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When someone is working quickly -- clearly trying to work a lot of stations -- but pretty clearly isn't contesting, what's the etiquette when they 73 you and end the contact but you're not sure they were talking to you?

To be specific, I'm listening to S51DX today on 20m and he's working quickly and racking up contacts. But he's being a fairly informal (wishing people a good day and the like) so I'm pretty sure he's not contesting.

When I gave my call he read back something that sounded a lot like my call, but some noise got it so I couldn't make out if it really was mine or just a similar call. And there's a lot of traffic -- lots of people are trying to work him so it could have been someone else.

Is it OK manners to try again in 10 minutes or so and see if I can get a less ambiguous contact? Or is that frowned upon? He doesn't use any of the online QSL sites so I can't check to see if I showed up in his log.

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Re "When I gave my call he read back something that sounded a lot like my call, but some noise got it so I couldn't make out if it really was mine or just a similar call. "

When that happens, respond with "S51DX, my call is Whiskey Zero Bravo Tango Uniform, copy?". Don't let the QSO end until you've clearly heard your callsign and signal report from your QSO partner.

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In general, if you're not sure if a contact was made, don't log it. There's no harm in working the other station again. When you do work the other station again, you could ask if you are in the log already, because someone working other stations fast is almost certainly using logging software that will instantly tell them about previous contacts with you in the log. Many operators will tell you without asking if they have a recent contact with you in the log for the same band and mode.

This is less likely to happen in a contest situation, because everyone knows that operators won't log contacts that they aren't sure about, so they listen carefully for your confirmation. Stations lose points in contests for claiming contacts that aren't in the other operator's log.

Some stations use software that allows checking to see if one's call is in their log within a few hours, such as Club Log, but one shouldn't rely on such tools to decide whether or not to log the contact.

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