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[CQ-Contest] Leading zeros, etc.

To: "'CQ-Contest@contesting.com'" <CQ-Contest@contesting.com>
Subject: [CQ-Contest] Leading zeros, etc.
From: Ernie Walls <vk3fm@Wallsy.com.au>
Date: Fri, 1 Apr 2016 03:18:01 +0000
List-post: <cq-contest@contesting.com">mailto:cq-contest@contesting.com>
I am a bit contester - I enter in many, always S&P, never make very many QSOs - 
but I manage to enjoy myself while I am there.

I live in VK3 - a heck of a distance from anywhere.

I ALWAYS send leading zeros because I find there are extraordinarily fewer 
requests for repeats (CW or RTTY) than when I did not use them (which, now, was 
some years ago). As well, in operating from VK3, there is very often a need to 
repeat, simply because the distance of the QSO introduces QSB, I guess. And we 
do not have 1.5 kW to play with, either. So, for me, leading zeros actually 
helps in speeding up the process. Interestingly, I have also noted over the 
years that the better known (or more capable) contesters never ask for repeats 
when I send leading zeros - never. Zero is always a 'T' - not hard, really!

While I am at it, my favourite gripe is people sending me their number only 
once or twice in RTTY contests; can you believe their lack of understanding of 
the effect of QSB on LONG DISTANCE QSOs. I need numbers sent three times (RTTY) 
so that, if I receive 123 124 123 (a VERY common occurrence) I can at least 
gamble that 123 might be the correct number. If only 123 is sent, or 123 124, 
it can be pretty much Rafferty's Rules as to which of the numbers is correct. 
In fact, 40% of all my listed errors is because I 'guessed' the wrong number 
(yes, I do take notes). In CW contests, while there are lengthy periods when a 
single number is fine, there are also many times when sending the number twice 
makes things a whole lot smoother. And many well-known contesters do just that.

Again, remember that when you work me, I am going to be a long way away from 
YOU. So - maybe the 'horses for courses' principle should operate.

Lots more could be said - but said enough!

Ernie Walls VK3FM
Mobile 0418 301 483

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