[CQ-Contest] Driving at 4AM

W0MU Mike Fatchett w0mu at w0mu.com
Wed Feb 11 13:40:39 EST 2009

"So far I have yet to hear one compelling argument why logs should not be
open. Because I don't like it doesn't fly in my book."

Quite simply, they are MY logs. The information contained within them shows
when I make band changes, how often they are made and at what times they are
made is MY strategy. This information >is important to winning a contest. No
one disputes that. This information is quite easily reviewed with little
effort by plugging MY LOG into a contest program and exporting the

Actually Like Dave K1TTT said a log is actually a combined effort.  Maybe
you have already dismissed his analogy.  Your side of it is yours.  So what.

>In the 2007 ARRL SSB International DX contest, one of my guests brought a
band summary chart for PJ2T. I was curious how he obtained the information
and why he brought it, but considering this individual, I simply assumed he
knew Geoff and had asked for it. Since I wasn't aware of the open logs
issue, I had no idea he simply downloaded it from "the public log".

>During the entire contest, he repeatedly referred to it checking to see if
we were "on target" with Q rates per band. I also believe the night crew
used it to determine when to make band changes. At all times during the
contest, we were ahead of the PJ2T 2006 rates according to this operator.
Interestingly, we still finished 2nd, right behind PJ2T as they also
exceeded their previous years score. Nevertheless, without that information,
we had no idea where we should have been with regards to rates and rates by

>Was it fair that we had this information? In my opinion, it wasn't. For me,
it felt like cheating. Why should my team benefit from the hard work and
skill gained by the repeatedly successful PJ2T team?

Did you really benefit?  Maybe you thought you might benefit.  You still
lost to them.  Maybe if you did not have this information the outcome might
have been better.  While a log from a previous contest could be useful from
the perspective of that contest it did not serve you.  Could it be that the
ops in question saw that you were ahead and let off the gas a bit.  Maybe
not?  I would argue that too much time was spent on what they were doing and
not on what you were doing.  A 10m opening that happened last year may not
be there the next time.  Maybe your 10m conditions were worse but your 15m
conditions were better but you were on the wrong band.  There are far more
reasons that will factor into a win or los than knowing the rate from a
previous contest.  Statistics can be very misleading as a log is far from
the entire story of what happened at 6Y1V or PJ2T.

Just having their log data does not give an advantage and you just proved

I operated from ST. Kitts V47 two times competitively in the ARRL DX CW and
SSB contests.  The first year we went down we came in 2nd on SSB.  The next
time we won.  We took the results that were available from QST and analyzed
areas where we could improve.  The first time we had very low antennas on
some bands and poor antennas on the low bands.  The next time we improved
the station and the same 3 operators knew what to expect.  We improved our
score greatly.  So I guess QST and CQ should not publish scores, band
breakdown, etc either?  The first time our low band numbers were far
inferior but our other bands were right in line.  It was pretty easy to see
what we needed to do.  We also had a time where the 2nd transmitter was off
the air because of a communication issue between ops.

You can only take what the band and your station and operators can give you.
My father taught me something a long time ago about business.  I was young
and always concerned more about what the other guy was doing instead of what
I could be doing better.  The long and short of it is worry less about what
others are doing and more on what you should be doing.

If open logs make the contests even more competitive great!

If the Sponsors feel that posting open logs is good for the contest I will
support them.

Open logs in my mind is just another step in making the game better.  I
don't need to convince you of anything as I don't sponsor or check any logs.

Do I trust the log checkers to do the best they can with the tools they have
yes.  Open logs is just a new tool in the box.

Do I trust all of the competitors?  Not in your life.  Do I trust most of
the competitors? Yes.

Once again look at the FW5FE topband mess to understand the types of people
that are in this hobby.  For those that don't know the new rage is when you
hear a spot on 160, even if you can't hear the DX you find the stations they
come back to and call and call and call and call and hope that you get in
the log.  Apparently this has worked too well for some.

Apparently for many it is get in the log or win at any cost.  

I am very sorry that the Ops at 6Y1V will not be recognized for their

If you don't like the rules don't operate.

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