[CQ-Contest] [FCG] CQ WW Rules and SCP

Randy Thompson K5ZD k5zd at charter.net
Mon Jun 24 09:22:30 EDT 2013

Contests have many levels of interest all running on the same course.  The guys at the top are serious, passionate, and always pushing the rules.  The more casual ops are just in it to have fun.

The art for the contest sponsor is to balance the needs of both groups.  I.e., make rules that define where the boundaries are, but not so complex that it puts off the casual entrants.

Much of the discussion about the recent CQWW rule changes have been by casual ops trying to understand what some of the "pro level" rules mean and their impact. The CQWW rules will be set within a week and then we go on with discussion about other minutiae.

The spirit of the rules is pretty simple. Work people and have fun. Always try view the contest rules through that lens first. 

Randy K5ZD

> -----Original Message-----
> From: CQ-Contest [mailto:cq-contest-bounces at contesting.com] On Behalf Of
> steve.root at culligan4water.com
> Sent: Monday, June 24, 2013 2:05 AM
> To: cq-contest at contesting.com
> Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] [FCG] CQ WW Rules and SCP
>  We are inexorably moving closer to the day when this becomes more
> trouble than it's worth. Some of the ideas recently presented to "fix"
> contesting are fairly dramatic. Why in the world would 99% of the
> participants agree to to all that trouble? Face it, in any given contest
> how many of us are really competing anyway? 15, 20 guys? We're
> participating and that's about it. Yes, you can "compete" against your
> friends or against yourself but you don't have to follow any body's rules
> to do that. I can see the day soon when we ignore the "rules", stop
> reporting scores, and stop sending in logs. Get on and enjoy the
> activity, work a bunch of people, and then when you're done shut it off
> and walk away. And if some contest sponsor wants to sift through an SDR
> recording of a major contest and try to dredge my signal out of the muck
> to decide whether I sent an extra dit in a guys call, I won't be very
> worried about it.
> 73 Steve K0SR
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Hans Brakob [mailto:kzerohb at gmail.com]
> Sent: Sunday, June 23, 2013 04:15 PM
> To: 'Jack Haverty.'
> Cc: 'Steve Sacco NN4X', cq-contest at contesting.com
> Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] [FCG] CQ WW Rules and SCP
> Hold it! TIME OUT!​Third party referees in the cloud? UN observers in blue
> construction hard hats sent to selected toy radio stations to monitor for
> weapons of mass obstruction? Massive broadband receivers in the heavens
> recording the movement of every whisper of RF between Dc and daylight?
> Have we come to that?​Let's cut down through all the inflated egotistical
> importance of this hobby pastime and examine what we're really doing on
> those long radio weekends.​It really is no more complicated (nor
> important) than this.A bunch of boys and girls turn on their amateur
> radio toys and try to talk to all of each other (or at least most of each
> other) before they fall asleep, or the GMT clock strikes midnight. They
> keep a record as they go, and then send that record in to be compared
> with all the other boys and girls records. He/she with the most clicks
> wins.​How about we just simplify the rules to that, and leave all the big-
> brother-in-the-cloud paranoia tasking to the NSA.​73, es GL in the
> Contest,de Hans, K0HB/4IDOn Sun, Jun 23, 2013 at 3:27 PM, Jack Haverty.
> wrote:> Rules are very difficult to write down so precisely that no one
> can find> loopholes. So in most sporting contests, there's some kind of
> impartial> third-party to make the final decision - referee, umpire, line
> judge,> whatever.> I think Steve's observation is right - some external
> impartial method of> "logging" is the ultimate solution. It creates a
> "referee" who can make> sure the intent of the rules is applied
> consistently to all contestants.> Consider for example today's rules.
> They require real-time logging, but> make no constraint on the mechanism
> used - computer, paper, etc. They also> require, at least for "any
> possible high-scoring" contestants, that logs be> submitted in electronic
> form, namely Cabrillo. Obviously you may need to> convert from your
> chosen logging medium into Cabrillo electronic form,> possibly involving
> a manual process to do so, before the deadline.> So, .... it seems that I
> can choose to capture my log in real-time, as> required by the rules, by
> simply having my computer record the entire> contest as I hear it - feed
> my speaker and mike audio to create a file in> mp3 or whatever audio file
> I find convenient. This certainly captures,> i.e., logs, all the
> information about what was exchanged, as heard from my> station. An
> adjunct program would log other required operating data -> frequency
