This is probably something that is second nature to all the experienced CW ops on here, but something interesting happened to me when I was activating G/SE-002, Leith Hill this morning.
After putting out a few calls and getting spotted by the RBN using CW on 30m I received several calls at once. I didn’t manage to note down any characters, and was just about to send a ‘?’, when something inside me made me think ‘hang on, Manuel, @EA2DT has just called’. And he had! How did that even happen? Amazing! I can only put it down to Manuel having one of the most distinctive ways of sending CW that I have heard on my SOTA activations.
Thanks as ever for QSO today Manuel. I note that you are my top chaser to date - are you chained to your radio? You always seem to be on!
Looking forward to working you again soon, and thanks for being easy to pick-out for this relative CW novice.
It only needs a fraction of a longer gap between the E and A for the prefix to stand out of all the other characters. Many EA stations do that. Similarly some OE stations emphasise the gaps around the E after the O. The result is you hear the prefix without hearing it and then are primed.
My old brain is often too slow to register the initial “E” but I instantly recognize the “2DT” and Manuel usually resends his callsign before my hand moves to the paddles. The slightly longer gap between the “E” and “A” definitely helps.
BTW: Whilst one welcomes any chasers, it’s a comfort [up there in the snow, wind, searing heat, etc] to hear a familiar callsign.
Yes, the rhythm in the callsign sent by Manuel in his particular way is undoubtedly striking. However, there are, at least to the trained ear, many other cw operators that can be identified even just by a somewhat specific rhythm or by typical personal habits.
BTW, in the pre-military Morse courses 1964-1966 we were also trained to acquire a keying rhythm that was as uniform as possible - with the aim of making radio reconnaissance more difficult for a possible enemy… This skill was then practiced further in the subsequent military recruit school.
Of course, what was learned also applies today in the age of electronic morse keyers.
Identifying a CW operator on a straight key by his ‘fist’ has a long history of course. I’m intrigued, Heinz, that you say this is still possible with many operators using paddles, etc. I assume this is no longer the timing of individual characters but other characteristics, like inter-character spacing, phases used?
That was also my experience of being taught morse in the Royal Navy. There are a few other SOTA operators I can identify with some accuracy because of their style of sending. But EA2DT 's style stands out the most - its so recognisable that even though he’s is sometimes down in the noise, very weak and/or QRM I can still pick him out!
It’s not just on CW - the number of times I have known that Manuel was there in the SSB pile-up is amazing. As well as, it seems, a regonisable “fist” on CW he also has a recognisable voice on sideband!
As others have said - it’s great to have regular chasers than you can rely upon!
Absolutely! I guess I got excited because it was the first time I felt that someone’s call-sign had somehow seeped into me without being directly conscious of it or having written it down. I know, small pleasures and all that, and I’m sure it’s a very nerdy and niche point!
Most definitely appreciate calls from all regulars, and indeed non-regulars…
Manuel @EA2DT is usually not a S9++ station during my activations, but I easily can pick him out in a pile-up in CW or SSB even if his signal is only S5 at that day. That’s the advantage of being unique when you call.
But as mentioned by Heinz @HB9BCB, there are other chasers like F4WBN (Chris), IK2LEY (Fabio), G0FEX (Ken), SM5LNE (Jan) and SA4BLM (Lars) that can be easily recognized in SSB just by their individual way of calling.
When I first read the title of the topic I thought it is about how Manuel and other chasers take their time to be on air every single day (how do you do it?). This is something that amazes me mostly. It must be a real passion.
I have been doing a lot of WWFF and some SOTA over the year’s. Between those activations I take part in weekly CW contest like CWOps and OK1WC. I have learnt so many calls so it takes only fragments usually to know who is calling.
73 de Jaan
When you are traveling through Australia and on a small hill with a simple dipole on 7 mhz in SSB you hear the characteristic voice: “EA2DT, EA2DT”. The heart gets to 1000 beats per minute and you think it’s a “mirage”. But it’s true. There is Manuel from Pamplona.
Here in Eastern Canada, DX station from Europe regularly reaches me and Manuel @EA2DT is one of them.
Sometimes very strong but often extremely weak like 229/339.
He’s got the perfect timing, at the end of a pileup just before QSY, I can hear EA2DT and bingo!
He needs very good ears and a lot of patience to accomplish such an achievement.
He’s such an efficient chaser.