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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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Anonymous on 2002-03-15
And you said you weren't a contester? Dang, you are a natural!

M5EET on 2002-03-15
I found a great frequency last night. 14.100. There seemed to be somebody on but they didn't respond when I sent QRL? When I started using the frequency they just kindly moved out of the way. They tried to reclaim their frequency once every three minutes or so BUT I DIDN'T LET THEM. HA.

VE4XT on 2002-03-13
While, considering some of the more liberal responses, here's how to get a frequency: Find K0TV and tell him that it's your frequency and you're sorry to have let him use it for so long, but please give it up now.

Anonymous on 2002-03-13
N4SL sez:

"...then turn on the 15KW linear and call CQ endlessly without waiting for any replies."

I swear this really happens.


Anonymous on 2002-03-11
I hunt up and down the band looking for busy freqs. then I ask QRL? When I get an answer, I call CQ ! Move on after 5 minutes to the next Busy freq. Pisses off a whole lot of guys. It is also neat to set up fake QSOs... respond to some rare non-existant DX station. Do this several times in a brief period. You can just hear all the receiver MO coming to the frequency. Also, it helps to post the rare non-existant DX station so that everyone goes there to work em. If the interferring station (i.e. the one who really owns the frequency) doesn't move, then turn on the 15KW linear and call CQ endlessly without waiting for any replies. This works really well if you can use DSB (AM) in the SSB section of the bands.

Uh... guys/gals.... just kidding!

Anonymous on 2002-03-09
You're kidding right? During a busy contest, every frequency is in use. In a CW contest, 500Hz is about all you can hope for in the best of circumstances. In SSB, all bets are off. If you aren't there to respond to my QRL? You're history buster! If you don't respond after my first CQ, I'll fight for the spot. Respond and I'll move.

M5EET on 2002-03-08
SANDWICH??? Good grief, no. Three course meal at the very least.

Actually my remarks were meant to be read as a tongue-in-cheek sarcastic way of saying that I disagree with AD5Q.

Basically I agree with N4SL :- "After I've asked and gotten no response twice and I've worked a couple of guys, the freq is MINE. If they are running SO2R, they will just have to get a little better at it so they don't abandon 'their' freq for so long." and N5ZC :- "But if the op goes to work a mult or is running two rigs and leaves the freq for a few minutes, its up for grabs." and, obviously, yourself.


ae9b on 2002-03-07
If you're busy getting a cup of tea or having sandwich and don't have time to respond to QRL? or Is the freq. in use? you are not there. I will ask a couple times and if there's no one has claimed it.. it's mine.. if someone comes back IMMEAIATELY upon my CQ I will probably relinquish.. and remind him that I did ask... If I've had time to make a "Q" on "your" freq.. it isn't yours anymore... All part of the contest as I see it.

Anonymous on 2002-03-07
N4SL sez:

So YOU are the guy who's been stealing MY frequency of 14.010?!?!

Build up that code speed and jump in, we'll be glad to have you.

M5EET on 2002-03-07
I agree with AD5Q. Just because you send QRL? and hear no response does not mean that the frequency is clear. When I'm running I don't always respond to QRL? as I may be getting a mug of tea (I'm a Brit), eating lunch, grabbing a few Zs (but I speak fluent American) or something else. When I get back I expect to send QRL QSY and get MY frequency back.

The correct procedure is to send QRL? and wait. If there is a reply then move. If there isn't a reply then presume that the frequecy is in use and move. This also helps to cut down congestion on the bands.

If you get fed up of this method then an alternative is to find a frequency that is in use (or just choose a random one) and send "QRL this is my frequency although I haven't been using it for the past few days please QSY". This also has the added advantage of initiating a lively discussion.

My frequency is 14.010 and, even though I haven't been using it for a few days please note that I haven't given it up. If any of you guys (guyesses) are on it please QSY when I want it.


p.s. Actually I don't do CW contests. I'm not sure that the contesting community is ready for my 5wpm. But look out, when I get up to 12 there'll be no stopping me. You have been warned.

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