[CQ-Contest] An Operating Tip

Jimk8mr at aol.com Jimk8mr at aol.com
Thu Apr 21 07:00:43 PDT 2011

If you follow the CQ-Contest Reflector to discuss cut numbers,  the pros or 
cons of packet spotting and skimmers, or the inequities of the  CQWWDXC 
scoring system, feel free to press <delete> now.
Last Saturday, while driving around with Gary, AF8A, in the Michigan QSO  
Party, I had the chance to do some observing. Not watching him (I was 
watching  the road while he was operating from a back seat), but listening on a 
speaker  while hearing the computer keys being punched, the paddles sending CW, 
and  an occasional expletive from the operator.
There were the occasional pauses between when a station stopped sending and 
 when Gary started sending the TU/QRZ message. I often run into this from 
other  stations. What I noticed was that this was usually a matter of him 
still  typing (often involving a correction) before he hit the <+> key to log 
the  qQSO and send the TU message.
I think many of us are so accustomed to using the single keystroke to log  
the QSO and send the TU/QRZ message, that we are at times losing a precious  
few seconds, and more important, smooth timing, by doing so. If you wait so 
 long to start sending that the other guy starts sending his report again, 
you're  really gummed things up.
So rather that relying on the <+> or <enter> key (using an  
enter-sends-message format), if you are still typing, hit the TU/QRZ  message key 
(typically <F3>) as soon as the other guy is done. Continue  typing, and once you've 
got the information correctly logged,  then hit  <enter>  to separately log 
the QSO.
This is an even greater improvement if you presently log an  incorrectly 
entered QSO, and then have to cursor up to fix what you just sent a  TU for.
I find that this technique contributes to a much smoother pileup. And you  
probably save as much time as you would by sending ENN instead of 5NN.
(Sorry guys, I had to keep the cut number fans in the loop  :)   )
73  -  Jim  K8MR

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