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Author Topic: Leaderboard Insanity with HK0NA Operation  (Read 8759 times)
K0OD
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« on: February 05, 2012, 09:45:57 AM »

I'm pretty much a "retired" DXer. I didn't need HK0 and I waited a very long time to make a Q or two. Like to keep my CW skills up. Was amazed how difficult it was to get them on 40 with a fairly decent antenna, but the amp off.  Everywhere the pileups have been crazy until just the last two or three days.

Looked at the HK0NA online log last night and see that virtually every local Top-of-The-Honor-Roll DXer worked them on at least 20 band slots. Lord! Most of them probably have Malpelo confirmed long ago on almost all of those slots.

I do chase DX rather avidly on 60 meters. As is the usual case with Colombia, HK0NA isn't authorized to use 60 and that band isn't listed on their leaderboard. They haven't been on 60. But I have to wonder what madness would ensure upon the first spot of HK0NA on 60 even tho the Q, like others on 60, would count for virtually no awards.

I have nothing against fellow geezer DXers reworking an occasional DX-pedition, but I don't understand the unabashed DX greed that's taken over as a result of leaderboards. If an HK0NB were to fire up on Malpelo next month I'm sure the insanity would start over again with the same stations killing for bandslots. 
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N3OX
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« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2012, 10:30:30 AM »

We've had this discussion a lot.

I think it's just a different game that people want to play and I don't think it affects the outcome for the "rest of us."

I question how harmful the "greed" is, really... because there are so few people doing it.  You note a correlation between big pileups and a bunch of top of the honor roll guys working them on 20 slots.  But is there actually any CAUSALITY there?  Do you think these big gun DXers are really slugging it out in the piles for leaderboard slots and clogging up the piles?    Or are they jumping in for one call and popping off a new band and then going away almost instantly?

I'm not really fond of the leaderboard competition necessarily but it seems that a lot of people have, as a fundamental assumption, that a small group of people eating up a bunch of band slots actually is taking the one-contact morsel out of the mouths of starving little pistols.  I question that assumption.  It's not very many people and it's not very many QSOs in total, and the big stations probably get in and out quite quickly.  Sometimes they are QSOs that appeared "out of nowhere" because a big gun can make a contact on a band where many others can't, or because a big loud "work 'em everywhere" gave a nice anchor in the pileup for when the DX station needed to keep the rhythm by calling someone but could not hear anything else in an unruly mess.

A while back I did a little analysis on the 3Y0X QSO data because it was really nice comprehensive data about band-slotting (though perhaps a bit before the mainstream "leaderboarding").  Here's what I found:

http://n3ox.net/files/3Y0X_stats/fits.png

On the horizontal axis we have number of QSOs made, from meager 1 at the far left to a really absurd and inexplicably duped 40+.  On the vertical axis we have the number of hams who made that number of QSOs.  

By far the most probable number of QSOs to make with 3Y0X was 1 QSO.  The number of people who made just TWO QSOs was 40% of the number who made that one lonely needed QSO for an all time new one.

Furthermore, the blue line fit in my plot was fitted to only 2-9 QSOs.  It did not include the 1 QSO data point, yet it seems to predict the 1 QSO data point.  Why do I think this is important?  I think it's important because it suggests that 1 QSO is not at all a special number. It's statistically in line with 2-9 QSOs, which we might imagine is people trying to get 1 QSO per band regardless of mode.

To get an idea of the total impact of the "big QSO numbers" it's better to look at the cumulative distribution:

http://n3ox.net/files/3Y0X_stats/3Y0X_Total_Cuml.jpg

This shows that more than 90% of the total QSOs made went to people who made 15 or fewer QSOs.  The 20+ crowd were only responsible for a couple percent of the total QSO count.  Fully HALF of the total QSOs made by 3Y0X went to people who made 5 or fewer QSOs.  Keep in mind that QSOs rack up fast when people make 3 or 4 of them.  Another way to look at the data is to look at the percentage of hams in the log who made N or fewer QSOs:

http://n3ox.net/files/3Y0X_stats/3Y0X_Cumulative.jpg

Almost 45% of the people in the log made ONE single solitary QSO.  70% of the people in the log made three or fewer QSOs.  Something like half a percent or less were responsible for the 20 QSO+ contributions.  In other words, the vast majority of the people who got into the 3Y0X log made a few QSOs.  This was a DXpedition where I was in the about 23 percent who made 4 or more QSOs.  I was living in an apartment and using a magnet wire antenna and 100W.

