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Author Topic: Penalties for bad QSO  (Read 6819 times)
NO9E
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« on: January 24, 2014, 08:24:09 AM »

The CQ contests have 2 QSO penalty for bad contacts. Wonder whether this is good in the long run or not.

On the one hand, we value accuracy. On the other hand, working weak stations does not pay as it takes time and can cost high. Especially in the 160m contest, unless the weak station is a potential multiplier, the expected benefit is negative.

It seems that the rule is counterproductive where working weak stations incurs time penalty. Also, we want new entrants in the hobby.

Any comments?

Ignacy, NO9E
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KB4QAA
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« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2014, 11:24:24 AM »

CQ makes the rules...It's their contest.  They choose the emphasis.  They choose to emphasize accuracy in reports, and discourage claiming bogus contacts.  

Solution: Don't claim contacts that are not reliable, and don't try to cheat by padding your log with bogus contacts.  If you aren't sure, don't log it.

-What proof do we have that people who are not hams are deterred by rules for a contest they are not even aware of?

-Why do you assume that new hams who choose to contest will have weak signals or poor equipment?  

-Do we have to modify every contest to help hams who choose not to optimize their stations?  Smiley
*E.g. Should a 20m contest include 2m Repeater contacts for those who don't want to bother with setting up an HF station?  
*Should QRP contests allow QRO stations?

Bottom line: The CQ rules have nothing to do with your assumed consequences. 
« Last Edit: January 24, 2014, 11:44:21 AM by KB4QAA » Logged
N0IU
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« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2014, 05:45:19 AM »

I find it interesting that this comment should come from someone on the Honor Roll with 9 Band DXCC.

I agree 100% with KB4QAA...

Why on earth would you put a contact in your log if you don't know who you talked to?
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GW3OQK
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« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2014, 04:15:10 AM »

I had a these replies from NA stations on 160. GM3OQK, W3OQK and they remained uncorrected.  I suppose they will appear as "not in log" if I submit my log and I will penalised, but its at the committee's discretions I see.

73
Andrew GW3OQK
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N3QE
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« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2014, 05:12:49 AM »

I had a these replies from NA stations on 160. GM3OQK, W3OQK and they remained uncorrected.  I suppose they will appear as "not in log" if I submit my log and I will penalised, but its at the committee's discretions I see.

That's not how log-checking works for most contests. Someone busting your call or exchange, will not cause you to lose credit. The log checking tools used in most contests are very good at assigning the lost Q correctly.

There is at least one exception, the Russian DX contest, where if either side busts the QSO, then both sides lose credit.
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N3QE
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« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2014, 05:22:09 AM »

The CQ contests have 2 QSO penalty for bad contacts. Wonder whether this is good in the long run or not.

I think the penalty made perfect sense when there were lots of cheaters who padded their logs with completely fictional JA QSO's, and log checking was generally quite incomplete.

Log checking today is very very complete. I do not think the 2 QSO penalty is appropriate anymore. I think complete disqualification of those who pad their logs with fictional QSO's is appropriate. I think folks who log marginal QSO's, should not be penalized beyond the removal of the busted QSO from the total.

At one time I thought like you, that there would be a good number of busts in my 160M logs. But I was wrong, my log check reports for the 160M contests show very few busts. Partly this might be due to the simpler exchanges used in 160M tests, but more importantly, the 160M contests are slower-paced and folks do a very good job getting/giving fills and completing the QSO with two way confirmation before moving on to the next QSO.
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K9NW
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« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2014, 06:47:04 AM »

There needs to be an incentive NOT to guess.  If there was no penalty you could just make a guess on any caller that isn't good enough copy for you.  If you guess incorrectly you lose nothing.  If you guess right you take credit for a QSO that perhaps didn't really occur. 

This puts the responsibility on YOU - YOU have to decide whether or not it's worth the extra time that may be required to pull out a weak caller.  This is a real time decision based on condx, your rate at the moment, your perceived value of the possible QSO, etc.  It's ok to say "sorry no copy" once in a while.  Contesters make these decisions in every event.

