[CQ-Contest] Re: Bad practices identified

Scott Ellington sdelling at facstaff.wisc.edu
Fri Jul 21 10:47:52 EDT 2000

K9YO- Cedrick Johnson wrote:

> I agree.... BUT..... Not too many people seem to have the courtesy
> to even ask if the frequency's in use anymore....

On cw, at least, a couple "?", followed by "TEST (yourcall)" is the way some of
us check.  While we don't explicitly ask, we make these transmissions very short
and QSY at the first indication that the frequency is occupied.  Assuming you
are audible at my end, a single "dit" after my ? is sufficient.  This causes
LESS QRM than "QRL?", and often leads to a valid QSO.  We're NOT trying to steal
someone's frequency, and WILL QSY.  There are, sadly, those who blindly launch a
long CQ on any frequency that sounds quiet for more that a millisecond, often
when someone else is trying to pull a very weak station out of the noise. 

Sometimes, of course, it is impossible to respond to the initial "?" without
missing what you are trying to copy, which may give the false impression that
the frequency was clear.  We've all been on that end of things, so don't assume
the frequency is "yours" if you don't get an instant response.  (QSK helps a lot
here.)  On the other hand, if you've had time to make several QSO's before
someone squawks, I think you have a legitimate claim to the frequency.  There
is, of course, no way to tell if the delayed response was because a SO2R
operator was busy on the other radio, but that's life.


Scott  K9MA

Scott Ellington
Madison, Wisconsin   USA

sdelling at facstaff.wisc.edu

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