[CQ-Contest] WW SSB on my mind

Russell Hill rustyhill at earthlink.net
Fri Nov 4 10:28:46 EST 2005

Greetings, All;

Personally, if I am going to venture offshore in a boat costing, presumably, 
many thousands of dollars, with a sizeable commitment of time, energy and 
skill, I am going to have a radio which is engineered and built to:

1.  Be easy to operate by a relatively unsophisticated operator in an 
2.  Survive a humid and often salty environment with a high degree of 
3.  Operate on predetermined frequencies which are free of QRM, with a large 
selection of frequencies from which to choose.
4.  Operate on frequencies which are monitored 24 hours a day by 
professionals with redundant equipment, engineered and built to a commercial 
or even military standard.

I think I am describing a Marine  SSB Radio, licensed, and installed by a 
professional, to a commercial standard.  Or perhaps I am describing 
Satellite Communications, if the boat owner preferred.

All of the above costs money, of course, and only applies if I think my life 
is worth the expenditure. But to depend on (a)a single frequency, which may 
or may not be open, and (b)if open could be subject to QRM, and (c)on 
hobbyists being available to handle my life emergency traffic, sounds to me 
like the height of folly.

I would also have an HF ham rig, and perhaps a VHF rig, along, so I could 
chit chat, keep up with the news from home, etc.

That said, any time there is an emergency in real time, our practice of 
setting up nets, vacating frequencies for emergency traffic, holding 
frequencies open for the Emergency Net, and so forth, seems to be a bedrock 
of our Public Service culture and reason for being.  I applaud Jim, K8MR, 
for his action during an actual emergency.

If there is a rationale for keeping 14.300 open just in case someone, 
somewhere, might need to send emergency traffic, perhaps there is an equal 
rationale for keeping something open on 75, 40, etc, at all hours.  But that 
starts to sound like the Maritime SSB Service, I think.

All the above is only my personal opinion, of course.

Rusty, na5tr

----- Original Message ----- 
From: <Jimk8mr at aol.com>
To: <cq-contest at contesting.com>
Sent: Thursday, November 03, 2005 7:24 AM
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] WW SSB on my mind

> In a message dated 11/3/05 6:38:54 AM Eastern Standard Time,
> korey.chandler at us.army.mil writes:
> The  Maritime Net is not a "check in and ragchew net". Sure, the net
> control  stations call for check-ins and keep the frequency "occupied". I
> check into  the net quite often when in the USA and have been on
> frequency when a very  weak station calls in with a dead engine on a ship
> 150 miles out in the  Atlantic. I've also heard medical emergencies which
> resulted in the Coast  Guard coming on frequency with a doctor to give
> advice on the  situation.
> I had a somewhat similar situation occur from K8AZ during this year's IARU
> test.
> Wanting to get some 20M SSB qsos, I found 14325 open and began a 
> reasonable
> run.  Maybe 10 minutes into the run a guy called in and politely told me 
> that
> the Hurricane Watch Net would be starting up on frequency in about 45
> minutes, at 2000z. There was a significant hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico 
> at  the
> time (Dennis?), so I told him no problem, they could have the frequency 
> then
> or sooner if they needed it. They weren't yet ready, so I stayed there and
> continued to work guys in the contest.
> A few minutes later HWN manager K5MP showed up, told me about the net, 
> and I
> told him that I knew about it and would QSY whenever they wanted. He was
> appreciative, and told me to keep going, which I did.
> During the run there were a number of people who called in about the net,
> some politely, some not. At one point K5MP even came on and told the folks 
> to
> cool it, that I was OK and not to hassle me.  Finally, right at 2000z, 
> K5MP
> called it to say the net was ready to go.  I told him to go right ahead, 
> at
> which time he spent several minutes thanking me for my cooperation.
> After the contest I received an OO card from NP2B, the Virgin Islands 
> Section Manager, for "Excellent operating procedure in keeping a clear
> frequency for the Hurricane Watch Net, and relinquishing the frequency for 
> the  net
> when it was ready".
> Perhaps the best thing for the Maritime Net during contest periods  would 
> be
> to station K3LR or KC1XX on 14300 keeping the frequency clear  for use in 
> case
> a true emergency occurred.
> 73  - Jim   K8MR
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