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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