[CQ-Contest] Real Time Scoring and Quick Submissions

Ward Silver hwardsil at gmail.com
Fri Nov 11 15:05:52 EST 2016

The issue with confirmation or non-confirmation during the contest could 
be addressed by turning off reporting back to the submitters.  Just 
store the QSO and acknowledge that the server has it but no additional 
information about it is provided.  The QSOs are validated anyway so that 
when the contest is over, the scores are final within a decent interval 
that allows for buffering and such.  You could also still have real-time 
score reporting since you wouldn't really know if any particular QSO was 
good or not, even though you might guess based on a count of QSOs and 
Multipliers. (If you're trying to get that information by watching a 
scoreboard, you're losing the contest anyway!)

If you don't have Internet connectivity (intentionally or not) then you 
could still play and those QSOs would just be treated like Uniques are 
today - possibly bad but counted anyway.  Then when the post-contest log 
does show up, go through and validate all of its QSOs, just like LOTW 
does.  It patiently waits forever for logs to come in.  For the contest 
version, there would be a cutoff date/time for logs and the scores 
become final at that point.

Some new contests could require connectivity for all participants.  
Legacy contests could use the hybrid model and legacy contesters (that 
would be us) could participate in whichever way makes them happy.  You 
could even turn off QSO validation reports if they were available so 
that you could have the very same experience you have right now.

All of this process has really been demonstrated already by LOTW - we 
just have to add variable exchange data to the confirmation process and 
accelerate the validation checking.

73, Ward N0AX

On 11/11/2016 11:59 AM, Kelly Taylor wrote:
> Hi Kevan,
> An overlay such as I am suggesting is the logical first step. No sense 
> diving head first into something that could be infested with 
> man-eating sharks.
> No, many contesters actually don’t have real-time access to the 
> Internet at the station location. Just because I’m writing this from 
> the comfort of my home in the city doesn’t mean this is where I will 
> contest.
> Many contesters like things the way they are: I would argue these 
> contesters are the core of our participation. Driving them away would 
> be a bad thing. You can’t force people to participate if they don’t 
> like the contest. Witness the boycott of the RDXC.
> I also do question whether confirming QSOs via the Internet violates 
> the idea that we should do things over the air, and should accept the 
> consequences of messing up. Even if all we get back is a notice “QSO 
> 1234, with W0DLE, invalid” it means we get the chance to go back and 
> do it right. How is that different than phoning W0DLE and saying “Hey, 
> I got 134 A 82 CO, is that correct?”
> 73, kelly, ve4xt
>> On Nov 11, 2016, at 11:30 AM, Kevan Nason <knason00 at gmail.com 
>> <mailto:knason00 at gmail.com>> wrote:
>> N4XL
>> "Starting at "some can't therefore we shouldn't" has stopped a lot of 
>> projects over the years"
>> VE4XT
>> "I argued “most won’t, but we should find a way for those who want to.” "
>> That's the difference in a nutshell and basis for the discussion. 
>> Some don't want to make it mandatory. Others think it is potentially 
>> very beneficial. I'm continuing Ward's point that doing so might very 
>> well make many ethic discussions and DQ's for cheating moot. 
>> Obviously not all, but it looks like it could very well be a step in 
>> a positive direction to improving contesting operating skills in 
>> particular and in general the services provided by hams to their 
>> communities. Why not explore that thought some more?
>> Let's put some particulars out. Counter with others like Heard 
>> Island. Get the discussion going.
>> It seems clear you and I and several thousand other contesters have 
>> the internet and would be able to do real time scoring and/or quickly 
>> submit scores. I've nothing to back it up, but there is tremendous 
>> internet use during and right after a contest so it appears many have 
>> already have the means. Not everyone uses a logger that could do it. 
>> They probably could though. N1MM is free. Or the capability could 
>> likely be added to those that don't. What other reasons people 
>> couldn't (not wouldn't) do real time scoring?
>> What if real time scoring wasn't real time?  Would updates every 
>> hour, two, six, twelve suffice?
>> I'll give you a problem I recently solved.  I live in the country and 
>> only wireless internet is available. Until recently I had a 5 gig 
>> limit to my internet. It's now up to 50, but doing real time scoring 
>> and operating assisted ate that 5 gig up pretty quickly and I 
>> sometimes paid over use charges. I wouldn't want to have had 
>> mandatory real time scoring then. If that was the rule though it 
>> would not have stopped me from contesting. Maybe not everyone who had 
>> a shot at winning could afford those over usage charges. And as you 
>> pointed out, not every location has internet by either wired or 
>> wireless. That is a problem to try and solve.
>> You gave another example. The DXpedition where no internet is 
>> available. Not sure about solution there, but Hughes net has 
>> satellite service and Google supposedly launching balloons or 
>> something soon. That could be included in the planning cost of the 
>> DXpedition for those expecting to contest while there. To state the 
>> obvious, not all DXpeditions are interested in a winning contest 
>> score though so how big a problem is that? Assuming Heard Island 
>> wants a shot at a winning contest score, maybe the internet just 
>> doesn't reach to Heard Island. Maybe it does. I don't know one way or 
>> the other. Do you? Seems there is likely one or more possible 
>> solutions out there though. A lot DXpeditions manage to find a way to 
>> get logs out on the internet while they are doing their thing. There 
>> is likely some way. What about HF data transfer? The proposed data 
>> rate changes by the ARRL to the FCC may offer additional HF log data 
>> transfer opportunities (i.e.: periodic log transfers to a U.S. or 
>> other HF station for upload). Not sure what the current rules are for 
>> other countries. Maybe that can already be done?
>> My point is I don't know everything. Absolutely no disrespect 
>> intended, but I don't think you do either. It seems technically 
>> possible and there is probably an administrative way to handle the 
>> exceptions. Other than the obvious of personal choice, what reasons 
>> does the group have to saying it simply can't be done?
>> Kevan
>> N4XL

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