Re: How about a "newbie" sprint?

Jerry N9AVY


Good points !   But you forgot to tell everyone I was sending my #070 backwards !

   Jerry N9AVY

From: "w3hf@... [070]" <070@...>
To: 070@...
Sent: Tuesday, March 24, 2015 7:12 PM
Subject: Re: [070] How about a "newbie" sprint?

(Sorry, this one is going to be long.)

With all due respect...

Admittedly, the purpose of a radio contest is to make contacts. But the devil is in the details, and the "detail" that we need to focus on is what is the definition of "contact" for this purpose? 

I know I've quoted this a few times before on this reflector, but for general use I like the definition that was published in QST many years ago in the "The World Above 50 Mc" column, and then republished a few times since 2000 in the successor "The World Above 50 Mhz." It states something to the effect of "the transmission, reception, and acknowledgement of station callsigns and (at least) one other piece of information that is reasonably unknown to the receiving station." Often this is a signal report (though "courtesy 59s [or 599s]" are so common that their use might be debatable). But it could also be QTH, name, favorite color, whatever. 

[Side note #1: in this age of Internet-enabled databases, it's common to see that the person whose CQ I've just responded to comes back to me with "Hello Stephen J Melachrinos in Collegeville PA"! So much for name and QTH being "reasonably unknown."]

Since contest organizers define the rules for their contests, they get to make the definition of the minimum information transfer for contest QSOs, just like those who issue awards get to define what counts for them. And that definition is "the exchange."

Since the context for this discussion is radio, I would submit that "the exchange" is supposed to be transmitted, received, and acknowledged via radio. For a contact to count as a QSO point for a contest, the exchange defined by the contest organizers must be exchanged on the air. If I were to respond to N9AVY and say "Don't bother sending me your exchange because I already know your name is Jerry, you live in Illinois, and your 070 number is 454. Just say 73 and get out of my way", then I haven't followed the rules of the contest and I shouldn't count the QSO. (I've also been pretty rude.)

[Side note #2: How many of you logged a QSO last weekend with N9AVY as Jerry, and not the name he was actually using? Or noticed that occasionally during a contest, you'll find someone routinely sending 589 reports instead of 599?]

The 070 club has not (to my knowledge) established a "minimum required exchange" for routine QSOs to count for its awards. That means, for example, that we don't have to exchange member numbers on the air to have the QSO count for LONP. (This is unlike the 10-10 organization, which if I'm not mistaken says that name, qth and number must be in the on-the-air exchange.) But they do establish an exchange required for the contests, and if I use other databases to "fill in" some of that data, then I've cheated. 

Let's also be careful that our club rules do not degenerate to the point where our "QSOs" don't meet even the general definition I referenced at the beginning. If we do, then I question whether we should still call ourselves a radio club.



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