I wish I had more data especially for more modern DXpeditions, but in my opinion the "leaderboarders" are playing a different game that barely affects the outcome of the game played by people who are just trying to squeak out a few QSOs that they actually "need" for awards.  It's kind of an annoying game and CLEARLY makes lots of people angry when they're slogging through a pileup trying to get that all time new one or to get the SSB QSO to go with their CW QSO.  But I don't think they're actually competing with the leaderboarders (a tiny fraction of the total people chasing the DX).  They're almost certainly  competing with people who are trying to make their 1st or 2nd or  4th QSO... not  their 22nd!!
« Last Edit: February 05, 2012, 10:32:48 AM by N3OX » Logged

73,
Dan
http://www.n3ox.net

Monkey/silicon cyborg, beeping at rocks since 1995.
AA9RN
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« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2012, 10:32:07 AM »

Yes its been crazy the last few years when the leaderboard shows up.
I had them on a few ssb slots before this operation.
 I lost my amp early in the operation.
 Then I tried 150 watts on 160 for about 3 days before work.
 I woke up 1 morning and turned  the radio on. Boy were they loud. Gave a quick call a few times.Thought never going to work them on 160 with 150 watts.
 Well I didnt know they were working JA's only.  Gave a few more calls and then they come back to me. But not what I wanted to hear.
 RN qrx  JA only.
 So close .But now it looks slim as conditions really went down hill.
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WW3QB
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« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2012, 10:46:20 AM »

The stats from the HK0NA online log indicate the leaderboard has very little impact on the little guys.

Multiband QSOs
Bands Stations 
10      53    0.1%
9    1,617    3.8%
8    2,163    5.1%
7    2,138    5.1%
6    2,099    5.0%
5    2,679    6.4%
4    2,703    6.4%
3    3,516    8.4%
2    5,246    12.5%
1    19,802    47.1%
TOTAL    42,016    100.0%

So 50% of the unique calls worked had two or just one band. Only 4% had 9 or more bands.
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K0OD
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« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2012, 11:12:06 AM »

Quote
1    19,802    47.1%

Bet plenty of the single Qs are busted calls. Had an email last week from K0MD asking whether I had worked them yet on 40 and I hadn't. K0MD got his Q logged as me.

Practical example. Wanted my son, a brand new tech to work them on 10 SSB. His first rare one. No way he's going to waltz into such a q with my 43' vertical. The brief openings on ten, amid our local rain, will be be dominated by big guns filling slots.

Similarly long suffering diehard VHF DXers will have to duke it out on six with HF big guns who will clutter the band just for a slot-fill.

There's a legitimate way to test one's station on many bands: It's a contest. It's eye-opening to see how one does against The Real Big Boys in the CQWW. Working a stinkin' rock 2,000 miles away over and over for weeks means nothing.

Jeff
K0OD
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W2IRT
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« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2012, 12:15:55 PM »

That chart doesn't really reflect the leaderboard issue; I'd say it's more reflective of DXCC Challenge band hunters. Leaderboard hunters, IMHO, are guys with 13 or more Qs. All 9 bands, all three modes covers the awards/stats. Beyond that it's all for the fun of filling in greenies on the leaderboard. Up 'til Friday, on the Malpelo overall leaderboard they had less than 75 callsigns with 25 slots filled (although as of now 25 is the minimum score to be on the world leaderboard). My rough guess is that there were probably no more than 150-200 people in the world who were actively going after every available band-slot. Likewise, as of Friday, the Malpelo guys were begging on a number of band-modes if cluster spots are to be believed; as such, nobody was deprived of at least one or two QSOs with HK0M. Not even the QRPers with damp string for an antenna (but a modicum of skill).

As of noon today they're reported to be QRT with ~190,000 Qs in the log. For anybody in NA or Europe, if you didn't work 'em your radio was probably switched off.
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Night gathers and now my watch begins. It shall not end until I reach Top of the Honor Roll.
K0OD
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« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2012, 01:32:53 PM »

Just in:

"February 5, 2012
Final report from "the rock"
Today at noon local time the last three stations went QRT.  3/4 of the camp was dismantled around them as they continued to work the pileups.  Amazing that there are still pileups after 190,000 ++ QSOs."


