[CQ-Contest] Split operation in contests-an observation

Scott Monks cq_dx_de_aa0aa at yahoo.com
Tue Aug 28 23:00:04 EDT 2012

Last weekend I was searching around for some DX while the Hawaii QSO contest was running.  I had the cluster active so I could keep an eye on that while I was listening near the Hawaiian stations hoping to hear weak Pacific DX that might be calling them so I could judge how the openings were.  I figured I could then move off a little and call CQ with some chance that the DX station might stumble across me.

Suddenly I was excited to see a KH8++ spotted, one that I needed!  I went to the frequency and there was a terrible pileup with what seemed like all of the most rude operators in the same place.  Suddenly the KH station got mad and started chewing out all the others, and I was afraid he might just sign off even though I had no chance in a pileup like that!

I kept listening (first rule!) and finally could get a good copy on his call sign in all the hubbub--KH6++!!  Someone (or thing!) had spotted him incorrectly and it had caused all the machine operators to just rush to the frequency in hopes of working the rare DX even before listening!  What a mess!!

Several stations re-spotted the KH6 correctly with the comment that it was not KH8 and finally things began to quiet down.

Even though I sometimes use the cluster to help me know where I might look for band openings, this sure points out the problem of the use of clusters in contests--and how common poor operating skills of many are.

Imagine how upset those sending QSLs to the KH8 station will be when he or she tells them they are not in the log!!

Scott  AA0AA; XE1/AA0AA

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