[Moon-Net] Are 73s needed for a "valid" contact?

Paul Andrews w2hro.fn20 at gmail.com
Sun Nov 20 23:22:40 CET 2016

Conrad et al,

I completed 69 QSOs during the two weekends (4 moon passes) ARRL Contest.
My goal was 100 QSOs - but I came up short.  I'll blame the shortfall on
some bad wx and not wanting to die from exhaustion.  I'm looking forward to
calculating my score based on QSOs and multipliers.

Regarding sending 73 during contests.  I didn't send 73 more than 3 or 4
times out of 69 QSOs.    When I did send 73 - I transmitted it for just a
few seconds while I was searching MAP65 for my next QSO.    Sending 73
wastes valuable time when stations are completing QSOs at -18 or better.
Conditions were UFB this weekend.

During pile ups & contests - experienced DX stations skip the final 73 and
go back to CQ or sometimes even send OOO to the next calling station that
they see on MAP65.  It's a thing of beauty to see the DXpedition Teams work
100s of calling stations.

This ARRL contest was interesting for me since almost none of my CQs were
answered.  I guess a New Jersey station in FN20 is not much of a
multiplier.  And I'm probably not an initial for most of the stations in
the contest.

95% of my QSO were completed by my answering another station CQ and waiting
patiently (for 10 to 20 minutes) in queue to get a reply.  This was
painfully slow when I saw so many other very strong stations calling on
MAP65 that I could have worked but I was stuck in queue.  The big stations
are working dozens of calling stations back to back without having to
change frequency or period.   I completed 69 QSOs on 33 different
frequencies 1/2 in 1st period and 1/2 in 2nd period.  I'm sure my locals
loved my TX'ing in their RX period.

In summary - I could have easily worked 120 to 150 stations during 4 moon
passes "IF" the JT65 process was faster.   JT65B2 would have been a big
help but we (the community) doesn't use it.    Contests are not a weak
signal exercise - except for Conrad.  :)

The ARRL Contest was great fun.  I should be fully recovered before the
next one.   If any experienced contester has helpful hints for me - please
send them directly.

IMHO - 73 - Paul - W2HRO

On Sun, Nov 20, 2016 at 4:23 PM, Conrad PA5Y <g0ruz at g0ruz.com> wrote:

> The 73 are not required for a valid QSO. However they are useful as an
> indicator that all is well.
> During the contest if I call CQ I prefer the station that I am working to
> send 73 in response to my RRR even if just for a few seconds to let me know
> that they are happy. This happens a lot during the contest and is very
> thoughtful.  If my QSO partner is participating in the contest and are loud
> with me it is completely unnecessary. Instead of responding to these 73
> with 73 I just call CQ again or the next station if there is a queue. If my
> QSO partners are on the logger I will thank them for the QSO but only AFTER
> the QSO is complete. It is perfectly legitimate to do this once you have
> received RRR.
> DXpeditions prefer their QSO partner to send 73 after they have sent RRR
> just so that they know to move on to the next station.
> For normal everyday QSOs outside of contests and Dxpeditions 73 are polite
> and should be used unless you are running out of moon :-)
> A little watching and listening will soon having you developing your own
> feel for how things are done.
> Regards
> Conrad PA5Y
> On 20/11/2016 21:55, Bob Atkins wrote:
> During the EME contest one station I contacted suggested that the final
> "73" wasn't required, just the exchangeable of "Call signs and locators",
> "OOO", "RO" and "RRR".  Is that generally accepted to be the case? Usually
> at least one or both stations send "73", but is this actually a requirement
> for a valid QSO (as least as defined by the contest).
> The "call, locator and OOO" confirms reception of "callls + locator" in
> one direction and the "RO" confirms reception of that report by the first
> station. "RRR" then confirms reception of that information.  Technically,
> isn't that all that is needed?
> I'm not suggestion that dropping the final 73 (or exchange of 73s) is a
> good idea. I just don't want to claim a contact where the other stations
> didn't send the first "73" and suggested it wasn't required.
> Bob
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