent correctly?

	Umm, the oldest little difference between contesting and the general  
Ham QSO out there. Does this mean that a station that doesn't start  
and end each QSO correctly, instead of just running a frequency, gets  
no credit?

Received correctly?

	I have no idea here, really...

Acknowledged correctly?

	What is a correct acknowledgement? I know Ops who don't, I know ones  
who QSL, I know ones who repeat.

	Where is the checkbox in the log for acknowledgement?

Logged correctly.

	This is the least ambiguous part of the rule. Logged correctly would  
mean that the Callsign, exchange would match, and the times would be  
within some predetermined range.

And the coup de gras is the "by each station"

	Someone might make a case that every station in the whole contest has  
to do everything correctly, lest there not be a complete QSO.

That particular rule is pretty poorly written (apologies to ARRL and  
the writer)

	Since there are holes in the rule as it is, and a side effect of the  
rule under the interpretation in question is that no QSO will count  
unless another station sends in their log with your QSO in it (in  
itself arguable) unless the sponsor is going to only insist on exact  
matches within submitted logs, and assume that all QSO's with stations  
that didn't send in logs were correct, this is just messy.

	*If* the intent is that both stations have matching data in the  
logbook, the rule should be something more like:

Really Really Hypothetical Rule Alert!

	The definition of a QSO for this contest is:

1. Callsigns must correspond exactly in each log.
2. Exchanges must correspond exactly in each log.
3. Time of contact must match within (x) minutes in each log.

If all of the above criteria are not met, no QSO is awarded for either  

Hypothetical Rule Alert Off

Since we don't see anything else in the general rules stating that  
stations get no credit for QSO's unless the stations they have QSO's  
with send in logs,  we have to figure out what that rule means, or  
it's intent:

You are supposed to send your callsign and exchange correctly.
You are encouraged to acknowledge (no logbook entry for this, hence  
You are supposed to log what is sent to you correctly.
If you are missing parts or inaccurate in logging the other Op's  
callsign and exchange - No QSO for you.

And that is something that they do enforce now.

-73 de Mike N3LI -

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