> etc., by simultaneously capturing a CAT stream from my radio and>
> timestamping so it could easily be correlated with the audio stream. The>
> MP3 and CAT files being continuously created as I operate *is* my log. I>
> might continue to use N1MM or similar program to assist me in finding>
> multipliers, avoiding dupes, etc., but it's not creating my log. In
> fact,> I can probably increase my run rate by not bothering to type
> anything at> all when the pileup is deep.> Since the rules also require
> that submissions be in Cabrillo format, I'm> now required to convert my
> log into a Cabrillo file before submitting it.> Someone may have some
> clever software to do that for an audio file, but> most likely I'll just
> listen to it, and write down in Cabrillo format what> is in the audio,
> just as I would read a paper log and type in the required> Cabrillo
> information.> Result - legal log, and I also save all that time I used to
> spend typing> during the contest, or trying to remember what the other
> guy just said as I> hit a wrong key and scramble to correct. Less need
> for fills too. As long> as I'm sure the information was there, it's in
> the log for later conversion> into Cabrillo. My typing skills are also no
> longer an issue.> Even better, to assure an accurate Cabrillo submission,
> I can listen to> that audio at slower speed, making that fast CW easier
> for me to convert> accurately into Cabrillo. My CW copying abilities are
> no longer an issue.> So, there's another loophole....full of
> possibilities for getting a better> score.> Impartial 3rd-party observers
> can be used to close such loopholes. With> modern technology it seems
> feasible too. One could of course rewrite rules> to exclude the use of
> audio files. But there's probably always another> loophole.> I don't
> think I'd be interested in the MMOG world that Steve describes, but> I
> think the idea of 3rd party impartial referees "in the cloud" is worth a>
> look.> 73,> /Jack de K3FIV> On Sun, Jun 23, 2013 at 7:34 AM, Steve Sacco
> NN4X wrote:>> I've been following this latest thread by the cq-contest-
> lawyers with my>> usual disdain.>>>> I'd like to short circuit the
> thread, and suggest that there are two>> logical end-points we can arrive
> at which will, once and for all, make>> things "right" by those who enjoy
> arguing more than playing radio:>>>> 1) The logging function be moved to
> a (heaven help me for using this IT>> industry cliche) "cloud-based
> solution". This would migrate control over>> QSO's to a centralized
> logging service. This service could perform any>> number of functions,
> but ensuring the integrity of the QSO ("transaction">> in IT-speak) in
> real-time would be one of those functions. In other words,>> once the QSO
> is committed, it can not be changed.>>>> 2) I've mentioned this solution
> previously, but sincerely believe it to be>> the ultimate and only
> solution for those who would rather argue than play>> radio: Convert
> radiosport competitions from real-world efforts to MMOG>> (Massively
> Multiplayer Online Game) efforts. The entire field of play>> would be
> virtualized, and the competitor would be released from meat-space>>
> issues such as actual sunspot conditions, local zoning constraints,>>
> spouse/neighbor concerns regarding towers and antennas, and the pesky>>
> business of of station engineering and building. The contestant would
> be>> free to compete in a known "level playing field" (except that I'm
> sure the>> cq-virtual-contest-lawyers would then insist that the game
> either>> unwittingly or, more darkly - on purpose - included ways for
> certain>> competitors go gain unfair advantage).>>>> Think of the
> possibilities here! In a Virtual-CQ-Contest, you could>> operate a
> station of your own design (perhaps bought with "credits"? Hey,>> I'm
> just brainstorming here!), located at a QTH of your own choosing.>>
> Virtual propagation conditions would be set by the contest
> administrators,>> and could be announced ahead of time, or for an added
> exciting spin, chosen>> randomly (hope you designed your virtual station
> correctly!).>>>> Other possibilities would include having the competitors
> all operating>> from the same virtual-QTH, where every other station
> would be>> computer-generated. Talk about determining the best operator!
> Who needs>> WRTC when you have this?>>>> Clearly, technology has a way to
> go before this will work for virtual>> phone contests - consider that not
> only would it have to be able to>> understand the competitor's voice, it
> would have to speak in any number of>> accents, and be able to generate
> virtual QRM, wide, distorted signals, and>> so on and so forth.>>>> So,
> there you have it. The Ultimate Solution!>>>> 73 to all,>>>> Steve>>
> NN4X>> EL98jh>>>>>>>>>>>> On 6/23/2013 9:56 AM, Randy Thompson K5ZD
> wrote:>> > We (contesting) are in the midst of a transition.>> >>> > When
> electronic logs enabled computer checking, it was eye opening to see>> >
