[CQ-Contest] Don't we need to change the sprint protocol?

John WA2GO xnewyorka at hotmail.com
Sat Sep 18 13:28:28 EDT 2004

Call me old-fashioned, or even a "purist", but I think the idea of getting 
fills for YOUR QSO by listening to somebody ELSE's QSO are slightly off the 
mark. As far as I'm concerned, that violates the spirit of any contest, 
Sprint or otherwise. If YOU didn't successfully make the QSO, you shouldn't 
claim it in your log.

To me, the definition of a successful QSO is:

1) I believe I copied the other station's exchange correctly.
2) I believe the other station copied my exchange correctly.

I will only log the QSO if both conditions are met. (That's why it says 
"Confirming TWO-WAY QSO With ___"  on QSL cards, right?)

I won't "let somebody go" until I am sure I copied his exchange correctly. 
In my younger days, if I missed something, I would try hanging around 
waiting for him to make another QSO so I could copy a missed element of an 
exchange without having to "bother" him for a repeat. This turned out to be 
a huge waste of time, and largely unfruitful. Often times, I would get stuck 
listening to several CQ's before he got an answer, sometimes he would QSY 
first without getting a call, or sometimes (when my luck was really bad), I 
would miss the same element of his exchange AGAIN due to QRM, QRN, or my own 
incompetence, thus wasting yet more time.

So what are the best ways to catch somebody's attention to let them know you 
need a fill?

The two best ways are:

1) Send the ERROR signal (a string of 8 dits) followed by your inquiry   
e.g. ........ nr?
2) Send the I HAVE A QUESTION signal (a question mark) followed by your 
inquiry  e.g. ?nr  or ?nr?

Either of these should let him know right away to stick around because there 
is a problem. (As was pointed out, even in the Sprint he may or may not 
stick around.)

If you're a great op, and the radio gods are always on your side, you may 
never have to ask for a fill, and this issue doesn't apply to you. But if 
you are a mere mortal like me, and you occasionally miss an item, your rates 
may end up a little lower if you ask for fills rather than copying them from 
the guy's next QSO. But if you're like me, you'll have a good conscience and 
a great sense of satisfaction when you submit a log knowing that all of your 
claimed QSOs were actual TWO-WAY QSO's. Nobody else but you is going to know 
what you copied during your QSOs and what you didn't, so it's strictly a 
matter of honor. To me, that's always been one of the appealing aspects of 
this great hobby of ours...



p.s. If somebody asks YOU for a fill, make sure you send them the right 
serial number, not the next one!  :-)

>From: "Michael Tope" <W4EF at dellroy.com>
>To: "Dale Martin" <kg5u at hal-pc.org>, <cq-contest at contesting.com>
>Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] Don't we need to change the sprint protocol?
>Date: Fri, 17 Sep 2004 21:54:42 -0700
>No, Dale, you are not missing anything. That is what I do. If I miss
>part of an exchange, and the guy I am working gets the frequency,
>I will fire back with a "nr?" or "name?" or "qth?" when he is done
>sending his exchange. If he doesn't hear me calling because of
>loud callers drowning me out, I just wait around for him to work
>one of those loud callers and pick up his info on that exchange
>(don't forget to subtract 1 from the serial number of course).
>73 de Mike, W4EF.............
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Dale Martin" <kg5u at hal-pc.org>
>To: <cq-contest at contesting.com>
>Sent: Friday, September 17, 2004 4:24 PM
>Subject: RE: [CQ-Contest] Don't we need to change the sprint protocol?
> >
> >
> > > On 17 Sep 2004 at 8:26, Bill Coleman wrote:
> > >
> > > > Right as he finishes, someone else calls. I sit there sending NR? 
> > > > NR? over and over, but they both ignore me. Soon the station is 
> > > > and I've got a busted QSO.
> > >
> > > First, if you need a fill, you've got to be *quick* on the trigger
> > > about asking.  Any pause is going to be interpreted as an "R" or dit
> > > that wasn't heard.
> > >
> > > Instead of sending NR? NR? NR?, get the guy's attention by sending a
> > > string of dits:   ...............NR    Shouldn't need the question
> > > mark.
> > >
> > > But I'll bet the problem is more the pause before asking for the
> > > fill...at least that's often the case with me.
> > >
> > >
> >
> > Okay....I give up.
> >
> > I've read a couple of responses so far and am more confused than when 
> > first posed the question.
> >
> > It seems to me the guy Bill needs the fill from is the guy who now owns
> > frequency and would be passing along his info the the guy who called 
> > Bill.
> >
> > All Bill needs to do is QSX for the appropriate exchange info needed.
> >
> > Am I missing something here?
> >
> > 73,
> > dale, kg5u
> >
> >
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> >
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