[CQ-Contest] Whats happened to DE ???

Tim Makins, EI8IC ei8ic at eircom.net
Wed Feb 21 22:09:04 EST 2001

I had an enjoyable 1440 Q's in the recent ARRL DX CW. A few of you might
have wondered why I was sending AGN just after you've called me - the reason
was the almost total lack of DE from US operators. This, coupled with a
lightening reply, left me missing the first one or two dots/dashes from your

OK, I've an old setup here; Drake R7A/TR7 into a Heatherlite Hunter Amp.
Switching from transmit to receive takes a finite time - I've tried to cut
it down using the CW Delay control on the TR7, but if I have it too low, the
amp relays are switching in and out during the gaps between words/groups. If
I send 'Test EI8IC EI8IC TEST' I don't want the amp switching in and out
between these words, so the delay is adjusted just a little bit higher so
this doesn't happen. But, when the last character is sent, a tiny delay is
passed by, and then when I get to receive, instead of receiving K1AA, N1AA
or W1AA, I get A1AA, E1AA, M1AA.

What has happened to 'DE' before your callsign ???  This would solve this
problem for me, and for all the other users of older equipment. I've noticed
that alot of Europeans send DE first. I make a special point of it as,
having a single DIT as the first character, I reckon its all too easy to get
lost without a preceeding DE. But very few US operators bother with DE - I
wonder why this is ???  Any comments, anybody ??

Tim, EI8IC

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