Why park on the band edge?

Keith Morehouse - W9RM blckhole at ripco.com
Mon Nov 11 11:19:51 EST 1996

Bill Turner wrote:
> Can someone explain why anyone would want to operate on the lower band
> edge in a phone contest?

Nobody can squeeze in below to QRM you...

Although I've pushed it down to .202 on 15 meters and STILL had guys get
in there below me - jeeze...crummy east coasters !

PROBE ELECTRONICS 100 Higgins Road, Park Ridge IL 60068 USA
Keith J. Morehouse /  W9RM  / Society of Midwest Contesters
847-696-2828  FAX: 847-698-2045  e-mail: blckhole at ripco.com

>From aa4lr at radio.org (Bill Coleman AA4LR)  Mon Nov 11 16:40:40 1996
From: aa4lr at radio.org (Bill Coleman AA4LR) (Bill Coleman AA4LR)
Date: Mon, 11 Nov 96 12:40:40 -0400
Subject: Auto-speed CW
Message-ID: <961011123831.MAA24456 at gate.iterated.com>

>From:        Greg Becker, na2n at ifam.com
>Tree wrote:
>> Or this - "Should I get on and work some guys in the contest?  They
>> are sending so fast.  Let me call one, WOW! he QRSed to my speed the
>> first time!  I don't have to feel bad about asking him to repeat his
>> exchange and take up his time.  This is fun!  Let me see who else
>> I can work".
>Hmmm...  seems to me that a simpler, less-subject-to-controversy
>solution would be what I learned to do:
>- CQ at a speed (eg. 30 wpm) that most everyone can get your call after 
>a time or two. With all these wonderful "new" 1x2s, this shouldn't be

I think this is part of the problem. You are assuming that neophyte 
contesters can "get" a call sent at 30 wpm. I'm here to tell you this is 
incorrect. Getting the callsign of a fast CW station is probably the 
hardest part for a slow CW op. The exchange is slightly more predictable. 
The callsign could be just about anything. 

>IMHO, the time
>by slowing down for a few dozen Qs will far overbalance the time lost by 
>numerous repeats and contacts never made because "he was just sending
>too fast".

Let's apply this principle further. While there may be time lost in 
slowing down, you have to weight that against the time spent CQing 
unproductively at 20-30 wpm or more. Perhaps the entire solution is just 
to slow down below 20 wpm when things start to get slow. That should 
entice a new "layer" of operator.

I think Tree's idea is interesting, but I don't know if it helps. 
Realistically, as a slow-poke CW op, if I hear someone clipping along 
with a CQ at 40+ wpm, I just skip them. How am I to know he'll slow down 
to my speed? I'll have enough trouble copying his call.

Further, if I think someone is going too fast for me to copy the 
exchange, I'll send AA4LR QRS. That just about always works. Sometimes 
I'm wrong, and I get bulluxed up copying the exchange and have to ask for 
QRS after the first try. (Happened once this SS) Most of the time, I 
don't have to even ask for QRS. If a fast op hears me calling at 18 wpm 
(the fastest speed I can accurately send with my paddles), they usually 
slow down a bit anyway.

Now, I'm not intimidated by high-speed CW (I just can't copy it) -- but 
think how the more casual operator must feel. The trick is to get someone 
to stick to CW contesting long enough to get proficient in CW. 

As for SS, I did find some slow-speed ops at the high end of 40m who were 
going TOO slow for ME to feel comfortable. So, there was slow-speed stuff 
to be had.

Bill Coleman, AA4LR           Mail: aa4lr at radio.org
Quote: "Not in a thousand years will man ever fly!"
            -- Wilbur Wright, 1901

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