[CQ-Contest] Technology against cheating?

Pete Smith N4ZR pete.n4zr at gmail.com
Thu Mar 17 13:55:40 PDT 2011

A friend who asks to remain anonymous suggests the following -- one CW 
Skimmer operator on each continent should dedicate his or her receiver 
for the 24 hours of the Russian DX contest to monitoring one band, and 
record as much of the entire bandwidth as possible.  The band to be 
monitored and the monitor's identity or location would not be disclosed 
beforehand, but after the contest, monitors would contact the contest 
organizers and make their files available for review.  Since a 
96-KHz-wide recording of one band uses about 2 GB of disk space per 
hour, the resulting files will not be easily transferrable via the 
Internet, but the Reverse Beacon Network's spot listings for the 24-hour 
period would serve as an index of sorts, enabling the contest sponsors 
to focus on a particular time period and request a specific review, 
which the monitor could accomplish easily and with existing software.

Not every form of cheating can be caught this way, of course, but our 
Russian friends have arguably the best applied mathematicians in the 
world, so perhaps they will be able to develop other ways to use the 
data.  In the meantime, the mere fact of such random monitoring, and its 
potential use by sponsors, may have much the same effect as unannounced 
radar enforcement of speed limits has on drivers.  If you don't know 
when you might be caught, why take the risk?

73, Pete N4ZR

The World Contest Station Database, updated daily at www.conteststations.com
The Reverse Beacon Network at http://reversebeacon.net, blog at reversebeacon.blogspot.com,
spots at telnet.reversebeacon.net, port 7000

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