The CQWW CW results have been published almost three weeks ago and I needed some time to decide to publish this open letter to the CQWW Contest Committee during upcoming Dayton Hamvention 2017. I think that the Contest Community has to consider the points that I analyzed below.

In the last two years I participated in almost all contests, to achieve the best possible result to participate in the WRTC 2018 after almost 30 years of contesting. Thanks to this hard activity and a lot of sacrifices, finally in September 2016 I was mathematically qualified as a Team Leader in AS#5.

Then to have some fun and to activate a very rare country on CW without any pressure to achieve an important result, I asked some old friends to visit me in Asia and to activate Macao XX9 after 23 years from last “Multi “participation in the CQWW CW dated 1993.

Everything was nice; great fun and great pileup, 24 hours a day, during our short 8 days dxpedition. During the CQWW CW we decided for the entry in the Multi Two category, even if we were just 4 operators. It has been the right choice to permit to everybody to operate and to have a short rest, giving thousands of stations the possibility to contact this rare country on CW.

But the worst thing happens.

In mid-March I received an email from the CQWW Contest Committee where they informed me that our station XX9TXN was Disqualified for self-spotting. Of course in the email the CQWW Contest Committee reported what they considered “strong evidence” to have the right to disqualify our station. Please remember: Evidences, NOT Proofs !

Technically speaking a proof means that if a station is connected through an IP Address to the Internet, and from that IP address you can see spots with one or more different callsigns, then it means that the station self-spotted and it is right to DQ that station. In our case the CQWW CC never wrote this (they could not write this because simply it never happened).

In our case “pirate calls” or “unique calls” (and not friends!) spotted our station and only our station. For the CQWW CC this is a strong evidence that we self-spotted. The funny thing is that some “pirate stations” spotted us with the same callsign but from different countries using a VPN. I.E. JA1AAA spotted XX9TXN through an IP address in Japan, then JA1AAA spotted us through an IP address in USA and then through and IP address in DL. For the CQWW CC this is another evidence that we self-spotted. Of course! It is like to say… “Hey CQWW CC, we are here, please DQ us because this is the easiest way to be discovered!” (LOL).

And then The great truth: a couple of times the “pirate” spot arrived before the RBN. This is a very clear evidence that we self-spotted (OMG!). Pity that during a CQWW CW with thousand of CQing the RBN sometimes reports a call (if you do not have a strong signal like us) even 2 or 3 minutes after the first CQ.

ALL these evidence (not proof) are simply ridiculous!

First of all XX9TXN was one of the rarest stations active during the CQWW CW. During the contest we have had a really great pile up all the time. There were hundreds of stations that spotted us. Did we need to self spot for 6 or 7 times? Really? On CW exist the RBN. It is insane to use the self spotting.

To conclude: we did not have any reason to self spot. We had a huge pile up during the contest, we did not participate to win (we had a field day station) and personally I did not need points for the WRTC qualification because I was already qualified a couple of months before the CQWW.

But now I would like to consider seriously what means “strong evidences” vs. “real proofs”.

Reading again the CQWW Rules at point IX. GENERAL RULES FOR ALL ENTRANTS there are 10 points. Each point has exactly the same importance. If a station violate one of this point it is right that that station must be DQ!

Now I would like to ask to the CQWW Contest Committee members a question: how many of you guys respect in FULL ALL TEN points? Because if you respect in FULL ALL ten points than you are eligible to be part of the CQWW Contest Committee and to DQ other stations that do not respect the rules.

Just to be more clear if someone forgot something:

  1. Entrants must operate within the limits of their chosen category when performing any activity that could impact their submitted score.

2. Do not exceed the total output power limitation of the chosen entry category on any band. Total output power on any band at any time is measured at the output of the active amplifier(s).

As I wrote in the beginning of this open letter, I have 30 years of experience in contests. In the past I met personally almost all of you and I know your stations (like almost everybody knows). When I see the photos of your stations or when I visited your stations, I noticed a lot of amplifiers like OM3500, OM4500, Alpha 77 (2×8877) or Henry 8K or homemade amplifier with a pair of GU78, 3CX3000 or a 4CX10000 or more.

