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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 5 -->

ad5q on 2002-03-01
I don't like it when people go "QRL?" on frequency. "?" is quicker, as it causes less QRM. If the frequency sounds vacant, either I am digging out a weak one or I am on the 2nd radio. In the 2nd scenario, there is no way I am going to respond to the QRL'er. This does not mean that he should presume that just because he QRL'ed and I didn't respond, that he now owns the freq. I will still re-assert myself and run him off, usually after his first CQ. The ones that don't get the hint and choose to duke it out with me get added to a special list of calls I will never forget: inconsiderate jerks.

Now, as for my own approach when looking for a frequency, I will usually send the short "?" and listen for something. After a time, I will open up with a CQ. If somebody immediately tells me to QSY I graciously do so. If he too keeps a list of inconsiderate jerks, I am not on it.

No, I will not post my list.

Roy -- AD5Q

K2WI on 2002-02-28
I like it when people use QRL? and that is what I use. ? alone is ambiguous, so is not effective. QRL is a statement, not a question, unless you send the ?, so omission of the ? is ineffective. IE, although a technically correct sign, is not recognized widely enough to really be effective. QRL?, although it takes a little time to send, is hard to miss and is unambiguous, so it likely only wipes out one transmission instead of several.

Anonymous on 2002-02-28
N4SL says:

What's the Morse for * ? I didn't work that K*IR guy last time, crap. HA!

I've had my run freq stolen many times, I hardly fight back anymore, it seems to happen when I'm running really dry and many times it reminds me to start doing some S&P.

Now I do SO2R and sometimes lose my run freq when I delay too long on the 2nd radio's exchange - I consider this fair play and my own fault.

I've learned to NOT call really slow/inept operators w/ my 2nd radio, I always lose my run freq while dingling around with them.

Steve N4SL

Anonymous on 2002-02-28
N4SL says:

What's the Morse for * ? I didn't work that K*IR guy last time, crap. HA!

I've had my run freq stolen many times, I hardly fight back anymore, it seems to happen when I'm running really dry and many times it reminds me to start doing some S&P.

Now I do SO2R and sometimes lose my run freq when I delay too long on the 2nd radio's exchange - I consider this fair play and my own fault.

I've learned to NOT call really slow/inept operators w/ my 2nd radio, I always lose my run freq while dingling around with them.

Steve N4SL

Anonymous on 2002-02-27
From ARRL CW results, my observation of K*IR's method is:

1. Find a freq you want.
2. Send QRL CQ CQ CQ TEST K*IR
3. Keep doing it until the guy who's been on the freq for the last two hours goes away.

Anonymous on 2002-02-26
1. Find someone with a nice frequency and a nice run going
2. Call them on the phone and tell them that you were already on the frequency and they are interfering with you.
3. As soon as they leave the frequency call cq. if they don't leave the frequency call the FCC and complain

N6RT on 2002-02-26
People not asking if a frequency is in use is one of the most annoying "problems" in contesting to me. In the recent ARRL DX CW contest, I had my auto-CQ set for two seconds. I was really surprised at how many stations tried to pounce on my frequency in that TWO seconds without any ?, QRL?, dit-dit dit, etc. I know some contesters subscribe to the "CQ first, ask questions later" methodology, and it stinks.

As for my method, I'll usually listen for 2 or 3 seconds and if I hear nothing, I'll send a "QRL?" and then wait another second or two for any response. I ALWAYS do this even if I happen to get stuck way up at 28.199. I'll then use a short CQ once, and then business as usual after that.

Taking a few extra seconds to make sure I'm not stepping on somebody doesn't seem to hurt my scores any. I would hope others would give me the same courtesy.

73 de Doug, N6RT

N2MG on 2002-02-26
N4SL gives a decent answer. I usually skip steps 4,5.

Anonymous on 2002-02-26
When you hear someone asking if the frequency is in use send rrrrr and start calling CQ!

Anonymous on 2002-02-26
Someone said: "To find a free frequency depends on your output power!"
- with 100w there is no free qrg in cqww
- with 500w there might be some
- with 1500w you'll find a few
- with 1500+++ and stacked antennas every qrg is free

<-- Page 5 -->


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