Thanks for the explanation. It certainly helps to hear things directly from
There was also a claim that led one to believe that every one of the 3077+
counties had it's own unique 4 letter designator. Based on what you've said,
it sounds like there was some mis-interpretation on that score, too. What
you've described makes a lot more sense!
One question remains in my mind, though; I don't know whether or not you'd know
the answer. If you designed the abbreviations with only the MARAC CW contest
in mind, and had no intentions of using them otherwise (although others were
welcome to if they wanted), then who is behind this sudden push to make the
MARAC list you designed the "standard" for all?
And for that matter (OK, so now it's two questions), if, as others stated on
this reflector, the Ca QSO Party was supposed to be leading the way in adopting
this new "standard," then why do 20% of their abbreviations differ from the
ones you wrote?
Date: Tue, 10 Oct 2006 23:39:41 -0600
From: Larry Benko <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: [CQ-Contest] 4 letter Abbreviations
I have been watching the comments about the 4 letter abbreviations over
the past few days.
I am the designer of the MARAC county abbreviations. In the MARAC CW
contest there are a possible 3077 multipliers and with county names such
as Washington, Washburn, Washita, Washoe, Washtenaw or Greene, Greenlee,
Greensville, Greenup, Greenville, Greenwood we (MARAC) felt a need to do
something about the abbreviation mess we had. Stations were using state
QSO party abbreviations, making up their own, or just sending what ever
Considering the requirements I used when designing the list there are a
few odd abbreviations. My criteria were to use 3 letter abbreviations
ONLY for the 27 counties that have 3 letter names, uses the actual name
for all counties with 4 letter names, have all counties abbreviations
start with the first letter of the actual county name, have ALL Madison,
Washington etc. counties abbreviated the same in all states and have no
2 counties in the same state able to be confused by the
addition/deletion of a dit or dah to any letter. Given all these
requirements and after considerable work and review we published the
list. There were a few compromises such as Hill and Hall, TX which are
too close in spelling and a dit/dah error can cause a mistake.
Now with that all said, I really didn't expect that many state QSO
parties would use the MARAC abbreviations. Anyone is certainly welcome
to use them but a 4 letter abbreviation for Delaware which has only 3
counties might be just a wee bit too much. The CAQP used about 80% of
our abbreviations (the MARAC abbrev. for San Diego is SDGO and not
SDIE). No matter what abbreviations are used it is certainly nice if
everyone followed them. Expecting a 4 letter abbrev. and getting a 3
letter one stinks.
73 to all,
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