Main Scoreboard (Home) Page
The main scoreboard page shows the latest total score data received from each team. The scoreboard will be viewable without having to do page refreshes or reloads in the browser - it will update dynamically every time an update is received from any field station. Teams are broadcasting their scores about once every 5 minutes.
Scoreboard column descriptions:
CW and SSB - These two columns show the number of contacts a team has made with other stations around the world. "CW" stands for Continuous Wave or Morse Code. "SSB" stands for Single Sideband, which is a Voice mode. Each contact is awarded a number of geographically-based "points." For this year's WRTC competition, all contacts made outside of North America count as 5 points. Contacts to other stations in North America are worth 3 points, except for contacts made with U.S.A. stations east of the Mississippi River, which are 2 points, generally; the actual line we use is governed by an International Telecommunications Union zone boundary that follows the Mississippi, roughly. Contacts made with Headquarter stations (described below) are always worth 2 points regardless of the HQ station's geographic location.
DX - DX is the total number of countries that the team has worked on all frequency bands. DX is one of the "multipliers" used in WRTC scoring.
HQ - HQ is the total number of "headquarter" stations that the team has worked. A Headquarter station represents a national society of ham radio in a particular country. Along with DX multipliers, Headquarter stations are also used as multipliers in WRTC scoring.
Score - Score is the team's Final Score. The final score is the total number of contact points awarded multiplied by the sum of the DX and HQ multipliers: (contact points * (DX + HQ)) = Final Score
There may be some cases during the competition where you will only see the Total Score with hyphens (-) in other data fields. This will occur if we are getting scores from our back-up reporting system. If the automated score broadcasting hardware at a team station is unable to report score data, the WRTC referees are instructed to send the Total Score only via SMS (text) messages. Once the score broadcasting hardware at the team station is back online, we will see all the score data again.
WRTC2014 will award "Special Awards" to teams with the highest number of contacts (QSOs) on SSB and CW, as well as the team with the highest overall Multiplier total. The Leaders page shows the Top 5 teams in each of these categories. This data is also viewable without having to do page refreshes or reloads in the browser - it will update dynamically every time an update is received from any field station.
The Team Details page will display band summaries and an estimated ratesheet showing the team's progress as of the top of the previous clock hour. These pages will be updated a few minutes after the top of each hour.
Band summaries show the breakdown of contacts and multipliers that are used on each frequency band from 80 Meters (3.5 MHz) to 10 Meters (28 MHz).
The estimated ratesheet will break down the contact and multiplier total by band for each hour of the competition. We use the last broadcast we receive prior to the top of each hour for comparision. Therefore, this is intended to be treated as an estimate only; it is unlikely these ratesheets will match exactly hour-by-hour to the actual rates each team experience, but it will give us a pretty good indication of the rates being experienced by each team. For each frequency band (80 through 10 Meters) the contacts and multipliers will be separated by a slash "[QSOs]/[Multipliers]".
This page can be used to select up to five teams to view and compare band breakdowns. After a couple hours into the competition, a line chart will display at the bottom of the page showing the hourly score progression for each team. The data on this page is also updated once an hour at the same time as Team Details.
How does the Live Scoreboard System work?
WRTC2014 Live Scoreboard is a fully automated system displaying score data we are receiving directly from competitors' logging programs. The system requires "near-zero configuration" and no third-party software agents residing on competitor logging computers - all competitors had to do is configure their logging programs for score broadcasting on their local network, something already supported in major contest logging software.
The Live Scoreboard System consists of several hardware and software components.
Hardware components (all provided by WRTC2014):
- Score Collection Computer (SCC)
- Ethernet switch
- USB cellular modem (Verizon Wireless)
- Custom WRTC2014 software (written in Python, resides on SCC)
- Pcapy (Python interface to libpcap packet capture library)
- Custom web application (PHP) and support scripts (Python)
- Twilio API (for SMS sending/receiving)
The SCC is a passive node on the LAN - it is unable to perform any packet routing functions, for example - so it offers no path to the Internet from the LAN (in case you're wondering). It simply listens for score broadcasts, parses the score details from the XML broadcast, and then sends the score details to our web service (every 5 minutes) for processing and display.
What if the SCC fails in some way? What if the cellular coverage isn't good enough to be able to send data? We've analyzed all the possible failure modes and developed plans around them.
We've tested all the sites and know where cellular coverage is marginal. Fortunately that only appears to be one particular area and we'll be utilizing external antennas on those USB modems to mitigate that risk. For modem or oddball connection issues that don't fix themselves - we have a network watchdog script on each SCC that checks for network connectivity and resets the cellular connection if it detects an issue.
The bigger backup plan: our web application detects when a score hasn't been received for 10 minutes. When we detect that the SCC appears to be offline we automatically send an SMS (text) message to the Referee's cell phone (all Referees will have one, registered with our web service), instructing him to try rebooting the SCC and to start sending the total score in via SMS. SMS messages almost always get through, even in marginal coverage areas. When the SCC comes back online we inform the Referee to stop sending SMS updates - otherwise he will just continue sending score reports in.