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

K1to at aol.com K1to at aol.com
Wed Apr 29 19:42:19 PDT 2009

In a message dated 4/29/2009 12:03:40 PM Greenwich Standard Time, 
mjc5 at psu.edu writes:

> I hear you brother! But we'll not get out of the Cabrillo mess soon, if 
> ever.

Wow.  Clearly, my initial tone came across incorrectly.  I am quite happy 
with Cabrillo.  I am also quite happy with the logging programs out there.  
All I expressed is that we have a few initial growing pains in matching 
things up, now that a robot is in place for the first time.  
If *anyone* perceived this as a smear against any software author or 
against the Cabrillo standard, then please erase that perception.  I have nothing 
but admiration and respect for the hard work, long hours, and low or no pay 
that these gentlemen have logged, all for the advancement of this fine sport 
of contesting.  

> The biggest thing that I have learned after looking a a whole lot of logs 
> is that any adjustment has to come from my end, (the adjudicator)  and not 
> the entrant's end. Ain't gonna happen unless I do it.

Well, we see things differently.  All of the software guys and the Cabrillo 
masters are quite reasonable and logical in their approach.  Tell them all 
the same thing that your contest needs and they'll deal with it.  And don't 
change the rules every year!  

> Why this problem? There are a lot of logging programs, and there are a 
> whole lot of versions of those programs. And the entrants have a whole lot of 
> reasons for using a particular program and version.

Yes, a point that I should have emphasized, in a slightly different way.  
There are some older versions of software out there that do not account for 
updates that were made to the software.  If you choose to sit on an old 
version, then don't complain about what it doesn't do that may already be fixed.  

> Trust me when I say that the cabrillo file the program puts out isn't on 
> the radar screen of reasons to run a particular program.  People will use a 
> particular program because they are used to the  program, because they 
> like the interface, because it works on their  old 486 laptop, and on and on. 
> So once they get something working, they stick with it.  And I can tell you 
> from experience that many Ops are fiercely loyal to their logging 
> programs.
> So I think you are going to find out that you are going to have to make a 
> choice between DQ'ing people for incorrect Cabrillo, or figuring out how to 
> work with the many files that come your way.  It's a tough choice, because 
> a lot of Ops won't operate in a party if they can't use their favorite 
> logging program, and you'll also be  
> sitting with (almost) perfectly good logs from people who are just using a 
> program that doesn't adhere to the standard that you can't use.
> There are three options.
> 1. DQ a lot of people. This is the worst option in my reasoning.  
> Disgruntled Ops don't play again.
> 2. I don't know that your log checking program is, but you might need to 
> modify it to put a new front end on it. Log checking programs need to be 
> flexible in the extreme.
> 3. My own solution is some hand work. The non conforming log is entered 
> into a spreadsheet. Excel or the Open Office spreadsheet works fine. Any 
> completely extraneous junk is discarded at this point.  I then save and import 
> the resulting file into Filemaker Pro. At the import stage, I can control 
> the field order of import. Then I save the correctly formatted results as 
> text.

Wow!  The FQP would never DQ anyone for an improper Cabrillo format.  We 
receive many variations on the theme and just deal with it.  I have to believe 
that the software authors have wrestled most of the Cabrillo stuff under 
control and that contest sponsors are not dealing with as many variants as in 
past years.  

Yes, Excel comes in very handy at times.  

> Good luck!
> -73 de Mike N3LI -

Congrrats on doing so well with dealing with the Pennsylvania logs, Mike.  

73, Dan, K1TO

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