[Skimmertalk] CW Skimmer Version 1.4 - improved accuracy for contesters, new free trial period

Pete Smith n4zr at contesting.com
Sun Jan 18 11:57:42 EST 2009

I have some good news to report for contester users of CW Skimmer.  I have 
just finished a series of tests with Skimmer 1.4, to measure the 
improvement in two areas important to contesters, in particular

· An excessive number of busted spots
· An excessive number of cases where a caller was mis-identified as a 
runner and spotted when that should not have happened (called CQ/DE errors 

A little background first.  Skimmer was originally intended primarily as a 
DXing tool, to facilitate cracking pileups.  In this application, speed of 
identifying the desired station is a lot more important that whether or not 
the program also generates some busted spots.  Last summer, Alex released a 
version of Skimmer that was intended to let users tailor Skimmer’s callsign 
validation to fit their preferences.  Four levels of validation were 
offered:  Minimal and Normal, intended primarily for DXers, and Aggressive 
and Paranoid, intended largely for contesters.

Now here’s the good news.  I tested version 1.3 and version 1.4 against a 
10-minute excerpt from a recording of 40M, during the CQWPXCW last May, 
using a May 2008 master.dta file and Aggressive call validation.  I 
listened to the recording for each spot that Skimmer made, and classified 
them  as OK, busts, and CQ/DE errors.

Here are the data:

Version             1.3                 1.4             Improvement
Stations missed*    --                 11 (of 92)       --
Busts               21                  0 (!)          >99%
CQ/DE errors        15                  3               80%

*legitimate CQ’s missed by the new version; in most cases, these stations 
were very weak or were only heard to CQ once during the 10-minute sample, 
for whatever reason.

For anyone who wants to try this for himself, Alex has made Version 1.4 
available for download from <http://www.dxatlas.com/>www.dxatlas.com for a 
30-day free trial.  People who earlier downloaded a trial can do so again 
with this version.

73, Pete N4ZR
the World Contest Station Database is back, and updated daily

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