[CQ-Contest] "LAST 2" - Personal Experiences

Stewart Cooper coopersg at odl.co.uk
Thu Mar 30 09:18:01 EST 2000

My pet subject. Igor is right - it horses for courses.
I have a big call (GM4AFF), and when I send the full call to a good
dx-pedition op he has usually started working someone with a shorter (or
last two letter) call, and by the time I go over he has already given the
report and is listening to his report - and an expansion of the guy's full
callsign. So in that situation I sometimes am forced to use two or three
letters. Not because the DX can't hear my full call, but because I get
frustrated at not keeping in the same rhythm as the DX operator. It's a
phsychological thing. If he heard my full call, he wouldn't start trying to
work me after I had only sent two or three letters of it! (Well he ought not
What gets me are the guys who shout two letters at you. It's a European
thing. No one else is calling you. He's 40 over nine. And you get "BRAVO
ROMEO BRAVO ROMEO" in your face. Who taught them to do this?
The other ones that get me are the guys who call two phonetics again and
again and again. Over the top of the stations trying to be heard while being
worked by the DX. Again and again and again. In fact, I think they have a
button on the voice keyer programmed with the last two, which they just sit
and hit until the DX station has no choice but work them. This technique
does work. I listened to it happen with TX0DX and FO0AAA - it's fun
listening up.
And as for some of the signals eminating from Europe last weekend - we meed
a new reporting system - readability, strength and width. We all know who
they are. What I want to know is how they manage to make a state-of-the-art
modern radio sound so bad!

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-cq-contest at contesting.com
[mailto:owner-cq-contest at contesting.com]On Behalf Of Igor Sokolov
Sent: 29 March 2000 15:33
To: Jon Ogden; cq-contest at contesting.com
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] "LAST 2" - Personal Experiences


> I don't agree.  If you put your full call out there there are many things
> that can happen:
> The first couple letters you say may be buried in QRM, the last couple may
> not be or vice versa.  Actually, the longer you are transmitting the more
> chance there is for him to hear you, hear more of your callsign and less
> chance that your call will be confused with someone elses.
That is not quite so... If the above statement is correct, then you should
keep just transmitting for a few minutes without stopping.  While operating
from 8Q7 I was never wasting time on such a stations just moving to another
one who is better synchronised with my speed of operation. I would only
spend all that time listening to your call for hours if there is nobody else
to work. But in that case one complete call from you would be enough. You
need some sort of a hook to stop that DX station working others and ask for
a specific call that would limit the number of stations calling and
therefore the amount of QRM. All of the above applies to the situation when
you are not very loud (because of your set up or propagation), you clearly
been given a confirmation during previous QSOs that the DX is responding to
the tactics you have chosen.
> If I call "North America" and there is a KC5ZNA on frequency and all that
> the DX hears is "NA", then KC5ZNA has every right to come back and I may
> make the QSO.  However, if he hears my full call or 9NA or whatever, there
> is a much better chance that I am the only station in the pileup with
> letters.
Which does not mean that all of them stop calling and someone (much louder
then you are)  who has got 6NA or 3NAB will not put his complete call and
steal your contact.
In fact by the time you finish your long call you may find  that the DX
station keeps quiet. You would then assume that he is still trying to pick
up some call out of the pile up and start sending your call again. Big
mistake... The DX station has already given the report to another station on
the same freq. as yours and now he is listening to the reply. And here you
are interfering by putting in your call. The DX gets frustrated and puts you
into a "Black List". As it was pointed out here on the reflector before,
timing is very important. In fact it is more important then the complete or
incomplete call issue.
All of the above is only one of the possible scenarios and there is a great
variety of them. But again it all applies to non standard cases the
percentage of which is relatively small. I am not arguing with the fact that
in most instances the complete call is the correct approach. I myself
support that statement. I only trying to point out that life is more
complicated then  what can be defined by the set of rules and you have to
adapt your behavior to the situation based on your knowledge and
experience(preferably without sacrafising your set of moral principals and
> If transmitting the last two is so good to "punch" through the pileup, why
> isn't just transmitting the "last one" even better?
Because the "last one" would unlikely to limit the number of callers to the
level, were your full call will be heard. Try it yourself. There are pileups
going on for tx0dx and all the 4w6.  Give it a try several times with full
call, your prefix, last two, last one etc.
Collect the statistics and summarise. Then do the same with different
expeditions and different operators on the DX side and make conclusions. I
have done all that before with 100 watt in heavy pile ups and that is very
educating. What has been written here on the reflector about the complete
call sign is absolutely correct but is only aimed towards those who uses the
"last or first whatever" technique every now and then without understanding
why they do that and when.
> No part of your call is the most important.  It's all important.

Your call is the message to the other op. The purpose of the message is to
let him know that
A) He is heard in particular part of the world
B) You want to exchange reports with him
I was talking in my previous posting about special cases where your signal
is not very loud compared to some other stations and about the big pile up
When you give your last 2, you just convey to dx station message B and he
may think that you are one of those "locals" that he has already worked a
lot and therefore not get that exited. With you prefix you may get him
interested just because you have discovered the unusual propagation and
there are no other UA9 or whatever at this time heard in his part of the
world. Therefore this part of your call at this particular stage is more
important. There are other situations when it is beneficial to give out some
other part of you call to draw the attention of the DX. The point is, you
have to use different approach in different situations. There are no
recommendations that can be applied to all the situations.

Igor, UA9CDC

> 73,
> Jon

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