[CQ-Contest] When do we spot? Should it be required?

Peter Dougherty (W2IRT) contesting at w2irt.net
Mon Oct 26 21:14:50 EDT 2015

As a stateside op who likes to run I'm often frustrated by the lack of spots
generated by DX stations for guys on this side. I don't like the rule about
being unable to ask to be spotted but I'll never violate it. What I *might*
say to a caller, if I'm CQing to generally dead air, is "thanks for the
call, it was gettin' pretty lonely here." Once in a very long while someone
will give me a sympathy spot. And if not, I'll just try to find a new
fishing hole. If it were permitted to ask for spots I bet the average score
amongst mid-sized stations would go up by a million or two per contest due
to longer runs.

When it comes to me spotting I have the "spot all S&P QSOs" feature turned
on in N1MM. This spots any QSO that didn't appear in my bandmap that I enter
manually. I doesn't re-spot posted calls, however. I wish that feature was
set to on by default or would stay on once engaged but that's a policy
decision by Tom and his crew.

I try to remember to spot my fellow FRCers when I run across them, and I'm
extremely grateful when one spots me in return, but at the end of the day,
it seems that EU and Caribbean stations will be spotted far more than US
stations. In my own case, I was spotted 15 times during CQWW but a quick
search of a few of the Caribbean powerhouses with well over 100 spots. It's
no wonder they never run out of callers!

Peter, W2IRT


-----Original Message-----
From: CQ-Contest [mailto:cq-contest-bounces at contesting.com] On Behalf Of
Edward Sawyer
Sent: Monday, October 26, 2015 2:23 PM
To: cq-contest at contesting.com
Subject: [CQ-Contest] When do we spot? Should it be required?

Taking a look at my spots this morning.  It is very surprisng when you are
spotted and when you are not spotted according to DX Summit.  Are there
other locations where spots exist on SSB that is not shown here?  I had a
number of runs during the contest and was never spotted according to DX
Summit.  A nice JA run on 15M and very loud and fast 20M run to EU on Sunday
afternoon, neither of these ever appear despite producing probably 400+ Qs
in the log over a few hours.

With CW, the RBN system is an effiient harvester of signals that basically
instantly populates the band map with spots.
There is no such system on SSB.

The major contests call asking to be spotted a violation. Every contest, I
either hear or am asked a few times regardless.  I am very fine with this
being considered unsportsmanlike.  However, with the increasing number of
contesters having a contest experience that is nothing more than clicking on
spots, its becoming equally unfair for stations to be spotted in very
disproportionate frequencies.

I put this question to the contest sponsors and the assisted and multi-op
contest community: What is your responsibilty to make spots of stations?
Are you just a harvester?  Or do you contribute to the process?  It would
seem to be in everyone's interest that doesn't "spin the dial" much, or at
all, anymore to make sure that the interaction is bi-lateral.

Should a minimum spotting requirement be added?  We have a minimum ID
requirement in CQ major contests?  How about a minimum spotting submission
requirement for those using the system?

I personally like the unassisted experience.  But being a "ghost"
in the bandmap world doesn't help anyone in contesting anymore.


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