Crossing to the DARK SIDE by Danny Horvat E73M
I have crossed to the dark side, is the force still with me?
I have been discussing contesting with some close friends and recent ways of winning the some of most popular ones like CQWW DX.
Well, it has been a shocker. Some of the contesters think there is not much left to do, at least to obey the rules if we cannot make level playfield. Endless story about how clusters, skimmers etc. are ruining the game is just another of culprits why contesting is going "south".
What I would like to express in this writing is partially my frustration with many irregularities in obeying the rules, log checking, excessive use of power, sneak peak of cluster networks and claiming non assisted ( many told me :" Well, everybody does it.").
Also this is my protest in form of joining the "dark side" in their quest for fame.
So, I have CHEATED!
It all started just before last years, 2010 CQWW DX phone contest when my trusted Alpha 8100 amplifier had tube flashover and I have been forced to try to fix it just six hours before start. Since I have been moved myself into SOAB HP Assisted category after 2007 debacle with MULT numbers and realizing that many of my competitors are cheating one way or another, I decided to try just single band 20m assisted with Mult amplifier, Emtron DX2.
Somewhere half down the contest very strong Italian station, IR8R (aka IK8HCG) came on my frequency and tried to steal it. To my amazement I heard him so well and yet seem he does not even notice me, so I have again hit the wall and realized that my 1500W, 4over4 at hilltop is not enough to hold frequency even at 14320 KHz.
I went to internet and searched for IR8R radio and viola here is bragging video on YouTube showing off with OM3500 and 3KW output. Link is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6P5Pg-H7h8
Well, what is so unusual when you can find pictures of know committee members using much more than that.
Emtron DX4s (5kW+) found the way in ES5TV shack and OM3500 are sold in hundreds. Modified Russian LV6 (with GU78, 4kW plus) are common in eastern EU as well as some commercial amps in excess of 10+kW. Recent trend is spraying with several amps in several antennas to make better footprint in the band and claim it for long durations of time. I still have problem to explain some people how good scores we make in MS category with just 1500w output.
Let’s get back to the last years CQWW DX phone contest.
Something snapped in me and I lost the will (force) to continue to compete. Rest of the contest I have been thinking what will give me a satisfaction and only one thing came to mind, I will cheat. You may ask why I would do that.
Here is why.
I have decided to test the log checking and guys behind the name "contest committee". I submitted the log as unassisted and Low Power. I have been thinking they must be blind to overlook the 2800 QSO and 140 countries as LP20m Assisted from zone 15. I was so wrong.
CQWW recently expanded their footprint by appointing eastern European member, YU1EW to keep track of Balkan contesters, who started yahoo mailing list "59915" to discuss problems etc (I have joined briefly and unsubscribed).
I has not been long and I have received an email from Zoran, YU1EW to declare myself as Assisted or not. Promptly responded that I was indeed assisted and even included some excerpts from dx cluster of stations I have spotted during the contest.I am glad they caught that one easily.
After that I have not received any more emails questioning, at least my power.
So there it is, I have been passed without DQing as Low power but assisted, which leads me to conclusion that I am rookie cheater and should improve my skills by not jumping to spots immediately after spotted and never spot another station.
If I stay on the "DARK SIDE" I might even hold some EU records like last year’s DQd E79D who has been repeatedly cheating with power, cluster and even replacement operator. It took few years to committee to learn that this guy is cheating so bluntly and gets away with it.
This fall I will be again assisted all band but have to see about power. If these hundreds of guys are passing as 1500w and yet their power double or triple that, it only gives me a choice to set my goals lower and do Low Power "again". Just kidding...
My apologies to W5GN if he mailed me a certificate, I will try to redeem myself by sponsoring a plaque for some single band LP assisted in EU.
May the force be with you, at least keep it at 1500 W, you will make me happy.
73 Danny Horvat, E73M