[CQ-Contest] Can a call be too short?

Ken Anderson w0ett at msn.com
Wed Feb 15 10:38:42 PST 2012

Hi John, AA5JG:

Here's my experience.

I received this W0ETT callsign 51 years ago and have had a variety of problems of folks getting it mixed up on CW over the years.  Since I retired in 1998 and have spent more time in a variety of domestic of CW HF/VHF contests, and DX contests, I've found that the E is the most common letter that folks mess up.  When calling a station in a contest, I've had them come back with mostly the correct callsign. Thanks, guys!   But, I've had some of them also come back to the following callsigns:  W0TT, W0TTT, W0ET, W9ET, W9ETT, W0EET, W0EEE, W0ETC, W0ATT, W0ITT, W0W?, and somehow W2ETT, W4ETT, and a few N0ETT.  I've sent my call fast, I've sent my call slow... When I hear that they get it wrong, I've tried to make sure they get the call correctly by going back again to get it across.  If they keep trying, I keep trying...because I know if they log it wrong, they get a penalty.

The good news is that the regular contesters, after working me a lot over the years, usually get it okay even when I send it pretty fast.  Some of the contest DXpeditions ops do a great job picking up the callsign but, I'm guessing, that its probably because they've heard it before in a contest.  But, like Joe W9ET, I tend to send the E with a little more spacing when sending manually.

I've had my callsign for a long time and, at going on 70 yrs, I probably won't change it unless I move out of the Zero District and can find something a better.  But, if I was going to change it or modify it, I'd opt to change the E to something more readily, quickly understood like an A, K, M, O, T, and etc. - but, most of those are taken.  By the way, the TT on the end of the call has been a big help as it can be picked up pretty easily.  However, there are a lot of TT's around these days compared to a long time ago.

Thanks for being patient with copying my callsign!

73 Ken Anderson, W0ETT
Parker, CO


More information about the CQ-Contest mailing list