[CQ-Contest] Time to ban logging software and return to paper

Radio K0HB kzerohb at gmail.com
Mon Aug 3 12:52:40 EDT 2015

I tend to be a little less of a purist regarding "assistance".

Actually, I carry a mental model which divides assistance into two 
categories, "primary" and "secondary".

My definition of primary assistance is "information which links a specific 
callsign to a specific frequency in real time during the contest".  Examples 
would be cluster spots, skimmer spots (RBN and local), 2-meter spotting 
nets, etc. In other words, information which directly points you to a 
point-bearing contact. (I think this is the classic definition used by most 
contest sponsors.)

My view of secondary assistance is information harvested from previous logs 
(yours or others) such as SCP, call history, and other similar "pre-fills". 
This category doesn't point you to a specific contact, but provides you with 
"hints" or verification based on historical data, or "calculated" pre-fills 
(such as Zone prefill in CQWW.)  (I don't think any sponsor currently 
defines this as assistance in their rules.)

The key concept in both of my definitions is "information" which you did not 
copy off the air in real time.

Beyond that, I consider the many functions of software as labor-saving 
"paperwork and housekeeping" tools, not as assistance in gathering "loggable 

73, de Hans, K0HB

-----Original Message----- 
From: Stu Phillips
Sent: Monday, August 03, 2015 4:12 AM
To: cq-contest at contesting.com
Subject: [CQ-Contest] Time to ban logging software and return to paper

Lots of interesting discussions about assistance...  But I think the key 
issue is being over looked.

The root of all assistance is the logging software. Consider...

- it tells you that you have a dupe thereby saving you time
- it lets you know you need a station on a new band
- it is the conduit for all evil such as spots, pre-fills, SCP, SO2R etc
- it calculates a probable score for you as a measure of your progress
- it measures your rate thereby inciting you to try harder or not slack off
- it sends CW for you
- it send CQ using a voice keyer
- it avoids you having to note the frequency, mode, time for each Qso
... I'm sure I'm missing many others...
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