Well gents, this has been a lively debate, hasn't it?
Let me summarize:
1) There has been a wide swath of opinion ranging from "it's just
competition" to "ham radio is ending as we know it."
2) If you leave a frequency, it's no long yours-period. I agree with
that statement (tnx K0HB, N5NJ, others).
3) It is reasonable to try to retrieve a previously used frequency. It
is ungentlemanly and simply wrong to steal it back if the new "owner" does
not want to give it back. I agree with that statement as well. It's
unfortunate that we lose that perspective in the heat of battle or e-mail
threads (I include myself in that group).
4) Some operators spend their time waiting for others to leave
frequencies. I just don't get that one.
5) W1 stations (or K1 if you prefer) sometimes lose their perspective
on the challenges of frequency usage outside of their area. I agree.
I applaud everyone's animation on this subject. It has shown that there is
still a heartbeat in contesting and that's a good thing. For the most part,
we've also been considerate and not turned it into a personal attack. That
is also good. The debate has given me reason to pause. We like to do well in
contests. But, we also like to do well and maintain the respect of our
peers. I'll take the latter any day of the week, because I (and probably the
rest of you) value my fellow contester's respect much more than another
So, let me conclude with a couple of statements.
1) Contesting is alive and well. Log checking, innovation and activity
are great examples.
2) We all need to evaluate our on-air behavior. It's a tough pill for a
big station to take a breath and say "how would I feel if I were on the
other end of this situation."
3) Should we be aggressive and competitive in contesting? Absolutely.
Should we operate like arrogant jerks, leveraging our station dominance
(where appropriate) at the expense of what's right and fair? Absolutely not.
All kidding aside, I appreciate the opportunity to have been a bit
introspective here. I hope I'm not alone.
73 John, K1AR
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