[CQ-Contest] To cut or not to cut?
rb at austin.rr.com
Thu May 31 06:54:46 PDT 2012
I've copied quite a few serial numbers in my time, but I'm still startled
when I get a cut number. I can usually decode it, but it takes me an extra
beat or two to do so. And guess what -- that erases the time saved by
Fortunately, N1MM (and other?) contesting software will let you type "ANTN"
into the exchange field and convert it to 1909. That's certainly helpful in
the wee hours.
I have warmed up a bit, though, to the dah-dah-dah for zero that a number of
JAs use. The unusual length of the three dahs makes it stand out. With a
weak signal, if you only copy one dah, it could be A, N, or T.
From: cq-contest-bounces at contesting.com
[mailto:cq-contest-bounces at contesting.com] On Behalf Of Pete Smith N4ZR
Sent: Thursday, May 31, 2012 7:23 AM
To: CQ Contest
Subject: [CQ-Contest] To cut or not to cut?
There's nothing like a CW serial number contest to get you re-thinking
about the use of cut numbers.
For situations where first-time intelligibility is important, I think
use of cut numbers probably costs more time than it saves. Here's why:
The basic Morse Code 0-9 character set has two important characteristics
- each number is five code elements long, and each one gives you two
chances to copy correctly or confirm that you have done so. If you hear
the first dit of 1, or the last 4 dahs, then you know what the number
is. This is because, with the regularity of computer-sent CW and the
presence of "5NN" as a signal to expect the number to begin at a certain
time, you can often infer from the length of the "lost" portion of a
number what it must have been. Even if you only get the two dits of 8,
depending on when you hear them, you can have pretty good confidence
that it was, in fact, 8, and not seven with one unheard dit.
How much time is saved by sending A instead of 1? How much time is lost
by responding to "AGN" or "NR?"
Opinions? I bet there are a few out there.
73, Pete N4ZR
The World Contest Station Database, updated daily at www.conteststations.com
The Reverse Beacon Network at http://reversebeacon.net, blog at
spots at telnet.reversebeacon.net, port 7000 and
arcluster.reversebeacon.net, port 7000
CQ-Contest mailing list
CQ-Contest at contesting.com
More information about the CQ-Contest