> all of the errors in logs. UBN reports showed everything in graphic>>
> detail.>> > Listings of operator accuracy appeared. It became a badge of
> honor to>> have a>> > low error rate.>> >>> > It should be no surprise
> that once something is measured - AND has an>> impact>> > on the final
> score - that operators would use various methods to improve>> > their
> accuracy. Most of this "log washing" was done after the contest.>> >>> >
> Several years ago the CQWW Contest Committee saw the effects of this>>
> trend>> > and how logs were being grossly manipulated. They began to add
> rules to>> help>> > detect and fight these practices.>> >>> > One example
> is to shorten the log deadline to 5 days. Another is to>> require>> >
> stations to log what they said over the air. This way (and this only>> >
> applies in very rare cases), the log checker could use the SDR to
> confirm>> > that the log was not being changed after the fact.>> >>> >
> This transition via rule changes has been fairly abrupt. It is running>>
> into>> > "accepted practices" that allowed and encouraged log cleaning.
> Everyone>> is>> > adjusting to the new paradigm.>> >>> > The spirit of
> the effort is very simple -- keep the contest within the>> > contest
> period and over the air. I.e., log what you think you worked.>> When>> >
> the contest is over, send in your log.>> >>> > If everyone did this, we
> would return to a test of radio operating skills>> > rather than a test
> of log cleaning.>> >>> >>> > Randy, K5ZD>> >>> >> -----Original Message--
> --->> >> From: CQ-Contest [mailto:cq-contest-bounces@**contesting.com]>>
> On Behalf Of>> >> Richard F DiDonna NN3W>> >> Sent: Monday, June 17, 2013
> 8:49 PM>> >> To: cq-contest at contesting.com>> >> Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest]
> [FCG] CQ WW Rules and SCP>> >>>> >> I'm having a slight issue with one
> thing you've written Bob. You wrote>> >> that it is "not OK to go back
> and correct this after the fact." This>> >> seems at odds with what I
> have heard stations say for years: namely that>> >> if you make a change
> during the contest in in the minutes immediately>> >> after the contest,
> its OK. Indeed, in WRTC, you're allowed 30 minutes>> to>> >> make
> corrections and to enter in any notes that you made during the>> >>
> contest.>> >>>> >> Two examples come to mind:>> >> in CQWW, you work
> HG108DX on one band but you entered the call into your>> >> log as
> HG109DX. You work him three hours later on a different band yet>> >> your
> worked call history shows you have never worked HG108DX, but you>> >>
> KNOW you worked him. A quick scan of partials indicates you purportedly>>
> >> worked HG109DX, but you know now this to be wrong. My understanding
> is>> >> that you've always been able to make this correction during the>>
> contest.>> >>>> >> In ARRL DX (from the W/VE side), you work GW4BLE and
> you enter 59 100 as>> >> his power. Three hours later, you work GW4BLE
> and you clearly hear him>> >> say 59 400 which conflicts with what you
> think he said earlier. A>> verbal>> >> confirmation that 59 400 is
> correct and has been correct leads you to>> >> change what you entered in
> the first QSO. Again, my understanding is>> >> that you've always been
> able to make this correction during the contest.>> >>>> >> 73 Rich NN3W>>
> >>>> >> On 6/17/2013 1:32 PM, w5ov at w5ov.com wrote:>> >>> I am curious how
> these scenarios are being read into rules that say>> >>> nothing about
> correcting typos or using SCP?>> >>>>> >>> "Check Partial" or "Super
> Check Partial" doesn't ever "log" anything.>> >>> The operator chooses a
> suggested callsign and then *HE* logs that, but>> >>> it is not CP or SCP
> doing the logging.>> >>>>> >>> The rule is strictly on using *outside*
> means of analyzing and>> >>> correcting your log. If *you* figure out
> that *you* made a typo,>> >>> that's not what this rule is talking about
> - is it?>> >>>>> >>> Even so, the rest of the pertinent section says:>>
> >>>>> >>> VIII.9 All logging must be performed in real time.>> >>>>> >>>
> VIII.10. Call signs logged must be the same as those exchanged>> >>> over
> the air by the entrants during the QSO.>> >>>>> >>> Q: How does that
> affect the above?>> >>>>> >>> A: Let's say that you log and work K1ABZ
> during the contest. Later,>> >>> you somehow realize you should misheard
> his callsign and it should>> >>> have been K1ABC. In this scenario, you
> said "K1ABZ" (Alpha Bravo>> >>> Zulu) on the air and logged K1ABZ. It is
> not OK to go back and correct>> >> this after the fact.>> >>> You made an
> error - clearly. Fixing it after the fact does not undo>> >>> the error -
> does it?>> >>>>> >>> One thing that is quite different is that with the
> advent of SDR, the>> >>> committee can hear virtually every qso that
> takes place.>> >>>>> >>>>> >>>>> >>> W5OV>> >>>>> >>>>> >>
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