Dear CQWW CC member, is it in your opinion than there is a STRONG EVIDENCE that you are violating the rules? Of course, you can tell me that you use your amplifier at the maximum limit allowed in your chosen category. Even if it is extremely hard to believe, nobody has the real proof that you are cheating and violating the Points 1 and 3 of the GENERAL RULES FOR ALL ENTRANTS.

I am not here to prove that you were violating the rules. This is not my job and I am not interested to do it! I am here to ask you to look at yourself in the mirror because you know what you were doing and how you did operate.

I want to remind you that if you violated the points 1 and 3 of the General Rules, you cheated for 48 hours throughout the duration of the contest. You added hundreds of more QSOs in your log.

Are you ready now to judge other people and to DQ their stations WITHOUT any real PROOF but only because YOU THINK that there is a strong evidence?

I really hope that during this great Dayton Hamvention you can consider carefully and seriously what are the differences between evidence and a real proof.

You DQed XX9TXN without any real proof! Look inside your consciousness (and evaluate your past operations) and tell me if you are the right person to DQ us or other stations, without real proof but just for evidence.

73 de VR2XAN (one of XX9TXN), Alberto Annesi

20 COMMENTS

  1. 1. Stations that self spot are trying to get a little action going. XX9TXN had
    more action then any 4 guys can handle for the entire contest period. Why
    would they take time to self spot…..CRAZY
    2. A 4-Man M2 is an undermanned operation, who had the time to play
    self spotting games. Again….CRAZY

    Ron KH6DV
    Kaneohe Bay Hawaii

  2. This is so true….so many run well over legal. And why would these ops need to self spot?

    73. Paul. N0AH

  3. Alberto appears to be suggesting that because some stations break power output rules then we should not police any contest rules whatsoever. May be I will operate the next cqww all the way through to Wednesday as surely the rules relating to contest duration are equally as “rubbery”.

    I am sure the contest committee would not disqualify operators with out good reason. May be Alberto can write to the contest committee and give permission for them to release the evidence they have against him.

    As the level of cheating in contesting and DXCC has got out of hand I applaud the efforts to reign it in. If this means a few innocents get hit along the way then so be it.

    On the one hand Alberto states that his team was not operating the contesting seriously – his reaction to the DQ would suggest otherwise. If you are not serious about the contest, why get so worked up about the DQ?

    A better approach would be to recognise that the contest committee is trying to clean up the game and they should be applauded for that effort. May be Alberto was an innocent casualty but the crack down still has my support

    cheers
    Paul – vk4ma

  4. I personally think that the CQ WW Contest Committee have lost their way. Summarily disqualifying entrants without redress, having for years done nothing, is going to affect the popularity of CQ Contests going forward. Of course, cheating has to be dealt with when there is no doubt it has occurred. But there is a difference between evidence and proof and, if the affected entrants were not to be given leave to appeal, then reclassification to Assisted Category should have been the policy adopted this time.

    The Committee’s inconsistency in treating each rule equally is pretty much a disgrace. I operated in the SSB Contest and had to fend off numerous USA stations calling me below their 20m band limit on 14133. By accident I worked 3 of them, of which 2 were contest entrants. I appear in their logs but both have falsified the frequency to make it appear that the QSOs were in-band. I reported all infractions to the Committee but none were disqualified, in keeping with the general discrimination that saw almost all DQs being non-USA.

    All honest contest entrants want to know that their score is not going to be bettered those who are cheating. Having faith in that requires the adjudicators to also have total integrity. They do not and this whole episode is now a sad state of affairs. I can see everyone suffering as the number DX operations reduce for the lack of operators’ confidence that their effort and expense will be treated fairly.

    Erik EI4KF

  5. Hi Paul – VK4MA
    The problem is not so much the DQ for the CQWW but automatically he is DQed from WRTC2018 and he was working over two years to qualify for this. The effort to get their is huge! You have ~30 qualification contests over a two years period. Many of them going into our local Mondays due to the time zone meaning you spend your holidays (family life?) for contests over this period. It makes absolutely no sense why someone would risk all this if not even needed.

    I was in the same situation. I had enough points to qualify for WRTC before the CQWW CW and we did the contest as M/S. Trust me I was super careful that we would not violate any rule and risk my WRTC ticket.

    Self spotting in a CW contest is pretty stupid. Everybody being in assisted nowadays will receive skimmer spots (RBN) & DX Cluster spots. Actually with skimmer access the cluster spots are to late anyhow.

