locked Wanted county #FT8


Paul&Tracy Richards
 

Hello Laurie

Some further info here.

The County Hunting game is a bit divided at present.

We have the CQ Magazine sponsored WACA which has been around for donkeys years but frankly has fallen into a bit of disarray. CQ accept paper cards and Eqsl but only if the US based Eqsl user has authorised status. As you have noted, even finding a list of counties that qualify for their award is now problematic. Due to the difficulties in non US hams getting confirmations for this program and the old fashioned card checking process this award is mainly chased by US based hams. CQ do not accept LOTW.

The newer player in town is QRZ who have their own Counties Award using a slightly different county list which is easily obtained.
QRZ accept confirmations via their own logging program and LOTW - but not EQSL. For non US hams, confirmations are easy to obtain, the QRZ system auto tallies your worked counties and applying for the award is as easy as pressing one button.

Gridtracker appears to be setup with the QRZ county list. This makes sense as the CQ Award has never demonstrated any interest in appealing to FT8 users or non US based hams in my opinion. Everyday there are county activators who drive around the USA activating rare counties but I have never once seen these activators on digital modes. I am told no station has ever worked all counties on digital (even in the USA) - it seems the CQ Award is focused on ssb and cw and thus probably not a great match for JTAlert.

Currently I chase both programs in the forlorn hope that one day CQ may get their act together with this Award.

It is worth comparing the tired old CQ Award with the Russian Districts Award - the Russians have a fantastic new webpage, easy online tracking, electronic confirmations and electronic award application and issuance.

I hope this info is helpful should you decide to add county tracking down the line - in short - the QRZ program may be better aligned to JTAlert users

Cheers
Paul - vk4ma


HamApps Support (VK3AMA)
 

On 20/04/2021 5:14 pm, Marc VK3OHM wrote:
Clublog has a very reliable and fast Callsign->DXCC conversion. See https://clublog.freshdesk.com/support/solutions/articles/167890-batch-lookups-of-dxccs.  It has a bulk mode which will do the translation of up to 10,000 callsigns at a time, and it is VERY fast. Been using for some years on the WIA online awards scheme. Never had an issue.

This thread is discussing Counties, the cublog lookup is for Countries <- note the "r". A subtle difference in spelling, but a significant difference in the lookup type.

de Laurie VK3AMA




Paul&Tracy Richards
 

Hello Laurie

Gridtracker has alerts for counties and it works very well. I know they are the competition but as both JTAlert and Gridtracker are free, maybe they would be happy to divulge how they do it. I am a keen county hunter and I use GT just for county hunting and JTAlert for everything else. The GT county tracker is not perfect but neither is the data it is drawing from - it is nonetheless a very handy tool.

It amazes me the number of US based hams who do not update their LOTW, Eqsl and even their qrz info when they move. I get 2-3 confirmations per week where the Eqsl and / or LOTW does not match their actual qrz address. It is frustrating when you know you have worked a new county but the electronic confirmation sent has the wrong location details. You just have to try and work that county again.  JTA Version 2.5 working beautifully here - many thanks

Paul - vk4ma


Marc VK3OHM
 
Edited

Clublog has a very reliable and fast Callsign->DXCC conversion. See https://clublog.freshdesk.com/support/solutions/articles/167890-batch-lookups-of-dxccs.  It has a bulk mode which will do the translation of up to 10,000 callsigns at a time, and it is VERY fast. Been using for some years on the WIA online awards scheme. Never had an issue.

Having said that, I'm not sure if Clublog would be happy for 1000's of apps to hammer the API every 30 seconds. Might need to check with them.


Michael Black
 

Just a thought...but what if each JTAlert user uploaded the QRZ data to hamspots.net and you could build your own database?

Date tag the uploads...provide the database back to JTAlert users who could then look at the date-last-updated to determine if they should report data again next time they log them....maybe every 90 or 180 days or such.

Could just pass a 32-bit CRC + callsign and hamspots.net could return a 200 or 404 where error 200==already got it 404==don't have or must've changed.

Mike W9MDB




On Monday, April 19, 2021, 09:30:43 PM CDT, HamApps Support (VK3AMA) <vk3ama.ham.apps@...> wrote:


On 19/04/2021 5:27 am, Bob Frostholm wrote:
I was under the impression JT Alert can query QRZ.com for other information and pull it into a log.  QRZ has county information for most US hams. Why would this not be possible?

73

Bob

Ko6Lu

JTAlert does save any County data returned from an XML lookup when a QSO is logged.

What is doesn't do is query the xml service for every decode received. Querying QRZ for the data of say 60 decodes received in a 15 second period is not going to happen. As a real-time lookup service for a single callsign it is adequate, but not for multiple callsigns. In order for JTAlert to generate a County Alert, the county needs to be know, the only way that can happen in real-time is via a local database lookup of some sort.

A reliable and accurate Callsign/County database doesn't exist. While JTAlert mitigates slow online lookups by caching received data to avoid return trips to the service, at some point there will likely be multiple xml lookups in a single period. With the slowness of 
QRZ at times and variable Internet speeds, it is not practical to perform xml lookups to determine the County of individual decodes, except in the singular case when you start a QSO with someone, then the multiple second delay in data receipt is acceptable.

