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Re: [CQ-Contest] Contesting Technology - Phone Skimmer Nears Beta Test

To: cq-contest@contesting.com
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] Contesting Technology - Phone Skimmer Nears Beta Test
From: Jim Brown <k9yc@audiosystemsgroup.com>
Reply-to: k9yc@arrl.net
Date: Fri, 03 Apr 2015 12:34:53 -0700
List-post: <cq-contest@contesting.com">mailto:cq-contest@contesting.com>
On Fri,4/3/2015 11:25 AM, Marijan Miletic wrote:
Five years ago there was a hope that mature speech recognition technology
would be applied to limited vocabulary hamradio contesting.  It has become
April fools joke instead sadly illustrating dumbing of our hobby.

Having just endured another weekend of truly awful audio with WPX SSB, I couldn't even get my ear/brain to decode many of them. I heard at least 50 stations with audio so badly distorted, muffled, or wildly overprocessed that I could not copy them, and at least a hundred more where the poor audio quality made me take twice as long to complete the QSO.

I'm not suggesting that we don't use processing/eq/compression -- these are excellent techniques if done WELL, but they destroy speech intelligibility if done badly. I run my K3 with the three lowest frequency bands set for maximum cut and some cut of the fourth (400 Hz) band. The remaining bands are set flat. I have compression set for 10 dB on peaks, and I carefully set computer playback level so that the radio is not overdriven.

PLEASE -- the next time you are setting up for a SSB contest, either listen to your own audio on another rig or get another ham to listen critically to your audio.

73, Jim K9YC

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