Brief history of speed telegraphy
The first international High Speed Telegraphy competition was the HST European
Championship held in Moscow, Russia in 1983. Two more HST European Championships
were held; one in 1989 in Hannover, Germany, and another in 1991 in Neerpelt,
Belgium. The first HST World Championship was held in Sifok, Hungary,
in 1995, and a World Championship event has been held in every odd-numbered year
since then. The vast majority of international, national, and local HST competitions
are held in the countries of the former Eastern Bloc. Every World Championship
to date has been held in Europe. While many competitors are licensed amateur radio
operators, there is no requirement that competitors have a license, and
many pursue the sport without one.
The 2003 HST World Championships were hosted in Minsk, Belarus.
There are three main competitive events at HST meets. One standard event is the
copying or sending of five-character groups of text. Two of the events are based
on simulations of amateur radio activity and are referred to as the Radioamateur
Practicing Tests (RPT). The RPT includes the copying of amateur radio call
signs and a "pileup" competitions, where competitors must distinguish between
call signs sent during several simultaneous transmissions. Not all competitors are
required to enter every competition, and some competitors specialize in just one
In the five character groups event, random letters and numbers are sent
in Morse code, five characters at a time, at a high speed. Separate competitions
are held for the reception of just the twenty-six letters of the Latin alphabet,
just the ten Arabic numerals, or a mixed content of letters, numbers, and some
punctuation symbols. Competitors may choose to record the text by hand on paper
or by typing on a computer keyboard. The competition starts with one minute
of transmission sent at an initial speed defined for the entry category (usually
50 letters per minute for juniors and 80 letters per minute for the other age categories.)
After each test, the copy of the competitors is judged for errors. Subsequent tests
are each conducted at an increased speed until no competitor remains who can copy
the text without excessive error.
In addition to reception tests, some competitions feature transmission tests
where competitors must try to send five character groups in Morse code as fast as
possible. Competitors send a printed message of five character groups at a specific
speed, which is judged for its accuracy by a panel of referees. During each subsequent
test, a different text must be sent, and the speed at which it must be sent is increased
by a fixed amount. Competitors continue until the number of errors in their sending
exceeds a defined limit for each test. Like the receiving tests, there are separate
competitions for sending five character groups of just the twenty-six letter of
the Latin alphabet, just the ten Arabic numerals, or a mixed content of letters,
numbers, and some punctuation symbols. Most transmission tests restrict the type
of equipment that may be used to send the Morse code message.
The Amateur Radio Call Sign Receiving Test use a software program
called RufzXP that generates a score for each competitor. Rufz is the abbreviation
of the German word "Rufzeichen-Hren" which means "Listening of Call Signs".
In the RufzXP program, competitors listen to an amateur radio call sign sent in
Morse code and must enter that callsign with the computer keyboard. If the competitor
types in the call sign correctly, their score improves and the speed at which the
program sends subsequent call signs increases. If the competitor types in the call
sign incorrectly, the score is penalized and the speed decreases. Only one call
sign is sent at a time and the event continues for a fixed period of time. Competitors
can choose the initial speed at which the program sends the Morse code, and the
winner is the competitor with the highest generated score.
The Pileup Trainer Test simulates a "pileup" situation in on-air amateur
radio operating where numerous stations are attempting to establish two-way contact
with one particular station at the same time. This competition uses a software program
called MorseRunner. In the MorseRunner software, more than one amateur radio
call sign is sent at a time. Each call sign is sent in Morse code generated at different
audio frequencies and speeds, timed to overlap each other. Competitors must
record as many of the call signs as they can during a fixed period of time. They
may choose to do this either by recording the call signs by hand on paper, or by
typing them in with a computer keyboard. The winner is the competitor with the most
correctly recorded call signs.
The rules of international and European championships are defined in the document
IARU Region 1 Rules for High Speed Telegraphy Championships.
HST competitions generally separate the competitors into different categories
based on age and gender. The following are the entry categories specified in the
IARU rules used for European and World Championships:
- Women aged 16 years and younger.
- Women aged 17 to 20 years old.
- Women aged 21 to 39 years old.
- Women aged 40 years and older.
- Men aged 16 years and younger.
- Men aged 17 to 20 years old.
- Men aged 21 to 44 years old.
- Men aged 45 years and older.
Past World Championships
- 2006 Primorsko, Bulgaria
- 2005 Ohrid, Macedonia
- 2003 Minsk, Belarus
- 2001 Constana, Romania
- 1999 Pordenone, Italy
- 1997 Sofia, Bulgaria
- 1995 Sifok, Hungary
- Friendship Radiosport Games
- RufzXP Software by DL4MM and IV3XYM
- MorseRunner Software by VE3NEA
- PED software by JE3MAS (PED was used in official competitions until
2005, now replaced by MorseRunner)
Internet Marketing Medicine! - by Dr. Michel Fortin, Ph.D.
