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Re: [CQ-Contest] "?" not equal to "QRL?"

To: n5ot@n5ot.com, CQ-Contest@contesting.com
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] "?" not equal to "QRL?"
From: Jimk8mr@aol.com
Date: Wed, 9 Aug 2006 22:32:38 EDT
List-post: <mailto:cq-contest@contesting.com>
In a message dated 8/9/2006 10:12:49 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,  
n5ot@n5ot.com writes:

"Di-di-dah-dah-di-dit" does not mean "is the frequency in  use?"  Using it 
as such is bad form.   MHO.

MHO disagrees.
The "?" has a dual meaning, as heard by a guy who really is using  a 
Not only does it mean "if you don't tell me otherwise I'm going to start  
calling CQ here in about a second", it also means "who was that who was just  
calling here, whose call I did not get". 
So you hear a possible open frequency, send "?", and a guy who has been  
there and had let 3 seconds pass between a CQ can just dump in his call, both  
showing that the frequency is in use and inviting you to work him before you  
move on.  
Or if he was quiet because he was digging out a weak one, "?" clobbers the  
weak one a lot less than "QRL".
Send "QRL" and the guy who has been there has his blood pressure go up a  
dozen points as he goes into frequency defend mode. And he probably won't  send 
just his call, and you won't get to get a qso if you haven't worked him  yet.
All that said, I disagree that a failure to elicit a response to a "?" or  
"QRL" constitutes a grant of a frequency.  Call a quick CQ, and if a guy  comes 
on telling you "QRL QSY", do so.
After an uncontested CQ or two, then you have a pretty good claim to the  
73  -  Jim  K8MR
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