Mark, KD4D, made a brilliant post when he said:
"It must be nice to be able to respond to a QRL? every minute or so while
you are trying to work QSO's at the "ESP" level.
I am sitting there trying to dig out a third tier station when you ask
QRL...I'm using the frequency. It only takes
about THREE SECONDS before people start asking on a crowded band. They ask
constantly. This is QRM."
People move around the band desperately looking for a run frequency. Not
willing to wait even a moment to try to see whether the frequency is really
in use or not, they just dump "QRL?" in everywhere, feeling that this
fulfills their obligation to be polite. It becomes a game; if the station
using the frequency does not respond to the "QRL?" immediately, the
frequency is fair game for the new arrival. All social requirements for
being polite have been met. "Well, I asked" is all that is required to
justify the taking of the frequency. Whether or not it was really in use
is of no importance to the new arrival.
And, I hasten to add, I am NOT a practitioner of "SO2R" and never will
be. Who wants to make contest operating a chore? I do contesting because
it's fun, not because I pride myself in killing myself to beat the next guy.
If I am running on a frequency and someone asks "QRL?", I reserve the right
to choose whether to respond or not. I have no obligation to respond to a
transmission from an anonymous source who may be rudely interrupting my QSO
in progress. That's why when searching for a run frequency I prefer to
listen carefully and then call a short CQ and identify myself. And yet
this makes me impolite compared to the anonymous QRL'er...
I guess it's all in how you look at the situation...
CQ-Contest on WWW: http://lists.contesting.com/_cq-contest/
Administrative requests: cq-contest-REQUEST@contesting.com