[CQ-Contest] 1980s checks in SS/SSB.

Richard Ferch ve3iay at storm.ca
Fri Nov 21 15:28:42 EST 2014

Hi Kelly,

I may not have made my point well enough.

Of course you should copy what was sent, and I agree that you aren't 
going to be penalized by the contest adjudicators if you send a 
different exchange in different years. That wasn't my point.

My point was that when sending my own exchange, I want it to be as 
predictable as possible. That's not so much to ensure that the other 
person will get it right - that's really their problem, not mine. More 
importantly from the point of view of my own self-interest, it's to 
minimize the time it takes for us to complete the QSO.

If the other person is copying what they hear, but what they hear is 
unexpected, it may take them a bit longer to get it than it would be if 
what they heard was expected. The chances of their asking for a repeat 
are probably increased a bit because of the surprise factor. A 
hesitation or repeat only slows them down for that one QSO, but it may 
affect a lot of my QSOs. By the end of the contest, the one who suffers 
most from all those hesitations and repeats could well be me.

As for whether to use autofill features or not, the risk of having the 
autofill lead you astray and losing credit for the odd QSO may indeed be 
more costly than the time you save by not having to type in the 
autofilled part of the exchanges. That's a decision each of us has to 
make when setting up for a contest. But I don't see the point in trying 
to discourage someone else from using autofill by deliberately trying to 
trip him up.

Contesting is not a zero-sum game; the goal is not to make the other 
person make mistakes so you come out ahead of them. The goal is for both 
of you to exchange the required information as quickly and accurately as 
you can. In the interests of minimizing wasted time, one of my own 
objectives is to make my exchange as predictable and easy to copy as 
possible. As far as I can see, changing my check every year only gets in 
the way of achieving the goal.

Rich VE3KI

On 2014-11-21 12:13 PM, Kelly Taylor wrote:
> Hi Rich,
> Hope you're well.
> To me, this is a pretty good case for turning off any autofill feature
> (aside from fills of exchanges from the same contest (for contests where you
> can work guys multiple times on different bands). I'd rather trust my ears
> than a possibly faulty database, though I think the potential for both to
> let me down is large! Keeping an autofill feature off is a good way to not
> fall into the trap of recording the wrong information.
> The check in SS is a variable in some cases, for a couple of reasons. The
> rules say year of first license (though if you read carefully, the rules
> don't say which license (driver's? radio? nursing?)), but they don't say
> first license of whom. The operator at that moment? The station licensee?
> The holder of whatever callsign is used?
> It's also variable because none of the above matters: the League is spending
> (read: wasting) zero time cross-referencing checks with licensing databases
> because the point of any decent contest is the successful exchange of the
> information, not the content itself. So the test is did you copy what was
> sent, not did you send the same check as all the other times you entered.
> Particularly as we get more into the 21st century and more checks could well
> be either 19xx or 20xx.
> 73, kelly
> ve4xt
> On 11/21/14 7:10 AM, "Richard Ferch" <ve3iay at storm.ca> wrote:
>> K0RC wrote:
>>> Actually, it's a know fact that _some_ operators change their check to try
>>> and thwart the "appliance contesters" out there. :-)
>> This is a classic example of cutting off your nose to spite your face.
>> The person who is hurt most by this is likely to be the person who
>> changes their check every year, because of increased requests for
>> repeats as compared with someone whose exchange is more predictable.
>> 73,
>> Rich VE3KI
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