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Re: [CQ-Contest] SSB in CW band

To: "'CQ Contest Reflector'" <cq-contest@contesting.com>
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] SSB in CW band
From: "Ron Notarius W3WN" <wn3vaw@verizon.net>
Date: Tue, 31 Oct 2006 11:28:39 -0500
List-post: <mailto:cq-contest@contesting.com>
Hmmm.  One last comment:  I'm not saying "go away."  (Although, isn't that
what some of the others in this discussion HAVE said to people who object to
contesters dominating a given band to the exclusion of anything else?  Can't
have it both way gang!)

I'm saying "find another way."  Yes, 40 is overcrowded on a contest weekend.
The band changes coming in the next few years will alleviate that, but it
will still be overcrowed.  That gives us the rights to do... what?  Be
creative?  Find a whole?  Work on our stations and antennas to give us an
edge, to find a way to work around the broadcasters?  Certainly.

But does that give us the right to trample on other users?

One can argue (and some have) that the non-contesters should just shut up
and go elsewhere.  Do we really have a moral, ethical, and/or legal right to
do that?  Because if we think we do, then the non-contesters will counter
that they have just as much of a right to try and push us aside.  Is that
really what we want?

One can argue (and some have) that certain types of QSO's don't belong on a
particular band anyway.  Well, on any given day & time, maybe 80 or 30 or 20
is a better day to communicate between Point A and Point B... but on another
given day, that band will be 40.  And who are we to tell someone they can't
use the band?  Let me be very clear... I'm not saying that it's "OK" for a
long-standing sked or net to suddenly show up without warning, plop down on
"their" frequency, and claim it as theirs.  They will have to jostle for a
clear frequency just like we do.  That's the nature of "first come first
served."  But it's equally just as wrong for someone working split to
designate an existing QSO or net frequency as their "listening" frequency,
and just as wrong for people calling that station to transmit with listening
first... and I feel that way be it a contest operation or a DXpedition to
The Most Rare One In History.

We keep dancing around the real issue.  Why do suggested band plans exist?
Because of normally expected daily amateur operating practices, as has been
suggested?  OK, fine.  But does that mean we throw out a band plan when it's
inconvenient to us?  When it gets in our way?  And our justification for
dumping a band plan is what, because the band was crowded, and we think our
contest operating is more important than someone else's QSO?  Isn't that the
very definition of arrogant presumption?

I'm not saying "go away."  I'm saying that pushing aside any other users
because WE don't feel that THEY have the rights to operate as they choose,
in a part of the band where generally accepted operating practices is in
contrast with the operating of that particular contest, is bad amateur
practices.  It's unethical.  It's poor sportsmanship.  It's the arrogance of
the schoolyard bully who wants to make the rules up for his or her
convenience at the time and to hell with everyone else.

THAT is what I think is wrong.

But since I have the impression that I'm well in the minority here, this is
my last word on the subject.  I can't stop some of you.  I can't even
persuade some of you to think about this without being told off or finding
myself pigeonholed into extreme positions I don't maintain.

Just remember Pogo's immortal words when the hammer finally does come down
and the restrictions are imposed on all of us because a few of us feel they
have no limits.


-----Original Message-----
From: Kelly Taylor [mailto:ve4xt@mts.net]
Sent: Tuesday, October 31, 2006 6:43 AM
To: Ron Notarius W3WN; 'CQ Contest Reflector'
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] SSB in CW band

To me, the truth lies somewhere between Joe's and Ron's viewpoints.

Joe isn't advocating trampling on anybody, merely saying that an open
frequency is by definition, open. If nobody's using it, why can't he? If
someone else wants to stake their claim first, by starting a ragchew or
whatever, then Joe will have to find somewhere else. Isn't that your point,

Where Joe's position gets a little dicey is when his pileup gets too wide
and starts elbowing other users out of the way. He can't be held responsible
for his callers' inabilities to set their VFO properly, but it does speak to
why a run station can generate ill will at times toward contesters,
particularly amongst non-contesters who think they're adhering to the

However, the net result of Ron's viewpoint is this: if you can't find a
space according to the bandplan, go away.

