[CQ-Contest] Clear Frequency?

Martin Luther luther at mail.mdt.net.au
Wed Jul 26 02:36:09 EDT 2000

Wow, there are a lot of guys who are operating on a completely different
band to me. I think the last time I had a clear frequency in a contest was
when I called CQ on a dead band!

The theoretical rubbish spouted on this subject clashes with my 30 plus
years of contesting experience.

There is no such thing as a clear frequency in a contest. There are
frequencies that you can operate on and frequencies you can't. Your
decision. I have spent years moving my puny "400watts at the end of the
earth" a few cycles up and down to keep going on a run. QRM is a fact of
life. Having "my" frequency "stolen" is also a fact of life. I frequently
lose a report or call as someone else comes on the frequency to QRL, CQ,
tell me I'm QRM'ing them 3KHz up etc

That is contesting if you want it to be different go and be a rag-chewer or
just operate on the DX nets.

More often than not there are two runs going on the same frequency. We only
find out as propogation changes.

An example from last years CQWW. I am running europe on phone above 28.6.
Rates have been good, between 100/200 per hour for three hours. Propogation
begins to change. I can still maintain about a 100. The propogation moves
some more and I can now hear that I am sharing the frequency with K1AR. Who
was there first? Me probably! Would I have heard his QRL, CQ ? or high
powered belch on the frequency? No of course not. My propogation continued
to weaken......Damn you John your frequency Hi!  I head off for some S&P and
then 20M.

Of course if I had an axe to grind I would curse the damn illegal operators
with high power and big antennas ( I don't know if John was SO2R - I was). I
do know that John is one damn fine op and would not do anything knowingly to
muck up my frequency.

I love it when someone comes on from Europe or USA and tells me I am causing
them QRM and will I QSY. I wouldn't be there if I couldn't stand their QRM.
What they are telling me is :-
1 - I am strong into that target area
2 - They are not as good an operator as I am
3 - I am worrying them. If I keep going they will probably give up first
(I am assuming I know my signal is clean)

My usual response is NO - CQ Test.......some people then take it as a
personal insult that I will not agree to their "reasonable" request and do
silly things like deliberately QRMing my signal. Fortunately they are few
and far between. That is when SO2R is very powerful, I can continue to make
QSO's on the other radio while waiting for that frequency to clear up again.

QSYing also attracts what we used to call LIDS. In IARU I was doing a lot of
QSY's with the WRTC guys. One US station though he was real smart but only
showed he was not listening:
WRTC guy can we work you on CW?
ME roger give me a freq and call me
WRTC 21.045
ME Roger Call me there

I paused for breath and there was a station calling CQ on my frequency. Now
clearly this was one of the anti SO2R guys because he did not understand how
we operate and I just resumed my pile up while I waited for the WRTC to
appear on the second radio. I had clearly indicated that the QSYing station
should call me. There was no need for me to leave my frequency just yet. In
the event the phone pile would not even have noticed when I made the CW
contact. Perhaps I just seemed a shade slow in getting a call out of the

On another occasion we had some trouble making the QSY meet up. I had to
leave my calling freq and lost it to someone else. That's also a fair call.

Before raving away on this reflector it would be better if some people
actually learned how to be a contest operator first before telling the rest
of us how devilishly devious and immoral we are! I have been using SO2R for
more than 20years. It is the only way I can deal with the lack of
propogation that I get at some times with my "puny signal from the ends of
the earth". I therefore resent the implication that somehow I am immoral,
illegal or just fattening!

Finally I will not stand silent while my beloved contesting is attacked in
an effort to water down the challenge or make it easier for those I consider
lazy and indolent to match wits with me.

I like the way it is and I will fight to keep it that way. I love mixing it
with the likes of Fred ZO who has the greatest ears on the planet, Jim ZD8Z
almost as far from me as you can get, W3 Loud Persistent and Likeable,  and
all the other great ops in the world. I can never beat them into the boxes
in the mags but oh do I have fun trying.

If you think anything in this email complimented you then you may be right.
If you think anything in this email insulted you then you may be right. In
either case don't bother me with your phobias!


Martin VK5GN

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