[WriteLog] Enter sends exch/QRZ?

Ed Muns ed at w0yk.com
Mon Aug 25 16:44:25 EDT 2014

"QRZ message" refers to the message sent by a running station that
acknowledges the QSO and invites others to call.  Sometimes called the
"TU/QRZ message", the "QRZ" in both cases is meant to distinguish it from a
general CQ message (without a TU) when there was no recent prior QSO.  It's
just a title for this specific kind of message.

While I agree that "QRZ" is not the most appropriate thing to actually
include in the message itself, I'm not particularly annoyed by it either.  I
treat it just like "TEST" or "CQ".  It tells me that the callsign in the
message is one that I can call.  

The value of having "TEST", "CQ" or "QRZ" at the end of the running
station's TU message is that a S&P station tuning through the frequency at
that point knows that they can call the station.

If the S&P tuner arrives only at the time that the "TEST" is sent, then,
yes, they have to wait for the next transmission to get the callsign.
(Unless they just came on the band and haven't worked anybody yet, in which
case they can safely call blind.)  However, hearing "TEST" or "CQ" tells
them there is a running station on frequency.  Otherwise, they'd miss the
runner all together.

If the S&Per arrives soon enough to copy both the runner's callsign and the
trailing "TEST", then they know they can call the station.  If the runner is
not including a trailing "TEST" or "CQ", and the S&Per hears only their
callsign, then they have to wait for the next transmission to know if this
is a running station or another S&Per calling an unknown running station.

The only downside to a trailing "CQ" or "TEST" is that it takes a bit of
time and is unneeded if there are already stations on frequency waiting to
work the running station.

In summary, putting something (TEST, CQ, QRZ, etc.) at the end of the
running station's TU message is effective if the rate is low.  The ending CQ
tells a newly arrived S&P station that they can call the running station.
If the rate is high, then there are likely S&P stations on frequency that
either lost the prior pileup or at least got there soon enough to know who
the running station is.  In those higher rate cases, it is more efficient to
simply send "TU K1ABC".  With very high rates, only a simple "TU" is needed
for, at most, one or two QSOs.  (Never-ending debate about this on the
contest reflectors!)  Sensing whether to send "TU", "TU K1ABC" or "TU K1ABC
TEST" is how the running station can dynamically manage the pileup, working
people faster when they are already waiting or inviting more people to call

The exception to this seems to be RTTY where the running station's TU
message is typically "TU K1ABC CQ", even in high rate situations.  There is
no fundamental reason why RTTY should be different than CW in this regard,
but it has become the accepted norm on RTTY.  Suddenly dropping "CQ" from
the RTTY TU message will likely cause confusion, but it may be time to start
weaning ourselves from that convention and evolve toward the time-proven CW
approach of omitting shorter TU/QRZ messages when there are clearly S&P
stations waiting on frequency.


Jim K9YC wrote:

Point of order -- what is a "qrz message," and why would we want to 
automate it?

"QRZ" at the end of a contest or pileup qso is a big time waster, 
because it doesn't tell prospective callers WHO you are. The RIGHT way 
to end a CW QSO is "TU W6IHG"  On SSB, "thanks W6IHG," and on RTTY, TU 
W6IHG CQ. In all cases, S&P callers know who you are, and you're 
advertising your presence rather than concealing it. When you use "qrz," 
the good ops tune right past you.

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