[CQ-Contest] Voice Keyers

Dave Potter dpotter at bbn.com
Thu Apr 8 11:39:52 EDT 1999

At 11:44 PM 04/07/1999 +0100, Robert Kaufmann wrote:
>I've been monitoring the Ct-User mail regarding Digital Voice Keyers. As
>who enjoys phone contests, I'm interested in the contesting community
>to the following opinion.
>Voice keyers seem to me to be an excellent addition to the contesters
>However, I often find that when things get really hectic and rates start to
>climb, they can
>become more of a liability than an asset. By that I mean that tonal
>inflection and speed of
>response are very important in pileup control. Voice keyers do not have the
>ability to
>vary speed very easily and  they don't accent a letter very well when
>necessary . ( They
>also don't have the ability to say: the alpha bravo- stand by,  delta bravo
>I have a K1EA type card and do not use the alphanumeric generator because it
>sounds too
>mechanical. Sometimes I also get the feeling that people get turned off by
>working a
>machine rather than a live person. This is especially true in SS ( my
>favorite test) when
>snagging the casual op is very important.
>I'm interested to know if any of the more successful phone ops use it for
>than as a CQ machine. Its great for that. My feeling is that if I've got to
>copy the call
>and acknowledge it, I'm halfway there anyway. I might as well say "W1ABC QSL
>Rob Kaufmann VE4GV
>rkaufman at videon.wave.ca
>CQ-Contest on WWW:        http://www.contesting.com/_cq-contest/
>Administrative requests:  cq-contest-REQUEST at contesting.com

I might not qualify as "one of the more successful phone ops", but I do
have a few good runs under my size 42 belt. I use the voice keyer a lot -
to call CQ. I never use it to send the exchange with the other stations
call for the reasons you stated: it's too slow and sounds weird. It does a
good job of calling CQ and that is as far as it goes. Ken showed his card
one time, I seem to remember, with an audio library that someone had very
carefully edited to trim all the leading and trailing delays off each
letter and number. They even recorded prefixes, which apparently are given
priority over individual letters by the software. It didn't sound bad at
all. We at the time envisioned each M/M op carrying a floppy or two with
personalized sound files around to load into the computer at each station
he or she operated from. Someday, I may get around to recording and editing
my very own files so I can operate a contest with laryngitis.


David Potter					617-873-2308
GTE Internetworking/BBN Technologies	617-873-5672 Fax
733 Concord Ave
Cambridge, MA 02138				dpotter at bbn.com

CQ-Contest on WWW:        http://www.contesting.com/_cq-contest/
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