"QSL Needed" Obfuscation, DXCC tracking and DX spot colors

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"QSL Needed" Obfuscation, DXCC tracking and DX spot colors

I have been using CQRLog for many years and ashamed to say I have just recently become concerned that DX spots and alerts may not be operating in the manner I thought they were. Most beginning DX operators have a highest priority of confirming contact on any band, any mode with each DX country. This is then followed either by getting each DX country on either every band or on every mode depending on the priorities of the operator. Up until recently I have believed the DX spot colors reflect those priorities but the concept of "QSL needed" now has me wondering if that is true.

I have seen the forum threads that tell me "QSL needed" means you have worked a station but but not confirmed it on that mode and band and can set a DX cluster spot color to show "QSL needed" in a specific color. What I now suspect is happening with DX spot colors is that if you have worked a country but not gotten confirmation, those spots are not flagged differently than if you have confirmed a country on some mode and band but have worked but not confirmed the DX entity on this specific mode and band.

If in my fog of confusion I have hit on the right answer this means: the beginner trying to get their first DXCC award gets the spots off the cluster flagged that he needs to contact only if he has never worked them before on the spotted band and mode. Many of the spots he wants to contact to finally get that country confirmed must be pulled out of the clutter of "QSL needed" colored spots which includes: countries he is desperately needing to contact again because he can't get confirmation on any band/mode; as well as countries he has already confirmed on some mode or band but has only worked and not confirmed on the spotted bands and mode (allot of stuff he is not focused on). The impact on more advanced DX operators is different but likewise the spots flagged "QSL Needed" have to be individually analyzed to determine if this spot is one he wants to pursue.

Is there a way to eliminate all that clutter or does it work differently than I think? Some of us are happy only when we confirm a country. Others want a country confirmed on every band. Others want every country confirmed on a specific mode. I Others of course could care less about awards but want to just work not confirm everything. I think the whole process would work better for awards seekers if tracking "worked but not confirmed" countries were shut off for DX spot purposes as an option.

"QSL Needed" Obfuscation, DXCC tracking and DX spot colors

There are many needs, and all can be full filled by programming.
Good side is that Cqrlog is open source and changes can be done by any needs. Bad side is that it needs programming skills to reach desired functions.

I am an operator who just needs to keep the qso to new country. No matter what the band or mode is the first goal is get the qso through so that I *know* it was completed. When new ones get harder it is time to try band and mode based collecting.
Until now I have just passed DXCC count that can be shown up with 8bit unsigned integer. But it is for my "second coming" after 2010.
Before that I was not interested in DXCC at all.
Confirmation is nice via eQSl or LoTW, but it's only added value. I have given up paper cards after 1990's.
They move too slow and need too much time to handle and sort.

But to subject.
Easiest way to get rid of "qsl needed", or any other, is to change color to black. Then they do not alert with different color.
In source code there is file dDXCluster.pas that has function called TdmDXCluster.DXCCInfo that defines those colors and
corresponding texts.
It's input data is: adif,frequency and mode where adif is the DXCC index number defined from prefix.
It outputs index number that can be:
// index : 0 - unknown country, no qsl needed
// index : 1 - New country
// index : 2 - New band country
// index : 3 - New mode country
// index : 4 - QSL needed

By the index number the printing color is selected.

Let's look how index value is created.
First SQL query to log data finds out if the prefix is worked on current band and mode and confirmed by QSL or LotW if user selects that. In my Alpha version this selection covers also eQSL (that someone do not count as confirmation).
It looks adif(prefix), band, mode and one (at least) of received qsl, lotw, eqsl

If that 1st query produces more than zero lines there exist a confirmation. Means "Confirmed country".
If that query did not produce any lines we do new query looking with adif(prefix), band and mode.
I case this 2nd query returns more than zero lines it means that "QSL needed".
It is because 1st query did not find mark for received confirmation, but 2nd query found a qso worked.

If these did not produce resulting lines 3rd query asks for adif(prefix), and band qso lines.
If more than zero lines found it means that there are qso(s), but with different mode. That makes "New mode country"

if there were no results 4th query asks only qso lines with same adif(prefix). If more than zero found it will be "New band country"
But if this also fails it means this qso will be "New country".

All these queries are chained and if some of them hits it breaks the chain and produces result. If none hits the final result is a new, newer worked, country.

But all of this can be changed. By a while ago I got error report from local use that DXCluster lines had something wrong with colors. Even there is not long time from that I can not remember what the problem was, but it is fixed now in my Alpha version at same time when I added eQSL as accepted confirmation source along with LoTW.

I hope this clears out how coloring is produced.
As said turning one, or more, colors to black fades this function.


"QSL Needed" Obfuscation, DXCC tracking and DX spot colors

Thanks for the quick and complete response. I reviewed your explanation of how the code works and indeed it would be an effort to alter the code you described but it could be done. It may be far easier to put an option in preferences for how to generate award statistics and accomplish the same end? (ie "track worked statistics y/n") I assume reading your note that if all the "X" (or worked) flags were missing from the statistics the spot colors would flag everything an award seeker would want. The only downside I can see to this approach would be someone looking through the statistics with worked indicators can spot QSLs not obtained to follow up on. The work around for that could be to change "track worked statistics y/n" to yes run the report and change the "track worked statistics y/n" back. Your thoughts? and BTW thank you so much for this system... I love what you have done with it.

"QSL Needed" Obfuscation, DXCC tracking and DX spot colors

I forgot to comment above on your suggestion of making the color black for QSL Needed. If I understood right this would not allow the beginning DXCC award seeker to flag in bright read a spot for a country he wants a confirmation for but has worked on the same band and mode. So rather than having to review all "QSL Needed" spots to see if it is a country he has never confirmed now he has to examine every non-flagged spot to see if it is one he wants to contact so maybe this time he can get a confirmation. Do I have this right?

"QSL Needed" Obfuscation, DXCC tracking and DX spot colors

HI !

Sorry , quick answer. I did not read your latest comments with care.
DXCluster spot coloring is based on log columns where received QSL, LoTW and eQSL is marked to.
Same is with statistics (not checked from source but believe so).

As far as I have worked with source I have not found any statistics or coloring base by QSL/LoTW/eQSL SENT

But as the Log is Mysql database it is possible to create all kinds of search outside Cqrlog. The database can be connected to external programs like spread sheets.

That gives user full freedom to do what ever he wish (and can).

Have to go now....


"QSL Needed" Obfuscation, DXCC tracking and DX spot colors

I looked this over and can't find anywhere the discussion involves sent QSLs. I'm sure it's my bad communications but even a scan for "sent only found your word "SENT".
This is about "QSL Needed" as a color might mean:
1. QSL Needed to confirm a country overall
2. QSL Needed to confirm a country on a mode
3. QSL Needed to confirm a country on a band
4. QSL Needed to confirm a country on a band/mode
these are all mushed together in one color but are not prioritized for the operator

"QSL Needed" Obfuscation, DXCC tracking and DX spot colors

HI !
I was sure I misunderstood you wanting an SENT alerting/coloring, but had no time to read you message several times before answering.

Yep, there is only "QSL needed" with no category why.
Mainly I guess that it is for easier programming, although that information could be found easily from log database.

Even making just a peek to CAT to find current band and produce just "QSL needed here, this mode" / QSL needed elsewhere, another mode"

Hmmm...I have to think about this.