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Contesting Online Survey

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Recently the RDXC committee reclassified P3F to high power from low power without publicly providing strong evidence that any infraction had occurred. They concluded was that the contestant was running HP on 80/40m but not full-time, just 10 minutes here and there without any convincing evidence. It appears they used the RBN as their source of information. Should the RXDC contest have to publicly provide convincing evidence before reclassifying a station from LP to HP?

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Randy, K5ZD, wrote a sidebar titled " Convergence and Change" in the 2015 CQWW CW printed results in CQ magazine. He wrote that the "convergence of personal computers, Internet access, DX clusters, and CW Skimmer have changed the nature of CW contesting". He goes to say that it is "more difficult to police the line between the single operator working alone and those who are using the assistance of DX spotting." In light of this convergence and change is it time to recombine SO and SOA into a single category?

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[This questions was promoted by the recent discussion on the CQ-Contest email reflector.] What should be done with a contestant that spots himself during a contest?
  Posted: Jun 01, 2003   (836 votes, 17 comments) by VE5ZX

Survey Results
Ignore him 17% (140)
Penalize him 15% (125)
Publish his name 7% (58)
Penalize and publish his name 36% (300)
I don't care 25% (213)

Survey Comments
If a person disqualified themselves, may they violate contest rules?
I'm intrigued by N2BA's response to the self spot question. If a ham disqualifies itself then by definition it is not using the rules, not running for an award, not going to be listed except as check log, and not in the contest. So, what could possibly suggest that it has to obey any contest rules? Such a person would be "casual operator" (no matter the level of skill, number of Q's, mults, or what it would have scored) and subject only to government rules. Fundamentally, who cares what it does, as long as it works me?

Posted by k6xt on July 21, 2003

Self spotting
Hi, I think you should ignore him. If he'll have no advantages in doing this, he'll stop.
As said by someone, they do it because they get results.
Anyway, someone will connect with a different callsign, and keep on spotting his true callsign.
If you are a bad competitor, you'll always look for new ways to break rules and take advantages.
Not only in contests.
Marco - IK2XSL.

Posted by IK2XSL on June 27, 2003

self spotting
I agree with DF3KV, proving it is very difficult if not impossible. Packet networks are wide open for anyone to promote themselves as anyone and spot. I think the best approach is to ignore the spotter. It's the same problem with telemarketing -- they do it because they get results.

Posted by W1RM on June 23, 2003

I also do not have or ever will have packet. From what I read it seems too many false call signs are entered. If I am going to have a bad callsign in my log then I want to be the one who does the job. Sometimes I get the callsign correct when spotters don't. Curt in Montana

Posted by KC7UP on June 23, 2003

Self spotting & packet in general
Some of you guys may still remember the days before packet was even invented....

I don't have packet, I have never had packet, and never plan to have packet. I have always felt that it was akin to "cheating" in some sense. My narrowminded view is that if you are operating in a RADIO contest, then operate YOUR RADIO. Spin the dial and use your ears. If it's a contest to measure operator skill, then the person who is best at OPERATING is supposed to win. This means knowing how to balance your time between running, S&P'ing, and tuning for mults. By using packet, a whole lot less of this kind of skill is required. In fact, for contests like CQWW where there is no meaningful exchange, to make a packet qso, the only skill required is to recognize the other guy send your call. And we all have been in countless packet-caused pileups where lids demonstrate they can't even do that. The number of guys who spot BY4A etc. in every contest continues to both amuse and depress me. I have always wondered what the real number of people is who actually log BY4A after working them from a bad spot. (Admit it, you know who you are!)

I think packet has contributed to the state of competitive contesting in a very negative way, by effectively "dumbing it down", and causing people to copy off the screen instead of with their ears (if they have any). I know this is a whole different topic from self-spotting, but after all these years, I finally had to vent about this one. It's something I clearly feel passionately about. I for one would love to see packet banned or even shut down during contests.

