Re: Suggested improvement for serial number contest F2 macros

Jim W7RY

Agreed Pete!

Jim W7RY
On 8/13/2019 10:09 AM, Pete Smith wrote:

I think there's another way to look at this.  Having the 5NN sent before the serial number, in my opinion, provides a useful pacing function that is helpful in times of deep and quick QSB.  What do I mean?  I'm talking about knowing when to expect the first code element of the serial number, as well as the speed at which it will be sent.  Taken together with the internal redundancy of full Morse code numbers, I find this gives me a significant advantage in quickly copying a serial number under difficult conditions.

73, Pete N4ZR
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On 8/13/2019 9:04 AM, Tim Shoppa wrote:
I should add.... I have observed when asking for serial number fills over the past decade, that the fraction of folks who send the "5NN then the serial" for every fill has gone from a few percent to circa 80%.

I think this percentage is ENTIRELY a measure of the N1MM market penetration and usage it's default macros. If you look at the logs submitted by various logger software, more than 50% of the logs are now made by N1MM. Now factor in that most of the N1MM logs are much larger than the onesy-twosy loggers, and probably 80% of QSO's are made with N1MM worldwide today.

In other words, it's because N1MM is so popular today, and the default F2 key macro sends 5NN before the exchange, that I observe 5NN being sent unnecessarily on almost every fill repeat. And I make a lot of fill repeat requests in every serial number contest!!! Yes I am a stickler for getting the serial number right.

Yes education can also be part of the solution too. But everybody could've optimized their macros for a serial number repeat, and hardly any did. 
It's because of N1MM's large market penetration, and the way everyone is using its default macros, that I feel N1MM's default F2 behavior and default macros can be part of the solution.

Tim N3QE

On Mon, Aug 12, 2019 at 11:01 AM Tim Shoppa <tshoppa@...> wrote:
Most serial number contests - for example WAE, WPX, etc - require a signal report and a serial number. So on CW, everyone has their F2 key setup to send 5NN and the serial number. Or maybe my call then TU then 5NN then the serial number (yes, a lot of guys have that on their S&P F2 macro!)

80%+ of the time I ask for a fill in a CW serial number contest, the guy hits F2 once or twice, and I get 5NN 1234 or maybe 5NN 1234 5NN 1234 or maybe N3QE TU 5NN 1234. Of course I don't need anything but the serial number but the guy only knows the F2 key so I get the full F2 message each time. Although there is some "synchronization value" in the 5NN, really all I want is the serial number and I just asked for the number to be repeated so I don't think there's any actual value in repeating 5NN each time. He sent 5NN the first time as required by the rules, I'm not asking for a fill of the RST, I'm asking for a fill of the serial number.

Now I do it a little different. I programmed a different function key just to repeat only the serial number. So I hit F6 and send the serial number only, or hit it twice and send it twice.

My suggested improvement, is that given these guys will never hit anything but F2, that after the first F2 send, that hitting the F2 button only send the serial number without the RST and without any callsigns or pleasantries.

I know this is programmatically a little weird and breaks some of the consistency of the F2 button. Maybe a N1MM macro expert can recommend a way to use existing macro functions to achieve the same end result, and we can make sure this way goes into all future "default macro setups" from now. For example, maybe {SENTRST} could be the default macro, and we could have a special rule that {SENTRST} is only ever sent once per contact.

Obviously some education could work instead. Since forever, they other op could configure a different function key just for a fill or a super-fill on the serial number. But after getting a record number of 5NN repeats this past weekend I'm dubious that education could reach every corner of the world.

A similar improvement would actually be even better in RTTY. Invariably if I ask for a repeat of a serial number in RTTY they send ".... N3QE N3QE TU 599 1234 N3QE" when all I really wanted was the 1234. When it doesn't come through I ask again and they resend ".... N3QE N3QE TU 599 1234 N3QE" several more times. This could be so much more efficient!

Tim N3QE

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