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Revisiting an activated summit on a different band GW/SW-002

We (M6BWA and M0JLA) aim to visit the local summits once a year but this year we have activated Waun Fach GW/SW-002 on three occasions. On our first visit on 20 January in icy conditions we qualified on 2m fm but I only made 1 contact on 70cm so I hoped to return when the conditions were a bit warmer. We were back on 25 March and gained a handful of s2s on the VX-7 as we reached the summit but I didn’t try 70cm as we swiftly descended to the reservoir and continued with a long walk. On 13 August we finally had a chance to get some exercise and also activate the hill on 70cm (M6BWA) and see what was happening on HF (M0JLA). Both of us were successful in the sunshine and I expected my 12 70cm contacts to increase my 70cm score by 8 points… but it didn’t happen! I was also uploading 4 single point local activations which were ‘first time visits’ for this year and those 4 points got added to both my 2m and 70cm totals but what happened to those vital 8 70cm points. Woz I robbed, have I missed something or have I found a database hiccup?? I am sure that others will have been in the same position before (possibly on different bands) but may not have noticed that they weren’t credited for the ‘new’ part of the activation. It just happened that I had made a note of my points on the two bands before uploading these recent results so the error was spotted.

Sorry to add to the workload - but with the bank holiday weather we have outside (pouring rain and some thunder) rushing out and activating doesn’t seem to be terribly enticing. Thanks for your help in solving this (or showing me the error of my ways…?)
Viki M6BWA

General activation points are awarded for having 4 QSOs. The band used is not considered. You got 8 points for SW-002 on Jan 20th. You wont get any more till next year no matter which bands and modes you use. Sorry.

Thanks for the reply. I am not expecting an increase in my overall total of points (as the 8 points was added for the 2m activation) but I am however hoping (and claiming) 8 points to be added into my 70cm score. Is this not possible? I had not activated that summit on that band before this year so thought those points were still available. Are you saying that you can only ever get points on your first successful activation of a summit and that any return to this summit during the year, even if the bands you are using are totally different, will never earn you any credit for these bands?? If so, then this means that the facility that has been built in to show your points on different bands is somewhat spurious as it under-records and this particularly affects ‘difficult’ bands that may not be attempted in poor weather conditions.

Can this be rectified by checking to see whether an activator has not only qualified the summit before but qualified the summit on that band and, if not, the points are added to the total for that band (and that band only)? The info is all there as is shown so clearly when clicking on the ‘show analysis’ button so could it be possible to do this tweak, please?

Viki

The problem Vicki is the database code as it stands cannot tell you your 70cms score etc. apart from specific cases used for awards or challenges.

SOTA, in general, does not have any concept of scoring by band or mode. To get points you need 4 QSOs that are valid (different stations etc.), the summit is valid and that you have not already claimed points for that summit in the year in question. The mode and band are not used in scoring. When we do challenges, I have to write some extra code to specifically include the band/mode in the scoring.

So if the band and mode are not used, what is the score when you select a band / mode filter I hear you ask?

Well the database has a table of every logged activator QSO. It also has a table of summarised logs which we know as an activation. When you enter your logs they get saved “as is” and then rules are applied to link those QSOs together and mark them with a summit, date and if they meet the rules, points are award and saved in the summary.

Without a band/mode filter the code looks at every activation and finds those done by people with matching home association and in the matching date window. The activations are grouped by users and the sum of points worked out and displayed.

When you set a band filter the code cannot use the activations data as that is a summary that is band/mode agnostic. So what it does is ask for a list of every QSO logged that has a band that matches the filter. From that it can relate the QSO to its activation and it knows that for those activations there is at least 1 QSO that matches the band. Then it applies all the above logic on this subset of activations. It is NOT showing you where you had 4 QSOs at least on the band and qualified the summit. Just the number of summits where you had at least 1 QSO on the band and the sum of points for qualify those summits ON ANY BAND.

