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1289CW Skimmer Version 1.4 - improved accuracy for contesters, new free trial period

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  • Pete Smith
    Jan 18, 2009
      I have some good news to report for contester users of CW Skimmer. I have
      just finished a series of tests with Skimmer 1.4, to measure the
      improvement in two areas important to contesters, in particular

      · An excessive number of busted spots
      · An excessive number of cases where a caller was mis-identified as a
      runner and spotted when that should not have happened (called CQ/DE errors

      A little background first. Skimmer was originally intended primarily as a
      DXing tool, to facilitate cracking pileups. In this application, speed of
      identifying the desired station is a lot more important that whether or not
      the program also generates some busted spots. Last summer, Alex released a
      version of Skimmer that was intended to let users tailor Skimmer’s callsign
      validation to fit their preferences. Four levels of validation were
      offered: Minimal and Normal, intended primarily for DXers, and Aggressive
      and Paranoid, intended largely for contesters.

      Now here’s the good news. I tested version 1.3 and version 1.4 against a
      10-minute excerpt from a recording of 40M, during the CQWPXCW last May,
      using a May 2008 master.dta file and Aggressive call validation. I
      listened to the recording for each spot that Skimmer made, and classified
      them as OK, busts, and CQ/DE errors.

      Here are the data:

      Version 1.3 1.4 Improvement
      Stations missed* -- 11 (of 92) --
      Busts 21 0 (!) >99%
      CQ/DE errors 15 3 80%

      *legitimate CQ’s missed by the new version; in most cases, these stations
      were very weak or were only heard to CQ once during the 10-minute sample,
      for whatever reason.

      For anyone who wants to try this for himself, Alex has made Version 1.4
      available for download from <http://www.dxatlas.com/>www.dxatlas.com for a
      30-day free trial. People who earlier downloaded a trial can do so again
      with this version.

      73, Pete N4ZR
      the World Contest Station Database is back, and updated daily