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Contesting Online Forums : CQ-Contest : Re: [CQ-Contest] callsign in contests Forums Help

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Re: [CQ-Contest] callsign in contests Reply
by kr6x on February 12, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
KC5AJX questioned whether a callsign upgrade would be worthwhile to improve his competitive position in phone contests, and I and several others emphatically agreed that it would.

W7TI wrote:

> During a typical contest, you will probably send
> your call between 1000-2000 times or more. Say one
> letter 2000 times and that's how much time you
> save. Not only that, but it's one less letter for
> the other guy to get wrong.

I believe that W7TI has dramatically understated the number of times that a callsign is repeated in a contest. Perhaps it would be more correct to
limit my comments to the Sweepstakes Phone contest and the number of times a callsign may be sent by an operator during that single 24 hour contest.

During each SS Phone contest, my estimate of how many times do we send our callsigns per contest is as follows:

I'm going to use the fine contest operator N5RZ, Gator as an example.

Numerous operators achieve their optimum scores by primarily calling CQ throughout the contest period, and answering fewer than 100 CQ's themselves. When advising operators on how many times they may send their callsigns in the contest period, your advice should prepare the operator for this class of contesting.

A contact takes ~20 seconds to complete. This is a fairly good estimate, based on first hour contact totals for a typical well-equipped Gulf Coast
station. A very fast operator could actually improve on this estimate substantially, given that a continuous stream of callers were available.
N5RZ, typically starts with a first hour of 180 contacts plus or minus a few, and has many unanswered CQ's during that period or his contact rate
would be higher. If it were never necessary to call CQ throughout the contest period, i.e., contacts are lined up to work you throughout the entire contest period, one could quite easily maintain 3 QSO's per minute through the contest period, and each QSO requires that the callsigns on each
end be sent twice, once in the exchange information, and once at the end of the contact as part of the confirmation transmission. This represents the
low end estimate for the number of times the callsign will be sent per contest. It is 360 times per hour, or 8640 per 24 hour period.

The reason that this is a low end estimate now follows: A stream of unanswered CQs with pauses to listen for responses is a nearly continuous
repetition of the callsign. Championship contesters primarily send their callsigns to call CQ. For instance:

"N Five Radio Zulu N Five Radio Zulu Sweepstakes" (transmitted in 4 seconds, then listens three seconds)

Were N5RZ to find the motivation to call CQ continuously despite his CQ's going unanswered all day Sunday, he'd send his callsign ~1030 times per hour
((60X60/7)*2), and nearly 25,000 times in a full 24 hour contest period. Of course, he doesn't have this many unanswered CQ's. It's possible to
estimate the number of CQ's he sends in a contest quite accurately, however.

For each contact that he makes, N5RZ must take 20 seconds out of this hurried pace of unanswered CQ's and send his callsign twice as a part of the exchange. If, for instance, he makes 2200 contacts, that will be 44000 seconds (2200 * 20 seconds) taken away from his continuous stream of unanswered CQ's. The length of time during the contest that he is calling CQ becomes 86400 (=24 hours) minus 44000 equals 42400 seconds. He must therefore sign his callsign 16,514 times during the whole contest period
-- 12114 while CQing and 4400 during contacts.

This estimate is actually more applicable to a smoother, less hurried flow than is required to do phone contesting at the championship level of an
N5RZ, WM5G, etc.; championship contesters actually pump it up higher. One could win the contest, however, from certain stations without pressing this
hard. Operating from, for instance, WP3R, the number of unanswered CQ's is smaller than from N5RZ. The higher the rate of unanswered CQ's, the lower
the contact total. Operators with less than 2000 contacts usually get there by calling fruitless CQ's more often -- sending their callsign more often as
a result.

Another factor figures into this. Be prepared to hear the other station sending your callsign occasionally during the phone SS. It takes time to send your callsign, whether it is you or he who sends it. This will more than make up for the effects of fatigue that slow an operator's zest to repeat his callsign by late Sunday.

Leigh S. Jones, KR6X
Re: [CQ-Contest] callsign in contests Reply
Anonymous post on February 13, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
If you get interested in the Sprint contests - the formula for the # of times your callsign is sent during a QSO changes a bit.

One of the requirements of the contest (per the rules) is that both callsigns be sent during the exchange. This means your call will be sent a minimum of 3 times for each QSO.
Re: [CQ-Contest] callsign in contests Reply
by WN3VAW on February 14, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
A shorter call sign has it's benefits, if you can get the "right" one. But one must be careful.

Some great CW calls have terrible phonetics; some great phonetics are a kvetch on CW.

And so many of the "good" calls are similar and, thanks to vanity, QRV. For example, I'm sure I'm not the only one who did a double-take working K3CR & KC3R in some recent contests. And it doesn't help that both of those club calls have the same trustee and are in the same neck of the woods.

Bottom line: It's the operator's station and the operator's skill that will ultimately make the difference.

73, Ron WN3VAW
WASHFest, 25 Feb 2001, CSVFD Memorial Hall, Route 88 @ Grove Road, Castle Shannon (Pittsburgh) PA -- for more details

Re: [CQ-Contest] callsign in contests Reply
by n9rv on February 14, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
The problem with a long call is not that you have to send it, but that others have to receive it.

I held the call WA8YVR for many years after most active contesters had gone for 1x2's during the first vanity rush of the 1970's. I quickly noted a difference when using my call from home versus using other people's shorter calls while at multi's, etc.

Most casual operators required two "bites" to swallow my call. Even when I was loud and in the clear (whether on CW or phone) they would hardly ever be sure they copied the whole thing right.

"Ahhh ... Yankee Victor Radio ... was that a WA8?"

This is much less frequent with a 1x2.

- Pat

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