[CQ-Contest] Frequency stealing

Fred Laun K3ZO aalaun at ibm.net
Wed Mar 1 21:33:01 EST 2000

At 09:31 AM 2/28/00 -0600, N5OT wrote:
>I would like to hear from Tree and Fred, both of whom get the highest
>respect from me, the answer to a simple black-and-white question:
>Is it okay for someone, who knows they have the resources (mental and
>hardware) to easily TAKE a frequency from another station who has a run
>going, to do so on purpose and with intent?

I'm glad I waited a while before I answered this one because there has been
a lot of interesting discussion that has continued for a few days.

Let me first repeat what I said earlier because I said it very precisely
and it says exactly what I mean:

"...the real question is: "How wide is the swatch of band that a station
who is runnning thinks he can lay claim to?  How close to his run frequency
can someone get before being told "QRL"? 

As my dear departed and deeply missed mentor W3GRF always said:  "It's a
listening contest as well as a sending contest."  One measure of contest
skill is the ability of a person to copy weak signals through heavy QRM.  I
reserve the right to decide for myself what bandwidth I need to run
stations successfully.  I don't allow someone else to make that decision
for me.  If someone considers themselves to be my equal in operating skill,
they should be able to put up with the same amount of QRM I'm willing to.
Therefore, I have two cardinal principles by which I handle this situation:

1.  I will NEVER use the term "QRL" when someone gets on or what I consider
too close to "my" run frequency.

2.  In return, I expect that nobody will ever use the term "QRL" to me.  I
do not believe it is ethical to try to influence a competitor's operating
decisions by communicating with him directly.

I believe I am capable of determining for myself whether a particular
frequency was obviously in use or not.  If notwithstanding the above
someone says "QRL" and then demonstrates that he was indeed using the
frequency (as defined above) by completing a QSO or otherwise demonstrating
obvious prior use of the frequency, I will move without further ado.

I state the above with the additional note that I never use narrow filters.
 I prefer to let the filters I was born with between my ears do most of the
work for me.  In CW contests the filters in both IF's of my FT-1000-MP are
set at 2.4 KHz.  In SSB contests, the filter in one IF is set at 6.0 KHz
and the other at 2.4 KHz.  So if I'm not bothered, nobody else should be."

Will I deliberately call CQ zero-beat with a station who was obviously
already running stations or was obviously calling CQ there before me?  No.

Now let me say that I have been contesting since 1952 and I can't recall
that we ever discussed such matters at meetings or conventions until
European rag chewers invented  the "QRL?" business in about 1975.  I grew
up (a ham since age 14) believing that one of the strengths of Amateur
Radio was that we were very efficient in using spectrum space.  Indeed, we
are the only radio service not assigned fixed frequencies because we have
learned to tolerate and co-exist with QRM and the authorities realize that
we are willing to tolerate QRM in return for the privilege of being given
the felxibility to move at will around the various bands we are assigned.
Were we to insist on QRM-free communications and thereby have the
authorities channelize us in return, I am sure that all of us would find
Amateur Radio a much less interesting sport.  I agree with one high-level
ARRL official who remarked to me at an international IARU Conference we
were attending that the 2 meter FM era has made many of today's amateurs
far less tolerant of QRM than amateurs were in earlier times.  So many of
us have become accustomed to crystal-clear communications on our local FM
repeaters that we believe such clarity is the norm and should be possible
everywhere we operate.

K4SB says: "If a station is in
communications and you interfere with him, that's deliberate. And
Riley has clearly stated that."

Not so, my friend.  One must prove INTENT to interfere.  In starting a CQ
run on a new frequency, my INTENT is to make QSOs in the contest, not to
interfere with anybody.   

K4SB continues: "My thoughts are that a definitive list of calls is
emerging which
will be written down and posted."

That's fine with me.  I would be delighted to have Riley Hollimgsworth sit
next to me for an entire 48-hour contest and I am certain I would be given
a clean bill of health in all respects.

73, Fred, K3ZO

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>From Leigh S. Jones" <kr6x at kr6x.com  Thu Mar  2 03:22:40 2000
From: Leigh S. Jones" <kr6x at kr6x.com (Leigh S. Jones)
Date: Wed, 01 Mar 2000 19:22:40 -0800
Subject: [SCCC] California Senate Bill SB 1714 [CQ-Contest] New 75' Antenna
 limitation proposed for 24 million people
References: <Version.32.20000301141940.00e27540 at filter.xontech.com>
Message-ID: <064001bf83f6$911f3c00$ede3c23f at kr6x.org>

<< Note from the list manager - I think this thread should QSY to the
antenna / tower forum. >>

It seems here that the opinions regarding California Senate Bill SB 1714
have become split into two camps: those who live in localities with
restrictive ordinances preventing them from erecting antennas of reasonable
height, and those who have become comfortable with the present state of
affairs because they presently are allowed to erect antennas much higher
than 75 feet.

