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[Articles Home]  [Add Article]  

Getting Along -- The Three Es

from N0AX on November 3, 2003
View comments about this article!


Getting Along - the Three E's

H. Ward Silver NAX

It's contest season again and some weekends will find the HF bands full of busy signals. This can lead to frustration for both contesters and non-contesters. My article discusses three technical ways to help reduce some of that friction. They won't eliminate it by any means, but they will benefit everyone and make it easier for reasonable people to get along.

'E' Number One - Education:

The unhappiest I ever get is when my plans get clobbered by something I don't expect. The best way to reduce my unhappiness is to improve my planning so that there are fewer things that I won't be expecting. For the HF operator, contester or not, this means becoming more aware of ongoing and future activities on the air.

Let's start with the contester. As a contester, I need to be aware of the regular activities on the bands. I need to know about major service nets and emergency frequencies. I need to be aware of calling frequencies. For shared allocations like 40-meters, I need to know the schedules and sources of the major broadcast stations. By knowing these schedules, I can minimize both causing and receiving interference.

The non-contester also needs to become more aware of changes in band loading. There are literally dozens of contest calendars in print and on the Web. Special events and DX-peditions are announced months in advance. I can tell which mode or modes will be affected and if certain frequencies will be busy. There's no reason for an unpleasant surprise if I am willing to plan ahead and be flexible. Knowing where the activity is NOT allows you to avoid congestion and have a reasonable backup plan.

'E' Number Two - Effective Receiving:

If I had to hazard a guess, I would say that `way more than half of all contest-noncontest conflicts can be resolved by better receiving capability. Beyond the IF filters, there are a number of important controls on your receiver's front panel that can do wonders to avoid interference. They are there for a reason, but seem to be rarely used.

The biggest villain of all is the Noise Blanker. Most noise blankers operate by sensing wide-bandwidth pulses in the receiver's IF. They look at an entire band, not just what is coming through the narrow filters further down the receiver's signal path. A strong nearby signal can confuse a noise blanker to the point of nearly shutting down a receiver or causing what sounds like severe over-modulation over many kHz. Unless you have really strong local line noise, turn your noise blanker OFF. If the band is full of strong signals, noise blankers are useless or worse.

The attenuator seldom gets a workout, but it can be your biggest friend when dealing with strong nearby signals. It's surprisingly easy for a strong signal to drive a receiver's RF amplifier or mixers into non-linearity known as overload. This creates spurious intermodulation products, known as crud, up and down the band. 10 dB of attenuation cures a surprising number of ailments at the cost of just a couple of S-units of signal strength. Try cranking in some attenuation and you may find that interference drops dramatically when your receiver is no longer being overloaded. Remember that the goal is to maximize signal-to-noise ratio, not necessarily absolute signal strength. Try out your attenuator and you may be surprised at how much it cleans up a band!

Late breaking news - RF Gain controls are not welded in the full-on position! This makes your receiver very sensitive, but also leaves your IF (and sometimes the RF) amplifiers susceptible to overloading. Experiment with backing off the RF Gain to see if it doesn't improve your receiver's performance in a strong signal environment. Even during casual operating, backing off the RF Gain can dramatically reduce background noise.

Does your receiver have Passband Tuning, IF Shift, Variable Bandwidth or similar controls? All those new DSP features you paid for can also clean up noise and attenuate low-frequency or high-frequency audio. There's no time like the present to find the receiver's manual and learn what these controls do. Experiment with changing the AGC settings or even (gasp!) turn it OFF and use the RF Gain control instead. It doesn't take much to change a QRM-clobbered QSO into a fairly manageable channel.

By effectively using the capabilities of a modern receiver, you will surely find that the band is quieter and nearby signals less disruptive. In fact, you will find yourself making better use of your receiver's controls every day!

'E' Number Three - Efficient Transmitting:

Contesters need to be sensitive to the effect of undesired spurious transmitter byproducts. It's one thing to set up your voice keyer and speech processor on a calm, weekday after work and quite another thing to then hammer it during the contest when you're excited.

Do an on-air audio check with a friend to learn where to set mic gain and processing level. Learn what your ALC and Compression meters show with audio levels set properly. Turn on the amplifier fan and every other noisemaker in the shack to see if they make an unwanted contribution to your signal. Be sure you don't have RF feedback on any frequency.

Use a windscreen on your boom mike to limit the high-frequency pops and snaps. You need the crisp high end of speech, but not the transients that overdrive a compressor. Windscreens also reduce fan and background noise.

Listen to a playback of your voice with every noisemaker in the shack turned on. It's important that all that RF energy is carrying your message and not fan noise.

Check to be sure that running an amplifier doesn't cause RF feedback or distortion to your mic or voice keyer. Better to find that out now instead of during the contest. CW operators should check for key clicks, too.

