[CQ-Contest] Voice Keyers

Pete Smith n4zr at contesting.com
Thu Apr 8 11:54:44 EDT 1999

At 11:44 PM 4/7/1999 +0100, Rob VE4GV 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, I had one very early on, and was fascinated by the phonetic voicing
capabilities.  as a result I spent a lot of time trying to build voice
files that would string together and sound natural.  My final, reluctant
conclusion was the same as yours -- but I wouldn't be without it, even if
just as a CQ machine.  An often overlooked capability is the "backcopy"
function that lets you capture what just happened on the air for posterity.
 It's really fun sometimes. 

73,  Pete N4ZR
Loud is good

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