[CQ-Contest] RDXC Entry Reclassified to High Power

Dez Watson g3ww.dez at gmail.com
Sun Oct 2 04:51:37 EDT 2016

Dear Bob, In the data analysis world, we have a well known proverb, "If 
you torture the data long enough, it will confess to anything". Bob,I'm sorry to hear what you've had to endure for the last several weeks. 
The way you have been treated is outrageous. The RDXC Committee owe it 
to the contesting community to present their 'evidence' against Bob 
publicly so that we can come to our own conculsions. The charge that the 
RDXC makes that Bob was "running HP on 80/40m but not full-time, just 10 
minutes here and there" is a trumped up charge if ever I've heard one. 
The RBN provides a mass of useful data but it is uncalibrated for 
starters. By comparing data over long periods trends can emerge, 
suggestions can be made but over short periods, for instance 10 minutes, 
the lack of meaningful and calibrated data can give very misleading 
results. I don't own an ampliier, I don't have gain antennas, I find it 
fascinating that occasionally my signals appear stronger than known HP 
entrants. The ionosphere with it's QSB, QRM and QRN and an uncalibrated 
non-GPS time synced Reverse Beacon Network lends itself to 
miss-interpretation unless you understand what you are dealing with. 73 
Dez, G3WW --------------------------------------------- /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 minutes. 
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 entry? 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/

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