If you tell me you need packet to know where the rare stations are in the contest, then I'll help you out by telling you advance for the next contest: There are rare mults out there on any band that is open. All you have to do is tune around, and you'll find them!

There are lots of juicy rare stations popping up all over the bands all the time. Trying to find them is like an easter egg hunt or a treasure hunt. Being on of the first to find them is the real fun of it! Plus, then if you're good, you might even be able to get them to move to another band. That's not so easy once they have a huge pile.

Hmmm... maybe now that I'm qualified for QCWA, I've just become old and crotchety...

WA2GO (now back in W2)

Posted by WA2GO on June 23, 2003

It Depends Part 3
N1UR's points are well taken and understood, with a minor exception. The vast majority of us who participate and compete don't have a Two Hoots Chance in Hell to win. I think you should still submit your logs if you compete or play. Obviously, we have to have other goals or ideas in mind or we wouldn't bother participating. Next December, I plan to be in St.Lucia (J6) during one of the big contests. My main purpose for being there is to vacation. While I am there I would like to operate a simple station. It would be nice to let others know that I'm there. It might be tough in to find me thru the Big Gun QRM otherwise. It would be nice to be on the receiving end one time. Therefore, I guess what I'm saying is instead of "It Depends", "What's the Harm?". 73's

Posted by KA5DWI on June 23, 2003

It Depends....
KA5DWI's comment is classic of the problem that exists. It never depends. The rules of the contest need to be respected. Self Spotting isn't allowed, period. Good DX or not. The whole point of the VHF contest is to see if you have the skill and luck to find the short openings and work them for a multiplier. Those with the experience and skill and better equipment will work the most, normally. You basically want to find the same DX opening that the winner found and not invest as much time and money to earn it yourself.

Don't confuse DXing with contesting. You can work some great DX in contests and chase packet to your heart's content to work all that is available. Many do and its alot of fun. But if you want to enter the contest and COMPETE, play by the rules otherwise don't compete and just have fun.

Posted by N1UR on June 19, 2003

Depends on the Situation
Last weekend was the ARRL VHF QSO Party.
There were quite a number of Hams that went to great trouble and expense to provide a rare DXCC entity and/or a rare Grid Square. In this case, I would think that self spotting is okay. The openings to work them can be very short. In this case, I would think its purpose is just to inform and give everyone a fair chance to work something special. As for the other the other self spotters, just ignore them. Do a service and not work them if it bothers you.

Posted by KA5DWI on June 17, 2003

Self Spotting
I am not going to spend a lot of time searching to see which top 10 M/S stations in the 10m contest self-spotted themselves....I know we didn't and we never have. Listed below are the spots for NX5M in the 2002 ARRL 10 Meter Contest. As stated by N2BA, "We noticed later that many of the top-10 had a few self-spots listed on DX-Summit's database."
I just want to make it clear that we were in the top 10, actually finished 2nd, and not one time did we ever self-spot ourselves.
(I copied and pasted directly from DXSummit but the format is not going to look right so I am enclosing each spot in parenthesis)
(N5MT 28473.8 NX5M TX K0244 14 Dec 2002)
(N5MT 28023.0 NX5M TX K0343 14 Dec 2002)
(AA3B 28028.0 NX5M tx K1859 14 Dec 2002)
(KB9KEG 28485.0 NX5M TX K0226 15 Dec 2002)
(WX3B 28485.1 NX5M TX K0246 15 Dec 2002)
(N8DC 28484.9 NX5M K0259 15 Dec 2002)
(K9PG 28485.0 NX5M K0316 15 Dec 2002)
(KT0R 28002.2 NX5M LOUD!!! K0420 15 Dec 2002)
(WA1ZYX 28374.6 NX5M TX K1708 15 Dec 2002)
(N5TW 28374.9 NX5M K1719 15 Dec 2002)
(N9IO 28375.0 NX5M 1757 15 Dec 2002)
(KB1PZ 28405.8 NX5M K2017 15 Dec 2002)
(N1SNB 28017.7 NX5M K2134 15 Dec 2002)
As far as self-spotting in general....with the number of people on the air during a contest, spotting hundreds of stations, eventually everyone gets spotted at one time or another. Seems to me a station that asks for someone to "spot me on packet" is the same thing as a self spot.
Fact is, even if everyone did self-spot, I don't think it helps anyway.
Me personally, if I see a spot on the main internet cluster monitor of a station spotting himself....I will not work him.
I agree with Ed, N1UR....discussion of this issue might curtail those who have been doing it.
Whatever happens....I will just operate.