    73 Holger, ZL3IO/ZM4T

  6. Probably an innocent that has been disqualified as CQWW have decided to enforce rules on self-spotting which is a tad nuts for a busy station, not the rule IMHO they should have enforced with DQ as there were plenty of other offenders evident but their choice I guess. However flinging mud about what others do or what other rules might have been broken probably doesn’t help the XX9 stn cause but does highlight the rules are not being fairly applied. There were plenty of band plan infractions. Why do some CQWW SSB contest ops on 20m always seem to trash the SSTV freq’s, and I am not even an SSTV op, likewise why setup a high power run station on or near the 14260 IOTA or 14285 QRP calling freq or so close you just KNOW you are going to cause issues as callers will splatter all over the place? I thought Amateur Radio is a hobby and contesting was supposed to be the fun part where some test themselves against other but not if you are going to effect others surely?

  7. G2F was similarly disqualified for cheating. In our case it was self-spotting by one operator who did what he did without the knowledge of any of the other team members. Indeed the first I knew about it was when the DQ warning email was received from the CQWW committee. Only when I challenged the entire team did the offender own up. His reasons for cheating are still not clear to me and he appears remorseful. Genuine remorse or just because he got caught out? Only he can know that.

    The fall out from this event is that my WRTC points have been wiped out along with all other team members. G2F has now been dismantled and most of the equipment and towers sold. All through the actions of one operator.

    I am personally very pissed-off about being associated with cheating but, as some say, them’s is the rules and the CQWW committee was absolutely right in DQing us. I’ve given up radio contesting.

    Cheers,
    Tel/G4MKP

  8. G4MKP: Would you give up driving and sell your car if/when you get a speeding ticket? Maybe you’re just acting out of pique?

  9. If the contest committee will not come forward with the ip address evidence then what does that
    tell us ?

    Bob
    K6UJ

  10. Holger – ZL3IO

    I did not realise that the DQ results in you losing your eligibility for WRTC as well. Makes sense of course and also justifies Alberto’s passion here.

    But reading Albertos post again is the evidence not pretty compelling?

    We have spotting stations that spotted xx9txn ONLY throughout the whole test (unusual but not damning)
    We have spots of xx9txn occurring shortly before the first xx9txn transmissions are received by the reverse beacon network. This is consistent with a self spot just before you fire up on a new band or frequency (pretty damning)
    We have pirate station spotters using different ip addresses to spot xx9txn – I guess the only other explanation for this is that someone was deliberately trying to get the xx9 team disqualified – but how did this someone know that there would be such a crackdown on self spotting this year.

    In any judicial proceeding it is very rare to have absolute proof. Even in a murder trial the only absolute proof would be if each member of the jury actually witnessed the murder themselves. Anything less, means that any murder conviction is actually evidenced based. We are never absolutely sure that a murder has been proven but convict on the basis of evidence and reasonable probability……and this is for a murder.

    I have to say if I was sitting on the cqww contesting jury and the evidence described by Alberto was presented I would conclude that in all reasonable probability that xx9txn self spotted. This does not prove that they did but if we required absolute proof before conviction we would never declare any one guilty of anything.

    Cheers
    Paul – vk4ma

  11. vk4ma wrote:
    >>On the one hand Alberto states that his team was not operating the >>contesting seriously – his reaction to the DQ would suggest >>otherwise. If you are not serious about the contest, why get so >>worked up about the DQ?

    Because now he has also been DQed for WRTC, which he said he was already qualified.

    73 de Vince, VA3VF

  12. Hi!
    My suggestion is to invent new category SELF SPOTTING and problem would be solved. 😉

    73 ES GL DE Robi, S58Y.

  13. Not sure if a self spotting category would solve the problem

    Guys operating in the other categories that did not allow self spotting would still be tempted to cheat in the same way as they do now.