That enormous number suggests they worked many stations outrageous numbers of times as there just aren't anything like that many DXers in the world. Are there even 190k hams active on HF worldwide?
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N3QE
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« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2012, 01:45:57 PM »

The stats from the HK0NA online log indicate the leaderboard has very little impact on the little guys.

HK0NA was such a well run operation that even the little guys can work them on 8 or 9 bands.

I'm a little guy and I got them on 9 bands.

Another local little guy got them on 9 bands, QRP, (including 160), using a wire antenna dangling off his balcony.

Tim.
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WW3QB
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« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2012, 01:51:41 PM »

Just in:

"February 5, 2012
Final report from "the rock"
Today at noon local time the last three stations went QRT.  3/4 of the camp was dismantled around them as they continued to work the pileups.  Amazing that there are still pileups after 190,000 ++ QSOs."


That enormous number suggests they worked many stations outrageous numbers of times as there just aren't anything like that many DXers in the world. Are there even 190k hams active on HF worldwide?


They worked 43,176 unique calls. T32C had 213,006 QSOs with 49,084 unique calls. 50,000 is probably close to the number of active DXers. Everybody that wanted HK0NA should have been able to get them.
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K9NW
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« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2012, 02:23:58 PM »

If a DXpedition operates on all bands and all modes it's natural to imply that they are looking to make QSOs on each band and mode.  Nothing wrong with that.

You can probably rule out any so-called "little pistol" looking for them on 40-80-160 for their one and only QSO.  And most likely you can say the same for RTTY.  So the guys in pileups looking for them on 160 SSB or 80 RTTY are, in most cases, only competing against other "Greenie Hunters."  They are depriving no one of their one and only QSO with a new one.

So take away the low bands and digital modes and you're left with 10m through 30m - 6 bands!  HK0NA was QRV with multiple stations on all six of these bands for many hours each day.  Anyone looking for one QSO had ample opportunity, with plenty of options to match their particular band/mode situation.  Can you imagine the pileups if they were only QRV on one or two bands?  How many "little pistols" get through then?
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NI0C
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« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2012, 02:46:16 PM »

Quote
Wanted my son, a brand new tech to work them on 10 SSB. His first rare one. No way he's going to waltz into such a q with my 43' vertical. The brief openings on ten, amid our local rain, will be be dominated by big guns filling slots.

It's all a matter of timing.  I worked them several days ago on 10 SSB with one call using about 50 watts to a mismatched vertical (small Bravo 7K setup for 17m at the time).  They were begging for contacts at the time.

73,
Chuck NI0C
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AC4RD
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« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2012, 04:03:07 PM »

...  HK0NA was QRV with multiple stations on all six of these bands for many hours each day.  Anyone looking for one QSO had ample opportunity, with plenty of options to match their particular band/mode situation.

No denying that!   The whole time they were active, I kept hearing them over and over, on all bands.  I admit, I'm on the east coast, and HK is easy from here.   But I can't imagine that ANYBODY, anywhere, who could possibly have worked them, didn't.   I even worked them a few times from my car, just because they were there and the pileups were small.  Those guys put on a GREAT operation, and handed out one heck of a lot of new ones! 
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K0OD
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« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2012, 04:29:24 PM »

Notice, Chuck, that I didn't mention hams (not you) using their multiple calls
to work the HK0 many times. (in one case I know of... a total of 39 Qs!)

Reminds me of the supposed Groucho quip [to a man with 15 kids]:
"I love my cigar but sometimes I take it out of my mouth!"
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NU4B
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« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2012, 04:36:33 PM »

I wonder how everyone will feel about the upcoming XX expedition. 6 days - 3 stations - can you say "JA"? It looks like they are not using leaderboards. But I'm sure there will be those that want 29 QSO's to fill in the box.
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N3OX
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« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2012, 04:49:08 PM »

I wonder how everyone will feel about the upcoming XX expedition. 6 days - 3 stations - can you say "JA"?

Can you say "small pistol W3 won't even hear a peep?"

I have a hard time getting worked up about leaderboards because the main reason I miss rare stuff is because I can't ever hear it when I can get on the air.
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73,
Dan
http://www.n3ox.net

Monkey/silicon cyborg, beeping at rocks since 1995.
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