[CQ-Contest] Whither Africa?

Eric Rosenberg ericrosenberg.dc at gmail.com
Thu Oct 31 14:44:09 EDT 2013

In what seems to be a previous life, the mid to late 1990's, I managed to
get on the air -- HF and satellites -- from both the exotic and less rare
locations: 9L, J2, YJ, HI, etc.

I never found much of an active ham community in these locations, with the
possible exception of 9L, where Dave, K8MN, was working.

What I found has that the resident hams (or expats, for that matter) were
generally uncomfortable or downright afraid of running a pileup. In
Djibouti, the local were rarely on SSB, as they felt uncomfortable using
English, especially the rapid-fire pileup version. It appeared to be was CW
or nothing at ll.

I didn't find anyone else on the satellites, my primary mode if
operating..Too exotic, too expensive, etc. Satellite pileups were quite a
handful, to say the least.

And yes, when in the more exotic (read: in the newspapers, not the
guidebooks), ham radio as my lifeline to home

Eric W3DQ

> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Message: 1
> Date: Wed, 30 Oct 2013 14:51:55 -0400
> From: Tom Haavisto <kamham69 at gmail.com>
> To: Charles Harpole <hs0zcw at gmail.com>
> Cc: CQ-Contest Reflector <cq-contest at contesting.com>,   Chip and Janet
>         Margelli <margelli at socal.rr.com>
> Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] Whither Africa?
> Message-ID:
>         <
> CAKNnRU4HqCj21rAw0OHLEK3eCZM607Mw6K3Zd48xnd2D-MS6WQ at mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
> Hi Charly
> I think you bring up a good point that is being overlooked.  I remember
> hearing about a QSO from a friend who was chattting with a "rare" one some
> years ago.  To help put things in perspective for the rest of us, image the
> following:
> You get on the air.  There is an instant pileup.  Does not matter when, or
> what band you get on, there is an instant pileup.  As soon as you are
> spotted, you are instant prey for the masses.  The expectation is you will
> start running without taking time for dinner, potty breaks, family time -
> whatever.  Your whole purpose is simply to "be there".  If you don't get on
> enough, something must be wrong.
> After you are done with that, you need to deal with a mountain of QSL cards
> that magically find your way to you.  Order cards from the printer, then
> start filling out return cards.  Some with money enclosed, some with IRCS,
> some with return envelopes, some with unusable postage, etc.  Then, you
> need to find your way to the post office to send out the return cards.
> If you had a QSL manager, you had to photocopy your paper log, and mail it
> to him.  He would then ship you boxes of cards.
> Granted - things have gotten better over the years,  LOTW has releived a
> lot of the pressure for cards.  But - some still applies.  And - there is
> more that is not mentioned here.
> Sometimes it is helpful to consider what life must be like for the person
> on the other end before we get TOO excited about lack of activity from
> known stations, or delays in getting QSL cards.  It can make the
> frustration more bearable :-)
> Tom - VE3CX
> On Tue, Oct 29, 2013 at 3:03 PM, Charles Harpole <hs0zcw at gmail.com> wrote:
> > What I hear "foreign" operators say about contests.....  By "foreign" I
> > just mean operators who are in fairly rare spots;  of course they are
> > residents, not foreigners, where they live.
> >
> > What I hear is that ops in these places 1. got their licenses for
> different
> > purposes than contesting or being DX, 2. want to use ham radio for other
> > non ham -type goals, and 3. do not enjoy trying to ride herd on a mass of
> > rude bad operators.  They do not enjoy responding to QSL requests, paper
> or
> > computer data bases.  They do enjoy an hour or two here and there around
> > their other daily duties of relaxed chat and no-pressure on-the-air
> > experiences.
> >
> > There are likely a majority of hams that are very similar except those
> > other hams are in locations surrounded by many Type A contesters, and
> thus
> > their presence is not so much missed--although it would be great to have
> > more casual ops to work.  The "rare" ops think of contests as just a wall
> > of noise, well beside the point of their goals.
> >
> > Believe me, it is very easy to get sick of scads of people calling while
> > you are trying to work one.  Many just opt out.
> > 73, Charly HS0ZCW
> >

> > Date: Wed, 30 Oct 2013 18:16:15 -0400
> > From: Richard F DiDonna NN3W <richnn3w at verizon.net>
> > To: cq-contest at contesting.com
> > Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] Whither Africa?
> > Message-ID: <5271852F.10606 at verizon.net>
> > Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed
> >
> > This is more tangential to contesting, but remember as the DX station,
> > you control the pileup.  If you want to run a pileup, you run a pileup.
> > If you want to talk 15 minutes to a station, you do that.  Its your
> > choice.  I remember working ZD7VC a couple weeks back on 10; we
> > exchanged the obligatory 5/9s and I said "thank you" and mentioned that
> > this was our first QSO in about 20 years.  What followed was a good 10
> > to 12 minute one-on-one one contact.  We had some attempted "break ins",
> > but Bruce ignored them.
> >
> > Again, the DX station controls the pileup and if people are going to be
> > so rude as to interrupt, they run the risk of disappearing from the
> > log.  I know one DX station who in his pre CQWW warm-ups did just that.
> 73 Rich NN3W

More information about the CQ-Contest mailing list