[CQ-Contest] FQP logs, the new robot and Cabrillo

K1to at aol.com K1to at aol.com
Tue Apr 28 13:26:24 PDT 2009

First of all, thanks to everyone who got on for the 2009 Florida QSO Party 
this past weekend.  The early feedback is that activity, and thus many 
scores, were at record-breaking levels.  

As some of you have discovered, the FQP is using a robot to acknowledge 
e-mailed logs to logs at floridaqsoparty.org for the first time.  Mega-thanks 
to Trey, N5KO and George, K5TR for getting this assembled.  

What became obvious very quickly is that some logging software produces 
Cabrillo files that are not compatible with the current Cabrillo standard.  
I've gotten a primer on Cabrillo formatting and will share the highlights:

- All logs coming in so far have a different Contest Name than expected.  
No problem.

- At least one popular program contains a header line called CLUB-NAME.  
That is not Cabrillo standard, hence the warning message.  CLUB is what 
Cabrillo expects.

- Until several years ago, CATEGORY was a single field that always expected 
4 pieces of information.  The newer Cabrillo standard is that these four 
pieces are individual lines within the Cabrillo header:  CATEGORY-OPERATOR, 
don't translate from the original single line CATEGORY.  

An sample of a valid CATEGORY was SINGLE-OP ALL LOW CW.  The robot 
translates that into: 
CATEGORY-BAND = ALL (not used for the FQP)
Note that the FQP does not have single-band categories.  

But if your CATEGORY came in as SINGLE-OP LOW CW, then the robot would 
think that CW was your POWER since POWER is the 3rd item on that row, not find 
it in the list of valid powers, and default you to HIGH power.  Similarly, it 
would not find your mode in the 4th postion and would default you to MIXED 

- Now, moving on to the bulk of most submissions - the QSO rows.  Cabrillo 
expects a row to look like this:
QSO: 14037 CW 2009-04-25 1600 W8MJ         599 MI     K8NZ/4       599 LEE

The number of spaces between each field is irrelevant.  But a space is a 
delimiter.  So, if your log shows:
QSO: 14037 CW 2009-04-25 1600 W8MJ         599 WEST VIRGINIA     K8NZ/4     
  599 LEE
then the robot thinks that VIRGINIA is in the received callsign column and 
so forth...

Also, those columns need to appear in exact order.  
Several of the popular DOS programs produce columns like this:
QSO: 14000 CW 2009-04-25 1648 N6TR          1 OR       K2EK          599 
599 Sum
QSO: 14037 CW 2009-04-25 1600 W8MJ         599      K8NZ/4       599 LEE

In the first case, several columns are misaligned.  In the second case, the 
sent QTH column is missing.  

If your logging program does not produce information in this format, the 
robot will send an informative message back to you.  However, your log is 
still safe and accepted.

More information is available here:  

Over the next few months, we will be working with the various logging 
software authors and Trey to ensure that everyone is in sync with what is 
expected in the Cabrillo format for the FQP and to give the authors plenty of time 
to issue updated software in time for downloading prior to the 2010 FQP.  

In the meantime, thanks for making the 2009 FQP the best yet and for 
sending in those logs.  

Any questions on the above may be directed to the FQP guru Ron, WD4AHZ 
using his call at arrl.net or to me with my call at aol.com

73, Dan, K1TO and Ron, WD4AHZ

An Excellent Credit Score is 750. See Yours in Just 2 Easy 

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