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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.
[Speak Out Home Page]


Opinions...

<-- Page 4 -->

W9WI on 2002-03-06
I will listen briefly and then send QRL? or ask "Is the frequency in use?". On a more crowded band where there might be some doubt, I'll ask twice. I then give 3-4 seconds for an answer before CQing. An immediate complaint of occupancy will get me to move. If you wait a minute or two, forget it.

Of course, at some point you have to figure the other guy really does believe theft is OK, and admit defeat.

I would far rather someone thinking about CQing on "my" frequency send "QRL?" than simply "?". As commented by others, "?" is ambigious.

WRT 14.070 and 14.300, it sounds like a good idea to leave these clear - but where do we stop? How many different datamodes can we afford to reserve spectrum for? Which nets are performing a legitimate public service and need to be protected, and which are someone's ego boost, or a continental chatroom that can afford to stand by for a week? (there is no good answer to that question!)

Anonymous on 2002-03-06
ALL contesters should bear in mind that there are other non-contest stations using the amateur spectrum and calling CQ 1kc away from an occupied frequency does no good to the reputation of contesting.

Specifically, 14.300 is an internationally recognized emergency freq. and should be given a wide berth at all times.

Thanks for your consideration!!

N5ZC on 2002-03-05
I ask three times with 3 or 4 seconds in between and start calling. If someone comes back in 5 minutes that op has lost the frequency.

I operated ARRL SSB this weekend. Occasionally, I'll ask if the frequency is in use with no reply, but after calling cq once or twice someone says the freq is in use. At that time I'll go ahead and move.

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.

Anonymous on 2002-03-04
N4SL says:

"If someone shows up within 5 minutes to reclaim the frequency (he's been off working a mult), give it up."

This is an amazingly liberal policy. Seriously, if you can do this you are a true gentlemen. 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.

Not that I'll let it turn into a pissing contest, those are a waste of effort.

73, Steve N4SL Machias, WA CN88

k0tv on 2002-03-04
Ask twice, waiting about 5 seconds between inquiries, then start calling.

If someone shows up within 5 minutes to reclaim the frequency (he's been off working a mult), give it up.

If you've been there for more than 15 minutes and someone comes to tell you that the frequency is in use, or to ask you to "just move up/down a bit", tell him that he is correct, the frequency is in use and you've had it for however long you've been there.

If someone comes on up or down a bit, but not enough, see "Angiocontesty" in the strays section :-)

GL, Jerry

Anonymous on 2002-03-04
Bear in mind that the frequency might be in use by another mode. A couple of weekends ago, a Polish and a German club station were calling CQ TEST in the 14.070 psk31/digi portion of 20m. Remember that bandplans work both ways, even during contests.

GM3WOJ on 2002-03-04
Here in Europe there are some stations who don't just want to use one frequency, but about 4kHz either side (SSB) - when you ask they pounce on you and try to claim they are using that frequency as well as the one they are actually on! Another problem are the special 'net frequency' guards who wait until you've been on the frequency for about 10 minutes working a pile-up before trying to order you off 'their' net frequency. So - watch out for (and ignore) these and other tricks !! 73

Anonymous on 2002-03-02
i really HATE when people only send "?" once and then, after a second start CQing. Maybe, you are just working a weak station, and don't wanna miss a part of his transmission, so you don't wanna tell the guy who sent "?" that this frequency is in use, because some seconds later he would have realized it anyway when u start CQing again.
In my opinion you should ask "QRL?", then wait for at LEAST 5 seconds and then start CQing.
If you then discover that the frequency is already in use (this happens often at VHF), you should GET URSELF ANOTHER FREQUENCY1 I have often seen operators who just ignored that other station, althought this silly behaviour destroys the qso-rate of both stations.

also if someone steals my QRG in a contest, I just say some bad words (to myself, not via the radio), and everything's ok.

remember: it's hobby!

kn0v on 2002-03-01
Either QRL? or a '?' is perfectly acceptable. By doing this, a concious effort is being made to determine if the frequency in question is in use or
not. Sounds like the 2nd scenario outlined by AD5Q is a potential hazard of two radio operation. I wonder who really comes across as a jerk then.

kn0v on 2002-03-01
Either QRL? or a '?' is perfectly acceptable. By doing this, a concious effort is being made to determine if the frequency in question is in use or
not. Sounds like the 2nd scenario outlined by AD5Q is a potential hazard of two radio operation. I wonder who really comes across as a jerk then.

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