Special Event Callsign Woes….

This may be old news to many of us, but VE3NEA’s CW Skimmer Server determines how “skeptical” to be about a callsign, based on a file of all expected callsign patterns. This assessment in turn affects how many repetitions of a callsign it must “hear” before issuing a spot.


From time to time, this causes problems for contesters who have gone out of their way to get a truly unique callsign for use in contests like CQWPX.  For example, normal Belize callsigns are V31@@ (where @ is an alphabetic wild card), but I have recently been told about the issuance of a V3@ callsign for contest use.

massaging the data

Revising the callsign pattern file in a truly systematic way involves getting data from QRZ.COMon the number of “hits” for each callsign and massaging the data with exotic techniques (exotic to me, anyway) to turn callsigns into patterns and aggregate the numbers of hits to determine how common the pattern is.  It’s a lot of work.

offering an interim fix

With a little time remaining before CQWPXCW, I’m offering an interim fix.  If you have received what you believe to be a unique prefix and have not used it before March, 2017 (the last systematic overhaul of the pattern file) e-mail me by May 1 and I will incorporate the new pattern in the RBN’s pattern file distribution, which will be made available to all RBN nodes by May 10.  I can’t promise you that all node-ops will download the new file before the contest, but the server will at least “nag” them to do so

73, Pete N4ZR

Email n4zr at contesting dot com