[CQ-Contest] RDXC Entry Reclassified to High Power

Mark n2qt n2qt.va at gmail.com
Sun Oct 2 12:02:16 EDT 2016

Also be aware that the skimmers (although statistically very good) will confuse a caller
and the running station when reporting SNR. This means that the signal level of a station 
local to the skimmer gets reported as the SNR of the station being called.  This makes it 
appear that the signal jumped in strength.  This is most noticeable on VHF where the lack
 of lots of skimmer traffic makes it stand out, but it also happens on all bands.

Mark. N2QT

> On Oct 2, 2016, at 1:51 AM, Dez Watson <g3ww.dez at gmail.com> wrote:
> 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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