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Author Topic: Macros after calling. Annnoying or Lazy.  (Read 6460 times)

Posts: 8911


« Reply #15 on: March 12, 2010, 10:00:29 PM »

Yeah, I know... I'm exaggerating.  But I know how it is because I did it too... not *quite* that bad, but I felt like I should load up some computer and antenna macros back when I was playing with RTTY and Pactor and whatever.  But I shouldn't have.

If you're a bad typist or slow typist, if you're disabled, or if you have a tough time with the language of your QSO partner but want to convey extra info macros are a very useful tool.  I happen to be able to easily out-type the PSK31 buffer so I don't really need them.

And yeah, I do want to hear about your antenna... I like antennas.  If it's something reasonably interesting it probably warrants some explanation. 

I *do* *not* *care* about your computer, unless you may not actually be at the radio and you programmed your PSK31 system to operate by itself as sort of an on-air Turing test.  If your macros can convince me that your system is a real person, then I want to know about your computer at the end of the QSO.  On the other hand, it's very easy to convince me that you are actually a computer (see above).

The fact that you *can* do a lot of really stupid things with macros, in my opinion, requires restraint.    I think that over-macroing as my prior post is one of those weird hammy things that a lot of us think is just part of the weird stuff people do to fit in, and is objectively pretty wacky, like using made up words like "Destinated" or actually saying HI HI on phone instead of... you know... laughing. 




Monkey/silicon cyborg, beeping at rocks since 1995.

Posts: 45

« Reply #16 on: March 19, 2010, 02:02:12 PM »

I just started using psk31, and have had both good QSO's with real words and stuff, and the micros.    After about my 5th or so contact, I finally figured out how to use this without looking too much like a moron. Either way, this is fun to me and kinda cool.

Posts: 476

« Reply #17 on: March 23, 2010, 04:02:28 PM »

It is amusing when a station signs with you and then you say something in your final that entices them to come back to <YOUR CALL> <OM>

Glad I've never done that... ;-)

I think Bergson called that "mechanical inelasticity"in his "Theory of Laughter".


73 de Eric, KG6MZS

Posts: 14

« Reply #18 on: April 07, 2010, 02:32:28 PM »

I use PSK31 alot (almost daily) and I also use macros in every QSO.   I've made around 7000 QSOs just with PSK31, so I have macros set up for most situations.  There's the standard:

BTU (hiscall) de AE5PW KN

And then I have macros as a reply with a signal report, my name, location, grid square, etc.  I have another macro with my station equipment, which I have simplified to just my radio, antenna, and what software I run (Ham Radio Deluxe/DM780).  

I also have a few different closing QSOs, depending on who I am working.  I don't tell domestic stations that my QSL is okay via BURO but I do have a macro for DX stations to tell them that when I close with them.

In between all that, I try to add some personal touch to each QSO.  Weather conditions, comments on the band or solar conditions, holiday greetings, replies to statements the other side makes or questions they ask are always done by hand of course.

What annoys me is seeing the equipment macro that tells me that the other guy is running a Dell XPS700 with a 3.0 GHz processor with two 100 gigabyte hard drives, a 22 inch LCD monitor with a nVidia 9000 video card and a Logitech whatever mouse using a whatever brand wireless keyboard.  Who cares.  I'd much rather know about your ham station than your computer.  I have seen macros for equipment and stuff that have taken a full five minutes to transmit on PSK31.  I generally make a comment like "wow, that was a heck of a macro.  My equipment is a Yaesu FT950 with a Butternut HF9V vertical.  BTU."

Bottom line - Macros after calling: Not necessarily lazy, but they can be annoying.  They do, however, save your fingers.

Posts: 2243

« Reply #19 on: April 07, 2010, 06:19:05 PM »

What's even worse is when you try everything you can to have a "normal" conversation *still* get the macros
unending macros. i.e.
So Bill, you ever do any fishing?
Freshwater or saltwater?


blah, blah, blah.

I've even QSY'd in the middle
of one of those absurd QSO's and started
calling CQ on another freq. Rude?
Yeah, but sometimes ya can't
help it.....

Posts: 268

« Reply #20 on: April 08, 2010, 01:09:02 PM »

"Macros" have been a staple of the digital modes at least since the 1960s.  Back then they were loops of perforated paper tape.  

Neil N3DF

Neil N3DF

Posts: 10

« Reply #21 on: April 23, 2010, 09:42:07 PM »

It's both.

And I don't care what operating system you are using, the "Brag" macro needs to die.

Posts: 89

« Reply #22 on: April 25, 2010, 08:59:14 AM »

CQ CQ CQ Ragchew Ragchew
Now THAT I like!
In the "olden days" of RTTY we used to call those macros. "Warehouse lists"
No guys I said "W A R E house" Grin Grin

Now,.... where are those Starship Enterprises and Pretty Girl pix we used to send to each other with the mechanical machines?

On the subject of the other guys not understanding English.... well, how about trying to learn some of his language?

