[VHFcontesting] Digital modes in the VHF contests....

Al Wells kb3sig at gmail.com
Sun Jan 28 11:38:11 EST 2018

I think a lot of old VHFers were forced to kluge together setups for FT8 
when they realized there was much less SSB activity and were taken by 
surprise by the "noise" on 313. With zero experience with digital modes, 
we started with default settings but figured out to check contest mode 
after fumbling through one or two QSO's. I saw several other stations go 
through the same thing.

I'm pretty sure this particular problem will sort itself out quickly.

How many people were scrambling to figure out where something like OE29 was?


On 1/27/2018 13:34, Marshall-K5QE wrote:
> Hello Alex....the "rules" for what constitutes a proper VHF contact 
> have been set for over 50 years.  No less than Ed Tilton-W1HDQ was the 
> person involved in the very early days.  A proper VHF contact requires 
> the sending and receiving on both ends of both calls, a signal report 
> of some kind, and a Roger.  In a contest, the signal report is the 
> GRID....+07 is absolutely useless.
> IF the HF newbies would send TX1, which does contain the grid, 
> consistently, then we could get that piece of information from there.  
> However, often THEY DON'T.  They send TX2 which DOES NOT have the 
> grid.  This means that you cannot get the grid over the air and hence 
> the contact is not valid.  You can waste a huge amount of time trying 
> to get one of these guys to send his grid OR you can just move on to 
> someone that knows what they are doing. Your choice.
> I did run into a few ops that were still sending "the funny little 
> numbers" on MSK.  All that I recall did send TX1 so that I could get 
> the GRID.  I did exactly what you recommend....I sent RRR and went on 
> down the road.
> I don't care how the HFers operate when they are on HF.  I care a lot 
> about how they operate when they are on the VHF bands.  I and many 
> others, don't want the kind of operating the we hear on HF to infect 
> the VHF bands.  In the UK, if you drive on the right hand side of the 
> road, you will be pulled over and given a ticket. That is because you 
> don't know the "rules of the road" for the road on which you are driving.
> I believe that with some education, the newer ops will learn what is 
> acceptable and what is not.  Apparently, it is going to take some 
> time.  I think that a major problem is sending the "funny little 
> numbers" during casual operation.  I believe that we should send GRIDS 
> at all times on VHF.  That is what we do on the other modes, why 
> should FT8 and / or MSK be different?  This will undoubtedly cause a 
> pot load of flames, but I have a delete key and I know how to use it.  
> If we show the beginners the "funny little numbers" all the time and 
> then when we have a contest, we do something different, they will 
> never learn.
> Thoughtful replies gratefully accepted.....flames---->bit bucket.
> 73 Marshall K5QE
> On 1/25/2018 6:39 PM, Alex wrote:
>> Perhaps some "VHF types" could behave less like "HF newbies" and 
>> learn to just send an RRR message when that happens. That will 
>> advance the other side to the 73 message. You already got their grid 
>> on the first message.
>> 73,
>> --Alex KR1ST
>> FN21
>> On 2018-01-25 18:37, Marshall-K5QE wrote:
>>> ...and that took a long time, because we kept
>>> running into "HF newbies" that were not using the contest mode.
>>> ASIDE:  Somehow, we need to get these HF types to learn that we need
>>> grids not +07 for a signal report.  END ASIDE
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