[CQ-Contest] Technique for calling DX in contests

Trey Garlough trey at kkn.net
Sat Jul 25 08:12:22 EDT 1998

This talk of signing calls has inspired me to (once again) give a
brief review of proper calling technique in a contest.  

K5TR is surfing around on a very uncluttered 10 meters at 18Z calling
South Americans during CQWW CW and hears a CQ/QRZ type message from a
capable operator on a clear frequency sending 599-10 at 34 WPM, so he
sends "K5TR" or "DE K5TR".  He does *not* send "K5TR K5TR" or "K5TR
K5TR K5TR" or "HC8N DE K5TR".

The DX stations says "K5TR 599-10" (perhaps 5NN AT) and K5TR says
"599-04" (perhaps 5NN4) and nothing else.  If K5TR hears that the DX
has sent his call wrong, or is even uncertain that the DX has copied
his call correctly, the proper technique is for K5TR to send something
like "DE K5TR 599-04".  Note that the call comes before the exchange,
not after.  Because the DX station is very rate-minded at this time of
day, he is going to instantly launch his QRZ message (TU, R, hiscall,
TU hiscall, whatever) as soon as the 599-04 has been sent, which means
his QRZ message will be "doubling" on top of K5TR's callsign
correction were K5TR to send the data in the wrong order (such as
"599-04 K5TR").  This means the DX station will miss the fill and
possibly mislog K5TR's call, causing K5TR to lose credit for that QSO
from his log (this type of score reduction is called NOT IN LOG).

Similary, if K5TR has listened to a few QSOs already and the DX hasn't
sent his call and K5TR would like to ask for his call, he would send
"CALL? 599-04" for the exact reason stated above.  Inevitably, if
Geroge were to send his request in the wrong order (for example
"599-04 CALL?"), inevitably the DX will be sending a QRZ message
that includes his callsign during the latter part of George's
transmission.  Of course the DX will be unsympathetic when George
instantly asks for another fill on the call because the DX will have
just sent it.

Inspired by correspondence with K4BAI, I used the QRZ message "R
HC1OT" for 99% of my QSOs in WPX CW and found that it worked fine.
However here is an example of another type of poor technique I
observed in the contest.  A lot of people have their logging programs
programmed to send the DX's call as part of the exchange, for example:

		"the pack" responds
W1XYZ 599-1234	
		HC1OT TU 599-028   <---  bad technique
R HC1OT, etc

Why did W1XYZ send my call?  Why not just 599-028?  Did he think maybe
I forgot my own call and he is trying to help me out by reminding me?
This might be good technique in a crowded situation like 00Z on 40
meters where the band is filled wall-to-wall with stations and there
may be some doubt, but not at 18Z on 10 meters when the band is pretty

Naturally I realize that some countries require you to send both
callsigns per their regulations, but the US is not one of these 
countries anymore.

See you on the bands.

--Trey, N5KO

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