There are plans for a County Alert, but that is dependent on a suitable Callsign database. That is still a work-in-progress endeavor at the moment. Any database created (sourced from multiple online databases) will likely to be somewhat inaccurate. Heck even the US-CA website is not kept up to date with County name changes.  Then there are the obvious errors in xml data for miss spelt or non existent country names or no county name recorded.

At a guess, I expect any County/Callsign database to be approx 50 to 80 % accurate. The wide variation in my guess is a reflection of the difficulty involved.

de Laurie VK3AMA


HamApps Support (VK3AMA)
 

On 19/04/2021 5:27 am, Bob Frostholm wrote:
I was under the impression JT Alert can query QRZ.com for other information and pull it into a log.  QRZ has county information for most US hams. Why would this not be possible?

73

Bob

Ko6Lu

JTAlert does save any County data returned from an XML lookup when a QSO is logged.

What is doesn't do is query the xml service for every decode received. Querying QRZ for the data of say 60 decodes received in a 15 second period is not going to happen. As a real-time lookup service for a single callsign it is adequate, but not for multiple callsigns. In order for JTAlert to generate a County Alert, the county needs to be know, the only way that can happen in real-time is via a local database lookup of some sort.

A reliable and accurate Callsign/County database doesn't exist. While JTAlert mitigates slow online lookups by caching received data to avoid return trips to the service, at some point there will likely be multiple xml lookups in a single period. With the slowness of 
QRZ at times and variable Internet speeds, it is not practical to perform xml lookups to determine the County of individual decodes, except in the singular case when you start a QSO with someone, then the multiple second delay in data receipt is acceptable.

There are plans for a County Alert, but that is dependent on a suitable Callsign database. That is still a work-in-progress endeavor at the moment. Any database created (sourced from multiple online databases) will likely to be somewhat inaccurate. Heck even the US-CA website is not kept up to date with County name changes.  Then there are the obvious errors in xml data for miss spelt or non existent country names or no county name recorded.

At a guess, I expect any County/Callsign database to be approx 50 to 80 % accurate. The wide variation in my guess is a reflection of the difficulty involved.

de Laurie VK3AMA


Joe Subich, W4TV
 

It simply takes too long to query QRZ for every US station in a decode
period, evaluate that against a list of valid counties, and make a
decision all in the 2-3 seconds between RX and TX periods. That also
doesn't include the issues of dealing with "non-counties" (independent
cities).

Frankly, I don't think JTAlert could query QRZ.com for as many as 15-20
US stations in the allowable time (or that QRZ.com would allow that).

73,

... Joe, W4TV

On 2021-04-18 3:27 PM, Bob Frostholm wrote:
I was under the impression JT Alert can query QRZ.com for other information and pull it into a log.  QRZ has county information for most US hams. Why would this not be possible?
73
Bob
Ko6Lu
On 4/18/2021 11:18 AM, Joe Subich, W4TV via groups.io wrote:

There is no database of callsign vs. county from which to drive
such an alert.  County is not part of the US FCC record.

73,

  ... Joe, W4TV


On 2021-04-18 12:25 PM, Pat N6PAT via groups.io wrote:
Any chance a wanted county feature will be added? It sure would come in handy for county hunters.







Dave Garber
 

I found it easier to use an external log that jtalert sends to and let it figure on county awards.


On Sun., Apr. 18, 2021, 3:27 p.m. Bob Frostholm, <bob@...> wrote:
I was under the impression JT Alert can query QRZ.com for other
information and pull it into a log.  QRZ has county information for most
US hams. Why would this not be possible?

73

Bob

Ko6Lu

On 4/18/2021 11:18 AM, Joe Subich, W4TV via groups.io wrote:
>
> There is no database of callsign vs. county from which to drive
> such an alert.  County is not part of the US FCC record.
>
> 73,
>
>   ... Joe, W4TV
>
>
> On 2021-04-18 12:25 PM, Pat N6PAT via groups.io wrote:
>> Any chance a wanted county feature will be added? It sure would come
>> in handy for county hunters.
>>
>>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>


--
Bob
KO6LU






Bob Frostholm
 

I was under the impression JT Alert can query QRZ.com for other information and pull it into a log.  QRZ has county information for most US hams. Why would this not be possible?

73

Bob

Ko6Lu

On 4/18/2021 11:18 AM, Joe Subich, W4TV via groups.io wrote:

There is no database of callsign vs. county from which to drive
such an alert.  County is not part of the US FCC record.

73,

  ... Joe, W4TV


On 2021-04-18 12:25 PM, Pat N6PAT via groups.io wrote:
Any chance a wanted county feature will be added? It sure would come in handy for county hunters.





--
Bob
KO6LU


Bob Frostholm
 

I agree. That would be a wonderful addition.

73

Bob

Ko6Lu
On 4/18/2021 9:25 AM, Pat N6PAT via groups.io wrote:

Any chance a wanted county feature will be added? It sure would come in handy for county hunters.

--
Bob
KO6LU


Joe Subich, W4TV
 

There is no database of callsign vs. county from which to drive
such an alert. County is not part of the US FCC record.

73,

... Joe, W4TV

On 2021-04-18 12:25 PM, Pat N6PAT via groups.io wrote:
Any chance a wanted county feature will be added? It sure would come in handy for county hunters.


Pat N6PAT
 

Any chance a wanted county feature will be added? It sure would come in handy for county hunters.