[CQ-Contest] di-dit dit

Bob Naumann - N5NJ n5nj at gte.net
Wed Jul 26 04:49:25 EDT 2000

I have found my original " The Radio Amateur's Operating Manual "
published by the ARRL in 1972 which sheds some light on this mystery.

On page 18 begins a section on "General Operating Practices".

A paragraph entitled "Listen First" goes into how transmitting
*without* listening first for a brief period increases the likelihood
that you'll interfere with someone already using the frequency.  I'll
transcribe some of it here:

" If the frequency seems clear after a reasonable listening time, it
may be queried before a transmission is begun.  A voice operator may
turn on his transmitter and ask "is the frequency in use?"  On c.w. he
may ask "QRL ?"  or send the letters "IE."  If there is no answer he
can go ahead with a clear conscience.  A "standby"(voice), "E" or
"didahdididit" indicates the frequency is in use. "

In the appendix, it also says the following:

" IE (c.w. use only) Used to query an apparently unused channel.  It
means "is this frequency clear ?  May I transmit?"  The answer may be
"I" meaning "It is not now in use. Go ahead," or "E" meaning the
channel is busy.  Stand by or find another channel." "

I did not recall the meaning of "I" and can't imagine many
circumstances where you'd actually use it.

Later on, a curious statement is made in the "Contest Operating"
section in the paragraph entitled "Operating Practices".  It says:

"High-speed c.w. has no place in a contest.  A sensible, moderate
speed will get the information through the QRM with fewer repeats in
much less elapsed time than the fastest bug in North America."

Times change - eh?

Robert E. Naumann
N5NJ / V26O
N5NJ at arrl.net
Plano, TX  USA
ex KR2J, V26RN, W6V, WA2OVE

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