[CQ-Contest] NAQP CW Op Name - Je suis Charlie

w5gn at mxg.com w5gn at mxg.com
Tue Jan 13 09:52:21 EST 2015

I had planned to wait until after the contest deadline to share this experience with you but now that it's been well publicized, there is no reason to wait.

Contest weekend was superb.  This was the ten-hour North American QSO Party, in which the exchange is your NAME and STATE/PROVINCE/COUNTRY, limited to 100 watts (which is really well obeyed in this one contest!!).
You can pick your name - one Mexican is always LOCO - and frequently, hams will all use the name of a "SK" - "Silent Key" in memory, and this time there were over 50 stations using CARL, for a good friend, Carl Cook, who died a week or so ago. 


First of all, that's LONG compared to BOB/JIM etc  (but I can remember our son Nathaniel Lee's early papers with his NATHAN across the top and the I E L going down the side of the page).

So I didn't "RUN" and call CQ (since then a nice guy calling to give ME a point would have the unexpected challenge of that long and maybe-not-recognizable-when-you-are-writing-it-down-a-letter-at-a-time.

Instead, I  "Search and Pounced" (NO INTERNET SPOTTING IN THIS CONTEST) tuning to find a station that was calling CQ, but I'd also listen to see if he had a "pileup" of callers, and I waited until he had at least two unanswered CQs before making  my call.  I'd also note how fast he was sending, and set my CW speed to match his.

Most fun, were the hot-hots sending at 40 wpm (which is about as fast as 99% can copy), who are supposed to be able to COPY EXACTLY WHAT WAS SENT for the name, and who couldn't handle the 13 characters at their own speed, who'd come back with "??"
so I'd drop the speed by 9 wpm and resend, and they'd still not get it, so I sent a stored message at only 18 wpm with a full space between each letter, and a dozen hot-shots still needed a third or fourth repeat.

As a group, the most accurate were the VERY SLOW CQ'ers, sending at 12-15 wpm.  When I sent the spaced name at that same speed, almost everyone had the name on the first transmission! At that speed mentally you still are sending letters rather than words and the slow users are thus expecting to hear letters and not words and thus that they didn't know JE SUIS is French didn't confuse them.

I had two fast stations reply "NIL" - Not In Log - when I sent the name - my presumption is they did copy and didn't like the message or length, and one station did say the name was too long.

I had another five or six that tried several times, but who politely gave up with a 73 SORRY (I think signal rather than CW was the problem), and there were a handful that just QSY'd from their RUN frequency without a reply after I sent the exchange a couple of times.

BUT::: I had 50 out of 350 QSOs who made specific responses, including  GREAT, D'ACCORD, LIKE IT, THANKS, SUPER, ROGER, MCI (CW for French Merci), and similar expressions. 

In case you didn't know Merrill comes from the French merle for the Black Birds that were common to the area near the Swiss border from whence they came, until the St. Bartholomew Day's Massacre in 1582 (Catholics killing Huguenots) drove them from France to England until 1630 when Nathaniel came to Newburyport, MA, in 1630. 



Barry Merrill, W5GN

After the contest, I looked into the issue of the Cabrillo Format for the NAME.
The Cabrillo format does NOT specify if fields are fixed length or not, but the template for the
NAQP does show 10 positions for NAME, although there is NO statement in the RULES of the maximum 
NAME length).
However, the NAQP robot (and perhaps other or all robots) actually treat the Cabrillo data as 
variable length fields, delimited by a space, so I think it depends totally on your logging
program's choice as to how many characters of what you entered for NAME is output in the
Cabrillo file. 

-----Original Message-----
From: CQ-Contest [mailto:cq-contest-bounces at contesting.com] On Behalf Of Fred Kleber
Sent: Monday, January 12, 2015 11:16 AM
To: CQ-Contest at contesting.com
Subject: [CQ-Contest] NAQP CW Op Name - Je suis Charlie

In the recent NAQP contest, there was a station who used 'JESUISCHARLIE'  for his name.  This name is too long to fit in the standard Cabrillo field for operator name.  I submitted my log with what I copied for a name, even though it makes the QSO line longer than permitted by Cabrillo format.  Any idea how the contest organizers will score this?  KL9A - Are you on the reflector?

Fred, NP2X
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