[CQ-Contest] RDXC Entry Reclassified to High Power

Bob Henderson bob.5b4agn at gmail.com
Sat Oct 1 01:17:14 EDT 2016

At the end of an extraordinary seven week episode, owing as little to the
pursuit of truth and justice as Kafka’s “The Trial”, my SOAB Mixed LP
submission to the Russian DX Contest 2016 has been confirmed reclassified
to “High Power”.

I am told similar reclassifications happen every year.  Entrants defend
themselves, complain bitterly of unfair treatment then threaten never to
enter RDXC again.  Apparently they all come back the following year despite
their protestations.  Not this time.  Oh what it is to be judged through
eyes coloured by the mores of another culture.

The conduct of this episode has completely poisoned my opinion of this
event and its adjudication, a fact the contest director concerned appears
to find impossible to comprehend.  I will not participate in the Russian DX
Contest again.

I favour firm but fair adjudication but this has been neither.  Things
started to go awry when I received a mail from a director of the
contest on 12th
August in which he advised signals from P3F during RDXC 2016 had been
observed at times equal or stronger than those from P33W, a nearby station
entered in the HP category.  He asked whether I would agree to having P3F
entry reclassified from SOAB Mixed LP to the HP category.  I responded
immediately rejecting the proposal and reaffirming P3F operation had been
within the rules and 100W power limit at all times.

Protracted communication unfolded via e-mail following his initial contact.
I was sent some graphs made using the RBN analysis tool.  These compared
signals from P3F to those from P33W and superficially appeared to support
the allegation.  Something was clearly wrong.  I conducted my own review of
the data held within these graphs which visually compare time displaced S/N
measurements in a join the dots format.  The effect of joining the dots
giving the impression both signals were coincident when in fact hours may
have lapsed between measurements.  I set out to extract comparative S/N
data which was reasonably time-coincident.  There were remarkably few spots
coincident within a minute, so I broadened the span to cover several

Comparison of these measurements by node told an entirely different
story.  Signals
from P33W were found at their peak to be stronger than those from P3F by up
to 28dB on 10m; 22dB on 15m; 25dB on 20m; 23dB on 40m and 12dB on 80m where
P3F uses a full size 4-square (5.5dB gain) and P33W uses a single vertical.
There were not enough data points to support meaningful analysis on 160m.  On
the flip side, P3F signals at peak were found relative to those from P33W
to be 0dB on 10m; -10dB on 15m; 2dB on 20m; 9dB on 40m and 1dB on 80m.

Each time I sent an analysis of time-coincident data to the director I
requested feedback on anything considered flawed or unfair.  No such
feedback was provided at any stage but the allegation started to change
shape.  Despite having supplied the RDXC director the above data which I
believe well illustrates the LP nature of P3F signals compared to those
from P33W, P3F entry has been reclassified to the HP category.  Throughout
the exchanges between us, my provision of time-coincident data has been met
with indifference for one reason or another.  I first spent several hours
extracting the data for 10, 15 and 20m.  On sending this to the director I
received the following response, “I don't care about HF bands since antenna
rotations and propagation can affect signal levels in bigger way.”  I was
flabbergasted.  These were graphs HE had provided as the basis upon which
it was asserted I had flouted contest rules.  I took the opportunity to
point out P3F uses steerable gain arrays on 40 and 80m.  If use of these
rendered 20, 15 & 10m comparisons of no interest then why did 80/40 remain
interesting?  The question remains unanswered.

During the course of the last seven weeks, allegations have gone from
simply “running HP” to “running HP on 80/40m” to running HP on 80/40m but
not full-time, just 10 minutes here and there.”  All of which is absolute
nonsense.  A barefoot K3 at 100W output was in use at all times during the
event.  No exceptions!  As the alleged offence morphed and the underlying
“evidence” along with it, I sought opportunity to review and comment upon
it.  All such requests were denied.

I have enjoyed my association with contesting over almost 50 years during
which I have earned a few bouquets and suffered several disappointments.  In
all it has been a great ride during which I have made many friends among
whom I believe I have established a reputation as one of the good
guys.  Wrongful
reclassification of my LP entry to RDXC as HP undermines all of this with
the consequence my enthusiasm for contesting has been thrust to a
significant low.  I have often pondered with advancing years the wisdom of
spending 24 or near 48 hours sat in a chair over a contest weekend.  I will
spend no time pondering whether any contest is worth seven weeks of
unwarranted grief post event.

During the past seven weeks I have at times felt angry, sad and frustrated
at the injustice of it all but hopelessly so; the adjudicators have proven
immune to my input, their decision is final, no matter how unreasonable, no
matter how flawed.  I have no redress other than to make details of this
bizarre episode available to those who may be interested.  Many questions
arise among which for me the following stand out:

1.       How fair is an adjudication process in which the accused is denied
opportunity to comment on the data upon which allegations against him stand?

2.       What more might I have done to “prove” the LP compliance of my

3.       How reliable an adjudication tool is RBN data?

How did we end up here?  I don’t know with any certainty though everal
possibilities have played through my mind.  Likely it doesn’t make much
sense to speculate at this juncture.  The story is too long already.

Significant or not I don’t know but the RDXC director concerned was Igor
“Harry” Booklan, RA3AUU who is also the owner of P33W.

Bob Henderson, 5B4AGN

P3F SOAB Mixed LP in RDXC 2016

More information about the CQ-Contest mailing list