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

Al VE1AL VE1AL at eastlink.ca
Thu Feb 16 07:54:26 PST 2012

When I lived in Ontario in the mid-70s through 1987, I had to get a VE3
callsign.  I was told to pick three unissued calls from the Callbook and
because I had listened to W3CRA so often and loved the way that call sounds
on CW, I naturally looked for VE3CRA first.  It was already issued but
VE3FRA wasn't.  I loved that call but also put in a request for a
two-letter suffix that was granted in 1992, many years after my return to

Stupidly, I gave up VE3FRA (never ever had a question about that call in
any on-air circumstance) to get VE3VX, under the at-that-time -- 1992 --
vagaries of the Canadian licensing authority.  I regret that decision.
VE3VX is awkward on CW and long on SSB.  VE3 Fox Radio Alpha cut through
the pileups on both phone and CW like a knife cuts through butter.  VE3VX
is a right PITA.  It feels longer on both SSB & CW and the sound of "V" is
hard enough as it is.  One "V" is awkward, two are horrible.

If you send your call distinctly and properly spaced (without, necessarily,
the awkward spacing I often hear these days especially from Europe (one
south-western station comes to mind), you likely won't run into too many
issues.  If, however, you don't send CW distinctly or give your call on SSB
without obvious clarity, you're going to be in the pileup for a long time.
On CW I send VE1AL and not VE-1-A-L (with the VE run together like most
Canadian hams do).  On SSB it is Alpha Lima or America London.

My late cousin, VE1ABM, wasn't much more than a CB operator on 10M (and
phone only, at that) but he was known as Awful Blabber Mouth or American
Bagel Maker and everyone knew him. 

In the end, however, it is how you send your call on the air that
determines its acceptability at the other end.  Yes, some calls are
"better" than others but there are very few "bad" calls.



-----Original Message-----
From: cq-contest-bounces at contesting.com
[mailto:cq-contest-bounces at contesting.com] On Behalf Of Ktfrog007 at aol.com
Sent: Thursday, February 16, 2012 10:11 AM
To: cq-contest at contesting.com
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] Can a call be too short?

One of the best calls I've heard with good rhythm also has a lot of  dits,
but still flows nicely and is easy to copy: K3EST
Kermit, AB1J
In a message dated 2/16/2012 2:39:12 A.M. GMT Standard Time,
w4au at verizon.net writes:

On  aspect of a call, either short or long, that hasn't been mentioned and
that I have found to be helpful is its "rhythm". Certain letter
combinations just seem to flow together in CW better than others. I think
that's one reason why folks don't have much of a problem with Al's call.  
is also one of the reasons I chose my new call in 1996.

73 -  John, W4AU

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