[CQ-Contest] Re: CQ Contest Digest V3 #45

K4SB k4sb at mindspring.com
Mon Feb 28 04:23:18 EST 2000

> Well now, that's not exactly correct.
> You see, if you get on the frequency of a non-contester, and the op
> complains, that is one thing.
> You can get in trouble.
> But if the non-contester just meekly moves on, well that is something
> else altogether.
> In a situation such as that, there is no fuss, no problem, and no
> longer any station interference.
> There really is a very big difference.
> ......................................................
> Bob Perring

You are making representations contrary to the FCC's
Hollingsworth. It matters not if you are in a QSO, in a Net, rag
chewing, or contesting. If you transmit on a frequency which is
in use, that is deliberate interference! Hollingworth made this
quite clear and to the point several months ago. And he also
added that operating within a range of frequencies near that
particular one ( for example, imagine some stupid DX net on
14235. If it is in operation and you plunk yourself down on
14234, you are in violation.

And I am quite surprised that so many do not seem to be aware of


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>From Leigh S. Jones" <kr6x at kr6x.com  Mon Feb 28 04:27:39 2000
From: Leigh S. Jones" <kr6x at kr6x.com (Leigh S. Jones)
Date: Sun, 27 Feb 2000 20:27:39 -0800
Subject: [CQ-Contest] Does might make right
References: <200002280151.UAA01404 at contesting.com>

One of the memorable quotes that has guided my contesting career came from
an MD/prominent contester in the 1960's decade.  I, being a contesting
neophyte, didn't note his callsign at the time.  He told a convention
audience in Los Angeles that the physical responses of a contester are every
bit the equal of an auto race driver -- for example, interfering signals
elicit an excited physical response equal to being bumped dangerously in a
race.  Personally, I try to hold my temper when I'm interfered with, but I
still find myself quite prepared to scream curses at times.

I've taped some of my contest operations in hopes of learning from the tapes
and keeping my contest sharpness between seasons by listening to the
cassettes in my car when I'm alone.  When I'm stationary, CQing on a fixed
frequency, I still get about two interlopers per 45 minute half of each
tape.  They begin CQing nearby in hopes of driving me off, then before
making 1-2 contacts they move directly on frequency and try to drive me away
by claiming that the frequency is QRL.  It's QRL indeed.  These tapes could
make good comedy at SCCC meetings, especially as the offending operators are
caught so clearly in their misbehavior.  If I had two cassette machines I
could edit them and show that some of the offending callsigns remain the
same year after year.  One of the callsigns who contributed comments on the
reflector regarding might-right "ethics" showed up doing this on the tape I
was listening to while driving to yesterday's SCCC meeting.  Today, I spent
some time listening in my car to the same tape just to make sure.  In all
fairness, I may have captured a second operator or a guest operator at his
station, but it looks more like PR spin -- an operator feigning innocence
for one of his habitual operator's flaws.

I do not view this sort of interference in the same light as many other
contesters; I'm more closely in alignment with K3ZO's statements, though I'm
about to boldly say things that Fred has a right to disagree with.

Here's my thinking:

1) We all would be angered if we were pushed, tackled, punched, shot, etc.,
by a stranger when involved with our individual innocent pursuits -- walking
along a street, sitting around home, etc.  We would want to take legal
action against the offender.  And yet, in football, boxing, and on the
battlefield, these types of behavior are the accepted norm.  To refrain from
pushing a potential tackler, tackling a ballcarrier, punching the opposing
boxer, or shooting the enemy would endanger your career.

2) When I arrive on a new band and must begin making contacts, I might call
someone who has been calling CQ.  If someone else calls him at that time, I
will attempt to be the first who he will answer.  To do so, by definition,
risks some degree of intentional interference.  Neither of us "owns" the
frequency, the CQ-er might feel that he does.  There is no accepted contest
ethic that says I must refrain from calling the CQ-er in order to avoid
possibly interfering with other calls.  All activity in contesting depends
upon an understanding that each has a perfect right to call.  This, by
definition, makes contesting a sort of a contact sport.  In a contest, the
decision to make calls of this sort should depend on my judgement as to the
effect of the activity on my overall score -- call him if he might add to my
score, don't call him if it's a waste of my time.