A small digression. I often hear that contest stations have low-quality audio and I believe that some of these complaints are a result of confusion. Contests are not about audio fidelity, they are about intelligibility. The two do not always go hand in hand as the military well knows. The important thing is to convey the information, not to sound like Bing Crosby. During a contest, I want to have a punchy, crisp signal that is easy to understand on a crowded band. During a regular ragchew, I'll switch to a signal with more dynamic range and more low-frequency response. The two types of operating have very different audio requirements.

So there you have three simple things that won't cure every possible source of irritation. They won't help if you just have an attitude and don't want to get along - the problem's at the other end of the mic cable - sorry. If you don't like contesting or if you think ragchewing is stupid, fine by me - nobody said we all had to enjoy every possible activity ham radio has to offer. But we do have to share 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, and 10 meters. It's incumbent on all of us to figure out how to do just that.

73, Ward NAX

Member Comments:
This article has expired. No more comments may be added.
 
Getting Along with Contesters  
by W4XKE on November 3, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Good article, Ward. I must admit to being more than mildly irritated recently during the Pennsylvania QSO party when the bands were covered with CQ CONTEST, CQ CONTEST, CQ CONTEST, PENNSYLVANIA ONLY QSO PARTY. I dont live anywhere near PA and a lot of these fellows were pegging my meter... must have been running at least a full gallon. If I didnt want to talk to anyone more than a few hundred miles away, I would consider turning the power back just a little.
Your advice is well taken and I will try to be more tolerant of these situations in the future. (Kind of like defensive driving and watching out for the other guy it only makes good sense.) Thanks for the article, Ward. You did a fine job. Respectfully, Johnny
 
RE: Getting Along with Contesters  
by W3JXP on November 3, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
First about the PAQSO party. Its not about working just Pennsylvania. It's also about working as many stations anywere that you can. I had 66 DX contacts in 28 countrys in my effort, and I was glad to have them.
As a member of the club that sponsers the PAQSO party, I take a bit of guilty pride in have a state party big enough to get people mad.
The information on how to use your radio is very good. I would add that even with a state of the art contest radio using the interferance fighting controls can make a big differance. Using the ablities of my FT1000mp Mk5 field I was able to set in the edges of the modulation envlopes of the broadcast stations on 40m and make contacts. because I was loud, others could hear me. I couldn't have done that with my older radio. In contests many have mulitplyers for runing low power and the individal operator has to make his mind up about how he wants to run the contest. So there is nothing wrong about picking loud.


John Passaneau, W3JXP
 
RE: Getting Along with Contesters  
by K0BG on November 3, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Nice article Ward, but you left out one important "E", empathy. Although you touched on it, way too many contesters have none whatsoever. Perhaps if they read your article and heed it, they just might gain some of the fourth "E" too.

Alan, KBG
 
RE: Getting Along with Contesters  
by NI0C on November 3, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I agree that empathy (by both contesters and non-contesters) is fundamental. I would like to see domestic contests (such as SS and Field Day) keep at least the lower 10 KHz of the CW portions of 80m and 40m free for those of us who are looking for weak signal DX. Just because a frequency sounds clear doesn't mean it really is. Others with more favorable propagation conditions or better receiving antennas can hear things you can't.
 
RE: Getting Along with Contesters  
by KA4KOE on November 3, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Set aside portions of the bands? That won't work. That's why we have 30, 17, and 12 meters.
 
RE: Getting Along with Contesters  
by NI0C on November 3, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
KA4KOE:
There's no reason why my suggestion for setting aside a paltry 10 KHz wouldn't work. We all have band limits we have to observe, depending on license class.
The reason we have 30, 17, and 12 meters is due to international agreement and has nothing to do with contesting-- though contests are not held on those bands. The "WARC" bands are fine, but are no substitute for the lowbands.

73 de Chuck NI0C

p.s. I read that you have a National SW-54 receiver. That was my first SWL/ham receiver!
 
RE: Getting Along with Contesters  
by W9WHE on November 3, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
N0AX writes:

"`way more than half of all contest-noncontest conflicts can be resolved by better receiving capability. Beyond the IF filters, there are a number of important controls on your receiver's front panel that can do wonders to avoid interference. They are there for a reason, but seem to be rarely used".

My friend, there is no cruurently available radio that can solve the problem caused by sliding in 1.5 Kc away from an ongoing QSO. My MK-V with cascaded 2.0 filters, IF shift & with, and digital filter can't do it. And don't tell me that 1.8 filters will make the difference!

The only solution to that problem is called "COURTISY". And UNFORTUNATELY, its not on the front of ANY radio!

You simply cannot start up 1.5 KC away with full compression and blame the other guy. That's just plain RUBBISH!

