[CQ-Contest] RE: [TRLog] ANTA...oh my not here too!!

jhunley at nova.printrak.com jhunley at nova.printrak.com
Thu May 29 12:37:17 EDT 1997

> This has nothing to do with the rules--only with the efficiency of the
> operator.  If both parties understand that cut numbers are just another 
> way of exchanging the required numerical info on CW then use cut
> numbers--you sent what you knew to be a number and the op on the other
> end received what he knew to be a number.  No problem.  If the receiving 
> party doesn't understand, then cut numbers will only slow you down, 
> and if the RX op doesn't understand that they are cut numbers then he had 
> better log ATNA as sent.    But it is hard to know before hand if the
> receiving party expects a cut number, so it usually slows you down.

I have to disagree with this statement 100%.  It has *everything* to do
with the rules.  The contest rules specify what has to be exchanged,
and if you don't send what is required, then you're cheating, even if
the other station understands you perfectly.  If the sponsor said that
the word "Mississippi" had to be sent as part of the exchange, then
you'd have to send it, regardless of how inefficient it is.

Now if the sponsor says in the rules that the exchange includes a
number, then you have to send a number.  "A", "N", and "T" are not
numbers.  They may be widely understood abbreviations for numbers, but
they're NOT numbers.  I know of no Morse Code chart that lists
"dah-dit" as meaning "N or 9", and I know of no ham radio classes that
teach it that way.  If the rules require a number and you sent a
letter, you're not playing by the rules.

Additionally, if the rules call for a serial number and you send "1",
that's fine.  However, if the rules call for a "three-digit serial
number" and you send "1", you're not playing by the rules, regardless
of how "efficient" you're being by omitting the leading zeroes.  Having
not participated in the recent CQ contest that sparked this thread, I
don't know what the rules of that particular contest call for, but the
point I'm making is that the rules are the rules, and you can't be
allowed to operate contrary to the rules, even if your "shortcut" is
more efficient.

Even if you disagree with the above, consider this:  I once played a
game called "Taboo" with our church singles group.  Basically the idea
was that you would get a card with a word on it, and you had to get
your team to say that word within a time limit.  However, there were
also five "taboo" words listed on the card, which you could NOT use in
your description.

Well, none of us had ever played this game before, except for two girls
who had played it many times, together.  They, of course, engineered it
so they were on the same team, with predicatable results.  I remember
one exchange particularly:

    Girl 1 looks at card, smiles knowingly at girl 2, touches her left
    arm with her right forefinger.

    Girl 2:  "Peristroika!"

    Girl 1 (triumphantly):  "Right!"

They had a "shortcut" to the answer, because they had played the game
together before, and had played this particular card before, and had
learned from their earlier difficulty.  I don't know if they had
explicitly agreed "If we ever get this card again, this will be the
signal," or if that particular gesture was significant enough from
their previous game to trigger the answer, but the result was the
same:  the rest of us have never played that game again with those two
girls.  One could reasonably argue that they didn't explicitly violate
the rules, that they were just being playing the game more
"efficiently," but regardless, "Taboo" is no longer an option at
singles group meetings.

Now I think the parallel to ham contesting is obvious.  If those of us
who contest regularly start using little "shortcuts" to the published
exchange, whether or not they're technically against the rules, we're
eventually not going to have anybody to play with!

It's hard enough already for a new contester to feel like he can ever
have a chance to be competitive (or for that matter, a ham on a tight
budget, or one with a full-time job and family, or one with limited
space for antennas, etc...).  We need to make sure we don't allow the
sport to become any more elitist than it already is.

> Rate is king and info is info--as long as both understand
> what that info is!

If anything will destroy contesting, it's this attitude.  It's a game,
and if you don't play by the rules, people won't play with you

> (Well, OK, how do I know it has nothing to do with the rules?  Let's take a
> phone contest.  The operator says 59 Hundred--do you log 59 100 or
> 59 H U N D R E D.  I'll bet you log 100, since there isn't room for the actual
> word--plus it takes more time to write.  The issue has been raised
> before in the context of 59 KW--do you log 1000 or KW--how about
> 59 Kilowatt, do you log 1000, KW, or K I L O W A T T?  He said KILOWATT!
> There better be room in that logging program for all of those letters!)

This posting is long enough already, but let me just say that I think
the same principles apply here - whatever the rules say is what you
have to do.  As I recall, the rules for phone call for "power in
watts."  If that's the case, then "thousand" or "one thousand" would be
acceptable, "kilowatt" or "K" would not.

> 73  John  W0UN


                       JOHN HUNLEY, AC6LN

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