[CQ-Contest] Little Gun Dilemma: Callsign not acknowledged

Martin Luther luther at mail.mdt.net.au
Wed Feb 20 01:31:13 EST 2002


It is easy to work out what to do if you look at each persons responsibility
in the exchange and who will be penalised for any errors. Lets assume I am
running stations. You call me and I send ng3 599150 you come back and I log
ng3x with no acknowledgement to you.

You will not be penalised because it is clear that the error is mine not
yours. I have enough of the call for the checkers to know it is my
responsibility and my error.

Before I go further I do acknowledge changes so you would get back "3k ok tu
vk5gn" from me.

There is a tendency for a number of stations to not go ahead and give me a
report until I have their call perfectly. If you are QRP or weak this is not
a good option. Others, especially in a packet pile up will think you are
just calling me. They might not have heard my reply or just come on
frequency. However, if you give a report then they know this is a QSO and
time for them to shut up.
Over this past weekend many times stations just refused to give a report
until I had their call correct. As a result the frequency ended up in a mess
and the whole thing took much longer than it should. In some cases I lost
the station whose partial call I had tried to work.
I accept that you get my call correct from my CQ or QRZ. That is your
responsibility. Failing to do so will get you penalised. It is my
responsibility to get your call and if I say TU/73 vk5gn all you can do is
trust me! After all that is my responsibility and it is I who will be
penalised, not you, if I get it wrong.

Getting the two way QSO is a JOINT responsibility it does not rest on each
individually. You cannot make sure I carry out my responsibility you can
only ensure you carry out yours. I can assure you that if you get it right I
will get it right.

In this process there is another important responsibility being neglected
and that is for the calling station to make sure that the call repeated back
to them is correct. If it is wrong correct it, but otherwise do not give any
more call information.

Many times I had an "itching behind the ears" that I was wrong but got no
correction. So I would send "call ok ??"
Quite often I got a correction so that station had not been sure I was
sending back their correct call. This is a time to make sure I have a
correction and the  best way to do that is to send call twice at the
beginning or end of your report transmission. If I am wrong then send "ng3k
ng3k 599md" now I should send "correction ok tu vk5gn". Where I have it
right first time do not send the call again, that only makes me think I got
something wrong. Then we waste time as I double check.

It is much harder to say than to do these techniques. The best speed is
maintained where we are all working to the same basic rules and trust each
other to carry out our responsibility in getting the QSO correct.

What makes the better operators best? I can hear and work people like K1AR
very quickly, not just because he is strong. In fact on 80 in the last
weekend test he was one of the weaker stations on 80m (his 16element yagi at
500ft was probably stuck on europe - sri John Hi). Our QSO was still much
quicker by a factor of 3 or 4 than with a station calling who had a signal
at least 3 s units up on AR . In fact with one good op I worked last weekend
we were quick enough that I could  then pick another call still sending
after my original qrz  and work them as well. They would not even know I had
completed a qso during their call to me.

The real secret to this skill is being able to hear accurately most of the
time and keep to a pattern that we all understand.

I will take this opportunity to apologise to all on this reflector. I said
some while ago that packet pile ups were the worst thing. I was wrong. A
packet pile up on cw with both long and short path coming through at the
same time providing delightful echoes on everyones signal is just absolute
hell (in fact don't tell the horned and tailed one as working such a pile up
may become my task in haedes) ! Hi


Martin VK5GN

-----Original Message-----
From:	owner-cq-contest at contesting.com
[mailto:owner-cq-contest at contesting.com] On Behalf Of Bill at ng3k.com
Sent:	Tuesday, 19 February, 2002 17:23
To:	cq-contest at contesting.com
Subject:	[CQ-Contest] Little Gun Dilemma: Callsign not acknowledged

ARRL DX CW Exchange:

1  he: test big0gun

2  me: ng3k

3  he: ng3 599 kw

4  me: tu ng3k 599 md

5  he: r big0gun test

This is indeed the argument for:

4  me: ng3k

And most of the time I do this, but if I believe the
operator to be solid, I sometimes make an exception
in the interest of not slowing down his run. Of
course, what I expect to get (and most often do) in
return is:

5  he: 3k r big0gun test  (or somesuch)

If it didn't work this way most of the time, I would
never send my exchange at 4.

So, I'm running 5 watts into a wire and big0gun is
off working the pileup now. I try to confirm that he
has copied my call correctly. Either he can't hear
me or he ignores me (I have know way to tell the

If you're big0gun, what is your preference?  Should
I have sent only my call at 4 and not worried about
slowing down your run?  Should I try to work you again
later?  Should I assume you've copied my call correctly
and log you?  Do I not log you? Any other thoughts or

Clue: I'm not going to hang around until mammoth size
pile-up (tm) clears.  I know I'm not going to win, but
I still like to do as well as I can.

At step 4, my personal preference is:

4  me: big0gun r ng3k 599 md

but this does slow things down and very few do it, so
I "go along".  And I suppose big0gun has no real vested
interest in whether or not I get his call correct.  As
long as I'm close and I log it, he'll get his points.
But, by the same token, if he has my callsign slightly
wrong, he looses points, but I get mine.



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