High Speed Telegraphy
In amateur radio, high-speed telegraphy (HST) is a form of radio sport that challenges amateur radio operators to accurately receive and copy, and in some competitions to send,Morse code transmissions sent at very high speeds. This event is most popular in Eastern Europe. The International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) sponsors most of the international competitions.
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 Radio amateur Practicing Tests (RPT). The RPT includes the copying of amateur radio callsigns 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 competitive event.
In the five character group 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. 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 software program called RufzXP that generates a score for each competitor. Rufz is the abbreviation of the German word "Rufzeichen-Hören" 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 number of call signs (usually 50). 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 Morse Runner. In the Morse Runner 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.