[CQ-Contest] Efficiently Calling CQ in CW Contests

Eric Scace K3NA eric at k3na.org
Fri Feb 27 22:54:19 EST 2004

   People are overlooking the value of the "pregnant pause".  What happens at the end of the transmission is as important as what
happened during the transmission!

   Consider these two S&P scenarios.  You are tuning the band and, as you approach a station (pitch moving down/up into your
passband), you hear the following:

"...3NA" [pause, nothing follows]


"...3NA" immediately followed by
"K3NA 5nn1tt"


"...3NA" immediately followed by several stations sending their callsigns.

   In the first scenario, the station whose call ends in "3NA" was obviously calling CQ (or had just sent TU + his call), and didn't
get a response that you could hear.

   In the second scenario, the station whose call ends in "3NA" was obviously responding to someone else's CQ.

   The third scenario is the same as the first, except some other stations are answering the CQ or TU message.

   The first and third scenarios are what results when the CQing station ends his transmission with his callsign.  There is NO
CONFUSION between a "CQ" and a "reply to CQ" scenario.  Since you will recognize whether you have the opportunity to reply to a CQ
(i.e., first or third scenario), you can then decide whether to dump in your callsign.

   This is much preferred to the cases where CQing stations end their transmissions with TEST or K or anything.  When search &
pouncing, your goal is to identify each station as quickly as possible and decide whether to call it or keep tuning.

   Tuning in to the end of a transmission which contains "...EST" tells you only:
   a) It was a CQing station whose CQ message ended with TEST.  You don't know who it is, so you must wait... or keep tuning.
Usually it's faster to keep tuning.
   b) It was K3EST.

   When S&Ping, I always prefer CQing stations to end their transmission with their full callsign.  Any other end to the message is
useless data.

   -- Eric K3NA

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