That's a little too extreme, in my view. I don't think we want to get into
the business of telling any amateur that he has to go fishing instead of
using a frequency that's perfectly open, perfectly accessible under the
rules of his licence.

High levels of activity are a good thing. To think otherwise is to begin to
write the epitaph for amateur radio.

Also, to restrict access to 40 meters because the frequencies allotted under
the band plan aren't available, while leaving swaths untouched, only
provides argumentative fodder for those who would argue against expanding 40
meters. Is that what we want?

73, kelly
----- Original Message -----
From: "Ron Notarius W3WN" <wn3vaw@verizon.net>
To: "'CQ Contest Reflector'" <cq-contest@contesting.com>
Sent: Monday, October 30, 2006 11:07 PM
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] SSB in CW band

> Joe, your reply truly saddens me.  But I will give you this much credit;
> unlike many of the others who seem to feel as you do, at least you will
> stand up (metaphorically speaking) and say so publicly.
> It is obvious that I'm not going to convince you otherwise.  The day may
> come that the contest rules do get changed, or worse more and more
> administrations impose by law band plans because some of us couldn't abide
> by voluntary band plans in any form.  I hope it doesn't, but I can see it
> happening.
> What is really unfortunate is that the voluntary band plans were developed
> by amateurs in other countries as guidelines so as to avoid unneeded
> governmental regulation.  What you are saying is that since there's no
> regulation, you can ignore the band plan.  Not only do you thus invite
> and further regulation or re-regulation, but (IMHO) you thus choose not to
> use good amateur practices.
> Must ethics be legislated to be self-enforced?
> Now, I was ready to shoot back a lengthy rebuttal, but outside of these
> remarks, I'm not going to bore the others on the reflector.  I think my
> views by now should be pretty clear.  So out of curiousity, let me ask you
> something:
> Have you ever been trampled on by people participating in a contest that
> you're not?
> I had it happen to me.  I'll spare you the details.  Suffice to say, it
> me a slightly jaundiced view of the lengths that some will go to, to make
> one more "new" one.
> And with that, I will let your words speak for themselves.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Joe Subich, W4TV [mailto:w4tv@subich.com]
> Sent: Monday, October 30, 2006 8:36 PM
> To: 'Ron Notarius W3WN'; 'CQ Contest Reflector'
> Subject: RE: [CQ-Contest] SSB in CW band
> > 2.  My analogy is flawed?  Hmmm.  40 is taken over by
> > contesters, so if you don't want to contest, go to another band.
> > That's not "another route through town," to play on the analogy,
> > that's "another town."
> Yes, your analogy is flawed.  Another band is not "another town"
> it's another road, perhaps a road less traveled, but another
> road to making QSOs.  In the case of 40, if you're looking for
> domestic QSOs, 80 is a good alternate, if a somewhat longer path
> is your thing 30 meters is generally better than 40 any time.
> > Joe, I think it's very clear that you believe that if it's
> > not prohibited by law, it's allowed, that might makes right,
> > that anything goes if it's not illegal.
> Absolutely, if it is not prohibited by law it is permitted.  Laws
> are made to provide objective rules that apply equally to everyone.
> Your "bandplans" say if I want to contest and the rest of the band
> is full up with broadcasters and 5,000 contesters, I can't do it on
> 7022 but if I want to rag chew with some 5 WPM Extra across town
> using a KW I can?  That's absurd.
> If you want to prohibit a behavior for "the greater good" convince
> your bleeding heart regulators to make the behavior illegal.
> > And thus, you are one of the examples of what the non-contesters
> > are complaining about.  I'm sorry to have to say that; frankly, I
> > thought better of you.
> Non-contesters have no more right to preferential access to a
> frequency than SSTV does to 14.230 or Jack Gerritsen had to the
> VHF/UHF and pubic service spectrum on the West Coast.  Amateur
> frequencies are not "assigned channels" like the commercial
> service - they are there on a first come first served basis.  I'm
> not advocating intentional interference and never will but if a
> frequency I'm licensed to use is open and I'm looking for a "hole"
> in the band, you'd better believe I'll use it and not leave it for
> someone else who might be engaged in a different kind of amateur
> activity.
> There is nothing wrong with that behavior and any non-contester who
> can't understand the concept of first come first served has not
> read the back of his/her license recently.
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