Posted by NX5M on June 16, 2003

If a person disqualified themselves, may they violate contest rules?

I have often wondered what it would be like to pull out all the stops and go for hightest possible score ignoring all contest rules, such as band-change times, self-spot, etc. Would the contesting community be upset if someone did this as an experiment just to try to calibrate how much such rules help or hurt, assuming they fully disclosed what they were doing, didn't violate actual laws governing their operation, and disqualified themselves from the running?

Posted by N2BA on June 14, 2003

I spotted myself once by mistake, and didn't send in our log. Should we hav
During the ARRL 10 meter contest M/S as W3USA at my shack, I (me personally, N2BA) inadvertantly spotted myself while trying to figure out how to get Writelog to communicate band-maps from one rig to another in a 2 radio set-up.

It turns out that Writelog did not support that then, though it does now. As a test, I used our own call, and when I sent the spot, Writelog showed W3USA on the other rig's bandmap. (This is because when it was sent out over packet, it came back to the other station.) Even though I had not actually transmitted on the frequency, people began calling! (The VFO was on a random spin of the dial.)

Because I did this (Twice actually, once on each we (the other ops, and I) decided to not send in our score. We noticed later that many of the top-10 had a few self-spots listed on DX-Summit's database.

Also, I wonder if we should have submitted our score because our mistake was innocent, it didn't actually help our score, and others might have done the same thing (We would have placed about 9th M/S as I recall.)

Brooke, N2BA

Posted by N2BA on June 14, 2003

spots himself during a contest?
What to do about this? Nothing. What can you really do? Can you prove beyond any doubt that this contester listed himself, or is it yet another tactic to remove an unwanted competitor. Honestly I don't believe it is worthy of pursuing.

Mike KR4TG

Posted by kr4tg on June 12, 2003

self spotting
The fact of the matter is this is soliciting contacts by fair means or foul. This is explicitly banned in most contest rules. The person should be penalised. By publishing their name, maybe it could embarrass them into stopping.

Posted by M0RHI on June 7, 2003

self spotting
The only conclusion of the discussion on the contesting list is that it can never be proved if it was the contester himself or someone else that issued the spots under his call...

One solution would be to change the software in the dxclusters as to limit the spots for one callsign to once in a half hour or so.

Posted by on5mf on June 5, 2003

Self Spotting
Take 'em out back and horse whip them.
Follow this by tar and feathering and then replacement of all PA tubes with soft and dying tubes, and all coax with waterlogged and tested.

Posted by n4hy on June 2, 2003

Self Spotting
It really should be worded, "If a contester is found to be willfully and explicitly violating one if the contest rules, what should be done?" Really doesn't matter whether its Self Spotting, Higher Power, Packet when stating unassisted, etc.

We, as the contest community, should police the self spotting, making known those that are suspect to ourselves, openly. Where evidence does exist, it should be forwarded on to the Contest Sponsor. Where it doesn't, the very fact that it is so open and discussed will curtail many. How many people would cheat on golf scores, if every time someone was seen improving their lie, the next day their golf card was up on the bulletin board with a :watch this guy" note?

We can do this if we want to.....


Posted by N1UR on June 2, 2003

self spotting
How will it be verified it was the
contestant himself and not somebody else?

Posted by DF3KV on June 1, 2003

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