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Contesting Online Forums : Tips : Contest QRM!!! Forums Help

21-30 of 30 messages

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RE: Contest QRM!!! Reply
by GW4ALG on November 9, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Hi Bob.

> What gives you the right to deny me my fun?
> *I* haven't stomped on one of your ragchews.
> I, like any other *responsible* sportsman,
> would move if we heard,
I've got no right to deny you 'fun'. And I sort of know what you mean by the 'fun' of contesting. I myself have entered loads of contests in my time. So that alone gives me the right to be here - doesn't it?

But things have got out of hand. Maybe *you* have never stomped on one of my ragchews or experiments. I don't know that for sure.

But there are now thousands of SSB contesters who are prepared to operate in their local CW and data modes segments; hundreds of RTTY contesters prepared to operate in the CW-only segments; and CW contesters who just operate anywhere they damn well please.

And the situation is getting worse every year.

Less than 10% of radio amateurs are interested in contesting. It seems to me that the current situation is unsustainable, with countless radio experimenters such as M5FRA giving up amateur radio each year - completely fed up with being unable to keep in contact with their pals; or to test their newly-built QRP rig; or to fire up that crystal-controlled rig they built in the 1940s.

When I first listened on the amateur bands as a 12 year-old, the people I heard 'sold' me amateur radio - just by being there. Their politeness; their manner; their stories; and their helpful advice to others all projected that spirit of amateur that wanted to me learn morse; to build F.G. Rayer receivers; and to join my local radio club.

40 years on, what does the newcomer here these days? Just people screaming '59' at each other, I suppose.

Regards to all,
Steve GW4ALG
RE: Contest QRM!!! Reply
by VE7ABC on November 11, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I may be incorrect with my initial statement, and if I am, I'll apologize to the group from the begining. I'll stand corrected if need be. Did contests not evolve from Field Day?
I know that the ink was barely dry on my ticket 30 odd years ago,when I joined in the Field Day operation of the radio club I belonged (and still do) to. It seems the object was to contact as many other stations as possible via voice, cw or other modes. My Elmer told me that the reason for Field Day was to prepare we amateur radio operators in case we were called upon to help out in an emergency situation to supply communications others may not be able to. Field day was a training exercise for operators to work under less than ideal conditions (including crowded bands)and prove that we were capable of operating under these circumstances. The idea of having a large number of trained, proficient operators available is being actively persued by various Governments here in Canada in the event of any natural or man-made disaster.
Contesting also a training exercise like Field Day. IMHO, contesters are the best operators available. They have the ability to work under the worst band conditions, are able to pull out even the weakest of signals, operate long hours, and do this with an absolute minimum of mistakes.
Contrary to your observations Steve, I have to agree with Bob NQ3X. MOST contesters I've met on the air or in person have courteous and friendly. In 1996 when I was in Antigua, the fellows from V26B were staying in the same hotel as I was. A quick hello, I'm VE7ABC greeting, led Sam WT3Q, invite me to the station to operate with them. He didn't know me from any previous meeting nor did he know what if any skills I had as an operator. I did go to the site, and was invited to sit down and operate, and remember this is one of the most well known of the big contest stations. I declined, as I was unfamiliar with the logging software they were using and didn't want to mess up their operation. In 1999 I was again invited to operate from J6 by a group of fellows I didn't know, other than Ernst J69AZ, whom I'd met previously on 20 meters. This time I did operate as I knew the logging software. Again, I was made welcome and became part of the group despite this being a first meeting. My experience with contesters has been nothing but positive.
I may have rambled on too long Steve, but I just wanted to point out my experience with contesters, both here,abroad, and on the air.
ALL positive.
RE: Contest QRM!!! Reply
by M5FRA on November 25, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
> Contesting also a training exercise like Field Day.
> IMHO, contesters are the best operators available.
That is the best fairy tale I have heard for a long time! Or were you telling a joke? It certainly made me laugh!!!!!!!
RE: Contest QRM!!! Reply
by VE7ABC on December 1, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I'm glad I made you laugh Colin.
You and I will never agree, but I will stick to my statements about contesters.
By the way, during the CQWW CW test last week, I tried as hard as I could to find a cw signal above 14.100 and didn't have much luck. Same thing on the recent RTTY contest. I heard lots of signals from over the pond, but they all seemed to be where they were supposed to be, NOT ALL OVER THE BAND. There was plenty of operating room.
73 and see you in the pileups
RE: Contest QRM!!! Reply
by M5FRA on December 1, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
First thing to remember is that the centre of the universe is not North America. The situation in Europe could have been quite different. I know that a lot of people give and do not even try operating during that particular contest because the QRM is just too bad. They will have followed the advice to 'go and do other things'!

