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Contesting Online Speak Out

Speak Out: Is this frequency in use?

A relatively new contester wonders "How do you determine whether a frequency is in use before claiming it? How many times should you ask? How long should you wait? What do you do if someone comes back and says that the frequency was his?" Let's give the new guy some words of wisdom.

52 opinions on this subject. Enter your opinion at the bottom of this page.
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KC7UP on 2002-07-15
I will ask if the freq is in use twice and carefully listen each quiz. If no response then I continue. Also I will yield if cnds change and I am on someone. I would like the same in return.

SM6KRI on 2002-06-26
I always ask QRL? and listen abt 15 seconds and doing this twice.

Anonymous on 2002-06-15
From WQ6X:
I ALWAYS ask if the Frequency is in use... then I listen for 5 - 10 seconds. If no response, I go for it. If shortly after someone comes on and says they were there first, I will yield.

W9VIC on 2002-05-06
Haven't you heard that Hams reflect a cross section of society? There are all the same types you run into in society at large as you do on all the Ham bands.
But like any group, we tend to seek those with similar values. So if I hear you and just move on out, or if you want to squash me with your "full legal power" go ahead. I'm having fun with my friends and have excellent blood pressure readings.

vu3pai on 2002-04-02
QRZ is this frequency is in use vu3pai calling and standing by

Anonymous on 2002-03-20
Contesting is different. Its a different behavior, an outlet for frustrations, and clearly a battle. So its not for everyone. But, even if you dont have a KW and monoband yagi at 100 ft, you too can work a bunch of stations all around the world, if you keep trying.

Hams reflect the society about them, and some have learned to become critics, cuz its easy, and gets attention, albeit sometimes the wrong kind. Or, to lash out in anger from their warm safe shacks, like little kids, or the sour aged lonely people they have become. We've all seen it at one time or another.

But, as in real life, most well adjusted people simply work around the Lowest Common Denominator, and dont just enjoy the hobby, but make it better. It never fails: the best policy is to ignore those who offend. They really do give up and go away when there is no one upset by their boorish behavior. Of course, that's easier said than done, because it can require large doses of self control.

Rag chewing is fun. Dxing is fun. Contesting is fun. Antennas are fun. Sharing technical wisdom is fun. Computer aids are fun. QSLing is fun. Meeting good people is fun, people near and far who share common interests. People whose differences are fascinating but nonetheless far exceeded by what we have in common. That is the true surprise of dxing: Once we get past language and preconceptions, its a great world out there, one that is growing smaller every day. So while we often feel powerless, its understandable to overlook how one act of kindness can make anothers day. To me that is the unwritten benefit of ham radio.

Yes, big station operating is fun, but a big signal acts like a lightning rod to attract flamers and wackos. Its amazing how a big signal points out personal imperfections, while more modest stations are spared that "frying pan." So, enjoy your relative anonymity. Enjoy what you have. Learn. Get better. Make ham radio better, not worse, by your presence. And finally, learn to control your ego and righteous indignation when the behavior of others falls short of The Amateurs Creed. We all have work to do there. And we need "new blood" to remind us that what we've done over the years isnt necessarily our best effort.


Anonymous on 2002-03-17
This isn't ham radio, it's an anonymous forum on the internet where anyone with access to a computer and modem can say anything they want regardless of their experience, education, knowledge or motive.

And that would be "jErks".

Steve N4SL Machias, WA CN88xa

Anonymous on 2002-03-17
So, youíre all the jirks Iíve heard so much bitching about. I must say if your rudeness here is any guide to how you operate on the bands Iím glad Iíve had nothing to do with contesting.

Anonymous on 2002-03-16
Hi Gareth,

When you get more experience listening to crowded contest conditions, it will NOT sound like just noise to you (really).

You will also learn why people spend so much MONEY on really good receivers and filters (and headphones and...) - those people can pull out a signal from the crowd much more easily. Also, a directional antenna will null out the QRM from all directions except the intended one.

The guy you hear working the crowd has all this crap (he might also be divorced over it) and what he hears is quite different than what you hear!

So, don't enter the Indy 500 while just learning to drive, but keep on learning and GOOD LUCK on your general test!

73, Steve N4SL, Certified Old Fart

Anonymous on 2002-03-16
This is good stuff... I was just listening in on 10m to all the "CQ CONTEST" being sent... I can't beleive the pile up... how does the guy calling CQ decide which one to pull out of the mire... I take my General test next weekend (KD6SWR - Tech no code) and I pray to God, or any others that might be listening, that I don't act like a typical CB'er, because that's how it seems you guys can be at times... the reason I became a ham was to get away from all that and to learn more about it... but it seems 10m is full of wanna be CB'ers... I have a 10m rig in my truck, I'll be driving it next weekend when I pass my test... but don't expect to hear CQ CQ CQ KD6SWR/AG there at all... I've found a more friendly crowd on 15 & 20 Meters... Call me a newbie if you will, flame me, I don't care... but it bugs me that some of you guys would act like pumped up CB wanna be's with a bigger ego...
73's CUAGN

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