I believe that blindly sending ? on what appears to be a quiet frequency,
without first listening for some tens of seconds is simply ROTTEN OPERATING.
I'm at ZD8Z running Eastern Europe, and get a call from a weak JT in Zone
23. I really want to hear and copy the JT. Just as I'm about to have a
clear shot at his callsign, your W3XXX - who has a S9 signal into ZD8 - and
who doesn't (1) know that I've been running the frequency for hours, as for
a few seconds I'm not transmitting, and only now trying to hear the JT, and
(2) W3XXX cannot begin to hear the JT, because of propagation, or has his
beam towards South America, or whatever.
Finally the "WE NEVER STOP CALLING Europeans" do stop, just for a second.
I'm about to finally copy the JT, and here comes W3XXX with his big, fat ?.
End result, the JT is gone, I'm never sure I have his call 100%, so he
doesn't go in my log and I miss a critical double mult.
Just because a frequency might sound unoccupied in YOUR narrow slice of the
world, it does not mean it's not loaded by others on the other side of the
world. And all your offensive ? has accomplished is to cause interference
to ongoing QSO's that you cannot hear.
The above example is similar to what I experience in every contest, and its
not a whole lot of fun.
please please please LISTEN LISTEN LISTEN before you try and impress the
rest of us with your transmitting prowess.
Jim Neiger N6TJ
----- Original Message -----
From: "Barry" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Friday, August 11, 2006 6:06 AM
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] "?" not equal to "QRL?"
> It surprises me that this topic has generated as much comment as it
> has. This isn't brain surgery. This is common sense and courtesy. To
> me, a simple ? is certainly enough to get across the point someone's
> asking if the frequency is clear. Remember, CW contesting is the land
> of cut numbers - the briefer the better.
> If I stumble across a quiet frequency I send a ? I wait at least
> several nanoseconds (joke here for the humor impaired) and if no
> response, I typically sent TEST W2UP. At that point if the only
> response is quiet or someone calling me, it's my frequency. If I hear
> someone sending TU W3XXX or NR AGN or TEST W3XXX, I assume the frequency
> WAS in use (and either I didn't hear the response or W3XXX was trying to
> copy the full callsign of HB0/DL1XXX/P/QRP and couldn't respond) and I
> move on. If, after I've made 3 QSOs, someone tries to tell me the freq
> is in use, that's too bad for them. They were gone too long to reclaim
> the frequency. If they are louder than me and know it, they might win
> Of course, there are always a few badasses that don't believe in
> courtesy and will just try to muscle their way in. That's a different
> Barry W2UP
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