The secret code…

After looking at my RTTY contest results of the previous weekend I noticed that a contest talk looks pretty much like a secret code!

I will show you a contact I had with Japan, first in the real way it happened and then in a more human language! 😉

Good to know is that JA7IC is his callsign (name) and PA1CA is my callsign!

The talk went like this, and by the way, everything in RTTY is in capital letters :

Line 1. Him: CQ EA CONTEST DE JA7IC JA7IC CQ

Line 2. Me: JA7IC DE PA1CA PA1CA PA1CA PA1CA K

Line 3. Him: 1CA TKS 599 166 166 PA1CA

Line 4. Me: JA7IC QSL UR 599 Ø54 Ø54 PA1CA K

Line 5. Him: R PA1CA TU, QRZ? DE JA7IC CQ

Looks pretty mysterious right?! I will try to explain line by line.

Line 1: I am JA7IC and I’m calling all stations for the spanish contest!

Line 2: JA7IC from PA1CA do you copy me?

Line 3: PA1CA thank you for coming back to me. Your signal report is 599 and I will give you the unique number 166

Line 4: JA7IC understood, your signal is also 599 and I will give you the unique number 054

Line 5: Roger PA1CA, thank you. Is anybody else calling me? I am JA7IC calling all stations.

Like this it looks a lot friendlier but the text is also a lot longer! The signal report we are giving each other is a combination of 3 numbers. They stand for receivability, signal strength and tone. In a contest this is always 599 because of the speed of the contact.

The short codes like CQ (calling al stations), QSL (understood) and DE (the french word for from) that are used are very standard codes that were first used in Morse Code. They are now also used in all digital modes like RTTY.

When I did my license exam I had to study some of these things but now in practise I’m learning a lot more of these codes!

I guess the license is just there to get you to a certain level. After that you start with the REAL learning!

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