[CQ-Contest] Misleading callsigns

Ron Notarius WN3VAW wn3vaw at fyi.net
Sun Dec 8 13:06:42 EST 2002


You're absolutely right.  Since the advent of the current vanity call sign
system, the digit in a US domestic call no longer can be counted on to
identify even the region where the amateur was first licensed.

But this is not a "retrograde" step for contests.  It has been going on
since the existing US call structure was adopted and implemented in 1978.
What has changed is that many contests (not just ARRL or CQ ones) have been
pressured to drop rules that required contestants to send some sort of
identifier to indicate what region they are in if it is not clear from the
call, often by amateurs arguing that it is no longer an FCC requirement, so
they shouldn't have to do it.

The real problem is more of how to deal with amateurs like KH2D, who is now
(even if not required legally to sign so) W4/KH2D in Florida, or the little
ambiguities like knowing that a KG4 2x2 is Guantanamo Bay but a KG4 2x1 or
2x3 isn't, or some of the pre-1978 calls (like KG6DX in Guam, and many of
the KV4 2x2 calls in the USVI) that kept their "old" prefixes before the
change.  But a lot of that comes into experience -- if you have it, you
know, if you don't have it, this will gain it for you.

I'm afraid you're just going to have to listen for an exchange to know for
sure.  But by the same token, if you hear a station you haven't already
worked, why not work him/her anyway?  If you're S&P'ing, you're already on
the frequency when you hear the station; if you're sitting on a frequency
CQ'ing, it just takes 20-30 seconds at most to work'em.  Yes, I know you're
often looking for multipliers, but you also have to have the stations to
apply the mults too... right?

73, ron wn3vaw

"You used up all the glue ON PURPOSE!"
In Memory of Shep K2ORS (SK) and 10:15 PM on WOR 710 AM

----- Original Message -----
From: Steve Reed <steve at explore.force9.co.uk>
Reply-To: "steve at explore.force9.co.uk" <steve at explore.force9.co.uk>
To: "cq-contest at contesting.com" <cq-contest at contesting.com>
Subject: RE: [CQ-Contest] Misleading callsigns
Date: Sun, 8 Dec 2002 12:28:01 -0000

Misleading callsigns are of more fundamental concern to me than their
impact on logging and post-contest scoring.  One reason why CQWW is the
premier DX contest is a points and multiplier structure that rewards
contacts that are "difficult" (distant, rare, from a rate-unfavourable
area, etc).  Unless you happen to be exotic DX, perhaps in KH2 (K2?),
participants must look for and work specific stations to make a winning
score.  The success of CQWW relies on the ability to be able to determine
in real time the locations of stations heard.  Without this it would become
a strategy-poor rate-only contest.  I applaud rules which require calls to
best represent their location.

Occasional ambiguity in prefix - e.g. VP8, GB, TO, KG4 - can be considered
part of the test, but wholesale "mixing" of US prefixes is unhelpful.  I am
gearing up for ARRL 10m.  I hope to make some QSOs with West Coast stations
but propagation will make this a challenge this year.  I want to be able to
identify W6/W7 without wasting time listening for full exchanges.  I guess
I have to accept that the contiguous US is one big callsign entity with no
geographical sub-division but I can't help thinking this is a retrograde
step for contests.

Steve G0AEV
Where G0 = just anywhere in England.  But it's a small country... ...
 Incidentally, for K7QQ's information, KH6DX/M is **not** in England:
M/KH6DX (or properly M0/KH6DX) is.  Good logging software can tell the

-----Original Message-----
From: Kelly Taylor [SMTP:ve4xt at mb.sympatico.ca]
Sent: Saturday, December 07, 2002 2:25 PM
To: cq-contest at contesting.com
Subject: [CQ-Contest] Misleading callsigns

Some interesting research:

ARRL 10 meter and ARRL DX contests both require your callsign to accurately
reflect your DXCC entity.

>From http://www.arrl.org/contests/rules/2003/intldx.html (it's the same for

6. Miscellaneous:

6.1. Your call sign must indicate your DXCC station location (KH6XYZ/W1 in
Maine, KG4/W1INF at Guantanamo Bay, etc).

So W8XYZ would not need to sign /W6 but KH6DX would.

The ARRL 160 rules are silent on this. I'm not sure, but I don't think CQ
cares either way.

Be that as it may, we can't force the other guy to obey the rules. His
failure to obey rules does not constitute a void contact for us. So log the
call he sent, change the mult field appropriately. If your logger doesn't
permit changing the mult field, perhaps its time to find another logger or
pester the author for a patch.

I'm not on the side of those who would enforce mindless copying of what was
sent (try putting 5nn into CT), but if you append /W6 for someone, are you
not unfairly giving that person credit for following a rule that he did
Despite the fact you can and should translate 5nn into 599 (as that IS the
intent), you should still strive for your log to accurately reflect what
transpired in a QSO, rules transgressions and all.

It should also be noted that while it may be a violation of a contest's
rules, in Canada and the U.S., this doesn't violate any laws, as FCC  and
Canadian regulations do not distinguish the various DXCC entities under
or Canadian jurisdiction. If you live outside U.S. or Canadian
your mileage may vary.

Bottom line: DON'T WORRY ABOUT IT. Just make sure your log is accurate and
let those who are empowered to enforce the rules enforce the rules. I
certainly wouldn't waste any contest time arguing with someone about it.

73, kelly

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