Reduce Confusion by Improving Your Timing — And Listening!

Reduce confusion by improving your timing – and listening!
by Wayne Mills, N7NG
Some time ago, I wrote about the confusion that I had been observing when one operator misread the signals from the station he was working and began transmitting before the other operator was finished. In a pileup situation, the resulting confused doubling was often the beginning of a real mess. In recent weeks and months this phenomenon has only become worse. Many operators seem to anticipate what might be called a “standard” QSO and then proceed accordingly.
All of this reminds me of the late – and great – Jim Maxwell, W6CF, who decried the short, DXpedition-style “TU 5NN” QSO. Jim didn’t have a problem with the DXpedition-style QSO for DXpeditions and contests, but in other situations, he wished for more actual communications between hams, both CW and SSB. What I have been observing seems to be the “standard QSO” gone completely astray. Certainly just a few more milliseconds pause before transmitting would help alleviate these gaffs.
It seems that we have come to expect a certain format, and when we hear those signals or indications that might indicate the end of a transmission in this certain format, we assume that a transmission has ended, when often it has not.
Off and on in the next weeks I will be listening – and recording – some of these exchanges, analyzing them and noting possible reasons. Already, I can think of a number of reasons they occur.
The hint for this week – and in ongoing weeks – is for you to listen as well and try to begin to understand what is going on and maybe how to rectify it. Pass you thoughts to me at
(c) 2012, Wayne Mills, N7NG