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There has been a lot of discussion on the email reflectors about cheating in contests. Do you think contest sponsors should take more action to reduce cheating in contests?
  Posted: Feb 01, 2008   (322 votes, 16 comments) by VE5ZX

  Don't care
    (322 votes, 16 comments)
Survey Results
Yes 77% (248)
No 8% (26)
Maybe 9% (29)
Don't care 6% (19)

Survey Comments
i enjoy contests i dont enter a lot but when i do i enjoy the game.some times i use assisted but what ware i live in scotland it does not help all that much.if you have to cheat dont spoil it for others just enjoy. that what radio is all about fun and enjoyment.

Posted by mm0erk on January 28, 2008

This is sad that we are talking about cheating in a radio contest. Im new to the hf bands, but been a ham sents 1989. I just dont see the point in cheating. you dont get anything out of it.

Posted by kb9aza on January 27, 2008

For what...the money?
Well, the vast majority of hams are honest. To me, minimal precautions should exist, but really there is no incentive to cheat. For what...a certificate and a column in a score report?

I have to laugh sometimes when I am told to turn my amp down, when I'm running 100W or less. Just goes to show that sometimes things are not what they seem. I personally wouldn't feel it was worth the effort to cheat and from my experience in knowing contesters that are "regulars", as a peer group they wouldn't take it lightly if someone did cheat. I recall a low power SS entry (he had over 1000 QSOs) that was disqualified in the 80's for "write-ins" that never operated another SS after that. It only takes 1 time to ruin years of reputation.

Posted by kc5r on January 26, 2008

contest QRO cheating
There are, today, active contesters who may routinely run
as much as 10 KW or more in the major DX contests and
who consider it their right and privilege to do so. But such
is the nature and face of mental illness; some even have
plaques and awards for "winning" - but of course, by
deceiving the contest committees and their fellow hams
they have won nothing other than shame.Yes, contesting
may be just a game - but whether it is by QRO or through
some other method that they gain unfair advantage, I
can't help but feel that deliberate cheating in a contest of
one's peers in any form is despicable and ultimately sad.
Fair competition has been a lofty and honored human
tradition for thousands of years. Sport elevates us and
transports us beyond the ills and mortal shortcomings we
are heir to - and it is in the heat of competition that we
discover that we are, after all, of one family. But to
endeavor to steal the laurels from real champions in a
radio contest by taking unfair advantage is, as in any
sport, to steal from all of us, to cheapen and give lie to a
great heritage, and ultimately, to mark the guilty party as
a person without honor - someone who ultimately doesn't
belong in amateur radio.

Posted by KU2M on January 24, 2008

More categories = more cheating. Any limitation (power, antennas, cluster considered as 'assisted' etc.) opens the door to cheating. I'm afraid that a multi-multi category without any limitations can became cheaty - remote controlled internet radios.

Ham radio in the 'socialist Europe' before 1990 was a big humbug, because the so called 'ham' organizations played with titles like 'Master Champion' which included a noticeable profit to the holder. An unknown contester can't win, if he did we will be considered as suspicious and came into focus of various inspections with simple task - find anything as a pretence to withdraw him the license. The 'Master Champion' had never such troubles... Unfortunately, many European Ham organizations (IARU Members) continuing the 'Master Champion' game, the reason now is that there is very advantageous to be considered as 'sportsmen' or 'sport club' to get money from the sponsors (like sport lottery here).

Throw away all the 'Champiuonships' and support only pure ham radio. Thisi is only way to prevent cheating...

Posted by ok1rr on January 17, 2008

If there is cheating, I don't think it's wide spread. Log checking certainly eliminates a lot of opportunity. All that's left is using more power than you've classified yourself, and being assisted while claiming unassisted. I don't think we have a big problem, and I don't think it's growing. Let's put our energies into encouraging more hams to participate rather than making things more complicated.

