[CQ-Contest] To ID or not to ID

Mark Beckwith mark at concertart.com
Fri Apr 4 19:47:24 EST 2003

One time in the CQWW I didn't ID after each QSO, and I made 78 more QSOs
than I would have if I had sent my call after each and every QSO.

At George's reminding last night, I re-read N6AA's post about sending your
call every QSO and I got to thinking.  Dick had taught me his philosophy at
the XE2SI operation in 1983, and I used it from HC8U in 1989, SOABHP.

My rule was to send my call every 2-3 QSOs when the rate was high.  The
times I didn't send my call I sent "R" and listened for callers.  I didn't
go longer than this because I personally get annoyed when some DX station
goes 4 or more QSOs without IDing, and when the rate is high, we're not
talking more than half a minute, which I feel is a reasonable amount of time
to make somebody wait.

I never was hampered by anyone sending "CALL?" - either I was working
someone else OR they were not on the freq I was listening to.  So from
experience, I can say that people sending "CALL?" did not cost any QSOs.

The numbers: Let's say I had a high rate for about half the contest (24 of
the 48 hours) during which I made, let's say, 60% of my 5000 QSOs.  That
would be 3000 QSOs in 24 hours.  At 1.5 seconds per incident (the difference
between "R" and "HC8U" at 38 WPM), and assuming I alternated "R" and "HC8U"
every other QSO, that would equal 1500 1.5 second incidents.  So the amount
of time I was not sending "HC8U" at the end of every QSO totaled 2,250
seconds (37.5 minutes) during which I was working guys instead of sending my
call.   At 3000 Qs in 24 hours (rate 125), that translates to 78 additional

In reality the number is some amount higher than 78 QSOs for these reasons:

1. I operated at speeds less than 38 WPM which increases the amount of time
per incident.

2. In reality I made more than 5000 QSOs, I just can't remember how many.

3. I did the technique for more than 24 of the hours.  Saying "half the
contest" was a safe, conservative estimate.

4. Sometimes I went as many as 3 QSOs before IDing, increasing the actual
number of incidents.

Gosh, now *I'M* confused.  Did I do that right?  Am I missing anything?

Mark, N5OT

More information about the CQ-Contest mailing list