In today`s world, it is an understatement to say that we are constantly
bombarded with information of nuclear proportions. The roles of both the consumer
and the entrepreneur have become so immensely challenging that choosing a business
to buy from - let alone being and remaining in business - has become a dizzying
process. Therefore, how does one survive let alone thrive in today`s explosive hypercompetitive
marketplace, especially on the Internet?
Unfortunately, many businesses are still marketing themselves with old-style,
"knock-until-you-drop" institutional marketing approaches (the kind that says "I`m
open for business" - the Web is certainly not immune to this practice). These methods
no longer work, or at least not as effectively as they used to!
For instance, a portion of my clientele have Web sites that produce little or
no traffic, while others successfully attract tremendous amounts of traffic but
generate little business. Online or offline, the key is not to advertise that one
is "in" business but that one is "the" business of choice. Where people used to
ask "Why should I buy this product or service?" today, that question has changed
to "Why should I buy this product or service FROM YOU?" Simply put, today`s consumer
will choose one company over another because the perceived value in their choice
This is particularly important with the Internet. The Web is so full of "raw"
data that people no longer have the time to sift through all the information that
is thrown at them - let alone the time to shop around for the best product from
the best company at the best price. They usually make a decision based on the kind
of information that instantly communicates a specific benefit; one in which there
is an implicit added value in making the purchase.
Getting traffic to one`s site is one thing, but getting that traffic to actually
buy is another. So, how can a company communicate that it is "the" business of choice?
How can it give the kind of information that will get people to buy what it has
to offer and do so effortlessly, especially in a hypercompetitive world? The answer
is through positioning.
In today`s world of hypercompetition, top-of-mind awareness is the most effectively
provocative form of marketing now available. The idea is to create, within the subconscious
minds of prospects, a psychological "anchor" that causes people to choose, when
a need presents itself, a company over another instantaneously. Ultimately, the
goal is to market one`s business in specific ways so that the name, location (URL),
product, or service stays at the top of their minds at all times. I call this Miracle-Making
Marketing. In other words, since people no longer have the time to shop around,
when they do have a certain need they will
go to (or search for) the company or site that happens to be at the top of their
minds at that very moment.
Ries and Trout, authors of the bestsellers "Positioning" and "The 22 Immutable
Laws of Marketing," state what I believe to be the most powerful notion in the world
of business, in that marketing is a battle of perceptions, not products. In fact,
marketing is all about perception. You don`t need to be the best company offering
the best product or service at the best price in order to be the best. As long as
people perceive you to be the best, you have the upper hand.
However, here`s the caveat. People want the best and that has never changed.
But if you outright state that you are you then place yourself in a very fragile
position, for people will think that you`re either bluffing or exaggerating at best.
As an old mentor of mine once said, "Implication is more powerful than specification."
If your marketing implies that you are the best without utterly claiming it, people
will then perceive you as being the best and you will thus gain a winning edge over
your competition. In essence, top-of-mind awareness marketing is to win the battle
for your clients` mind and not their money.
Now, there are many steps that one can follow in order to achieve top-of-mind
awareness, but this deserves a book entirely on its own. So, let me share one of
them with you, which is the first and most important step in Miracle-Making Marketing:
Does the name of your business, Web site, product, or service intrinsically reflect
the result or benefit of that which you provide? It should. I am astounded to see
many businesses today that are still called by ordinary or blatantly unappealing
names, such as with acronyms like "MGF Technologies, Inc." I agree that some businesses
may have notable or even "catchy" names. But if they don`t create top-of-mind awareness,
they won`t create more business.
Consider this example. Which investment company would come immediately to mind
if you were in the market for one: "John Smith Investments" or "Wealth Wise, Inc."?
What about "John Smith, Accountant" or "A Knack with Knumbers"? Would you choose
"JSI Brokers" or "Money Mastery"? You see, your package is extremely important in
order to position (or anchor) yourself in the minds of your prospects. If your name
does not tell people who you are and what advantage people have in choosing you
(i.e., the added value you bring to the table), consider changing your name,
especially to a brand name that reflects the benefits of choosing your firm.
The same goes for your Web site (domain) name. I`ve recently registered mine
as "success-doctor.com," but for now it`s members.home.net/mfortin. Nevertheless,
you should do the same for your own, but don`t stop there. Choose a name that communicates
your unique competitive edge and does so effectively and efficiently. While your
domain name may or may not be
the same as your business name, as long as it follows the above rule, you`re
in the game.
Today, with the very limited time people have, many of them would love to skip
the hassle and inconvenience of sifting through hundreds of search engine results
in order to get to that one company that offers exactly what they want. If they`ve
heard of your business and want to know more, many will attempt a to go directly
to your site by typing in a URL simlar to your business name before trying a search
engine. However, if they do have to resort to one, their search will be much more
simplified if your name conveys a specific, unique, and direct benefit.
