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Topband: Patience in ARRL 160 Contest -- copying weak ones

Subject: Topband: Patience in ARRL 160 Contest -- copying weak ones
From: "GeorgeWallner" <>
Date: Wed, 05 Dec 2012 09:36:57 -0500
List-post: <">>
After spending 12 nights-in-a-row straining to hear and assemble thousands of weak calls, I would cautiously agree with Herb: if the DX clearly has the prefix, just send the missing letters.

Maybe it is mental, maybe something else, but time and again I heard clearly (almost loud) the caller's prefix and number, just to experience the rest kind of fizzle into something weak and incoherent ... This happened so many times that I was ready for it, focusing only on the suffix, and still many times I could not copy it, while the prefix came through (almost) loud and clear. It must be that you can "hear" what you know or expect, while it is much harder to hear and decode something random. But that does not explain the whole thing. How does one get the prefix so many times correctly when the suffix just fizzles into nothing. I have checked with the other operators on PT0S and they had similar experiences.

Perhaps there is some hearing mechanism at work, similar to vision; where acuity diminishes with usage...



On Tue, 04 Dec 2012 17:54:26 -0400
 Herb Schoenbohm <> wrote:
Doung, So many times I just hear the prefix and the suffix drops out or is covered by noise. It maybe a mental thing as I have no other explanation where the prefix comes through time and time but the suffix is lost. Since I know what the correct suffix is, sending only the missing information make so much sense and saves valuable time. In such cases sending only the missing data is what I would recommend for stations struggling to get in the log as the prefix is already confirmed to both of the stations. So many times DX-peditions will not get my call correctly and butcher a portion of "KV4Z ur 5NN" to which I immediately reply "FZ...FZ...FZ KV4FZ K" This procedure works every time especially layers deep in piles up.

Thanks for your remarks,

Herb, KV4FZ

On 12/4/2012 9:51 AM, Doug Renwick wrote:
When a cw station asks for a fill I send my COMPLETE callsign. Why?

a) My memory keyer or logging program has my full callsign, no partial callsign. I don't use the hand keyer just in case I have 'dead' fingers and
make a mistake.

b) It allows the other station to focus on my signal when other stations are
calling at the same time near or on my frequency.

c) It makes sure that the correct suffix is added to the prefix.

d) It confirms my prefix if part of it is copied incorrectly.

Patience is needed when ones signal is subject to 160m QSB. Sri Herb, I
fully disagree.


-----Original Message-----

I worked a whole bunch of Europeans in the 160 meter contest along with UA9's and even 4Z1UF who had a good signal. My pet peeve is that when I hear only a weaker stations prefix but miss the suffix and ask for a repeat and request for example "HB9 ? AGN" all I hear is the prefix before the suffix is in the noise. The station knows i have the correct prefix and number but how do I get them just to send the missing portion which is crucial to completing the QSO? Even if I send HB9??? they return with de HB9### and the process repeats. If in such circumstances once the calling station realizes I have the correct prefix all they need do is send the two or three letters of the suffix several times. Resending the prefix is not helpful in high noise or qrm situation. I have tried SFX? SFX? but many stations are confused by that and keep sending their whole call. So here is my advice in just difficult

Do *not* repeat your whole call if the other station has the correct prefix and all they need is the remaining portion. I just wish more stations on TB would do this as it would enable them getting in the log correctly and save time. Time length of an opening to some parts of the
world is everything in a crowded contest.  Why waste it?


Herb Schoenbohm, KV4FZ

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