    I am also not sure if we should be encouraging self spotting, particularly in a contest environment

    Cheers
    Paul – vk4ma

  14. I could believe an overly enthusiastic and XX9TXN-specific-and-only local cheerleader who spots announced band-change plans, or announced second-radio frequencies. But that’s way past the edge of what the CQ organizers tell you specifically not to do at http://cqww.com/blog/cqww-2016-ssb-self-spotting-and-entrant-audio-recordings/

    QSO: 3508 CW 2016-11-27 2130 XX9TXN 599 24 JO2FBV 599 25 1
    QSO: 3508 CW 2016-11-27 2131 XX9TXN 599 24 JE7CJL 599 25 1
    QSO: 3508 CW 2016-11-27 2131 XX9TXN 599 24 JG1IGX 599 25 1
    QSO: 3508 CW 2016-11-27 2132 XX9TXN 599 24 JN1THL 599 25 1
    QSO: 3508 CW 2016-11-27 2138 XX9TXN 599 24 JH0OTM 599 25 1
    *** VR2YDC 1 816,3 XX9TXN 21:44 27/11/16 ***
    QSO: 1817 CW 2016-11-27 2151 XX9TXN 599 24 JR3GWZ 599 25 1
    QSO: 1817 CW 2016-11-27 2152 XX9TXN 599 24 JE6RPM 599 25 1
    QSO: 1817 CW 2016-11-27 2156 XX9TXN 599 24 OH2MA 599 15 1
    QSO: 1817 CW 2016-11-27 2202 XX9TXN 599 24 OE6IMD 599 15 1
    QSO: 1817 CW 2016-11-27 2204 XX9TXN 599 24 JT5DX 599 23 1

    QSO: 14044 CW 2016-11-27 2301 XX9TXN 599 24 N0AT 599 04 1
    QSO: 14044 CW 2016-11-27 2303 XX9TXN 599 24 JA2GAL 599 25 1
    QSO: 14044 CW 2016-11-27 2304 XX9TXN 599 24 JH1WHA 599 25 1
    QSO: 14044 CW 2016-11-27 2306 XX9TXN 599 24 K5CAO 599 04 1
    QSO: 14044 CW 2016-11-27 2307 XX9TXN 599 24 W0AIH 599 04 1
    *** VR2YAK 14 044,8 XX9TXN 23:06 27/11/16 ***
    *** VR2YAK 21 017,6 XX9TXN 23:06 27/11/16 ***
    QSO: 21017 CW 2016-11-27 2307 XX9TXN 599 24 ZL1TM 599 32 0
    QSO: 14044 CW 2016-11-27 2307 XX9TXN 599 24 VE3EJ 599 04 1
    QSO: 14044 CW 2016-11-27 2308 XX9TXN 599 24 N0NI 599 04 1
    QSO: 14044 CW 2016-11-27 2309 XX9TXN 599 24 K8GM 599 04 1
    QSO: 14044 CW 2016-11-27 2309 XX9TXN 599 24 N0IJ 599 04 1
    QSO: 14044 CW 2016-11-27 2310 XX9TXN 599 24 N7NG 599 04 1

  15. laughable, if it weren’t sad. harsh punishment for a totally minor offence (who cares, really, about self-spotting? what real advantage does it give anybody, let alone XX9? and, SOOO easily done using somebody else’s call, if one really wanted to do it…) whilst all sorts of “serious crime” goes on all the time, undetectable or detected and openly ignored (power, bandplan, single op operated by 4 people, M/S or M/M spread out over tens/hundreds of miles, post-contest “log massaging” to accommodate band changes…).

  16. It sounds like VR2XAN got caught up in being associated with a bad apple and is paying the price.

    It happened at T48A and looks like it happened at G2F.

    A warning to all Multi Op teams. Be very careful what station you operate at and who is the team.

    Just because the CQWW CC has not yet cracked down on other cheating yet doesn’t mean that what they are doing should be dismissed. And there is a third option to turning off packet or making self spotting allowed, just follow the rules!

    Ed N1UR

  17. This whole thing stink to high heaven! It is very heavy handed and so one sided ! Produce your EVIDENCE / PROOF and let them defend themselves.

    If someone who is a fan of them and spots only them why are they held accountable for the actions of someone outside their group?

    CQ it taking a big chance at ruining the Granddaddy Of ALL Contests with these UNPROVEN claims and instant DQ without recourse. People invest Thousands of dollars and hours for these 48 hour windows of maximum activity only to be smacked in the face like this!

    XX9TXN sounds to me like an innocent man branded as guilty w/o any chance at due process… Hell, I would be pissed as hell myself!

    Wake UP CQ CONTEST/AWARDS COMMITTEE BEFORE YOU KILL EVERYTHING!

    So Stupid how this was handled….

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