When you ask for the honour roll unfiltered, the database looks at (currently) 23548 activations. When it does filtered views it needs to look at 3693874 QSOs first then works on fewer activations. Looking at the whole QSO table is an expensive operation. When it does the breakdown analysis it is only looking at one person’s data. i.e. it doesn’t need to look at the 3.7million QSOs because it already has a list of the user’s activations. Due to the relational link, it can summarise your QSOs by mode/band quite cheaply.

OK, can it be added? Well yes anything can be added in reason. Will it be added? Not in the short term. We don’t have a specific award that needs it so there is no urgent need to implement a solution. Would it be desirable? Well it would make at least one person happier which means one more Christmas Card for me! The Microwave Award requires similar logic to what would be needed but it needs changing. It could be the basis of something that does what you want.

There is a way to gerrymander the scoring so your August activation scores instead of the January one but it will only exist that way until I rescore the DB . So it’s not worth it as it makes work for you, holes in the data and is transitory anyway :frowning:

Thank you very much for taking the time and trouble to explain the problem and, looking at the above. Do I understand that my ‘70cm points total’ actually includes 8 points for my January 2016 activation as a got 1 70cm QSO but got 4 on 2m and thus ‘qualified’ the hill on every band I used? I wasn’t keeping a close eye on my scores then so wouldn’t have noticed and I don’t feel like totting up my 70cm scores over the last 3+ years to check!!

I’m now feeling rather nervous that my VHF Mountain Goat (in September 2013) may have actually included a (very) few activations that were ‘assisted’ by HF but still included in my ‘VHF Goat’ as I had at least 1 VHF QSO. Similarly the 2xVHF Mountain Goat which I think is only 10 points away and is my current goal (hence the close look at the scores) could be more like 25 or even more distant. Oh lackaday! It looks as if I will have to find yet more hills to go up and be even more persuasive when asking my patient and loyal band of chasers (2148 different callsigns) to humour me by QSYing to 70cm.

My grateful thanks (and those of all my fellow activators) for all the hard work you do to keep the database going and to enable us to have such ‘fun’ in achieving these (sometimes slightly dubious) scores. We all like a challenge.

Viki

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Having thought longer about the reply from FMF I went back to my ‘scores’ for 2011 and 2012 on 70cm (when I was only making the odd contact) which were respectively (including those very valuable seasonal bonuses) 20 and 35 making a total of 55 for the 2 years. When I look at how many hills I actually qualified on 70cm (ie got 4 70cm contacts on that hill) in those 2 years the total is 1 (Garway Hill on 27/3/11 when we had a WB 70cm day) with a total real point count for those 2 years of ONE. Isn’t there a phrase linking lies, dmnd lies and statistics?? By the way, after a quick look, my VHF statistics are not nearly so badly affected so I am only looking for about 20 more points for the 2000 VHF count - but that is bad enough!

I don’t know how many activators are interested in their point counts for more than one band but, if you are, and you sometimes fail to make 4 contacts on one of the bands then you may find your statistics are as ‘wonky’ as mine. Good hunting!

Viki

The logic looks at what points you have scored on activations that included the band / mode / combination filtered. Not “included” as opposed to “qualified”. I understand the reason behind your desire for this to be changed, but would rather things remained as they were myself. This is because, there isn’t, and never has been individual band/mode awards in the SOTA programme. The view has always been about “a valid amateur radio contact” in accordance with one’s own licence conditions, and no more. I hope it stays that way.

It would be a good thing to have HF and VHF/UHF apart in the score. Asked this I think 2 years ago… …

VHF/UHF’ers don’t want to compare with HF’ers and visa versa.

TU
73
Frank

Perhaps I am not understanding you, but if you go to the database Activator Roll of Honour you can select it to display any mode including FM.

Brian

VHF/UHF’ers don’t want to compare with HF’ers and visa versa.

You don’t speak for me!

In any case, SOTA does not distinguish between the various parts of the spectrum or facets of amateur radio. The filters provided are for interest, but not a fundamental part of the programme.