3) When I arrive on a new band and feel that I must call CQ in order to
maximize my overall score, I must not intentionally drive an operator off
the band.  However, I must also not be deflected from my goal by the simple
fact that the band will always be filled with signals from bottom to top
packed in more tightly than anyone in the contest is comfortable with.  No
one should be forbidden from calling CQ simply because the band is crowded.
Everyone who is contesting must accept the fact that the band will always be
too crowded for their tastes.  It simply is a fact of life.  So, I will look
for the widest space that I can find -- and hopefully my nearest neighbor
will not be W3LPL or W5WMU.  And I do not waste the whole contest away
waiting for a chance to find a 2 kHz wide hole on CW.  This is different
from intentionally vicitimizing low power operators.  Face it, absolutely
everyone who begins calling CQ will inconvenience his nearest neighbors, and
the more crowded the band is, the greater the inconvenience.

4) If you want to enjoy contesting, you must accept the notion that the band
is always going to be crowded and find a way to maintain a kind of zen
calmness.  Not to accept the crowding will quickly lead to disinterest in
contesting.  If you compare the band occupancy between contests with the
occupancy during contests, you quickly learn that 95%+ of all activity on
some bands takes place during contests.  Some bands, like 20M phone, will be
somewhat active during DX openings between contest, while some bands will
see almost no activity.  Simply put, the contest schedule dominates HF
amateur band occupancy, while DX-ing outside of contests takes a distant

5) If you are a contester, you will enjoy the contest more if you don't
immediately take the attitude that a competing CQ-er doesn't belong on the
band.  You will not enjoy the contest if you become angry every time that a
signal invades the slopes of your bandpass filter.  Contesting is a contact
sport -- we all have more fun when we make more contacts, so we all have
more fun when the band is more crowded.  If the world were filled with more
contesters, we might all be pushed down the spectrum to where local signals
are louder than distant ones.  Then the Massachusetts stations would work
all the Massachusetts stations right on top of the Virginia to Virginia
contacts that were ongoing, while 12 Hz up the band the Texas stations were
making contacts.  We'd all make more QSOs and have more fun.  But it
wouldn't be dainty.

6) If you are a 100W signal in the midwest, don't expect the East coast
multi-multi stations to let you call CQ alone for very long on the low end
of 20 phone on Saturday morning.  With their beams pointing at Europe, they
can barely hear you, even if you can hear them nicely.  The splatter they
can hear coming from some UA1 station up the band that you couldn't hear
even if you were tuned to the frequency is louder than you would be on the
East coast even if you both pointed your beams at each other.  If they land
directly on top of you, it's probably because that's where the hole is --
the hole you heard when you first started calling CQ.  Your job in the
contest is not to get mad and defend your frequency, it's to optimize your
score in the most practical way possible.

Football is not about the ethics of tackling, hockey is not about the ethics
of checking, boxing is not about the ethics of punching, war is not about
the ethics of the battlefield and contesting is not about the ethics of
holding a frequency.  Holding a frequency, if that is necessary for
optimizing your score, is accomplished by continuing to make contacts at
maximum speed despite the interference from interlopers.  If you find that
interlopers cut your contact rate too much, find some other way to optimize
your results.  Maybe you should be answering CQ's at a higher rate than your
CQ's can support.  Maybe you just need to change bands.  I imagine that I'm
saying that when you are CQ-ing, you are not in contact, and your contact
cannot be interfered with.

If you call CQ on 20 phone's low end during the CQWW, don't expecta dainty
time.  If the operator at an East coast multi-multi gives you dainty
treatment, he will not optimize his score, and he will not be invited back
to operate next contest.  Imagine a football team named the "dainty crew".
If you are operating a contest, don't expect that the band-ethics should be
the equal of the band-ethics of a contest.  Simply try to maintain high
ideals regarding your treatment of fellow contesters.

All of this might fly in the face of those who say that one should not steal
the frequency of another contester, and who make other high moral
pronouncements about the ethics of contesting.  The truth is that contesting
is filled with gray areas, and those who deny the gray areas are committing
a deception.  Contesters have to work the gray areas in the best interests
of their scores, and there is no shame in that.  I distrust any statement
making negative moral judgements regarding the ethics of finding and holding
a frequency.

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