[CQ-Contest] Re: Cut Numbers

VK1FF / WB2FFY VK1FF at contesting.com
Thu May 29 00:02:10 EDT 1997

I don't have any problem with cut numbers in the contest exchange, because as 
a couple of others have already mentioned, you know what to expect when a 
contest report is sent (ie: RST+zone, RST+QSO Nr).   The first three
(typically 5NN or 599) are going to be the RST of course and the remaining
characters (leading zeros or not) are going to be zone or serial number
which are going to be "long" or cut numbers.  

However I agree there is a time and place for cut numbers.  

Using cut numbers in contests like the ARRL Sweepstakes or ARRL FD is, in
my opinion, not a good idea (except maybe for a 5NN RST) because of the 
potential confusion caused by the mix of letters and numbers in the report.

Sending cut numbers at 40+ wpm with weak signals is a poor choice, because
it will almost always need to be repeated.

The use of cut numbers with strong/readable signals is fine for the reason
stated in the first paragraph.  However, I personnaly don't see much point 
in cut numbers above 30-35 wpm as you don't really save that much time and
the potential for miscopying the message is significantly higher simply
due to the speed.  

Interestingly, during the past WPX contest a couple of weak stations (from
Europe) were having trouble copying my report and only copied it 
correctly after I sent the serial number using cut numbers (true story).
The problem they were having was distinguishing between a 1 and a 2.  
Fortunately the number I was trying to get them to copy was a 1
so I reverted to sending the letter "A" and the message got through.

73, Jim VK1FF/WB2FFY

Internet Email:        VK1FF at contesting.com
Amateur Radio Packet:  VK1FF at VK1KCM.ACT.AUS.OC

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