Long time no radio

When I switched off the radio after WAE CW, I knew my radio and contesting summer ended. All plugs and control cables have been unplugged since then. More than a few historical and furious thunderstorms have unsleashed their destructive power over Belgium since then. The timing was good this year, I did not need tro quit any contest operation like last year.

All logs sent to LotW and eQSL. Paper QSL replied to but need to go to the local post office to get them in the mail. Still on top of things in ON7SS’ Prefix Hunt.

Finished another phase of my log checking soft and compiled scores for the SSB  part. Sent those off to ON7SS for further processing, approval and publication. Then loaded 1100+ CW logs, good for 300 to 350k contacts in the CW part this year. Small(er) contests are always more popular in CW. It took my laptop (32 bit Vista with Intel Core Duo T7500 CPU @ 2.2 GHz) about 20 hours to parse all the Cabrillos. That seems like a long time to me, but I know my code runs quite slow because it needs to run through all of the contacts character per character because of the 101 flavors of the Cabrillo standard.

If ALL the software writers would follow the standard and the format as explained in the UBA log specs then I could use very simple code that would run VERY fast. But then again, there will always be operators who will manage to abuse their software and produce incorrectly formatted logs. Or edit the log by hand and completely mess up the format. No it is not the first time I bring this up. Yes it bothers me a lot. Contrary to my nature, I try to stay polite here. But I do have a strong opinion about so called ‘contesters’ who can’t deliver a readable log.

After the scores it was time to write the code for the UBN reports. That went very fast. I could re-use a lot of the old code, and with smart programming in the latest version (smart, at least for this amateur code writer) I had the UBN code done in record time. I thought it was intended to send the UBN automatically to all participants. That’s why I made the log acceptance code filter out the email address per submitted callsign. But in a conversation I just had with contest manager ON7SS, I learned that just like last year UBN’s will only be sent out to those who specifically request it.

The closest I came to playing radio was reading the online archive of the CQ-Contest reflector. I don’t receive any mails anymore, but I enjoyed reading the issues about power cheating in contests. W8JI hit the nail on the head about the CQ-Contest reflector:

I can explain why that is true, but this is not the correct forum. This is a forum for people to insult each other between contests, not to help each other. 🙂

I intended to try WAE SSB this weekend for a change. OK, you got me: I wanted to take a shot at the ON record in SSB 🙂  For that I need to crank up the tower. But WX forecast mentions thunderstorms again on Satruday night. So I’ll probably just skip this one since WAE isn’t a rate contest and SSB isn’t fun when there is no rate. There should be more fun coming later on (SAC? CQP? Oceania DX?).

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