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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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VE4XT on 2004-06-22
SCP is not intended to help people 'clean' their logs. A popular misconception is that penalties for busted Qs are license to post-contest scrub, and they're not. They're intended to encourage folk to get it right when it counts -- during the Q.

As for 'guessing,' if my nearest rival wants to guess his way to a lower score, ALL THE POWER TO HIM! SCP is just a tool, nothing more. And it's a poor craftsman who blames his tools.

AB5XZ on 2004-06-20
I suppose there are folks who do a lot of log cleanup using the databases. I don't, and it doesn't cause me to lose many Q's.
But, ya know, it is pleasant to hear "Thanks, Tom" from the other end. I try to say that when I contact somebody I know during a contest (e.g., Robert W5AJ, operating from wherever).

KR0U on 2004-06-15
Here's what partial-call databases do: to this day, I still work folks in phone SS who tell me "Good luck, Jeff!". We all know that Jeff changed calls years ago, but seeing that famous callsign on the computer screen seems to make people forget.

If you want to earn some busted-call penalties, super-check partial will be happy to assist you. If you value your score, please listen and copy the callsign!

--KR0U ("Uniform", not "Yankee!")

Anonymous on 2004-05-31
I don't use 'em. Let my ears do the work - more fun that way, and keeps me alert.
On the other end, I have a call similar to many in my area, and many stns working me guess at it, geting my call wrong and wasting time in the correction.
VE7XF (not ve7uf, ve7vf, ve7xr, etc.)

KB3A on 2004-05-28
Since the advent of computer logging(guess I am showing my age),call database application is a natural progression to computer logging which is more than fair considering all logs are electronicly processed for accuracy even at the small contest level. As an operator I can still override the data and I still have to work them for QSO points. If there are people so concerned with data base use, have a paper log contest with a dupe matrix sheet. Databases are just a tool, the rest is up to the operator.As long as logs are checked electronicly, databases are the best way for clean logs, besides, how many times has someone worked SS and the name was different than the database, no real operator blindly presses enter without at least confirming the data is correct. When the log police retire, I will throw away my database.

73, KB3A

Anonymous on 2004-05-27
This is not really a question - nor is the call database a problem... All the major contests use cross checking of the logs - mostly due to the machinations of Trey, you rat:) - and if your log and the other fellas log don't agree you lose that qso... And once you reach a certain percentage of busted QSO's there will be additional penalties against your score... And when you hit a preset limit of bad QSO's you are disqualified from the contest...

So, while the database of known contest calls may be of some help once in a while (I never pay any attention to it because I'm usually sweating bullets trying to pull a call out of heavy qrm and my eyes are squeezed shut in concentration) depending upon it will get your log disqualified in a heartbeat...

denny - k8do

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