[CQ-Contest] To sign or not to sign?

Robert L. Shohet kq2m at eci.com
Sun Jul 19 16:27:15 EDT 1998

Interesting discussion....  I won't cite the FCC's position on this
because as contesters we do what seems to fit our needs for better or

Having been DX many times I can attest to the fact that the rate DOES go
up slightly when you sign less often.  HOWEVER, you get more dupes and
more people saying "Ur call?" etc. when you sign infrequently.  So is
the miniscule rate increase worth increasing your stress with guys
constantly hounding you for your call?  Is it worth pissing off the
piluep by signing every 5 - 10 minutes while people think you are being
a discourteous lid?  I think not!

About 10 years ago I tried an experiment...  Instead of saying "tu "
after each qso and NOT signing my call after every qso but rather when
the rate dropped, I started sending my call after virtually EVERY qso (I
dropped the "tu").  The net result was a miniscule drop in rate but a
significant drop in dupes.  This netted out to a better overall rate as
I could hear more weak guys calling me since the impatient loud guys
were no longer calling all over them to ask me what my call was.

Overall results were a better rate, less stress, happier guys in the
pileup and more weak guys in the log.  A clear winner all around.

When I am working super-fast I occasionally might not sign my call for
about 60 SECONDS MAXIMUM.  This still annoys some people but seems to be
a good compromise between rate, skill, courtesy and common sense.  When
you work 10 guys in the 60 seconds that you have them waiting and then
you give your call most guys will not hold that against you.

You will never make everyone happy but anytime you can work MORE guys
with LESS stress and people feel you are respecting their needs (id'ing
etc.) that is a strategy that is a clear winner all-around!

This thing of "my time being more valuable than your time" is
unnecessary and insulting.  The GOAL is to work the MOST guys with the
BEST accuracy in the SHORTEST amount of time possible with the LEAST
stress.  Anything else is either self-aggrandizing or inefficient both
of which are clearly LOSING strategies.

EXPENDED.  Anyone who does not understand or believe this has a long way
to go to understanding the process and to improving their scores.

Increasing your stress and angering others with poor or insulting
operating practices INCREASES energy expended and DECREASES operating
efficiency.  Becoming more efficient, accurate and responsive to the
needs of others helps you to improve at whatever you do in life and
others will think more positively of you.

I choose TO sign.  I hope others will do the same.
73 and CU in the pileups!

Bob KQ2M

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