Posted by K6RB on January 16, 2008

Spotting leaves me in two minds, the technologically advanced stations that have spotting should be OK to use it as part of the package. This is certainly the case in the ASIAN contests. But the purist in me says level playing field ! I then look at esoteric stations some guys are lucky enough to have and the level playing field sort of tilts a bit..In March I travel to YJ0 for the WPX due to poor propagation in vk4 should that cause a handicap or should the best most proficient station and operator prevail. Either way its a tough call.


Posted by VK4TI on January 11, 2008

Contest Cheating
I suspect that abuse of the "power" limitations is the most prevelant? I've observed, in a DX pileup, several "low power" contest stations, and their signal is always the same? When the "all time new one" comes on the air, whom, if they have an amplifier available, doesn't use it? There is software, in place, that has shown those that log onto clusters, but claim unassisted, it just needs to be used more vigorously, by the contest sponsors. As far as spotting, during a contest that doesn't allow spotting, if the "spotter" doesn't send in a log, he/she hasn't done anything wrong?

Posted by K4WW on January 10, 2008

Spotting networks are very difficult to contend with, as the receiver of the spot may not be using them him/herself. I am unclear as to whether or not there is a way to determine if any given station was logged into a packet cluster, even though he/she didn't spot anyone. If there is, then their class or eligibility should be verified. The bigger problem is that contest scoring is inherently flawed to begin with. Those with the mega-stations don't need to cheat, and those who have a tribander and some wires up in a suburban setting won't be helped much even if they do cheat. As others have aptly stated before me, those that cheat are only cheating themselves. The true enjoyment comes with knowing that one has done his best on a personal level.

Posted by VE6CNU on January 7, 2008

Unless a contest has no power limits, class of entry or other restriction, rule bending will happen.

The good thing is no matter how hard people try to cheat it seems there is always a honorable guy with a name like Larry, Doug, Greg or Dave etc. that whips their butt anyway.

Posted by N6PE on January 5, 2008

When a flurry of stations started calling me during the Recent Stew Perry 160 meter contest, I just KNEW that I had been spotted on the packetcluster. The contest rules clearly stated that no packet was allowed! (Not even for multioperator stations!) "Cheating" is apparently rampant, and contest sponsors should absolutely make examples out of the scoundrels that they can identify. How can anybody stare at a plaque on the wall that they KNOW that they didn't earn?

Posted by n2kw on January 3, 2008

Contest Cheating
It is probably true that there are cheaters in radio contesting. All through the discussions, however, I haven't seen anyone produce any empiracal data.

I would be very pleased to see a few of the contest sponsors get together and try to determine if there is a significant problem with cheating and , if so, to what extent. In this area, opinions should not count.

If the problem is significant enough, action certainly should be taken, but in a responsible manner.

My penny's worth.


Posted by w0uo on January 3, 2008

Computerized logging has minimized most forms of cheating - compared to 40 years ago...

The big ones remaining are power violations <which doesn't help the score as much as the violators believe>

And - the constant problem of using dx clusters to find contacts but not marking the log as assisted...

The best thing the sponsors could do for that is to stop QUIETLY DQ those logs, and instead openly publicize which calls are dq-ed for assisted violations and ban that call sign from the contest for 5 years... It would only take one big name contestor getting zapped to eliminate 99%...

Posted by K8DO on January 3, 2008

Why cheat? I personaly enter contests for personal satisfaction. I dont win many plaques but I still get a warm feeling when its over.
If cash prizes were given then I could understand cheating, But for a piece of paper to hang on the wall?

Posted by wd5jnc on January 2, 2008

contest cheating
Feeling the necessity to cheat on a contest shows almost complete lack of integrity on the part of the individual or individuals who knowingly participate in that sort of activity. I enter and participate in contests to meet "personal" goals and benchmarks and not to be lauded by others...
Garden City, Kansas

Posted by AC0E on January 1, 2008

Whats the point of cheating in radio contesting just so you could have a plaque I mean people are just jerks these days! Now when you earn the plaque that's something you should be proud of!

Posted by kc9mav on January 1, 2008

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