Wednesday, April 11, 2012

SSCW 2011 Log Check Report Analysis - With Audio

The Log Check Reports (LCRs) for the 2011 November Sweepstakes were just published. I've taken my LCR] and reviewed each score reduction against the recorded audio from the contest, in an effort to learn something. I've included audio links so you can hear what I heard last November. For the record, I was operating from Kevin AD6Z's excellent QTH, in the mountains above Los Gatos, CA. As it turns out, I ended up 17th place nationally in the Unlimited High Power category - pretty happy with that result!

To set the context, here is the summary section of the LCR:

Raw QSOs = 1104
Dupes = 5
Busted QSOs = 19
Penalty QSOs = 5
Time Expired = 0
Final QSOs = 1075
Band Breakdown (160-10): 0 104 291 161 277 242
QSO Points = 2150
Multiplier = 80
Final score = 172000
Error rate = 1.7% (100 X (Busted QSOs / Duped QSO total))
So what happened to those 19 QSOs, and what could I have done to improve?

Busted Calls

LCR: WA2GBU (QSO #807) is a busted call.
The correct call is WA2GBF.

This was a tough QSO with a QRP station. I got fills for everything but the call. I should have confirmed it.

Busted Checks/Sections

LCR: QSO #33 N6BV : B 59 Eb should be B 59 Scv
I LOGGED: N6BV 0034 B 59 EB

Well, this is embarrassing. Clear case of not correcting the pre-fill. Dean guest-ops at various places, and his section isn't constant.

LCR: QSO #82 WB8JUI : A 70 Oh should be A 71 Oh

I clearly busted the check. 71 was clear as a bell. Probably not checking the pre-fill.

LCR: QSO #240 W4AS : U 76 SFl should be U 78 SFl
I LOGGED: W4AS 0030 U 76 SFL

Probably another pre-fill fail. Not hard to copy that 78.

LCR: QSO #315 AE2T : A 68 WNy should be A 69 WNy
I LOGGED: AE2T 0054 A 68 WNY

Pre-fill again, most likely. I was perhaps distracted by the other fills I was working on.

LCR: QSO #317 K6OI : Q 70 Lax should be Q 80 Lax
I LOGGED: K6OI 0045 Q 70 LAX

This sounds like a legitimate bust to me - I can see how one might hear 70 or 80 due to the QSB.

LCR: QSO #1084 W4NBS : A 68 Al should be A 69 Al
I LOGGED: W4NBS 0420 A 68 AL

Very weak signal. A legitimate fail on my part. Should have asked for a fill.

LCR: QSO #1085 K1DG : A 67 Me should be A 67 Nh
I LOGGED: K1DG 0075 A 67 ME

Clearly sent NH. Prefill fail.

LCR: QSO #155: QSO not found in log of VA7HU
I LOGGED: VA7HU 0069 A 62 BC

Pretty sure I got the call and exchange correct, so i think this one isn't my fault. I've QLF'd logging contacts enough times to know this just happens sometimes.

LCR: QSO #205: QSO not found in log of K0INR
I LOGGED: K0INR 0048 U 57 IA

Other than some trouble copying the initial call due to QRM, I think I got this one right.

LCR: QSO #403: Received QSO# 20 should be 204 W6AYC
I LOGGED: W6AYC 0020 A 68 SB

W6AYC was really loud, and I can't imagine having trouble copying that exchange. I must have fat-fingered the number, or I was not paying attention.

LCR: QSO #414: Received QSO# 71 should be 76 N2RI
I LOGGED: N2RI 0071 A 71 NLI

I missed the QSO number, which actually is pretty clear in the recording, and I should have copied it. So I asked for a fill "NR?". I think the other station mis-copied my fill request and sent his check, which was pretty close to the QSO number.

LCR: QSO #483: Received QSO# 271 should be 171 K2SX
I LOGGED: K2SX 0271 U 55 SC

He sent it 3 times, and I blew it. This was a tough QSO.

LCR: QSO #538: Received QSO# 444 should be 544 K3TN
I LOGGED: K3TN 0444 U 69 MDC

Some fast QSB on the "5" in "544" was the culprit here. Too over-confident. Should have asked for a fill.

LCR: QSO #540: Received QSO# 21 should be 216 K2SE
I LOGGED: K2SE 0021 B 76 SNJ

When he first sent his exchange, it was "21B B", and when I asked for a fill for number, I got "21B" twice. Clearly the op was sending CW manually, and I got confused by the missing dit in the 6. I should have asked for a fill on both the number and the precedence separately, as I assumed he was sending the nr and prec in response to my fill request for nr.

LCR: QSO #612: Received QSO# 176 should be 186 N7VS
I LOGGED: N7VS 0176 A 65 OR

Way loud, and I blew it. Fat-finger error.

LCR: QSO #968: QSO not found in log of W3UL
I LOGGED: W3UL 0548 U 54 MDC

I think I got this one right. It's suspicious that instead of a "TU" the other station called CQ. I suspect he lost me and didn't log the contact.

LCR: QSO #1036: Received QSO# 254 should be 244 K0NW
I LOGGED: K0NW 0254 A 58 ORG

QSB got the last dash of the first "4". I should have asked for a fill - not sure why I didn't.

LCR: QSO #1066: QSO not found in log of K4YZ
I LOGGED: K4YZ 0084 A 72 TN

Sounds like he got it. Not sure why I got a NIL. In this clip, you can hear how well the K3's diversity receive works - listen for K4YZ's signal as it swings from one stereo channel to the other.

Summary and Lessons Learned

Of the 19 busts, it sounds to me like 3 were beyond my control, but the other 16 were completely my fault.

The main takeaway here is that prefills, while being a good timesaver, can lead to errors. So, should I abandon them for next year? After thinking about it for a while, I think I'll continue to use them, because:

  • My error rate is pretty low. Improving my error rate might even lower my overall score, if I spend too much time digging out weak signals.
  • For the most part, using the prefills speeds up my "TU" when running, when the prefill matches.

Beyond that, the main source of errors seems to be fat-fingering contacts, and not noticing it. I suspect that distractions in the shack (conversations, turning rotators, eating, etc.) are the root cause of these errors.

Thanks for reading, and I'd love to hear any comments, suggestions, etc.


Gordon KM6I


Scot R. Morrison said...

Would the same number of errors occur if one is not using pre-fill data? I'm of the opinion that using this data without validating it against real time input is not such a good idea.
73, DRR

Gordon Good said...

Certainly, Scot. When I mentioned "not checking the prefill data" I meant that I was somehow distracted and didn't actively check the prefill data against what I was hearing. Te normal MO was to copy what I heard.