In case the reader is not aware, there is no new proposal for a 75' antenna
limitation.  The title being circulated on the CQ-Contest reflector for this
thread is a severe distortion of the proposed new law.

I'd like to voice an angry note of disapproval regarding this distortion
with a heavily cynical voice.  It could be that the opposition heard on the
reflector comes from the small but vocal group of the "haves" in a "haves
vs. have nots" struggle.  Those living in counties where 100'+ tall towers
are now the norm claim to feel threatened by the mere possibility that
limits below their antenna heights might be discussed by lawmakers.

The proposed new law would protect amateurs from excessive regulation.  It
would be a statewide ban on local laws that impose unresonable limits on
antenna heights.

I live in a locality where one such limit has been allowed to stand by the
courts.  And, oddly, the California Senate Bill now proposed might fail to
lift the restrictions here.  Here is how it works.  In this locality, all
antenna structures higher than 35 feet are required to go through a formal
building permit process, but limits on antennas below 35 feet only exist
where deed restrictions are responsible.  Now, 98 % of the homes around here
have such deed restrictions, because one group of builders (all owned by one
corporation) built nearly all of the homes.  It just so happens that one
corporate interest dominates City Hall.

The building permit for my home was issued by afformentioned City Hall at a
price of $6.00.  The price of applying for an antenna permit for a 36 foot
tall antenna here is $3000.00.  Antenna permits applied for by amateur radio
operators are all routinely rejected by afformentioned City Hall.  No reason
for rejection is required on the part of City Hall nor is a reason ever
offered.  One recourse, and one recourse only is available to the amateur
who has lost $3000.00 on such a rejection.  His only recourse is to again
pay $3000.00 and await another certain rejection.  The local amateur radio
population is up in arms about this, but the courts have allowed the present
state of affairs to continue because the issues have never been clearly
stated before an impartial judge.  Oh, by the way, 80-120 foot tall antennas
for cellular telephones are routinely granted here, and, when not erected on
residential property they are exempted from the $3000 application fee.

Unless protection is afforded to amateur radio operators and other users of
antennas against such unreasonable laws, unreasonable laws such as these
will become universal, and all ham radio operators worldwide will be forced
to operate with stealth antennas.  Now, I admit that there is no way for
existing structures to be forced down from the sky by new laws.  But more
and more municipalities are enacting excessively restrictive legislation.

Against the new proposal, there is a vocal group of hams on the reflector
complaining that if the county in which they reside were to enact a new law
banning antennas above 75 feet simply because the state allows it, then they
couldn't move elsewhere within their county and erect a new group of 4-5 120
foot tall antennas.  I'm not convinced that the real motive isn't simply
that they are intent on maintaining their own competitive advantage by
helping to prevent the rest of the contesters from ever erecting antennas of
reasonable height.

I'm here to announce that unless a law similar to the proposed California
Senate Bill is soon enacted by the government of your state or country that
soon all amateur radio antennas worldwide will be legislated out of
existence at the local level somehow.  Local governments everywhere are
becoming dominated by groups of home builders who are working to put forth
their legislative agenda.  Home builders see amateur radio antennas in new
tracts as a threat to their ability to sell their product.  Since the
1970's, nationally only a tiny fraction of new homes built have allowed
antennas of any sort by deed restriction.  Imagine a world of the future in
which the amateur radio population suddenly blossoms, but all of the
amateurs are forced into the 2-3% of homes nationwide that are free of such
deed restrictions, and even in these areas the antenna height limitations
are similar to my locality.

Go to their web sites and see what the legislative agendas proposed by
statewide leagues of cities really are.  You will be astounded.  You see,
when one is not an amateur radio operator, one has no interest in defending
the right of another who is a ham to erect an antenna.  In fact, if a
nationwide law completely banning all amateur radio activity and rescinding
all amateur radio licenses were to be placed on the ballot today, that would
be the end of amateur radio in the United States.  We all need protection
for our personal freedoms, and amateur radio is presently our most
endangered of personal freedoms.

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