- My thoughts:
I will attempt to explain the use of the WSJT calling frequencies as I
understand them and see how others think they should be used or how they
presently use them for random hour, routine use and special contests.
First of all let me state that individual stations can and will use them
differently but it would seem there should be a "best practices" that is
The recognized calling frequencies in NA are 50.260 and 144.140 MHz.
Stations who use other frequencies for calling limit their listening
During Random Hour, most stations choose to use the "simplex" method. This
is the logical method since the RH session is designed to provide users with
the maximum number of pings to copy during the hour. However the offset
method is also popular and many chose to use it during the RH period. The
Simplex Method does require the use of "Random Hour Messages" or total
confusion results from the use of messages TX 3 - TX 5. The RH messages or
simply appended on the fly in the panes for TX3 - TX5. The appended message
is some form of the prefix or suffix of the station being called.
Example: If WA5UFH is working N9EGT messages from WA5UFH to N9EGT would look
like: EGT R26 or EGT R27 or EGT RRR or EGT 73. Now N9EGT know without a
doubt when receiving EGT RRR it is intended for his station and the contact
If a contest where grids are exchanged UFH REL19 would be used for my
If QRM is a problem users can call using the "Offset Method" to remove
themselves from the calling frequency during contacts. Also QRM issues are
addressed in the RH manual.
For most other use of the calling frequencies the off-set method of calling
is probably better used than simplex in my opinion. This method in NA uses
Example: Where WA5UFH is calling CQ on 50.260 MHz and listening on 50.275
CQU15 WA5UFH or CQ 275 WA5UFH
Note: If I was looking for contacts on 50.245 I would use CQD15 or CQ .245
I prefer to use the CQ XXX WA5UFH with JT6M mode and the Up|Dn with FSK441.
(my personal preference)
The advantage of using the "Off-set" method is "Sh Msg" can be used with
more confidence and the calling frequency is left open during the contact
process. The use of the Sh message will speed up the contact and that is
always nice. During contests I feel like the off-set method is probably best
however if nobody answers your calls for a period of time, a simplex call
might just reward you with a contact.
Stations with a "Birdie" on the call frequency will find the "off-set"
method a nice solution.
I have no problems with stations using the simplex methods outside of RH and
will answering simplex cq's. What does annoy me is hearing Sh / Non Sh
messages used because I don't know who they are attended for. Several times
lately I have answered stations on 50.260 only to copy a RRR or R26 and not
know if it was intended for my station. Of course sometimes you can figure
it out provided it fits what you were expecting to hear or by comparing the
DF etc. However this is not necessary if RH messages were used. I do think
we should all attempt to use "Random Hour Messages" if operating simplex on
the calling frequency or we find our sked frequency suddenly occupied.
This note was intended to generate a friendly discussion. How do you use the
- I'm inclined to agree that, on the calling frequencies, it would be good
etiquette to use the Random Hour message format at all times. Essentially
meaning no Short Hand messages on the calling frequencies. I think it is
easier to determine 'who' from DF if there are only a couple others on
frequency, not so easy (or accurate) when there are a dozen. So the outcome
of packing the band full of signals may lead to the elimination of the Short
I use simplex during Random Hours specifically because I am interested in
maximizing the number I hear as well as the number I work. Outside of
Random Hour, especially during contests when things may be crowded, I am
more likely to use offsets or schedules because I'm looking for the contact
rather than who else is on frequency. I'm also more likely ,at any time, to
use offsets on 2m than on 6m. I guess my logic is that I'm not going to
miss hearing as many (because there are fewer to be heard) and it typically
takes longer to complete on 2m so why not move off to a spot where I can be
sure of who is answering on the first ping, rather than second guessing
myself and double checking with 2 or 3 pings before I switch messages.
My 2 cents.