Sharing contest real time scores between servers

I’m glad to make a first announcement about some promising progress in sharing real score data between servers.

Few months ago we’ve started communication with Dmitry, R4WW the owner of the well known real score server cqcontest.net. We have agreed to cooperate on sharing score data. On the same time we received a beautiful initiative form Bruce, WA7BNM who came up with a brilliant idea of a score distribution server. The score distributor is meant as an easy way to post live scores to all active scoreboards:

1. The distribution server posts scores it receives to all scoreboards

2. It only posts scores to a scoreboard for a contest if that contest is supported by that scoreboard

3. It doesn’t post scores to a scoreboard, from which it received a score POST

That sounds like a beginning of real time score cluster. That wouldn’t be important which URL has been configured in a user loger since all the posts finally be delivered to ALL active score board servers supporting current contest.

Bruce just made my day by sending today a message saying a test version of the distribution server is ready to go! Now we are ready to test options 1-2 (score postings could be sent to a distribution server and after to be distributed between cqcontest.net and contestonlinescore.com servers).

We need volunteers who are ready to do the following:

1. to register accounts on both servers (https://cqcontest.net and http://contestonlinescore.com )

2. configure your logger with the following real score server URL:

http://www.b41h.net/scoredistributor.php 

(username a password could be empty since we don’t use authentication during the first QA phase).

3. participate at least few hours  in the coming contests: ARRL SS SSB and CQ WW CW

4. Share with us your experience about how things go with posting to both servers. Please pay attention to score posting timing. Are any delays with your score publishing on both servers? Is your logger posting status clear?  Your feedback about anything else related to postings would be very appreciated.

Rate monitor “funny” numbers issue

We’ve noticed some weird numbers the rate monitor was showing up during the last ARRL SS CW contest :

Highest rate : 862 q/h by N9TK. How could that be?! Our explanation is the following:

“The best rate monitor” script runs hourly to calculate every one’s hourly rate consistently.  It sorts out all the best rates and find out the biggest value to put on the board header.

Everything is correct If a person has connected to the server before having a fist QSO in a log. But when a person gets connected to the server few hours after a contest start having already few hundreds qso’s in a log fools the script.

Take a look at the N9TK QSO’s rate graph:

 

N9TK has connected to the server on 24th hour after ARRL SS CW has started and his first post had over 800 qso’s. Our script calculates an instant rate by subtracting the last hour QSO’s number from the previous one. Since we have nothing for the previous hour we consider that as 0 QSO’s. So we’ve got 862 QSO’s have been made from 23th to 24th hour. Voila! ))

Sure we’ll find out a way to check up the posting history to prevent such “funny” numbers in a future. I just hope that wouldn’t make this script stress out the server too high since it usually calculates a rate from few dozens thousand numbers.

The contest highest rate monitor

We have implemented a new feature – the highest QSOs per hour rate monitoring. This feature is activated for all contests longer 1 hour. Every hour we calculate everyone’s 60 minutes rate from top of the previous hour , find out the best and put on the top right side on the board page header.

By clicking on the “Highest rate” monitor module you will get a new page “The contest best rates list” where will be all the current contest board participants list sorted by a personal best hour rate. It refreshes automatically every hour to reflect latest rates updates.

We don’t know if that does make sense to implement the contest highest rate monitor for mini contests by using 10 minutes rate. If you have some opinion please place as comment to this post. Thanks ))

Overriding categories

We have implemented few category overriding rules.

  • If a logger sends a mode attribute different comparing to a contest mode it will be overridden by a contest mode value.

For example: If I have mistakenly configured my CQ WW CW log with a MIXED  mode in a header my mode MIXED to be overridden by CW and to be shown  in CW group on the CQ WW CW board

  • If a contest doesn’t have assisted (or unlimited) and non-assisted subcategories all the provided by a logger ASSISTED subcategory value will be replaced by NON-ASSISTED. So the all assisted and non-assisted scores will be in the same group – NON-ASSISTED.

We wish to  consolidate all the users scores in a group in accordance with  a contest organizers definition. Splitting scores by unnecessary sub-groups just makes board visibility worse.

Please leave your comment if you have some other suggestions.

Working with callsign aliases

We have designed our score board server to accept a user main call as well as any user’s call aliases. We just improved our scripts to accept ANY combinations of them during authentication.

For example I have the following callsignes registered:

  • VA2WA – the main one.
  • VA2WDQ – an alias
  • VC2A – an alias
  • VC2W – another one alias

So I have my N1MM+ logger credentials configured to post my score by using VA2WA credentials.  If I set new contest log with my another call VC2A for WPX I don’t not need to change my credentials with  N1MM+ .

Anyway to see INSTANT RATE graphs you have to be logged in the Contest Score Board server with your currently active call. In the above mentioned example I should be logged as VC2A. The password is the same for all calls.

New tool added: QSO/hour, Mult/hour and Score/hour instant rate graphs

We are announcing  a new option INSTANT RATE GRAPHS. Here is the screenshot from the latest CWT mini test:

 

That’s a true instant analyzing feature providing 10 minutes rate for min tests running 1 hour or less or 1 hour rate for all other longer contests. It starts working since the first minute and available for logged in users just by clicking on a competitor’s call on the board. That requires you to be logged in with your currently active in the contest call.

It’s a new feature and we would be appreciated for all the feedbacks and suggestions on improving it.

Rumors about breakdowns and our polling experience

We didn’t expect so many critics targeting our decision to suspend breakdowns for some particular contest considering this data as an external assistance to a single op.

Just to clarify what exactly our HAM community wants we’ve launched an online poll on EasyPolls. The results we’ve got seemed very discouraging. There are two huge groups having opposites opinions:

 

Anyway, as you see the second group which is not supporting disabling of breakdowns is slightly bigger. So we decided to follow the majority and since today there will not be any limitations on bands breakdown data.

Bands breakdown view is ready

We have activated bands breakdown view. To see all the QSOs numbers spitted by band a “Breakdown” link on the top menu  bar should be clicked.

To come back and to hide bands data a “Simple view” link should be clicked.

After consultations with NAQP contest organizers we decided to implement one simple feature – blocking breakdown view for some contest considering this feature as an assistance.

The next two NAQP contests boards for  NAQP CW and NAQP SSB will come up with the breakdown view feature being disabled for these contest.

Hello world! We’ve launched Contest Online Board!

We have finished and launched our Score Board pilot version.

https://contestonlinescore.com/

It’s coming up with some limited options ( no bands breakdown, no private room and some others). Also board filter is not fully functional – results could be filtered only by Single OP- Multy category and Assisted – NON Assisted). Anyway it’s a functional server so multiple contests score could be  uploaded and viewed.