Bunches-of-Dits Call Sign Challenges in CW?

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by K4YWZ, Oct 3, 2017.

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  1. K4YWZ

    K4YWZ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    When 'S' first showed up I was entranced... at 20wpm it was this lovely, brief dih-dih-dih in your ears. A quick, little kiss, her answer, breathed into your ear. I loved it!

    Alas. As the characters slowly entered the ballroom - I've now learned about half of them - I quickly found that my lovely, little 'S' wasn't quite so unique after all. 'H' and '4' and '5' and 'i' all sought to steal some of her limelight.

    And as if that wasn't bad enough, I quickly found it even worse when they tried to dance together, their sibilant notes blending into a discordant mess. Context helps with regular words, of course. But not so much with call signs.

    Ergo my question... in the context of vanity calls - where one can obviously choose one's cast of characters - are adjacent combinations of these bunches-of-dits characters troublesome in CW? I'm in 4-land (and am both proud and happy to retain the '4' which tells people that). The prefix of K or W or N isn't a problem. But I'm wondering if following that '4' with, say, an 'S' or an 'H' might be a problem? Especially out in the real world where QRP operation gives a starting handicap, and then gets laced with QRM and QRN and QRQ and the vagaries of operators' fists and plain out-and-out sending errors?
  2. KB1CKT

    KB1CKT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I recall hearing about some fellow with a callsign of HH5HH. I'm sure that worked well on CW.

    There's a lot to be said for sending callsigns a bit slower, or at least more time between characters, when trying to establish a contact.
    WB5YUZ and KO4LZ like this.
  3. WR2E

    WR2E Ham Member QRZ Page

    I can tell you that it's best not to pick a call that ENDS with an E ! It is troublesome. I can't tell you how many times I've heard " WR2 ? "

    That little ole DIT gets lost too easily, it needs companions.
    K4YWZ likes this.
  4. SM0AOM

    SM0AOM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Here is one for you; early Italian EME:er I5MSH Piero (SK).

    And to make plain text even worse, a few examples from commercial Morse exam and practice texts:

    Infamous combination in Swedish commercial operator material: "kissemissen i Mississippihissen" (approx. "a pussycat in the Mississippi elevator")
    German phrase: "siehe 55 heisse Sessel seit Sissi" (approx. "see 55 warm armchairs since Sissi")
    Finnish word: HIISSIVISSISIIHISSISAAAA (very unofficial translation. "five weasels rattle in the elevator", AA is the transcription for "Ä")

    Try these words and phrases in a text-to-Morse converter, and imagine yourself taking down this with a blunt pencil in 20-25 WPM or on an old mechanical typewriter in 30 WPM...


    Last edited: Oct 3, 2017
  5. N2EY

    N2EY Ham Member QRZ Page

    For bug sending practice, try this: "SHE IS 55 ES SHE IS HIS SISTER"
    G0IIK, K5ITM, K8AI and 2 others like this.
  6. W7UUU

    W7UUU QRZ Lifetime Member #133 Life Member Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Back in 2012 when I went call sign shopping, little miss UUU winked at me and batted her Betty Boop eyelashes for all the same reasons your Belle "S" did for you....

    She married my W7 in December of that year :)

    W7+UUU=true love :D:D

    N7ANN, N2EY and W5BIB like this.
  7. K7WFM

    K7WFM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I still have trouble differentiating between S and H. It's a real mental block for me.
  8. AG6QR

    AG6QR Subscriber QRZ Page

    I believe that repetition of the same letter isn't too difficult. For example, a suffix of SSS or III isn't hard to copy. But SIH? Not nearly so easy.

    My friend has a great CW call, ending with ETA. Short and easy to copy.

    Don't ask for a call ending in K. It gets confused with the trailing K meaning "over".
    KC3BZJ likes this.
  9. K9ASE

    K9ASE XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Crap back to the drawing board:)
    WR2E likes this.
  10. VE7PJR

    VE7PJR Ham Member QRZ Page

    My US call (WB7PJR) is long to send but it has some swing to it, in the B & 7, and I like the rythym of the PJR part. My Canadian call (VE7PJR) always seems to kind of limp at the beginning -- that E kind of stops the whole flow, but of course the PJR still swings.

    My old club (shout out to Mid-Willamette ARC in Albany, OR!) used to use one of the then-member's calls for the Field Day operations. Howard Truax, W7SO was a great guy and one of my role models as a young ham. Of course in a CW tent during Field Day we'd send that call out at about 490 wpm...:rolleyes: Easiest with a keyer, a little more coordination required to make it fast and proper with a bug.

    My advice, sit down with a code oscillator and try out letter combinations to see which ones you send well and which ones seem hard to you. I agree about the 2x1 calls: great honour, but dang they can be hard to pull outta the weeds! But if you end with "Z" it'll be a letter most people don't hear very often.

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