The plain fact, truth, reality is that contests mess up the bands due to bad operating, selfishness and the sheer inability of most contest ops to stick to band plans. While this situation exists ordinary ops will be forced off the bands and 'do other things'. Many, yes there are lots of us, will 'do other things' permanently. I guess this is exactly what you want as it leaves more space at weekends for contests.

RE: Contest QRM!!! Reply
by GW4ALG on December 2, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Graham, I do agree with M5FRA when he writes:
"The plain fact, truth, reality is that contests mess up the bands due to bad operating, selfishness and the sheer inability of most contest ops to stick to band plans. While this situation exists ordinary ops will be forced off the bands and 'do other things'. Many, yes there are lots of us, will 'do other things' permanently. I guess this is exactly what you want as it leaves more space at weekends for contests. "

Many amateurs are quietly going QRT because of the contest QRM every weekend. I say 'quietly' because many don't make much of a fuss about it. Some tell me that they have written to their national society about Contest QRM and that they received no encouragement at all. Some national societies have even stopped publishing letters about Contest QRM in their monthly journals - effectively quenching any debate on the subject. As I have written before, such a situation is unsustainable: national societies cannot continue to fund membership services if they ignore the needs of their members.

The majority of radio amateurs would like to see the restoration of fair access to the popular HF bands at weekends. Just to clarify: we are not talking about an 'anti-contest lobby' (a meaningless term often used by contesters). Instead, we are talking about a desire for contesters to operate within their local regional band plan, and for contesters show some respect for the 90% of amateurs who have no interest in contesting.

Regards to all,
Steve GW4ALG
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"Jamboree Off The Air" Reply
Anonymous post on October 25, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Last weekend it was �Jamboree on the Air JOTA� and I�m sure all the local radio amateurs involved worked very hard in setting up HF stations for all the cubs, scouts, brownies and girl guides interested in radio communications. They were probably looking forward to speaking with other groups throughout the UK, Europe and even further afield.

However most of the groups, including my contact with a scout station, were forced off the air by contesters running high powered stations seemingly oblivious to the fact that it was JOTA. In fact the UK person, who I shall not name, was rude, obnoxious and over bearing and despite being informed the frequency was in use prior to his call continued to blast his call sign over the top of our attempted communication. What a great introduction to the �World of Ham Radio� for all these youngsters. I continued to monitor the situation even after giving up to contact the JOTA stations to see how they were doing but it seemed the contesters were out to over power them in an attempt to gain points. Perhaps this is the reason VOIP is so popular, at least you can communicate.

Personally I have no interest in working contests however there are those who do. I have no issue with those fellow amateurs and how they get pleasure from their hobby. This weekend the whole world has come alive for another contest and its impossible to find a clear channel in the whole of the 20M band to communicate with friends old and new. However can we please limit the contesters to a fixed part of the band so that others, like myself, can at least have a few clear channels on which to communicate. Many operators are working Monday to Friday and their only free time to �play radio� is the weekend and this is being denied them by poor planning of spectrum use and frequency hogging contests.

P.S. I wrote a letter to the RSGB suggesting contests would be fairer on those who were not competing if they were allocated or restricted to particular frequencies and power to prevent the all too common splatter effect by those who cannot or can�t be bothered to operate their equipment correctly. This would also increase the competitiveness of the contest, ask any fisherman if it is more sporting to use a light line or dynamite?

