[CQ-Contest] QRM and bad signals.

K3BU at aol.com K3BU at aol.com
Tue Oct 31 09:30:44 EST 2000

In a message dated 10/31/2000 7:36:49 AM Eastern Standard Time, 
ve4xt at mb.sympatico.ca writes:

>  I think it is particularly instructive that no complaints about QRM -- 
> nada, zippo, zilch -- come from the upper echelons of contesting. I have 
> never heard any of the regularly winning ops complain even one whisper 
> QRM.

Here is the complaint from one of the OF of Contesting:

There is QRM and there is QRM.
    One is the "Contest QRM" from contesting signals caused by operators 
being "aggressive". I mean squeezing in to gain frequency, etc. No problem 
with that, comes with the "territory" and the heat of the battle.

    The other QRM is from bad signals. Signals that are overcompressed to 
unintelligibility (you can hear the Godzilla amp turbo blowers and cows 
outside louder than the operator himself). 
There is a simple check: press your PTT, don't say a word and watch the 
output meter, if it shows full power or more than about 5% deflection, you 
have too much audio gain, makes you sound horrible and you ARE QRMing 
yourself and others, slowing your rate down. There were some signals that 
were pinning the meter and you couldn't understand the "contester." (UBN 
    Another source of really illegal QRM is overdriven amplifiers, causing 
splatters, rough and wide signal (check your local license specification for 
the bandwidth you are allowed to transmit on SSB, it is NOT 5 or 10 kHz.) The 
simple check for overdriven amplifier is to keep increasing the drive from 
the exciter up to the point where there is no increase in output and back off 
below the point where you start decreasing the output. Better way of course 
is to use the scope or other more "scientific" means. (Too much Heil-ing 
going on? Tone controls set to higher pitch, making the audio too "punchy" to 
the point where it gets annoying?)
    There were some signals on 10m that were 25 kHz wide, one clown was 
scratching all over the band, I couldn't even find "his" frequency. We put so 
much effort into antennas and radios and don't care how we sound? It does not 
mean that if you turn all the knobs fully CW, that you have the best and 
loudest signal on the band. Just spend some time checking your rigs, make 
sure that your amplifiers ARE LINEAR (not class C, make sure you have proper 
idling current for linear class amp) and your audio and compression is set 
properly. All it takes is to get the "radio check" from your friend!
    Having wide signal is against the licensing and contest rules and reason 
for disqualification. Some people would try to back off or correct the 
problem when notified, some would just go: "Thanks, QRZ contest!" and keep 
going (hey, I got clear channel 10 kHz wide!), spewing garbage on the band 
and giving bad name to contesters. Maybe it is time to do some recording of 
offenders and if they do not shape up, just use the disqualification stick. 
Another reason I love CW more and more!

    Another "trick" used by some stations is "owning" the frequency. Goes 
like this: You find the frequency that is reasonably clear. Ask QRL? Nothing. 
You start working, get the run going. Then comes the previous "owner" and 
says: "Please QSY, this frequency is used!!!"  ??? You try to say, I was here 
for a while and I didn't hear anyone. The "owner" says: "I have been here for 
hours!! CQ Contest...."  (Must be one of them two radio - packetted ops!) 
This time I lost the fist fight (had only two verticals in the mud), but next 
time I will not be stomped on! You went to chase that multiplier, you don't 
answer to QRL?, "your" frequency is a history!
    Besides, have some of you "owners" thought that if you monopolize the 
frequency for the whole contest, that only so many of you can fit on the band 
and many potential champs will get turned off if they can't find a spot to 
have their little CQ for a while. I never worked 5A1A who I heard calling 
stations and he probably couldn't find a spot to call his own CQs.

    Looks like we need some clarification and action by the CC (time to have 
some "retired" contesters to be CC signal inspectors?), before the things get 
really ugly. Their calls could be made known and when they would notify the 
station about the bad and illegal signal, they could be taken more seriously, 
rather than someone thinking that we are trying to shut them up. (Distinction 
here from someone using Eico 753 as a "signal monitor" :-)
Some people just don't get it. We are supposed to be self policing, 
gentlemanly and above all - have fun. Some seem to push the envelope wrong 
way. Lets try to keep it sane and fun for everyone, don't poison it for the 
newcomers, you need them for points!
    Remember: Your signal is your "picture." Keep it clean. We can fit many 
more clean signals on the band than the mushy and dirty ones!

Thanks for all them "clean" points on 10m. Some of you sounded terrific, some 
"sounded" like garbage trucks. 

Yuri, K3BU
been QRMed as N2 Echoooe Echooooe from the Cape
and who keeps wondering:
Why do we need ZERO points for our own country rule in CQ WW anymore?

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