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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?

38 opinions on this subject. Enter your opinion at the bottom of this page.
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KG5VK on 2004-08-10
It (CallSign Databases) is a Tool.
Just like an amplifier or an antenna or a beverage is a tool, if we use it correctly and appropiately it helps
If we use the Mic gain on our radio incorrectly it may get us an undesirable result.
This coming ARRL SS will be the first time we implement use of the Master Call Data base tool, does that make us a cheater ?
Or someone that is willing to use the resources to enhance the contest operation ?
Let's go back to use of Crytals instead of VFO's -no one will be too close to the band egde in a contest then !!!


Anonymous on 2004-08-01
My Whine ! The call sign databases are a real pain for me , the suffix of my call is HP , a big time dxer/contester suffix is SP. I spend half my time getting people to acknowledge the extra dot, because obviously they had the SP pop up from their data base. Even added a key in CT to send the H slowly and the P normal .. still borderline.

HB9DRV on 2004-08-01
I write a lot of ham-related software as a hobby but think that a line should be drawn in the contesting logfile area - the ARRL and other contest organisers should not allow callsign lookups, either online or from existing logbooks. It detracts from the contesting spirit at the very least.

The logbook should contain only the information received during the contest.

If progress continues at its present rate we'll soon have a PC operating a contest on its own - this is very possible already for CW.

Anonymous on 2004-07-31
I feel that everything that goes into your contest log should be WHAT YOU COPIED OFF THE AIR, and that crutches like callsign databases, SCP, cluster spots, and other automagic features of logging programs should be discontinued. Unfortunately the toothpaste is already out of the tube....

73, de Hans, K0HB

VE7GL on 2004-07-31
We use contest databases to help keep the error rate down and I feel no shame or discomfort in doing so. The hi-tech nature of contesting, be it DSP radios, computers, SO2R, multiple stack arrays, etc. is all part of the fun as far as I'm concerned. Even sail boat racing is computerized right down to the design of the sails and hull.

This is, after all, the 21st century. Time to get with it folks. One savings grace; I haven't found robots better than Gary VA7RR, Rade VA7OO, Nedo least not yet...8-)

Dale - VE7GL
(A Ludite free zone)

k5tr on 2004-07-31
I have used SCP in the past and I have also used small databases of made up of contacts from my past ARRL sweepstakes logs for getting the check and section of the station. I use neither now. I found that the database caused me to have more errors and added more confusion to me than it was worth. Super check partial (SCP) is a diffrent matter - it is clear this can be a very useful tool - and as a reslut many top guys use it - I choose not to use it myself. I do contests because I like the challenge and I find that SCP takes some of that from me. So I do not use it even though it might help me figure out the calls of some of the weak guys calling. As far as recording contests - I have done it on and off but I have never used it to correct a log post contest. I have used it to look at the busted QSOs when I get my log checking report. It can be a useful learning tool to see just what happened during some QSO that gets dinged in the checking process. I am sure there might be a few that use it correct their logs after the event, I am also sure that the most accurate folks out there like K1ZZ, VA7RR and K4BAI are not doing this - they are just that good. I think a lot of the accuracy comes from being very consistant at asking for fills if they are not 100% sure of what they heard - asking for fills if there is any doubt.

N6RV on 2004-07-29
I operate the contests for fun not as if it is life or death. I have put a lot of effort, money and time into contesting nevertheless it is a hobby. I log what I hear. I submit what I log. I know that there are errors, just like every process that humans are involved in. So what? I think focusing on and rewarding operators who have flawless scores or who do not use certain software is driving people who otherwise would not care from the hobby. Make a determination whether or not the tool can be used. Incorporate it into the rules and move on. If someone violates the rules and you can detect it, it is then enforceable. If not then it is moot and you can expect that someone is violting the rule. We rely on the integrity of the individual.

Anonymous on 2004-07-23
The nerve has indeed been struck, troll.

VE4XT on 2004-07-21
If anonymous wants to accuse big-time contesters of cheating, he should have the guts to step out from behind the mask. Otherwise, he should stick to what he knows.

Big-time contesters get it right the first time. Since they all have lives outside contesting, none has the time to do the same contest twice.

You can get low error rates AND be honest. Looks like anonymous is just fishing for scapegoats to cover his own inadequacies.

Anonymous on 2004-07-17
Sure, and while you are at it outlaw computers and make every contest a stright key and paper event!

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