Everyone who submits an electronic log for the WPX Contest must eventually ‘dance with the robot.’ That’s where you email your log to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. The robot happily receives your log, checks it for key information, and then replies with a confirmation. Or, in some cases, it replies with a rejection and begins your dance. You resubmit your log with corrections and the process is repeated.
We try very hard to make the robot response messages as simple and clear as possible. 99% of you do read them and resubmit your log with the incomplete items corrected. For those who don’t, K1AR and I keep an eye on the robot inbox and rescue these logs (or email you for the missing info). Its a great system and we owe N5KO a great deal of appreciation for setting it up (for all CQ and ARRL contests)!
As we near conclusion of another year of WPX SSB/CW log submissions, I want to report on two changes we made to the robot for the WPX this year and how they have helped save time and prevent errors.
The first change was to add new checking on the LOCATION field for USA/Canada entries. Since the contest reports results and issues certificates based on call areas, we need a way to know what call area you were actually operating from. The mailing address doesn’t always tell the story! The robot checks any USA/Canada entry and makes sure it has a valid ARRL Section or State/Province in the LOCATION field (see http://www.cqwpx.com/locations.htm for the list of allowed values). This enables the log checking software to set the call area your score is reported in. You are responsible for entering this correctly!
The second change was to add checking on club names. The robot looks at the text in the CLUB field and checks it for an exact match against a list of known clubs (see http://www.cqwpx.com/clubnames.htm for the list). This list is maintained by F6BEE (firstname.lastname@example.org) and is shared by the CQ WW and WPX Contests. If your club name doesn’t match what is on the list, a warning message is included in the robot response message. THE LOG IS STILL ACCEPTED so there is no need to panic if your club isn’t on the list.
Why is this a big deal? When I started as Director last year, I blogged about the club name problem and my amazement at the number of different club spellings and abbreviations that were in use. I probably spent 60-80 hours just sorting out club names and compiling the club scores. Due to language issues, there were many cases where it was impossible to match the club names with the abbreviations. This issue has practially disappeared from the logs this year.
Thanks for dancing with the robot and submitting a Cabrillo log that includes all of the information we need to process your log. This simple act by each of you saves us many hours over the course of log checking and producing the results. Since everything is highly automated, the better the input information, the less chance for errors to creep into the results.
As of today, we have received 4,084 logs for WPX SSB and 3,551 for WPX CW. Both are new records! Thanks again to each of you for participating and submitting your logs.