Re: The 070 Club
toggle quoted messageShow quoted text
Milt (and others) -
Yes, in the early days everything was done by hand. (This didn't always mean #2 pencils, as I used Excel spreadsheets to score the TDW. But I manually counted and evaluated the applications for a few obscure endorsements, like All-Band PSKer and Mona and Her Cat.) But there were differences between then and now. For one thing, the number of members has climbed a lot. When I left the 070 management team (and had first-hand knowledge of how things were processed), we had less than 800 members. We now have more than three times that number.
Secondly, our endorsements back then were not as complicated. Once we had the capability of the endorsement checker, we had the freedom to create endorsements like WTW, which would have been almost impossible to score manually. (K8IJ, the author of WTW, and I discussed that way back then.) Our manual operations were also subject to error--we didn't have all the behind-the-scenes tools and auto-research that now exists for validating IOTA submissions, and LONP submissions didn't find members the applicant didn't know about and didn't highlight.
Over the years, the various checkers have simplified contest and endorsement scoring. (Note that KJ4IZW's wasn't the only one. N4CR wrote a LONP checker for personal use before he became an SK, and there was a another attempt at a checker around 2007--my apologies for not remembering who wrote that.) And maybe we became too dependent on them, to the point that we can't imagine doing it any other way.
But Milt has a point--with enough help, and some necessary simplifications--maybe a dedicated team could pull it off. Here's an initial list of thoughts:
- All submissions by email, in specified formats that allow for certain manual review. (There are a number of ADIF to CSV converters, according to a quick Google-search, and CSV can be easily imported into my favorite tool, Excel. But I always liked simple text files.)
- Membership apps would have to include a QSL (like the old days), since there won't be a way to cross-check an uploaded log.
- Complicated endorsements like WTW would have to be dropped.
- We'd need to allocate out to a larger team the other endorsements to share the load, and/or reduce the number of endorsements offered.
- Likewise, likely allocate out the contests. (The last TDW I scored manually in 2007 had 55 entries. The most we've ever had was 120, in 2015 near the peak of the sunspot cycle. So this should still be doable manually.) Note also that there wouldn't be instantaneous scoring, with a real-time leaderboard.
I'm sure there are a lot of other things that would need to be worked out, and maybe those could tip the balance on feasibility. But as others have said, it would be a shame for the club to actually fold. As one of the longest-term members who's still active in the club, I can say that this club has been one of the highlights of my ham career.
From: Milton Garb via Groups.Io <n6mg@...>
To: 070Club <070Club@groups.io>; 070ClubContests <070ClubContests@groups.io>
Sent: Fri, Oct 18, 2019 5:05 pm
Subject: Re: [070Club] The 070 Club
Matt, David and all of the guys that run our great, unique 070 Club.
I totally agree, this makes a heavy heart.
But, may I ask?..."Back in the day", we did everything by hand. I was the Contest Manager, and scored every contest & entry by hand. Guys/Gals would email their .adi logs to me, and I'd score them with a high tech #2 pencil, a custom form and a calculator. And we had more "Operating Events" back then than today! We had K8IJ, Charlie, that handled LONP. Karen, W4KRN, managed the APE program. We had someone that did the IOTA program. Various awards were handled by many. Somebody else did the membership verifications. I apologize to those members for not remembering their calls. But it was a real team effort!
Is it al all possible that we could take a step backwards with the automation and keep our club going?
Steve, pls jump in and help with your always sound opinions and knowledge.
Trustee for W6QP,
From: Matthew King - AK4MK <kk4cps@...>
To: 070Club@groups.io <070Club@groups.io>; 070ClubContests <070ClubContests@groups.io>
Sent: Fri, Oct 18, 2019 12:46 pm
Subject: [070Club] The 070 Club
Hey, y'all - it is with a heavy heart that I write this email.
I've previously sent a couple different emails explaining the dire situation that we're facing with our critical technology suite. This includes our contest scorer, endorsement checker, application system, IOTA system, certificate system, and the complex "back office" management system.
We had a few very well-meaning responses to my request for developers, but we weren't able to form a viable development team capable of writing a comprehensive replacement system.
Well, the situation has gotten exponentially worse. Here's the crux of the matter - all of the existing systems will cease to function on 03/03/20 due to an API change in the Google technology that's the foundation of the entire system.
Given these circumstances, it is my intent, unless somebody else wants to get behind the Executive Director's desk and take over the myriad responsibilities, is to gracefully fold the club as of 12/31/19.
I'll take the extra time after this date before the system breaks to square away a final mailing of stickers and certificates. As nobody has stepped up to do the mailing work since John moved and stepped down, I'll do this myself.
It's my feeling that a piecemeal approach, even if we could pull that off in time, isn't sufficient to run the club in a manner that even remotely resembles what our members have become accustomed to, and would be a disservice to the membership.
Anybody who's made a donation in the past 30 days will get a refund. The money that remains in the coffers after that will be donated to the Red Cross.
Thanks for the good times and memories.
AK4MK - 070 #1708
PODXS 070 Club Executive Director