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

To: <cq-contest@contesting.com>
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] "?" not equal to "QRL?"
From: "Vladimir V. Sidorov" <vs_otw@rogers.com>
Reply-to: "Vladimir V. Sidorov" <vs_otw@rogers.com>
Date: Fri, 11 Aug 2006 06:19:27 -0500
List-post: <mailto:cq-contest@contesting.com>
>> I think the "?" has become the de facto standard
>> of asking if the frequency is in use.
> This is news to me.  I think it has become the "de facto standard" for
> *some* people.

This is not any kind of news for me and it is really de facto standard at 
least for me for contesting since 1969. To my honest suprise, it is not, for 
others. Besides, other things like IE, a single dot, etc, are also quite off 
consensus. It's quite pitty, because some common principes should apply.

The key question is, why do you make some noice on the freq before you CQ. 
If you are looking for an excuse for grabbing the freq, it is one thing 
(sorry to say so). And it's another story if you really want to check if the 
freq is in use. Then your aim has to be explicitly clear. In my case it goes 
like this: "?", then "?" again, then "QRL?" with 2-3 sec between them. If no 
reaction, the freq is mine.

There is another danger. The moment you ask QRL?, for others listening it 
turns to be clear, somebody has found a clear spot... And a crowd of people 
jumps to this freq immy starting CQing... Happened many times. That's the 
risk to be too polite...

Anyway, as it was mantionned already, common sense apply. Whatever you do, 
make sure, you will be understood.


Vladimir VE3IAE

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