I've yet to meet anyone that said "I got dinged for a bad QSO in the last contest....I'm not going to operate contests anymore." 
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K3TN
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« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2014, 03:06:27 AM »

It's ok to say "sorry no copy" once in a while.  Contesters make these decisions in every event.

Agree - Saying "Sorry, try again later" is one of those QSOs vs. multipliers vs. accuracy strategy decisions you have to make, part of why contesting is so much fun.

In most contests I know I'm not going to put in more than a partial effort, so I'm only really competing against myself. Accuracy is one of things I try to improve on every contest. So, usually I'll spend the time to try to feel like I'm sure of that weak station's call.

But, sometimes (like in this weekend's CQ 160) I get into seeing how high a 1 hour or last 100 QSO rate I can reach and then I'll quickly say "sri" or hit the CQ button on a very weak signal.

If the penalty was only 1 QSO, then really not much incentive to strive for accuracy. Also, not much reason for people to hang around and validate the call after they work a cluster/RBN spot - might as well just click, work, and move on, even though a very high percentage of cluster spots have callsign errors.

73 John K3TN

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John K3TN
NO9E
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« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2014, 11:00:09 AM »

The discussion attributes busted calls mostly to cheating. I think that most hams are honest. The comment is specific to 160m contests.

Many very weak signals on 160m are not DX but stateside, perhaps QRP with a piece of wire. Under penalty, once a weak call is identified as stateside on 160m, one should quit to save time and avoid the penalty. Because expected gains are negative.

I operated as QRP/160 100W with a short antenna. Greatly appreciate many stations taking a long time trying to copy. Probably some lost not only time but also points.

Really, the issue is not important. After all, ham radio is only a  hobby.

Ignacy, NO9E
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K9NW
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« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2014, 02:34:24 PM »

Many very weak signals on 160m are not DX but stateside, perhaps QRP with a piece of wire. Under penalty, once a weak call is identified as stateside on 160m, one should quit to save time and avoid the penalty. Because expected gains are negative.

Maybe I'm misinterpreting something here...

I never abandon any stateside weak signal without at least making an effort to make the QSO.  Again, how much time is invested in this depends on several factors.  If I'm running guys at 100+/hour at the beginning of the contest I probably won't spend as much time as when I'm trying to squeeze every last QSO out of the band on Sunday morning.  In either case there are times I ultimately have to say "sorry no copy."  I certainly never look at a potential QSO as "don't bother, I'm probably going to bust the call anyway" just because they don't light up dots on my S meter.

I've worked guys who were running milliwatts on 160.  It probably took a few overs to get everything right but I'm sure they appreciate the effort on my end as much as I appreciate them calling me in the first place.
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K3TN
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« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2014, 02:32:15 AM »

The Stew Perry Top Band Distance 160 contest is a great example of a contest that really incentivizes you to always dig out the weak one - working a QRP station is more points than a 100 watter, which is worth more than working a high power station. Score is also based on distance, so those two factors mean the weak ones are always likely to be more valuable QSOs.

There is no penalty for busting a call or exchange (you just lose the QSO) but the scoring is the incentive to stick with the weak ones.
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John K3TN
NN4RH
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« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2014, 03:22:47 AM »

I don't think the intent is to penalize simple "busted calls" or logging errors.

Back for several years around 2009 there were some high profile cases of cheating in one of the DX contests, where certain stations claimed thousands of deliberate false contacts - many times over of the percentage of "uniques" that are normally run into and allowed for in the log analyses. Something like a dozen or more  "top scoring" stations were disqualified.

So I believe the penalties are aimed at discouraging big-time cheaters, not punishing regular casual contesters who make a handful of mistakes.
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ZENKI
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« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2014, 02:17:16 AM »

They should also issue penalties for splattering!
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NO9E
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Posts: 395




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« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2014, 12:24:58 PM »

Quote
They should also issue penalties for splattering!

CLICKING and splattering. SOme stations have 2 KHz CW signals and 10 KHz SSB signals for years. Legal advantage. I will ask Elecraft for a mod to K3 to generate a desired level of clicks. No mods for splattering strictly required as one can generate them automatically by running at full power with decreased voltage or overdriving an amp will do it.

Ignacy, NO9E
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