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UO-14 Phonetics?



Comment on UO-14 contacts:

I am not a DX "operator" and don't work contests or pileups, so the
"problem"  is all my lack of talent at working a pileup, BUT... I do have
an observation to make:

While demonstrating UO14 to a group of students outside in 20 deg weather
with a 0 degree windchill, we came up on UO14 "from the Naval Academy".
I had prepped the students to listen for Grid Squares, but what made it
impossible for me was that everyone was using long drawn out PHONETICS for
almost EVERY CALL.  Thus instead of saying "W3XYZ, EM43", we hear
WHISKY-THREE X-RAY-YANKEE-ZANZIBAR ECHO-MIKE-FORTY-THREE.

Thus every call takes 6 times longer, has an 6 times higher chance of QRM,
reducing througput by a factor of 6 and most importantly, requires 6 times
more grey cells of temporary memory in my brain to be able to regurgitate
the entire WHISKY-THREE X-RAY-YANKEE-ZANZIBAR ECHO-MIKE-FORTY-THREE which
in the cold, the pressure, the distractions of 20 students asking
questions and the pileup is an order of magnitude harder than just saying
"QSL W3XYZ EM43, this is W3ADO FM19".

On FM, there is no need for phonetics, you either hear it or you dont.
ANd with all the pileup, the success probability of hearing "W3XYZ"
complete is  six times higher than hearing the full phonetic version.  I
thought this commmon knowledge in HAM RADIO 101?

Anyway, We heard dozens of stations, reliably, but due to my inability to
regurgitate the full phonetics, or on the fly convert to spelling, the
only ones we felt we completed were the few that simply said their
callsign simply.  Yes, I know the phonetic alphabet, but It is my fault
that it takes me a few milliseconds to convert from phonetics to letters
because I am not a seasoned contester, so I cannot "complain" since it is
my inexperience.

But... I can point out, that you can get a LOT more reliable contacts out
of someone that is slow with the lips like me, (in 0 deg windchill) if you
just say the call, and not the phonetics on an FM channel!

Just an opinion from a casual satellite user...

Bob


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