> Contests put a lot of pressure on the bands. We
> should acknowledge that not everyone shares our
> passion or willingness to put up with QRM.
Perhaps not everyone shares our passion. True.
However, there seems to be an underlying opinion
on the part of those who oppose the presence of
contests on their frequencies that contest activity
should be regarded as a nuisance, trivial in its
importance by comparison to the more important
activities of rag chewing and the pursuit of their
own ideals of the perfect contact.
I remember having a conversation on the air about
this in the early 70's. In those days WCARS
dominated 40 meters in California during the days
all year except for the twelve daylight hours of Field
Day. Once per year 40,000 or so American hams
dominated every band and every mode making FD
His contention was that his attempt to use WCARS
contacts and a phone patch to avoid paying a $1.20
for a long distance phone call (within California) to
another ham was third party traffic and therefore a
public service, thus being more noble and pure. His
conclusion was that WCARS should be given a 50
KHz wide contest-free bandwidth.
Of course, I had to mention that FD is an emergency
preparedness drill, and the most successful of its
kind in North America, and that his $1.20 phone
patch was less than a noble effort at public service.
The only reason that contests put a lot of pressure
on the bands is that a lot of hams operate contests.
Yes, contests are a little unruly by comparison to
activity that takes place on uncrowded bands. A
certain "randomness" prevails, making it necessary
to accept the danger of occasional interference in
order to make contacts. Occasional to nearly
constant. But lets face it -- the interference is there
because there are a lot of active hams on the air
during contests, and band crowding is a problem
to the contester just as it is to the non-contester.
The very best solution to interference during
contests is called "time diversity". If you choose
to not participate in contests, then choose a
different time slot if you want to avoid the band
crowding. To ask that your personal interests
should be held above those of the contesters by
reserving frequencies for your personal use is