I checked the log this morning and my 15M contact during the contest was in their log so it looks like it wasn't a pirate. However, I didn't see your QSO in there Dan. Hopefully it will show up in the log later but I would go for an insurance contact just in case.
It's time to go back the the old ways of DXing, no more of today's Girlie Men DXing:
- no packet cluster
- no online logs
- no Logbook of the World
- no OQSL
Hone your skills so you know for sure you worked them, and even then get an insurance contact on a different band / mode.
Work'm and wait 3 - 6 months for the card to arrive, that's what sweating is all about, not waiting for the on-line logs to come up.
Then you'll better appreciate the effort it took to work them and you'll have the card on the wall.
Too bad these new age techniques have eliminated what was the real fun of DXing: the hunt, the victory and the confirmation.
I guess today's instant gratification crowd will never understand the true meaning of "DX is".
Yes, things have changed a bit since I first started DX'ing in the early 70's. Although I think the DX clusters have taken some of the fun out of DX'ing and the chase involved, they are here to stay. So you can either choose to ignore the clusters altogether and just spin the dial until you find that rare one, or you can look at the Band list and go "click". Myself, I use the cluster now, but I don't use it all the time. I still enjoy just tuning the bands to see what might come up.
And I see Online Logs for a DX'pedition as a way to reduce QRM and give others a chance. For example, if I work A5A early in the DX'pedition, I'll usually wait until the next day and check the online log. If I'm in there, I won't bother doing an insurance contact. Otherwise, if I'm not sure I'm in the log, for a rare one (such as 7O6T), if they didn't have online logs, you can be sure I would have worked them again just to make sure.
LOTW, to me, is a way to save a few $$$. I don't know if you have looked lately, but QSL'ing is not getting any cheaper. $1.05 to send International mail, plus a couple of green stamps, card & envelope costs, and you are up to around $3.50/per QSL request. Believe me, I still enjoy getting cards once in awhile, especially nice ones. For example, I think the HK0NA card is a "Must Have" for your collection. To me, it epitomizes DX'ing. A bunch of guys going out to some rock or entity out in the middle of nowhere just to give the deserving a new one.
Again, OQRS is just another way to save money, and I'm almost 100% positive that most DX'peditions prefer us to use them. Why should I send my card to some QSL manager that's going to toss it in the trash when I could just send them the Paypal payment, get their card in the mail, and everyone is happy.