Ou compreendo?
or even.....أو فهمت

Even if the voices aren't real, they have some pretty good ideas

Posts: 2

« Reply #23 on: April 26, 2010, 03:27:10 PM »

I'm okay with either the hit and run macros or a long rag chew. Being flexible is not a bad thing. I use the standard couple of opening macros, but they are setup with a blank line towards the end that I can type in while the macro is starting. I use that line to ask a quick question about his rig, QTH, WX or whatever. If he responds curtly or not at all, fine, I close and move on. No harm done. If he takes the bait and makes a nice reply, then I'm thinking we are into a real conversation. Isn't that how a real face  to face convo starts?

But, truth be told, I am not always that quick a typist. And PSK63 HAS to be macro only for me. If you really want the ragchew QSO, try one of the other modes, as mentioned earlier. My favorite is Feldhell. Nice and slow and the mokes who use this mode are almost always ready to spend some time with you.

I will say that the computer part of the brag file should be skipped. Does ANYONE care what puter the other guys is running? I figure someone might care what rig, antenna or software I use, but not what brand desktop. If I'm wrong, I'm sure someone will speak up  Wink

BTW-I have made contacts with an antenna that doesn't "work" on a given don't assume someone is using the wrong macro!

FHC# 1192

Posts: 111

« Reply #24 on: April 27, 2010, 07:28:30 AM »

I have cut the brag file down to just the basic stuff.

Well <NAME> here is my QRP Station.
Digipan -> Signalink USB -> FT-718nd @ 2w, 5XH Antenna @ 30' agl, 3400' asl
QSL info on
Age is 31 and been a ham since 2005, love CW.

That is all that is necessary. 
But I am working psk31 qrp only because it seems that I can make the same number of QSO's with the 817 as i could with the ft450 at 20 watts.   

Joel ~ N5XTR

Posts: 7

« Reply #25 on: April 28, 2010, 03:33:34 AM »

As a french Ham, (azerty keyboard as you know!) it's not so easy to find a french station to chat in french with on numeric modes (Hi!) So, i practice psk and so on since a couple of weeks and macros are,for me, a  confortable mean to contact every station on earth. On keyboard,  my typing speed is not very fast, but if anyone asks me to chat with my fingers, i should try to do so. A condition, questions and answers must be quite simple as i don't understand the totality of english vocabulary! I use two types of macros: short msg and a bit longer msg with more details, as all hams in the world are not logged on!!. The main thing is to establish the contact with the pal outside! It's always a pleasure to see my call returning from north or south american , far east  of europe countries with using only 20 watts and a simple vertical multiband antenna! and it's important to give a quick answer with macros, otherwise an other station passes over you! On psk 120, the speed is too high to support a relative long typing answer. And more, the macro are useful to place the right things in the right places inside the message. Call, loc, situation, logg-in are automatically add to the msg if you use macros. DM780 seems to me fantastic to do so and i'm sure to don't make a mistake in a callsign in my answer. But i understand very well the fact that a lot of hams are boring of macros. One guy, one taste, isn't it!!
With a great pleasure to see you on my screen, best 73 de Leon

Posts: 33

« Reply #26 on: May 01, 2010, 08:28:36 PM »

I'm glad I'm not the only one who gets very frustrated when I realize I'm talking to a macro-maniac!  I have had several qso with hams that wouldn't even answer my questions, only sent macro junk.  One was so bad I gave him a special place in my logbook--grrr.

The CQ RAGCHEW is also used on my FLDigi system.  I really enjoy chatting and not contesting.  If I wanna CONTEST I'll fire up the bug and CONTEST.  But digimodes, to me anyway, are about casual chattin' with new friends near and far.  I understand some folks want to run up some kind of score or contact number, but at least warn people when that is all you want to do. 

Last thing is the first thing, HAVE FUN!


Posts: 875

« Reply #27 on: June 01, 2010, 03:37:40 AM »

Hi all,
Being a purely digimodes operator (including cw), I encounter the macro wall almost every contact. I also have macros set up, but don't enable the automatic send feature. I use them as building blocks which I craft together based on the operating posture I am adopting.
I then add personal comments or information based on the way I see the QSO developing.

When I work DX, It is mainly with non english speaking stations, so macros are the standard method of communication. This avoids the foreign station being embarrassed to speak or type in english (although they should not be), which is frequently a block otherwise.
In digimodes, many foreign stations are active due to having macros to manage a qso.
Foreign stations which use SSB/voice are usually confident enough to speak english without the standard ham verbage.

With domestic stations, they are usually subjected to the interminable ragchew from me, whether they like it or not. They always have the option of walking the dog, going to lunch, painting the house etc, to get away. (HI).

Rarely, I will encounter a non english speaking DX station who will want to rag chew.
These are gems, which remain in my memory, and leave a little bit of that exotic location with me when we are done. But I would never criticise those DX stations for enjoying the hobby in the way it appeals to them.

So by all means - ragchew, contest, or go for awards, but as some have said on this thread, remember -
a hobby is something you do - because you don't have to.
It is a personal diversion, a way of enriching your life without any good reason - and perhaps doing the same for others.
Lets all enjoy it in our own way.
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