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[Amps] Weakness of first two letters of call signs; Thanks for the thoug

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Subject: [Amps] Weakness of first two letters of call signs; Thanks for the thoughtful responses
From: "Jeff in Mali: via Amps" <>
Reply-to: "Jeff in Mali:" <>
Date: Wed, 7 Oct 2020 08:45:44 +0000 (UTC)
List-post: <>
Dear All:
I want to thank you all for your thoughtful responses, and funny too.  Last 
week I saw a spot for J##XX which showed up as some nearby African country I 
hadn't worked. Before I went chasing after it, a second spot appeared for EJ#XX 
(Ireland). That set me thinking about this problem whose solutions boil down to 
the technical and the psychological. Technical, a slow T/R relay seems the most 
likely culprit. Psychological, it takes my brain a second or two to lock onto a 
weak signal and start trying to copy it, by which time the first couple of 
letters have flown by.
I'm going to modify my QRZ page to ask people to call two or three times and to 
add "QSZ" as a Q-signal  worth remembering.
Some of the most interesting responses are copied below.
Jeff TZ4AM (in Mali, where Timbuktu is] 


I don't think most amps do this, but I know that some transceivers do
(e.g., the Elecraft K3 under some circumstances, due to its closed-loop
power control). There is also a psychological mechanism at work, I
think. At least in my case, I sometimes become aware of a very weak
signal calling me after the first few characters, at which point my
brain locks in on it. Finally, sometimes there is QSB which takes out
part of a call.

Operators have been told over and over ONLY SEND YOUR CALL ONCE! Well,
not every situation is a Bouvet Island pileup, and -- especially on the
low bands -- I would really like it if callers would send their calls
two or three times.

Victor, 4X6GP

[Jeff:  Mali is not Bouvet, I'm going to change my QRZ page to ask that people 
send their call 3 times.] 

====================================================================Yes. I 
think it is true. That's why, if I get asked for a repeat of my
call, I will send it at least twice, without a large gap, so that the
second time it is sent at full steam. That usually does the trick.

I run the inward QSL bureau for VK6. I see a lot of cards come in for
VK6FO. Funny thing is, that VK6FO does not exist. The cards are actually
for 4K6FO. I have heard 4K6FO on the air and it is true, the first dit
is extremely hard to pick up because it seems to be sent at lower strength.
[Jeff:  I didn't have that problem with Alim 4K6FO because I was mostly calling 
him to fill in bands which I didn't have 4K on.  But the problem is real. Dits, 
especially single dits are hard to copy in static-afflicted Mali.]

I don't pretend to know why this stuff happens, I only wanted to concur
with you and say that it definitely does.

73, Alek, VK6APK
  Since I suspect it can occur from T/R relay problems, but only in
situations, the problem may be slow receive AGC in your transceiver/s.
If AGC-F is not possible or does not help please try running your RF gain
on manual as tests.  (with the AF volume at or near max.)
  Ron  W4BIN - Understanding is much better than
                                    knowing how.
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