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

Rob Hardenberg rob at itr-datanet.com
Mon Nov 21 17:45:24 CET 2016

Hi All,


I have not seen this one in the discussion. But in the IARU Region VHF Managers handbook its clearly described what is a valid QSO.


I refer to section 7.2 Weak-signal QSO procedure. Page 91. The document can be downloaded here:



No 73 are needed. Rogers are needed for a valid QSO..


73 Rob PE1ITR



Van: moon-net-bounces at mailman.pe1itr.com [mailto:moon-net-bounces at mailman.pe1itr.com] Namens Conrad PA5Y
Verzonden: maandag 21 november 2016 10:51
CC: Moon-Net <moon-net at mailman.pe1itr.com>
Onderwerp: Re: [Moon-Net] Are 73s needed for a "valid" contact?


Well actually the thread has been somewhat hijacked. The original poster asked if 73 was required for a complete QSO. 

The emphatic answer is NO this is well documented and not really worthy of further debate.

I then gave a few examples of real world EME behaviour to help illustrate how things work along with a message to listen and observe and figure it out for oneself.

On the subject of the logger and its use in the contest if 73 is not required for a QSO then passing thankyou messages after a contact is logged is irrelevant. 

The only competitive advantage that I gained by using the logger during the contest was for allowed frequency announcements and as an aid to staying awake!

I will take these issues up with the ARRL privately before submitting my logs. If I am disqualified for sending tnx wishes on the logger AFTER a qso is logged then so be it. 

I did the contest to see what my station is capable of, I have answered that to my own satisfaction. 

Final score 206 x 84 = 1730400


Conrad PA5Y 

On 21 November 2016 04:51:46 CET, Paul Andrews <w2hro.fn20 at gmail.com> wrote:

Stephen,  The obvious difference is that sending 73 via JT65 consumes a full 60 seconds.  With voice (SSB/FM) a full ARRL valid QSO exchange including "TNX 73" will take less than 15 seconds.  During normal EME QSOs I enjoy the slow pace of 60 second periods.  I do my logging during 4 minutes of RO/RRR/73/73.  During a contest waiting for 73 is unnecessary.  The question becomes can you send 73 via the logger.  ARRL says no.

73 - Paul - W2HRO 


On Nov 20, 2016 9:37 PM, "Stephen Hanselman" < <mailto:eme at kc4sw.com> eme at kc4sw.com> wrote:

You know i think both sides here have valid points but let's look at a typical Field Day, arguably the penultimate ARRL contest, SSB exchange. 

CQ field day k6...

K6... k3/// 3A MD

K3/// k6... QSL 1B SCV

73  good luck

QRZ Field Day K6...


How does this relate to our dig! ital format?  Basically they are the same "format" a minimalist passing of identifiers, location, and confirmation of the contact with the calling station passing a 73 and the called station just resuming his(her) CQ'ing. 


I submit if it's OK for Field Day it's OK for our contest. 



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On Nov 20, 2016, at 17:46, Edward R Cole < <mailto:kl7uw at acsalaska.net> kl7uw at acsalaska.net> wrote:

Regarding 2m-eme use, I've gotten use to the CQing station sending RRR and calling station adding 73 after seeing that.  Most stations do not send 73 after seeing 73 from the other station during contests as resuming CQ pretty much tells that the contact is completed.

I found calling CQ is way more productive of moon time for me.  I have enough callers to run 1-2 hours continuous operating at five minutes per contact.   That can accumulate 12-15 contacts.  Calling stations that are CQing often ends up waiting 30-45 minutes in a stack of callers for your turn to make the contact.  This works better at end of WE when less stations are active (not so many pileups).

I will never achieve 200 contacts as my moon-window starts 9-hours after EU MR.  Too often activity drops at EU MS when I have been operating only 3-4 hours.  I quit at 3am (1230utc) today and slept to 10am (1900utc).  But good thing I QRV for an hour at 1900 as I made three more contacts (missed W7MEM and UN9L).  2030 local noise starting* made further eme operating impossible so quit.  Might have worked another 8-10 until MS at 2300utc.
* plus there were birdies every 300-Hz all across the band with maybe two small gaps.

I find running 1-min sequencing is needed sometimes with weak stations (or when battling noise) in contests; 30-second cycles would speed contact rate.  I am running the MAP65-BC2/version but not activating the quicker rate as not being used.  Perhaps the adoption of QRA by more people would make shorter sequences workable, but I get what Conrad is saying (I do not have that problem as nearest 2m-eme station is 1300km in BC).

Perhaps running 30-min first day and 1-min on second day of contest would offer a good mix?  Activity is 75% higher in the first day.  Everyone would need to agree with for it to be workable.

73, Ed - KL7UW

At 01:54 PM 11/20/2016, Paul Andrews wrote:


In my mind, your 200+ QSOs were a spectacular achievement.  Saying thank you on the logger didn't make those QSOs happen.

The ARRL Rules maybe dated and could be reviewed.  QRA64 with embedded signal reports make a logger thank yous and signal report exchanges less necessary.

I know your opinion on JT65B2.  I mentioned that just to get a rise out of you.  Yes - Let's have a JT65B2 Contest.  :)

I'm looking forward to future "fast" Digital EME protocols that permit text message like rag chew.  Less talk on the logger.   Even EME based group discussions should be possible.

Arthur Clarke - "The only thing that we can be sure of the future is that it will be absolutely fantastic."

73 - Paul - W2HRO

On Sun, Nov 20, 2016 at 5:17 PM, Conrad PA5Y < <mailto:g0ruz at g0ruz.com> g0ruz at g0ruz.com> wrote:

Well if the posting of thankyou AFTER the contact is logged is not allowed then my 200+ QSOs will be invalid and I will be most cross as the action has absolutely no bearing on the QSO. The contact is logged and is history as far as I'm concerned. 

It certainly needs to be cleared up and next time preferably BEFORE the contest not at the 11th hour.

........assistance may not be used to facilitate the completion of any contact once the contact has commenced. This means such assistance may not be used to convey receipt or non-receipt of any required element of a contact or to request a repeat of any required element of a contact.

That seems clear enough to me. Thanks are not a required element of the contact just polite.


Conrad PA5Y

On 20/11/2016 23:06, Marshall-K5QE wrote:

Hello Conrad and others interested in this thread.....I am NOT an ARRL rules guru, but I thought that the posting of any contact information was prohibited during the contests.  You certainly cannot post, "I hear your RO, so I am sending RRR"....or anything like that at all.  I know that we all agree on this.

Others have said that the posting of "thank you" after the contact is complete is not allowed, because it tells the other station that you are complete(which is a piece of contact information).  I have not posted the traditional "thank you" whenever I was in a contest, because I believed that it was not allowed(but I may be very wrong on this).  During casual operating, I try to post a "thank you" so the other station knows that we are done AND so that he can see his signal strength, etc.

It would be nice if we could get a definite ruling on this.  Maybe Bart-W9JJ could study this carefully and let us know what we can and cannot do.  

The rules for the CW WW VHF contest are slightly different from the ARRL's rules, so we have another issue there.  

On this last leg of the EME contest, I had a guest operator(Phil-W5RP) at the helm of the 2M station.  He worked about 100 stations for the two days.  That is pretty good for a new operator.  I thank everyone for calling and working him.  It was a great experience for him and I know that he enjoyed it a lot.  He certainly got a wonderful introduction to WSJT and pileups on 2M.  It will be a while before he gets his home station running, but when that happens, we will have another FB station and operator on 2M.

73 Marshall K5QE

On 11/20/2016 3:23 PM, Conrad PA5Y 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.


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.



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