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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 2002-02-25
N4SL says:

1) Listen to the freq for at least five seconds.

2) Send '?'

3) Listen for a response. One or two 'dits' means someone is listening to a weak/slow/long exchange (that you can't hear) and you are on his freq. He doesn't want to send a full ack and lose what he's copying. Of course, a single "C" means the same thing. So does someone immediately sending a CQ string, duh.

4) Wait 2-3 seconds, send "QRL?"

5) Listen again - 2-3 seconds.

6) Send a short CQ string.

7) Listen again.

8) If you haven't heard anything, go ahead and send a longer CQ and once you've worked 1-2 guys, the freq is YOURS.

9) Unless someone louder comes on and takes it. Not kidding.

This applies to CW contests only, I don't know how ANYONE finds a clear freq in SSB contesting and I don't do 'em. It also assumes you have a narrow CW filter, 500-250Hz. You will never find a clear freq without a narrow CW filter.

73, Steve N4SL Machias, WA

Anonymous on 2002-02-25
It Depends on who you are. Some don't ask, they don't need to. They drove me away from most contesting. They will surely claim that they do not do this, and that it would hurt their score if they did. Bull. They know they can and that the average guy (less dollars spent)can't do anything about it, so they do. Stow your rebuttals, it does happen.

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