What's BUSTED ?

Date: 03/06/2000 12:09:41 AM Eastern Standard Time
From: [email protected] (Jim Kehler)

I think somebody asked on the list over the weekend what 'BUSTED' means on cluster spots. Saw a few people asking on the cluster too. So here's the secret to BUSTED.....

When you send your logs in for a contest, it's computer checked. If you log a call wrong, you have some points removed from you score. That's bad. Contesters don't like it when that happens.....

There have been many 'discussions' over the years about 'log massaging' after a contest. Some guys, believe it or not, TAPE RECORD the entire contest and then replay the whole thing and recheck their logs. Pretty serious people, these contesters, yes sir. Or pretty bored, I'm not sure which... Since all serious contesters are using computers for logging, and packet clusters for spotting, it's no longer the challenge that it used to be to find multipliers - just sit there in front of the keyboard like a lump and when somebody spots something on the cluster that you need for a multiplier, your computer starts screaming at you and then you just bang one of the function keys. The computer then QSY's the radio to the frequency and puts the call in your log - all you have to do is bang the RETURN key when you work the DEEE-X.... Computers are pretty neat, huh ??

But the problem is people. Some of these inexperienced, non-proffessional people who SEND DX spots to the cluster get the call wrong sometimes. And since most contesters are very concerned about time, they don't want to have to actually LISTEN to the call of the guy they are working, they just wanna bang that function key, work him and get back to business (back on their privatly owned, previously reserved CQ frequency). So what happened was with the invention of function keys, a lot of people were finding out after they sent their logs in that they lost a bunch of points because they had calls logged wrong. That was bad. So we needed a method by which this problem could be solved. And then along came BUSTED.

Not all contesters are lumps in front of a keyboard, a few of them are actually paying attention. Either that, or they have a system I haven't figured out yet by which they take turns actually paying attention... judging from what I've seen I on the cluster think they take turns (more on that later). Anyway, the lump who IS paying attention sees a call on the cluster that was spotted wrong so he spots it again, along with the term BUSTED. Or maybe just BUST. What good would that do, you might ask, when all the lumps are busy in front of the keyboard and the spots are flying by on the cluster at the rate of 9 or 10 a minute ? These guys won't take a break and fix calls they logged wrong while the contest is going on, right ? Right you are.... But since this cluster stuff is all on the COMPUTER, and the spots are stored in MANY databases, and computers can easily find anything in a database in miliseconds, the lumps just take a little time AFTER the contest is over to 'massage' the logs - and that's when BUSTED becomes very important.

Search the database for the word BUSTED (or just BUST). Check those calls in your log to make sure you have them logged right..... Pretty neat, these computers, huh ? And you have a whole MONTH to fix the log before you send it in, so no big time demand, like during the actual contest. Now busted calls on the cluster are nothing new and don't happen only during contests - it's an every day occurance to see somebody spot something and then have somebody else spot the same DX in a few minutes with 'CALL CORRECTION' in the comments....

So if I see a BUSTED now and then, I don't think much about it. But when I see lots of BUSTED's all in a row, it makes me kinda wonder.... Earlier I mentioned these lumps appear to be taking turns paying attention.

What makes me think that is when I see things like this:

K1JN 21314.4 DLFWD/BUST    1606 05 Mar 2000
K1JN 28998.0 LY2DRBUST        1608 05 Mar 2000
K1JN 28370.3 HA0RTBUST       1610 05 Mar 2000
K1JN 28624.4 OK8ONMBUST  1615 05 Mar 2000
K1JN 28338.8 SKE3WBUST      1655 05 Mar 2000
K1JN 21243.5 SP2GEMBUST     1708 05 Mar 2000
K1JN 28909.1 RV2BRBUSTED  1710 05 Mar 2000

I don't know K1JN, never heard of him, but judging from the database either K1JN had too much coffee between the hours of 1500 GMT and 1600 GMT and forgot that he's supposed to be WORKING people in the contest, or it's his turn to pay attention..... Scary to think what could happen if one of these lumps actually woke up during the last half of a contest.... Maybe K1JN is one of those professional multi multi operations, and they have a designated BUSTED guy who shows up and just checks calls, I dunno..... Maybe they even have another computer doing it, who knows......

I hate to have problems without solutions. We could just stop spotting every DL, JA, and IK we hear during a contest, and then we wouldn't get all these calls logged wrong in the first place. Nah, that would take too much time, actually tuning up and down the band finding people to work. Plus you'd have to actually type the call in instead of banging the function key. Too time consuming..... Anyway, if you ever wonder who the guys are that are actually paying attention, just point your web browser at: http://oh2w.kolumbus.com/dxs/qin.html Put 'BUST' in for a SEARCH STRING and click ALL COLUMNS, and OH2BUA's computer will give you a chronological list. (Don't forget to pick 1000 spots, lottsa BUSTED in the data base)....

Good thing that this BUSTED stuff isn't against the rules, cuz with all the spots saved in so many databases all over the place, it would be very easy for the BUSTED guys to get busted. I guess these guys like to think that sometimes they are 'pushing the envelope of technology'. At least that's what they say on the contest reflector every time I go over there and start complaining. I kinda feel sorry for them. Like KC1XX. All that money spent on towers, amplifiers and antennas, and there they are CQing away on ten meters a good 2 minutes after the contest is over. Really sad. Broke, no money left for a clock..... And REALLY sad that their Momma forgot to teach them that sometimes ETHICS are more important than winning.....

Next time I'll tell you about the function key the lumps have called 'SUPER CHECK PARTIAL'. That's a good one too. And maybe somebody can explain the one to me called 'STEAL FREQUENCY' - I kept pushing that one the whole time W3LPL was CQing on top of me, but he didn't go away, so I guess I wasn't doing something right. The one on the DVK that said CQ LOOP made him go away, but 'STEAL FREQUENCY' didn't do a damn thing. I guess sometimes this hi-tek stuff just don't work...... 73, Jim KH2D http://kh2d.net