I think the "?" has become the de facto standard of asking if the frequency
is in use. Like most guys, I send a quick "C" and if I missed the exchange
I send the calling stations call with a fill request. If I've just finished
the Q and I hear the "?" I send a "CQ W4ZW" rather than just dumping my
call so the "?" guy knows this is my run frequency.
My gripe has always been with the SO2R op who is off on the 2d radio
probably trying to break a pile up and returns after I've already worked 1
or 2 stations and tells me the frequency is QRL and proceeds to tell me that
he's been running on this frequency for the last two hours. (usually a
European) Most often than not, I say "SRI" and continue to run. For that
rare bird who insists on dueling CQ's with me, if I can't continue to run I
just move. Life's too short not to have fun contesting.
My two cents.
Jon Hamlet, W4ZW
Casey Key Island, Florida
"A little piece of paradise in the Gulf of Mexico"
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