Another tip is to add tag-lines to your business, domain, and product/service
names. A tag-line is a small sentence, preferably 5
words or less, that says all that you are in one single swoop. I`m sure you`ve
heard of "The Midas Touch," "Kills Bugs Dead", "Quality is Job #1," or "You deserve
a break today." These are tag-lines and more than likely you know from which company
they derive. Tag-lines are extremely effective, particularly in casting an aura
of superiority or exclusivity and doing so without stating it outright. They usually
complement your business or domain name and help to anchor it in people`s minds
Tag-lines are particularly beneficial when one is small, self-employed, running
an home-based business, or limited in making claims due to the type of industry
in which one operates. Through a brand name and especially a tag-line, one can create
the perception of superiority and anchor him or herself quite effectively in the
minds of prospective clients.
Here are some examples. Rather than saying "John Smith, Business Etiquette Consultant,"
say "John Smith, Where Protocol Meets Profits". Instead of saying "Jane Smith, Graphic
Designer", say "Jane Smith, Great Graphics Guaranteed." Other than saying "John
Doe, Fashion Consultant", say "John Doe, Flat-Out Fabulous Fashions". You get the
picture. Additionally, tag-lines can usually be incorporated as meta-tags on your
site or become part of the keyword library that is included in a search engine`s
URL submission. Remember that the more top-of-mind awareness it creates, the more
simple the search for your site becomes. In other words, think benefits.
For instance, if you were to put two products from two separate companies side
by side, two products that are of the same kind, quality, and price, which one would
you buy? Naturally, you would have a tendency to choose the one whose package is
such that it makes the product appear as if there is more value added to the purchase.
This added value may be in the form of guarantees, lower prices, better quality,
additional features, faster results, etc. Essentially, put a special name and possibly
a tag-line on your product or service that communicates this added value. If your
product seems ordinary or is similar to that of your competitor`s, make it extraordinary
through its name. A typical or even nameless product or service may be easier to
sell when face-to-face with a consumer. But in cyberspace, however, the lack of
human interaction takes away the emotional element in the sale as well as the ability
to overcome objections. Therefore, a name must communicate that emotion. By doing
so, it positions the product or service in the prospect`s mind and empowers them
The object of packaging is not to claim superiority or to make one "look good"
but to turn the assumed into the assured in the minds of people (i.e., to make their
choice a simpler and more confident one). For instance, most mechanics or garages
offer free estimates these days. Not only do people assume that most of them do,
they also expect it. This seemingly ordinary service has become but an intellectual
cliché. However, let`s say you`ve heard of a garage offering "Free Fee Finders"
or "No Guesstimate Estimates", or one whose tag-line says "Where Estimates and Smiles
are Free". Now, if you had to choose a mechanic and
do so in a hurry, and you specifically wanted one that offers free estimates,
would you go to one you think that offers free estimates or to the one you know
EVERYBODY CAN DO IT
This process is amazingly simple yet so remarkably effective. If people don`t
have to assume that your company, Web site, product, or service offers a certain
benefit, or in other words if you take the guess work out your prospects` mind,
you instantly place yourself head above your competition. You might think this process
is a little silly or even meaningless, but people have made fortunes by simply packaging
ordinary companies or products - even those that are identical to that of their
competition - a little differently. Remember the "pet rock"?
In my consulting practice, I hear this "silliness" objection time and time again
and especially with doctors. But I say that the above techniques can be applied
even in these situations. For instance, a dentist offers traditional general anesthesia
and nitrous oxide (laughing gas) sedation in order to make the process of dental
work a pleasant and more comfortable experience. Many if not all dentists in her
area offer the very same thing. However, she markets it with two simple words: "Dream
Dentistry". `Nuff said.
In essence, in today`s hypercompetitive and hyperinformed world, top-of-mind-awareness
is probably the best marketing tool now available. Through packaging, an ordinary
company, site, product, or service can become irresistibly compelling. This is what
I call "Crazy Glue for the Mind." So, make the ordinary extraordinary. Make yourself
outstanding by making yourself stand out!
Michel Fortin, Ph.D. is THE
SUCCESS DOCTOR (tm), an award-winning sales professional and internationally-acclaimed
marketeer specialized in business development consulting and training. He is the
author of "Business Booster," "Power Positioning," "Success Seekers," and "Marketing
Medicine." If you like the ideas expressed in this article, you may obtain a FREE
copy of his complete report, "The 10 Commandments of Power Positioning: Magical
Marketing Strategies for Creating Endless
Streams of New, Repeat, and Referral Business," at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may visit his NEW web site site at
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