However the editor at the time wrote declining to print my letter and in due course, this being the last straw, I declined to renew my subscription. They are not the only font of information about amateur radio and their magazine is mostly advertisements for equipment, all of which I can access easily on line.
RE: "Jamboree Off The Air" Reply
by GI0RTN on December 4, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
In reply to "Anonymous" - who doesn't even have the courage to post his callsign:

I am an active contester. Also, for the first time, my radio club ran a JOTA station this year for a local scout troop here in Belfast and I was an active part of that. I found taking part in JOTA extremely rewarding and I think I did a good job of "selling" amateur radio to the scouts - not least because of my infectuous enthusiasm for the hobby. An infectuous enthusiasm most often manifested in my love for contesting. We will be doing JOTA again in the future.

The only contests likely to be noticed any JOTA operator in the UK that weekend were a small domestic Swedish contest with tight frequency limits, and the Worked All Germany contest. WAG is run by the DARC which, along with the RSGB, has probably been the society most enthusiastic in supporting contest free segments. Indeed, in order to protect JOTA stations, the WAG rules were amended to ensure even wider contest free segments this year. If "Anonymous" has evidence of stations violating these contest free segments and, even worse, deliberately disrupting JOTA QSOs, I'm sure the contest organisers would be interested in hearing from him.

However, amateurs outside Europe should not be deceived as to conditions here by M5FRA and GW4ALG. Yes, contesting is more popular here than in any other part of the planet, but there is plenty of space most weekends. Maybe not for people to have their private channel - but frankly we should leave that nonsense on 11 metres anyway. There is plenty of space to have non-contest CW and SSB QSOs.

For example, the run of national SSB contests rarely see people above 14.280 or so or below about 14.150. Similarly on 40, there is almost always wide open space above 7.100 and on 80 below 3.700, or on CW above about 3.540 or so and certainly around the 14.060 QRP frequency.

Even IOTA and RDXC, both enormous contests in Europe, leave plenty of space for non-contest operation except for 40m CW, and that is a result of poor band planning by IARU Region 1 since the expansion of the band, leaving a CW section unexpanded in practice which does (amazingly) sometimes even get crowded on a weekday evening!

Serious encroachment of SSB operators into CW only segments happens on three weekends only - those of CQWW, ARRL DX and WPX - and on 40m only. And, indeed in the latter two there is usually plenty of space below 7.020 to carry all the routine CW traffic. I know, because I've successfully DXed and ragchewed to my heart's content on both those weekends.

CQWW SSB *is* a problem, but then it is only one weekend a year and it is the most popular operating event on the planet. Around 30,000 non unique callsigns are found in CQWW SSB logs these days, a considerably higher proportion of *active* HF stations worldwide than is claimed here.

Outside contests the bands are unimaginably quieter than they were when I first listened to the bands 18 years ago and that has more to do with cheap, wired, international telecomms than anything else. 2 metres FM is dead compared to what it was as well and please don't try and tell me that is the fault of the EEEEEVIL contesters.

Unlike many other parts of amateur radio, contesting is growing rapidly and attracting large numbers of young people. I took part in a multi-op in CQWW CW last weekend and, aged 32, I was well *above* the average age of our participants. Of course there is a need for contesters and non-contesters to co-exist but please don't sacrifice a growing part of the hobby to placate a bunch of grumpy old men.
RE: Contest QRM!!! Reply
by k7xc on December 6, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
(1)There is NOT a major contest on every weekend of every month - Myth dispelled here and now!...

(2)The number of major contests occupying the entire mode subband at once are very few... Mainly CQ WW DX, CQ WW WPX, SS, and ARRL DX... Factor in both modes and that's 8 weekends a year total, 4 per mode!

(3)Add the Monoband contests of ARRL 160 and ARRL 10 and you see they only occupy one band for a weekend...

(4)The operator training and station excellence that these kind of events encourage provides a ready core of people and equipment that can quickly and accurately provide emergency comm anywhere in the world with very little notice.

So get over the fact that you have to share your band with a major contest now and then... The benefits completely outweigh any objections....

73s de Tim - K7XC - DM09nm... sk

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