Brian, I think Frank was speaking about frequency, not mode.

Has everybody (apart from Vicki) read the explanations of what happens?

Nor me. I am entirely happy with the idea that a contact is a contact. I mix HF and VHF according to location and conditions, I think this is one of the great strengths of SOTA.

I think the point you are missing is that whilst you can filter on various things, the score that is displayed is not what the score would have been if the unselected contacts had not happened. As Andy has explained, it would be quite hard to do this (though obviously not impossible).

It doesn’t bother me. If I have a personal goal outwith the basic scoring system I will compute it myself.

Perhaps the answer is not to display scores at all in filtered views, because the value currently being displayed is not really meaningful.

Martyn M1MAJ

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Never the less, scores and positions are shown relative to the selected parameters, meaning is relative to how you process the given values and with what purpose. I find these tables useful because they provide an overview of SOTA activity and how it is developing, which is something worth monitoring if you have an eye to the future.

Brian

Perhaps the answer is not to display scores at all in filtered views, because the value currently being displayed is not really meaningful.

I think that point has much merit Martyn, and I tend to agree. I just have in the back of my mind the 100s of “Where has it gone?” emails the MT would receive… :wink:

I also find that sort of overview useful Brian, but take it from the “Facts and Figures” tab on the Database, not the filtered honour rolls. These are a bit meaningless as Martyn explained.

That gives band and mode but not year or Association so it is somewhat limited for my purposes.

Brian

Maybe label the column “Total Score” or some such in a filtered view. Sometimes a label clears up confusion.

I worked on a search engine that gave approximate counts for hits (a performance thing). We kept getting complaints like “it says 12 results but only shows 11!”, until we put the word “approximately” in front of the count. No more complaints.

wunder

Wouldn’t simply counting the activations meet your needs? It only takes one contact to make an activation, and it is still an activation even if it scores zero points because it has been done before in the year. Activation count would be both accurate and useful as a measure of activity.

Martyn M1MAJ

Vicki was not the first person to be caught out. It’s easily done because most of us don’t look at the filtered results until we have done enough of the action we are filtering on to see the effect and by then it may be too late to see the error It’s always been this way which doesn’t make it any more or less correct.

In cases like this it is best to apply the wisdom of the great Jedi master Obi-Wan Kenobi.

:smiley:

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Actually amongst other things I maintain tables listing numbers of activators scoring 1+, 10+ and 100+ each year, same for chasers but with the addition of 1000+. Probably of no Earthly use but better to have too much information than too little!:grinning:

No thank you. I am horrified at the idea that VHF/UHF should be separated as it we are not as valid as the HF community (perhaps it wasn’t actually meant to sound like that but…). It is just that some of us choose to use these bands. In my case it is much less weight to carry, simple method of operating and the voices of contacts heard very clearly so they sound like (and are) real people. I originally added 70cm because it was available at a touch of a button on the VX-7R, would give me something else to do when M0JLA was operating - and because it was obviously going to be a bit of a challenge! This is where the discrepancy of scores comes in - when I qualify the summit on VHF but only get 1 to 3 contacts on 70cm. I now realise that any points are going to be credited to my filtered UHF score and should be ignored if I want to check my real UHF score one day and I agree with M1MAJ : [quote=“M1MAJ, post:12, topic:13788”]

It doesn’t bother me. If I have a personal goal outwith the basic scoring system I will compute it myself.
[/quote]

Please keep the filtered scores as they show who is actually using a particular band and some idea of how often but it would be useful if there was some sort of warning that the figures quoted could be misleading. I’m not sure that ‘approximate’ is quite strong enough when my accrued ‘total’ of 55 turns out to be just 1!

As I started, in all innocence, this thread then perhaps I might be allowed to end it by suggesting that we keep the system as it is but some of us (especially me) are much more aware that some of the figures found on the database are an indication rather than a statement of fact.

Once again my very grateful thanks to those that keep the system going :smile:

Viki M6BWA

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