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Contesting Online Speak Out

Speak Out: Contest Databases

There can be no doubt that the use of Contest databases - both callsign (check partial) types and exchange types - is controversial. Detractors claim that they are nothing more than a crutch, promoting outright guessing and subsequent logging of questionable QSOs and many would like their use banned. Those on the "other side" claim, among things, that databases are a natural progression of computer logging, the use of which would be difficult to police and most flagrant abuse (guessing) would be quickly detected and punished in the log checking. What are your thoughts?

36 opinions on this subject. Enter your opinion at the bottom of this page.
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IT9BLB on 2005-11-09
I consider accuracy, in contest logging activity, so important that check-partial is just a gadget on my screen; I always have it enabled but just sometimes my eyes look at it. With or without: no problems! Ears and brain must be in "pole position".
I don't consider SCP as a REAL plus for the operator, so nothing to say about both who likes it and who doesn't.


VK4JSR on 2005-05-12
I’ve just received my 2004 CQWW SSB results and was amazed at the impact that the ‘-B’ and ‘-N’ contacts had on my score. The assessed result some 500k points lower than my claimed result.

On closer examination it is very obvious that the vast majority were through stations logging my call wrong – assigning the contact to another station not even active during that event through reliance on callsign databases.

Why should I be punished for their error?


K8DO on 2005-02-16
There can be no doubt that this topic is DOA... It is long past time to replace it... If you lack a new topic drop me an email and I will suggest a few...

vr2bg on 2005-02-02
I should have added that folks who rely on the database when operating are probably more likely to have poor UBN performance.

For some contests, the exchange sent may not be as expected or was received previously. The attention to log checking nowadays means one will increasingly have not-in-logs if the station you just guessed the call of is not sure of what you guessed, or just did not have the confidence to log the Q to begin with. Some contests do not even count uniques & the leaders in log checking (CQ WW SSB/CW) are pretty darn good at figuring which uniques are really bad.

Contest databases: not a problem & would be seen not to be a problem with proper log checking (what is that saying about justice - something about must be done & seen to be done? - UBN reports must be made available to participants & at least some inidication of each participants' error rate should be published).

What might be a problem with contest databases is a reluctance to accept how radiosport is practiced - kind of like religion, political or cultural stuff by mankind in general. Differences deserve to be respected.

73, VR2BrettGraham

vr2bg on 2005-02-02
The database I use was built largely from my own logs. Any data beyond callsigns came exclusively from what I copied off air.

When I was young, I could do SS CW from W7RM & not find a dupe in my log afterwards. Likewise, I could remember much of what most folks usually sent for check, section & so forth.

What must we do to please K0HB, get a frontal lobotomy? If I see on the screen the data that I might remember anyway from the last time I worked a station, how is this different than from my recollection alone?

Quite a few other folks seem to assume that using a database means that everything logged comes from that database.

Go back to hammer & chisel logging & spark if you like, but for not doing so, others are _not_ inferior, cheats, or anything untoward in the least. Likewise, just because some folks might rely entirely on their databases doesn't immediately mean that everybody does it.


73 & HLNY, VR2BrettGraham

S55M on 2005-01-27
Not a problem--database or not....just add the serial number to copy and all databases will not be enough for bad operator. Raports like ENN 15 and ENN SI or ENN KW are stupid...

K6DGW on 2004-11-11
Novice contester, getting better since joining NCCC. I keep TRMASTER updated with info from my own master log on the grounds that there is nothing unethical about consulting my own past effort. I don't pre-fill, however. I found it to be wrong too many times (I can make more than enough mistakes all by myself, I don't need the computer adding to them!). I do put the relevant data (CK and SEC for SS) into the User Info Window in TR. Most common use: I copy call, CK doesn't match the database, I ask, reply is same CK I copied, I begin to wonder if I copied the call correctly and I query that, sure enuf, it was K5SW, not K5HW. Particularly true when pulling cluster spots out of the band map.

For the purist, I'm probably over the line.

Fred K6DGW
Auburn CA CM98lw

HS0ZCG on 2004-11-08
I think it is much ado about nothing. The logging program I use has the facility. Makes no difference one way or another to me. I listen for the calls. I think the support features of the new programs are nice, but I don't really think they make a lot of difference. When I am contesting I concentrate on the bands, don't have time for anything else. What I appreciate most about the new logging programs is the accuracy in recording freq and time. For the rest- well it is just the progress of technology. Contesting is 99% operator and 1% technology.

W3PT on 2004-11-04
Hey! I submit my logs as ASSISTED so your not really in competion with me.

K0HB on 2004-10-29
Radiosport contesting, first and foremost, is designed as test of your skill as a radioman.

What goes into your log ought to be what YOU copied off the air without software aids. Nothing more, nothing less. If you didn't copy it directly off the air, then it doesn't belong in your log.

Crutches like "super check partial", automagic population of the zone field based on call sign, band maps populated by the cluster, and other similar 'assistance' are nothing more than crib-sheets which allow mediocre operators to fantasize that they are expert radiomen.

And yes, my UBN reports typically run several screens long, but I come by them honestly.

From the French:

Un chasseur sachant chasser chasse sans son chien.
(A hunter who knows how to hunt hunts without his dog)

73, de Hans, K0HB

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