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Author Topic: Digital Modes & Macro "Overload"  (Read 2706 times)
W3AGT
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« on: February 21, 2013, 02:04:07 PM »

<<Soapbox Mode: ON>>

I've read a few posts where some folks have taken issue with the number and content of macros used in digital modes, especially PSK.

I am going to take a look at the macros I use and see if I can't streamline them to the bare necessity of what's needed to make/confirm a QSO.

That being said let me also point out that it may not be a matter of a "macro pusher" being lazy, incompetent or a slow typist.

I use them because I suffer from something that's very common among seniors called "essential tremors".

I don't know why they call them "essential" because I can damn well do without them.

It's an Untreatable condition that makes my typing slow, erratic and sometimes downright uncomfortable.

So the next time you see a ham using macros consider for a moment that it could be something more than being "lazy".

<<Soapbox Mode: OFF>>
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I am the King of My Castle When the Queen Lets Me
W5DQ
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« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2013, 04:31:56 PM »

Allen,

Being one of those folks who previously posted about the undue need for a life's dissertation in a macro dump, I understand that there are needs for macro use. The point that most were making was the fact that

1) Many new users simply start using the canned macros without any thought as to the usefulness of them for their needs
2) Many users think that it is ok to have a 5 to 10 minute transmit time packed into a single macro. They start out with the typical shack inventory followed by a list of life's experiences and the resultant medical conditions, etc. Usually those types have way too much info in a single macro where it would be much better to have single thought/topic coverage in a single macro rather than a long winded one. And not to sound callous as no medical issue is unimportant but I really don't find discussing someone's medical issues very entertaining. I have my own and do not discuss them on the air. I tend to lump that in with politics and religion and avoid the topics all together on the air.

If you find that you need to have less macros and make them longer, do the receiver a favor and start out the macro with "I have such and such diability and need to have a long macro.....". This way the receiving station will know that is the reason why rather than just do a power dump on them. Doing it the polite way will probably make the long macro a non-issue to many that would have some problems otherwise. I know I would be more tolerant than I might be otherwise.

Good Luck and maybe I'll see you on the waterfall. Just let's not discuss our medical stuff Smiley

Gene W5DQ
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Gene W5DQ
Ridgecrest, CA - DM15dp
www.radioroom.org
W3AGT
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« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2013, 10:44:24 PM »

Gene, I couldn't agree with you more on the need for brevity.

I never send info on my station unless the other ham sends it to me first indicating (s)he finds such information useful or informative.

I did trim up my macro's last night to what I consider the bare essentials to document a QSO.

Frankly, I wouldn't have thought to do that except for reading the posts of others who thought long macros were a problem.

Like most newbies I too used the canned macros straight out of the box and modified them to reflect what others were sending in their contacts.

This thread is the only time I have felt it necessary to discuss any medical issue and would never think of bringing it up in a normal QSO.
73s
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I am the King of My Castle When the Queen Lets Me
N3DF
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« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2013, 06:12:18 AM »

Overreliance on canned messages has been a subject of discussion since the RTTY brag tapes of the 1950s.
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Neil N3DF
WB0FDJ
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« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2013, 02:00:18 PM »

I made my first PSK QSO about three years ago, thinking I better get into the 21st century before the last train left. Had a QSO with a guy out west and signed with him thinking, well that wasn't so bad. My keyboard was all sweaty when I was done though, having actually typed a lot. While making some notes I monitored his next two QSOs and he sent exactly the same thing, in the same order for those too! After several of those I drifted away from PSK altogether. Not being critical, just found it kinda boring.

Then just a week ago I tried it one more time and had a great ragchew with an octogenarian up in Canada who delighted in telling me how he hid his wire vertical in the neighbors garden, because he didn't have any space. Seemed a lot like a CW contact. And no macros were harmed in the exchange! I'm looking for more of those now!

73 de WB0FDJ Doc
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KO3D
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« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2013, 05:58:38 AM »

It's frustrating when you've sat through 5 minutes of life history thinking you're in a rag chew to then realize it's a macro. I'm reluctant to start QSOs unless the other guy is clearly "live". I don't blame DX since they may have limited English and can't branch out beyond the canned stuff. I provide the basic information with a follow-up file for anyone who wants to tell me which version of windows or FlDigi their running. I much prefer the faster speed of PSK-63 but don't get alot of contacts with it.
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K8CIT
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« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2013, 04:25:52 PM »

Gene, I'm sorry to hear of your affliction by essential tremor.  I'm stuck with it too.  Have been for 50 years.  I have found that I can type pretty well with a keyboard that has a wrist rest in front.  To get away from the macro jockeys using PSK-31 I have gone to using Olivia.  Not many hello-goodby macro QSO's with that mode.  As a bonus the typing speed for Olivia is quite slow.  Don't give up. 
73, Art K8CIT
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W5DQ
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« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2013, 09:46:44 PM »

Gene, I'm sorry to hear of your affliction by essential tremor.

Art,

If you're referring to Gene W5DQ,  you replying to the wrong fellow.  The OP had the tremors.

Gene W5DQ
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Gene W5DQ
Ridgecrest, CA - DM15dp
www.radioroom.org
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