[CQ-Contest] Preview of CQWW Rules 2015

Dick Green WC1M wc1m73 at gmail.com
Sat May 23 14:17:42 EDT 2015

When I replied to Stan's post below, I forgot to copy the reflector:

Before the CAC and CQWWCC came out with rules covering CW Skimmer, the
definition of "assistance" was vague and non-specific. But I think most
would have agreed that getting any of the information you listed below from
"someone else" would constitute assistance.

But when the revised rules came out, both organizations defined "spotting
assistance" or "QSO assistance" as consisting of the callsign (or exchange
or mult designator) plus the frequency. We had to do it that way in order to
continue to allow single-frequency CW decoders that someone might use on the
run frequency or S&P frequency. We could probably have made the definition
"and information about any of the stations on the band other than those on
the radio's current frequency" (and tightening the definition of "current
frequency"), and then listed CW decoders as an exception. But we were trying
to get away from describing specific technology because technology changes
too much. The goal was to define the information that constitutes
assistance, not the technology that provides it.

The original information definitions -- call and frequency for example --
cover the useful information provided by any of the known assistance
methods. While this might permit the information you listed below, none of
what you list is truly useful from a competitive standpoint. Knowing that a
station you really need is on the band might cause you to stop running and
go find it, but you still have to find it -- which can take a ton of time.
And there are perfectly legal ways to obtain that information. For example,
the NG3K list, which you can read before the contest, tells you about M/M
operations that are highly likely to be on every band during the entire
contest. Just because you know there's a high probability they're on the
band doesn't justify spending a lot of time hunting them down. Also, if you
know from the list that an operation is single band, you know which band to
search. But that isn't a huge amount of help in my opinion. I suppose it can
be valuable help if you happen to work a station with a similar call on
another band and can use the NG3K info to know that it's not the call of a
single-band operation on another band. But that's very minor assistance in
my opinion.

My point is that, in my opinion, the rules need to define assistance in
terms of information that truly affects the competition, not just any
information. That was one if the problem with the old definitions of
assistance (the other being problems defining the sources of the

I saw a post on the reflector that points out one big reason the change is
bad: it outlaws SCP. SCP is a technology (and a database) and it provides
the call sign. It doesn't say anything about whether that call is on the
band (which is not required by the new definition), but it helps you to
determine the call of a station you're hearing. If they go back to defining
the prohibited information as containing the frequency, SCP is OK.

73, Dick WC1M

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Stan Stockton [mailto:wa5rtg at gmail.com]
> Sent: Friday, May 22, 2015 10:38 AM
> To: wc1m73 at gmail.com
> Cc: <k5zd at charter.net>; <cq-contest at contesting.com>
> Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] Preview of CQWW Rules 2015
> > On May 22, 2015, at 12:10 AM, Dick Green WC1M <wc1m73 at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> >
> > 2. QSO alerting assistance
> >
> > I don't see the necessity of this change. Having just a call sign or
> > just a multiplier doesn't provide enough information to complete a
> > QSO. You need the frequency. Station identification (call sign or
> > exchange or multiplier) and frequency are the necessary and sufficient
> > information that defines "QSO alerting assistance". The only thing the
> > change does is prohibit single-frequency CW decoders, which provide no
> > competitive advantage and may be needed by ops with hearing problems.
> Dick,
> I am missing something or may not have been in tune with "what's the most
> you can do and be within the rules" on this subject in the past.  Has it
> been legal in SOAB to have any information provided to help with any of
> following?:
> A.  Knowing a call sign of someone on a band without frequency information
> B.  Knowing a multiplier prefix on a band without frequency information C.
> Knowing how many new call signs not already worked are on a band without
> specific call signs or frequencies.
> D.  Knowing how many multipliers not already worked are on a band without
> specific call signs or frequencies.
> Please identify which of the above, if any, can be accomplished have been
> legal under previously published rules and by which (any and all) means
> can be accomplished.
> I have always assumed that any help in knowing either A, B, C or D above
> would be assisted?
> 73...Stan, K5GO

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