There was recently some chat about various stations being disqualified from last year’s CQ WW SSB contest. Below is an update by Doug Zwiebel, CQWW Director.
If you look back in the blog archive (http://cqww.com/blog/self-spotting/), you will see that Self Spotting was previously discussed in November, 2015. When rules are cited in the Blog, it is for a real reason, not just for casual reading. Back then, Randy, K5ZD warned of impending DQs for self-spotting. It is clear that we need to revisit this rule. Please visit Randy’s blog post (link shown above) to see the RULE.
In CQWW SSB 2016, over 75 entrants were disqualified for self-spotting (some for multiple reasons, which included self-spotting). Details will follow in a future Blog.
Many guys admit right away; thank you. But for the guys who deny, they often say, “It was not me, it was my friends.”
Well, it is OK for your friends to spot you, however….
Friends should not be dedicated to spotting you. That makes them part of your contest effort and must be considered as unsportsmanlike behavior in addition to self-spotting.
Friends should not be spotting you “all the time.”
Friends should not be able to spot you “instantly” (IE, within a minute or two) when you change bands.
Friends should not be able to spot you “instantly” when you QSY within the same band
Friends should not be able to spot you “instantly” when your rate slows down (or especially if your rate goes to zero QSOs per minute)
Friends should not be spotting you a 2nd or 3rd time after your rate died and their first spot did not result in a rate increase, or any additional QSOs.
Friends should not spot you when you are calling CQ on a closed band (not only is that obvious, it just stupid)
Friends should not be spotting only you (or mostly you)
Friends spotting you should have no reason to change “their” call sign for each spot, but come from the same IP address
Friends should not be spotting each other, back and forth, when the above scenarios exist (mutual self-spotting)
Friends should not be connected to your network or “they grabbed my WIFI connection” as an excuse for why they knew precisely “when” and where you needed to be spotted. No, this was not out of your control.
And don’t say the spot was not from you, when the IP address used during the contest matches the IP address used by you, with your own call sign, to make a spot before or after the contest.
All of the above scenarios have occurred with the guys that were DQed for self-spotting this year.
Friendly spotting should be (i) rare and (ii) random. All of the above scenarios indicate LINKAGE to the mother station. The scenarios above are not random. They are intentional and serve a specific purpose based on what the “runner” experiences at that time.
Several multi-op teams said that they found the source of the self-spotting and that one of their team members was “just trying to help” or “didn’t know the rules.” Well, if they didn’t know the rules, why did they hide their own call sign? But that’s OK; we know everyone tries to save face to the best of their ability. Or maybe their information is completely true. If that is the case, all multi-op stations should ensure that all of their operators understand the rules before the start of the contest and that rules violations can (and do) result in strong sanctioning actions.
Please see http://cqww.com/rules.htm
Under section XII (Judging), see
Audio Recordings: Any single operator entrant (see V.A.1) competing for a top three finish at the (a) World, (b) Continent, or (c) USA levels, must record the transmitted and received audio as heard by the operator for the duration of the contest operation. The recording must be in a common format (e.g., mp3) and should include the audio to each ear as a separate channel. The recording may be requested by the Committee within 90 days after the log deadline to help adjudicate the log. The recording files must be provided by the entrant within 5 days of the request. If no recording is made available, the Committee may reclassify or disqualify the entry.
So if you were #1 in Asia for 160m mono-band, low power, you should have recorded your contest effort. This rule applies to all categories, not just to single-op, all-band.
And the recording musts be a continuous recording of when you were operating (including listening time and tuning around time). Recording each individual QSO as a separate file is not acceptable.
We sent out multiple requests for entrant audio recordings, as required by the Rule shown above. Unfortunately, more than half of those contacted were not able to comply. Our general reaction was to reclassify the entrant’s log, often to Check Log status, rather than DQ them for not following the rules. This will not necessarily be the case for the 2017 contests. Please follow all of the rules.
On the plus side, of those who did send in an audio recording, they mostly “passed” with flying colors. Only one entrant, who sent in the full audio file, clearly demonstrated that he was not following the rules, even though when first questioned, said he had. Well, the proof is in the recording. Follow all of the rules, including XII.C. (above) and you be in excellent shape.