15 000 customers can’t be wrong

I didn’t notice it at first, but this week the counter hit 15 000 visitors in 27 months. That’s an average of 555 visitors per month or 18 per day. And those are unique visitors per day. I think that is a lot of people dropping by. When I started this blog thing it was solely for myself, and it still is, because I just like typing this stuff. I must have been the only kid in high school to be happy when the language teachers gave us a writing assignment. Unlike the essays I wrote in high school, I didn’t expect anyone to actually read my writings here. I didn’t even expect to keep it up for so long. But I like having my permanent soapbox and I use it as my personal archive. It’ll help me to write my ‘memoires’ when I’m old HI HI. You’re not a true ham if you haven’t written a book, no? I once read “I write to remember, not to be remembered”. It’s exactly that. But I’ve been getting quite some direct feedback, mostly from Belgian readers. It’s nice to know there is an audience.

Apart from this audience a lot of hits are generated by people who just Google something. If you write about “GU74b tube”, “K9AY loop” or “6m hentenna” like I did, chances are you’ll end up pretty high in the Google results for these words. In fact the previous sentence will cause more hits for this page HI. What does that tell us? That a lot of amateur radio operators are interested in GU74b tubes, K9AY receiving loops and an hentenna for 6m. There you go Google, those words are here again. Happy indexing! But it also tells us that if you want to attract people to your website, you just need to include these key words in the HTML metadata.

There is one thing I’ve been holding behind here. I carefully thought it over but I guess there is no harm in telling this. I did an amazing discovery. Maybe you’ll find it funny but if you’re concerned with fair play and honesty in contesting this is a real shocker! Remember I’m writing a piece of software to check the UBA DX contest logs starting 2010? Remember there was this Ukrainian log full of unique callsigns and multipliers no one else worked? I was discussing this with a ‘colleague’, an associate if you will within the UBA. I noticed that apart from the first irregularity, there were some familiar ON calls in the log that I didn’t expect to be contesting or at least the UR5 logged them in a wrong province. My UBA contact made a list of all ON stations in the UR5 log. Then he put this list against the official callsign list as found on the BIPT website. The BIPT is the Belgian telecom regulator, the official department that hands out callsigns and licenses. The UR5 logged a huge amount of non-existing Belgian callsigns, callsigns that hadn’t been issued or expired. There you go. This log is really full of cheating. But it gets better…

Ham radio lets you make friends all over the world if you’re open to it. So I made a friend, a true blue contester, that is very familiar with the UA/UR contest scene and the Russian language. I was talking to him about this particular log. He did something neither I nor my UBA friend had done: look  up the call on It wasn’t there and Google doesn’t know the UR5 either. I just copy / pasted the Cabrillo log header for him so he could see who it was. He replied right away that if you translate the operator’s name it means “Does not exist”. The street name translates as “Just made it up”. The town in the log means “There is no such place”. So not only are the contacts in his log imaginary, even the operator does not exist. Clearly someone is pulling our leg here. I should have noticed right away that this is a busted log. The Cabrillo header says “CREATED-BY: N1MM Logger V6.00.0” but the N1MM soft always uses Vx.y.z numbering, never a double digit. But who would have thought…

With the data provided by the submitter, we could not track this fellow down. I asked the person at the UBA who collected the logs and they traced the email address that had been used to send the log to the UBA. If you Google that, you find one or two hits. The address shows up on a Russian site that is used to either look for a job or post your resume. Bingo! Now we have a real name behind that email address. His resume says he is born in 1982, has a commercial / management degree and is interested in ‘international amateur radio competition’. If you then Google his name, you find a real callsign that does show up on The only thing that we didn’t check (I just realized it while typing this) is that the email address can be faked. It’s quite easy to send a mail but make it look like it was someone else who sent it.

Anyway, it’s not important who made this log and sent it in. It is important that I had a good test case for some of my log checking routines. And it’s important that we pinpointed this log (although I only use the 2009 logs to test my code). Let it be known that cheaters will have to come up with more refined ways to boost their scores. 73!

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