[CQ-Contest] NILs hurt

George Dubovsky n4ua.va at gmail.com
Wed Sep 4 18:03:42 EDT 2013

On Wed, Sep 4, 2013 at 3:47 PM, <KB3LIX at comcast.net> wrote:

> I have lots of points I want to make, and I will
> probably miss some, but here goes.
> My purpose is NOT to teach anyone a "LESSON"
> That notion is foolish to me.
> My intent is to make sure I am NOT penalized in the log checking
> process for having excessive NIL's.
> This is especially important to me when I am participating
> in a contest where I am not only penalized for a single NIL,
> but am also penalized additional points as punishment
> for having an NIL.

This is a worthy goal.

> In ALL cases, I try to get the attention of the running station
> and get an ack. MOST times I am drowned out by other callers.

Part of the problem may be that you don't recognize an ACK when it arrives.
You sound like a fone op, and I'm a cw op, so I may be talking out of
school, but believe me: runners live and die on the weak signals. The more
well-water weak signals I can make Qs with, the better my score. If I can
copy the weak guys and my competition can't, that's a population
unavailable to them. There is an entire layer of signals (out of EU,
because I'm and East Coast station) that I have always referred to as "50
watts to attic dipoles" - they are the faint murmuring that you hear when
you end your "CQ test" call. If you can pick up one of them in between the
moderately to really loud responders, there's a good chance that you have a
Q that few others will have - and that's good. So, if I get a part of one
of those guys calls, I tend to stick with him to complete the Q. And, when
I'm sure I have his info correct (and he probably has mine correct because
he likely hears me better than I hear him - he answered me, after all), I
send "TU N4UA" and the freq might explode with louder callers, and I move
on. But if I invest the effort into digging him out, I stick with it until
I think I have a good Q. I don't want busted Qs any more than you do. I go
over my Log Checking Reports every contest, and I try to get my error rate
lower. It will never be zero, and I think you could never win with a zero
error rate, but I do try to improve. But when I send "TU N4UA" I'm happy,
and at that point I have concluded that you're happy too. If you're not,
it's probably too late to do anything about it, but there's certainly
nothing malicious about it - at least on my end. I want ALL Qs to be good,
but I realize that some will not be.

That is potentially MY fault because I do not have a kW+ amplifier
> and a junk yard full of aluminum in the air.
> Living on a fixed income precludes those options.

Lotsa folks do very well with modest stations. Perhaps you need some help
to get the most out of what you already have.

> A scenario I also live with is the situation where I send my info
> and I believe he does not get it because I am drowned out by others.
> I DETEST the practice in contests and general DXing where a station
> replies to a caller, or sends a partial call like "Who is the KB3"
> and the world keeps calling instead of SHUTTING UP and let
> him complete the Q.

It is, after all, a contest, but yeah, that's annoying. The only real cure
is to be the loudest KB3...


geo - n4ua

> While I am at it, I'll tell you another thing I will not do:
> There may be a running station that is totally distorted, splattering
> all over the place because he has the "all knobs to the right syndrome"
> Those guys, I IGNORE and keep on spinning the VFO. There are LOTS of those
> types out there. Too bad people do not pay proper attention to their
> station setup. It just shows their ignorance.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Jukka Klemola" <jpklemola at gmail.com>
> To: ve4xt at mymts.net, "cq-contest" <cq-contest at contesting.com>
> Sent: Wednesday, September 4, 2013 11:45:27 AM
> Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] NILs hurt
> Kelly et al,
> If I am not drastically mistaken, the original KB3LIX scenario was in case
> the running station does not acknowledge in the way the S&P pleases, the
> S&P simply removes the QSO from his log and tunes on.
> Leaving the -NIL victim unaware of his state. S&P calmly keeps on rolling
> the VFO.
> You refer to a scenario where the S&P station asks for a repeat, repeats or
> otherwise fixes the QSO before leaving the frequency. The whole case
> changes. Of course.
> My addition would be, if needed, make another contact with the running
> station without moving on.
> But as HB wrote, teaching the running station a lesson like this, simply is
> something also I would discourage people from doing. There would be no
> lesson delivered. Nothing learned.
> To me, that would not increase the Fun.
> 73,
> Jukka OH6LI

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