[CQ-Contest] Secrets of Contesting, Chapter 14

Kenneth E. Harker kharker at cs.utexas.edu
Mon Feb 2 10:15:05 EST 2004

On Sun, Feb 01, 2004 at 10:44:53AM -0600, Kelly Taylor wrote:
> Jim's admonition about not calling unless you know the ID of the station
> you're calling only reiterates one of the fundamental principles of on-air
> behaviour, contesting or otherwise. That it has generated such opposition is
> astounding.
> Jumping into a pileup when you don't know who you're calling is wrong. It's
> called interference. It's made no less wrong by the perceived sin of not
> IDing frequently. Two wrongs don't make a right.

Maybe I wasn't clear in my assertion that calling and asking for a 
callsign is the right thing for a contester to do when faced with a 
non-IDing station.  What I have in mind is something like the following:

(VP7DX has not given a callsign for some time)
VP7DX: Thanks.
VP7DX: WM5R, 59 Thirteen
WM5R: Thanks, I need your callsign, 59 Four
VP7DX: QSL, VP7DX Contest.
This isn't interference.  At most, you might suggest that it adversely 
affects the DX station's rhythm a little bit, but even then it's hard 
to see how it could really be so painful to the DX station.

Sending "Call?" or "What is your call?" or sending a question mark on 
CW isn't helpful in any way, but sending your full callsign, in the 
proper order of the QSO sequence, without knowing the other station's 
call (or not knowing the callsign suffix or not being entirely sure of 
the callsign because of QRM or QRN) can be an appropriate action for 
any contester who wants to maximize _their_ rate, too.

The above, done confidently and smoothly by a contester is certainly 
less painful to the DX station than working a stammering ragchewer or 
inexperienced DXer who gives his callsign and his exchange twice and 
tells the DX how glad he is to work him, asks for his QSL route, etc.

> The best advice is this: if the DX isn't IDing frequently enough, get over
> it. You aren't going to change his ways no matter how many CL? or "Your
> call?" you fire at him.

I don't think anyone believes that sending queries like that over 
the air is useful.  Just send your full callsign in the proper 
sequence and ask for the callsign when you send your exchange. 

> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Kenneth E. Harker" <kharker at cs.utexas.edu>
> To: "CQ Contest" <cq-contest at contesting.com>
> Sent: Saturday, January 31, 2004 11:08 AM
> Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] Secrets of Contesting, Chapter 14
> > On Fri, Jan 30, 2004 at 11:19:01PM -0800, James Neiger wrote:
> > >
> > > Secrets of Contesting, Chapter 14
> >
> > ...
> >
> > > 3. Never, ever, call a station unless you know 100% his callsign.  Ever.
> > > (please see 1. and 2., above).  It's truly amazing to me HOW MANY call
> > > without a clue.  Is this sound operating?  I think not.  Yes, the DX
> station
> > > has the ultimate responsibility to identify on a regular basis.  In that
> > > there are no defined standards, I can well appreciate that some
> > > 'ambiguities' might exist.  However, I believe that unless YOUR rate is
> 200+
> > > per hour, it is your responsibility to harken to the DX station's
> operating
> > > procedure.  Please, if you don't like it, don't call.  Simple.
> >
> > I totally disagree with this.
> >
> > Many DX stations arrogantly feel that they can make _many_ QSOs in a
> > row without giving out their callsign.  A lot of them, I am sure, are
> > relying upon the packet network to inform the W/VE stations of their
> > callsign.  But, whether it's laziness or arrogance, or both, the problem
> > for the serious W/VE contester is the same.  When a W/VE contester
> > tunes across a DX station that is not giving out a callsign, the W/VE
> > can either wait (for who knows how long) or call the DX station and
> > ask for the callsign if they get through.  Waiting is NEVER the right
> > decision for the W/VE station that wants to make as many QSOs as possible.
> > To call and ask for a callsign if you get through is ALWAYS going to
> > be faster for the W/VE station.
> >
> > DX stations that refuse to sign frequently enough are gambling.  They are
> > gambling that their time is more valuable to them than the W/VE stations'
> > time is valuable to the W/VE stations.  This may even be true for the vast
> > majority of W/VE stations that the DX works.  Nevertheless, DX stations
> who
> > sign infrequently should not be upset when their gamble fails once in
> > a while, and a W/VE station calls and asks for a callsign.  If the DX
> > station is not willing to put up with that, they should not complain
> > to everyone on the planet that the W/VE station is "clueless" or
> > "irresponsible."   They should instead learn to sign more frequently.
> >
> > Simple.

Kenneth E. Harker      "Vox Clamantis in Deserto"      kharker at cs.utexas.edu
University of Texas at Austin                   Amateur Radio Callsign: WM5R
Department of the Computer Sciences          Central Texas DX & Contest Club
Taylor Hall TAY 2.124                         Maintainer of Linux on Laptops
Austin, TX 78712-1188 USA            http://www.cs.utexas.edu/users/kharker/

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