[CQ-Contest] The battle of the callsigns

R. Kline k7nj at zahav.net.il
Sat Jan 22 06:48:01 EST 2005

The length of the callsign is certainly a factor as so aptly explained by
Jose. However, some combinations and positions of letters can be confusing -
especially in high speed CW or CW that is not sent perfectly, or when
received by a less experienced person. One example is call signs ending in
"K" (is the "K" in his call, or did he mean "over?). Another one is calls
ending in "E".  For example if the first letter is "N" and the last letter
is "E" like in "N4TE", it may be perceived as "R4T". Of course, there are
many other problematical combinations of letters. Some calls simply don't
have a good rhythm to them - they just don't sound right. Whenever a short
call has any of these idiosyncrasies, the disadvantages they cause can more
than offset any advantage of being short.
riki :-)
K7NJ - 4X4NJ

-----Original Message-----
From: cq-contest-bounces at contesting.com
[mailto:cq-contest-bounces at contesting.com]On Behalf Of CT1BOH - José Carlos
Sent: Friday, January 21, 2005 12:01 AM
To: cq-contest at contesting.com
Subject: [CQ-Contest] The battle of the callsigns

It is known that the outcome of a contest performance is determined by three
main factors:

  1.. Geographical location
  2.. Operating skill
  3.. Station performance

What perhaps it not so well know, there is a callsign battle going on, and
this factor is also of great importance to the final outcome of the contest.

With the help of an audio spectrum analyzer, I determined the length of some
well know calls, at 35 and 40 WPMs.

Also I collected data from P40E CQWW CW 2003 operation. In this operation,
according to my logging software, I pushed F1 button (TEST P40E) 5605 times.
Although the program did not record how many times I pushed F4 (P40E)
button, taking into account the 8183 QSO's, let's assume, the overall number
(F1+F4) is around 10.000 times, which if anything, it is a conservative

With all this information, let's check how long different calls take, and
it's impact in the final score:

@40 WPM

P40E = 1,593 second * 10.000/60/60= 4,43 hours

D4B=1,031 seconds *10.000/60/60= 2,86 hours

ZD8Z=1,655 seconds*10.000/60/60= 4,60 hours

So the battle of the callsigns is won by D4B.

D4B callsign will give the operator a 1,56 hour advantage over P40E (3,25%
of the contest time) and a 1,73 hour advantage over ZD8Z in the contest

P40E is the shortest callsign available to foreigners in Aruba, so there is
nothing more to be done regarding this subject.

ZD8Z would gain a bit had he chosen ZD8E instead of ZD8Z.

Let's now check some calls in the USA. Let's continue to assume the USA
stations broadcast their calls 10.000 times, but now at 35 WPM

KQ2M 1,867 *10.000/60/60=5,19 hours

K5ZD 1,584 *10.000/60/60=4,40 hours

N9RV 1,660 *10.000/60/60=4,61hours

K1AR 1,659 *10.000/60/60=4,61hours

Now what if all these USA stations instead of using their callsigns would
rather use, one of the shortest USA calls: AE5E

AE5E 0,883*10.000/60/60=2,45 hours

What would be the gain in hours be and the respective % in the total contest
time (48 hours):

KQ2M 2,73 hours 5,7%

K5ZD 1,95 hours 4,1%

N9RV 2,16 hours 4,5%

K1AR 2,16 hours 4,5%

It is quite impressive. Just by choosing a shorter call, KQ2M would have
almost 6% more of available time. That's a lot of time and points to the
final score.

And what about those famous MM callsign that relentlessly broadcast their
calls over the air. Well because they operate MM the total operating time is
not 48 hours but the sum of the operating time on all the six bands. I have
no data regarding how many times they broadcast their callsigns, but lets
guess it is 30.000 times.

W3LPL 2,223 seconds*30.000/60/60=18,53 hours

K3LR 1,659 seconds*30.000/60/60=13,83 hours

KC1XX 2,503 seconds*30.000/60/60=20,86 hours

K9NS 1,587 seconds*30.000/60/60=13,23 hours

Would they rather use AE5E call this would be their gain in hours:

W3LPL 11,17 hours

K3LR 6,47 hours

KC1XX 13,50 hours

K9NS 5,87 hours

It is funny how both KC1XX and W3LPL calls are lousy contest calls (judged
only by the time it takes to transmit it). Of course they are well know, and
there are advantages, but they would be better off switching definitely to a
shorter call, like AE3E or AE1E or AE9E

Anyway, the point is, if your objective is records, winning, etc, the
quickest way to boost your score is choosing the shortest contest call

73, José Nunes, CT1BOH, www.qsl.net/ct1boh

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