There's nothing like a CW serial number contest to get you re-thinking
about the use of cut numbers.
For situations where first-time intelligibility is important, I think
use of cut numbers probably costs more time than it saves. Here's why:
The basic Morse Code 0-9 character set has two important characteristics
- each number is five code elements long, and each one gives you two
chances to copy correctly or confirm that you have done so. If you hear
the first dit of 1, or the last 4 dahs, then you know what the number
is. This is because, with the regularity of computer-sent CW and the
presence of "5NN" as a signal to expect the number to begin at a certain
time, you can often infer from the length of the "lost" portion of a
number what it must have been. Even if you only get the two dits of 8,
depending on when you hear them, you can have pretty good confidence
that it was, in fact, 8, and not seven with one unheard dit.
How much time is saved by sending A instead of 1? How much time is lost
by responding to "AGN" or "NR?"
Opinions? I bet there are a few out there.
73, Pete N4ZR
The World Contest Station Database, updated daily at www.conteststations.com
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