[CQ-Contest] HF operating and repeater coordination

Tom Frenaye frenaye at pcnet.com
Wed Mar 1 20:15:18 EST 2000

I think it will not be a "fun time" when we get to the point where HF 
operating is like repeater coordination.

In repeater coordination (in congested areas) there are no available 
frequencies.   They're all taken by those that arrived before you.  Your 
only option is to wait for a club or trustee to give up the frequency, move 
to another (usually higher) band, or operate an uncoordinated repeater (and 
often take the wrath of all of the others who were there before 
you).   Repeater users operate simplex and have a limited number of QSOs, 
or they use the existing repeaters and their channelization and talk to 
more people.  Repeater QSOs are often like contest QSOs, short and to the 
point because it is a shared channel.  For the most part it all works out, 
but it isn't pretty.

In HF operating there are no channels, no expectation of a QSO without 
QRM.   When someone wants to operate on 20m SSB, or 40cw, even on a contest 
weekend, there is room.  The new person has a right to operate on the band 
no matter how crowded it is.  Everyone adjusts.  Some change frequency, 
some change or turn antennas, some decide the QRM is too tough and change 
bands, some use higher power, some add filters.   There is never a time 
when a new signal on an HF band is one too many. (read that last sentence 
again)  Unlike repeaters and FM radios, HF radios and operators have lots 
of options, and have generally proven their skills by passing a more 
difficult license examination.  HF QSOs get shorter as the band gets more 
crowded.   Contests make the bands very crowded sometimes.  For the most 
part it all works out, but it isn't pretty either.

People quoting government rules don't help the discussion in my mind.  We 
don't need government involvement if most of us agree that we share the 
spectrum, that there is no guarantee of a QRM-free QSO, and act 
reasonable  towards each other.
					73 Tom

e-mail: frenaye at pcnet.com    YCCC --> http://www.yccc.org/
Tom Frenaye, K1KI, P O Box 386, West Suffield CT 06093 Phone: 860-668-5444

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