[CQ-Contest] Secrets of Contesting - ID'ing, etc.

Robert Shohet kq2m at earthlink.net
Sun Feb 1 14:26:02 EST 2004


Probably the MAJOR reason why people say "Call"? or "QRZ"? or "Again"? or
something like that immediately after you (or any other station) sent your
callsign is the following:

1) Someone called early (intentionally or unintentionally) and covered you
2) Someone intentionally tuned on you and covered you up.
3) Someone who is spiteful, intentionally transmitted on you while you were
giving your call
    and deliberately covered you up.
4) Weather static - rain, snow, etc.
5) General solar QRN
6) Line noise
7) Auroral Buzz
8) Splatter from a station right near your freq.
9) Splatter from a station within groundwave of the caller (and maybe
several hundred khz away)
10) Flutter which "ate" part of your callsign
11) Ragchewers, nets, illegal cb'ers, etc transmitting on or near your freq.
that you can't hear
12) Distractions within the shack
13) Noise from appliances used in the house of the caller, or nearby houses
14) "One way" skip
15) Any of 100 other good reasons.
16) The caller is impatient.
17) The caller has a twisted sense of fun and enjoys giving you a hard time.

So, just off the top of my head, I can come up with more than a dozen good
reasons why this seems to happen so often to you, but only two reasons why
it shouldn't.  Good operating practices and frequent id'ing should hold #15
to the minimum possible, whatever that might be.

However, in the case of the clueless or selfish (or both) DX stations that
ID several times PER HOUR, each caller that has been paying attention, KNOWS
that they only have one chance to get that call in the next 5, 10, maybe 15
minutes and that creates a FRENZY when any of #1-16 occurs on the "One shot
deal" ID.

Please note:  While it is UNLIKELY that you will be aware of most of these
occurrences - that doesn't mean that it isn't happening to other people.
They are doing the RIGHT THING by asking for your callsign again even if you
perceive it as inconvenient or annoying.

I happen to personally believe that asking for the call is the right thing
to do even though it may occasionally irritate the DX station.  Of course,
the more often a DX station gives their call, the more often I will hear it
and the less often I will need to ask.  Certainly, that is better than
calling the DX station without knowing who it is, but OFTEN, YES, OFTEN, the
only way you can get the attention *** and the callsign ***of some DX
stations is to WORK THEM and THEN ASK FOR THEIR CALL!  That's quite an
absurdity, but often quite necessary, ESPECIALLY on SSB.  South American's
as a group, seem to be the worst offenders.

Although I am getting a bit off topic here, most of the "reasons" offered as
to why stations do not ID more often are just rationalizations for operator
laziness and poor skill.  I know many great ops who have had  300+ hours on
SSB and have given their callsign AT LEAST ONCE PER MINUTE! if not after
almost every qso.

If you are a US station and every major DX contest experience consists of
numerous battles to get DX stations to "surrender" their callsign "without a
fight", you would have a much different understanding of this
process than from your perspective of running a US pileup.

This is not meant as a criticism, but rather as many observations drawn from
30 years of contests from the US end of the pileup - which I try to keep in
perspective whenever I am DX.

Bob KQ2M

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