 
RE: Getting Along with Contesters  
by W9WHE on November 3, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
N0AX writes:

"`way more than half of all contest-noncontest conflicts can be resolved by better receiving capability. Beyond the IF filters, there are a number of important controls on your receiver's front panel that can do wonders to avoid interference. They are there for a reason, but seem to be rarely used".

My friend, there is no currrently available radio that can solve the problem caused by sliding in 1.5 Kc away from an ongoing QSO. My MK-V with cascaded 2.0 filters, IF shift & with, and digital filter can't do it. And don't tell me that 1.8 filters will make the difference.

The only solution to that problem is called "COURTISY". And UNFORTUNATELY, its not on the front of ANY radio!

You simply cannot start up 1.5 KC away with full compression and blame the other guy. That's just plain RUBBISH!

 
Getting Along -- The Three Es  
by HAMDUDE on November 3, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Alot of this info is good, but when the contester begins his calling sometimes less then 1 kc away, no receiver on earth is going to help that. Sure, you can qsy, but then your playing musical vfo all day long because 2 seconds after you move, another contester will be blasting away in your bandpass.

Theres always going to be friction between contesters and noncontesters because of the few rude operators who ruin it for the rest. The cant we all get along theory sounds great on paper, but it usually doesnt work in practice simply because there are those who will just do as they please regardless of who they step on. Best thing to do on a contest weekend is go fishing or go out and enjoy the day rather then listening to 15,000 clowns shouting the same thing over and over again. I cant see how listening to a jumble of signals all keyed up at the same time is supposed to be fun, but apparently some people enjoy this kind of thing.

They can have my share, Id rather talk to someone instead of trying to combat massive jumbled up noise.
 
Getting Along -- The Three Es  
by K0RGR on November 3, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
The only time I can recall being annoyed by contesters was the rare occasion when I had made a Sked with someone in the middle of what turned out to be a contest.

The main reason I am able to remain happy is that I can usually find someplace else to operate where there is no contest being waged. If it's a CW contest, I work phone or digital modes. If it's phone, I work CW. If it's all modes, I go to the WARC bands. No problem - and I get to try out modes I may not use as much.
 
RE: Getting Along with Contesters  
by N0AX on November 3, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
W9WHE, please re-read the first paragraph of the post. In part, it says...

"My article discusses three TECHNICAL ways to HELP reduce some of that friction. They won't eliminate it by any means, but they will benefit everyone and make it easier for reasonable people to get along." (emphasis added)

The goal of the article is to make it easier for people to share a crowded band. It does not claim to solve every problem, nor does it claim that all interference can be adjusted away. It merely points out that by doing a better job of operating our radios, we will each find it easier to enjoy our preferred activities.

73, Ward N0AX
 
RE: Getting Along with Contesters  
by W9WHE on November 3, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
The article says:

"way more than half of all contest-noncontest conflicts can be resolved by better receiving capability....."

It then goes on to discuss I.F. filters, noise blankers, attenuators, passband shifting, & RF gain. The author alleges that such devices are seldom used.

The author suggests that "way more than half" of all problems can be solved by "E"ffective recieving. Nonsence. The fact is that "way more than half" of problems are caused by sliding in 1.5 KC away from an ongoing QSO. NO I.F. filter, NO Noise Blanker, NO Attenuator, NO Passband Shifting and NO RF gain control
CAN SOLVE THAT PROBLEM.

I give the author credit for the rest of the article.

My point is that "way more than half" of problems cannot be solved by non-contester's merely learning how to use their radios. Moreover, I am insulted by the suggestion that if I only knew how to use my radio, that "way more than half" of such problems would be eliminated. From what well does such utter arrogance spring? Little did I know that only contesters know how to use their radios....how ignorant of me.

Might I suggest that "way more than half" of such problems would be solved if contesters would just have some common courtisy? Or is that just out of the question?
 
RE: Getting Along with Contesters  
by KC8VWM on November 3, 2003 Mail this to a friend!

It has nothing to do with the equipment, The equipment can only function as well as it's stations operator.

Nice article.

Charles - KC8VWM
 
RE: Getting Along with Contesters  
by HAMDUDE on November 3, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I often wondered how contesters are so "superior" to us little guys who just wish to be regular hams and dont care about the ARRL`s stupid contests. Im glad some on here have cleared that up for me. Someday, Im gonna be a big gun and run massive compression and 2500 watts pep and be a big boy and get my call published in QST so I can be important. Who knows? I may even get a pat on the back from Ed Hare the guru of amateur radio! WoW! A lifetime dream!
 
RE: Getting Along with Contesters  
by RobertKoernerExAE7G on November 3, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Good prose.

Nice article.

Changes for a contest should go to the contest organization, not eHam (make sense?).

I have been truly blessed. When a band is crowded, I know how to either change modes, or change bandsthe end of contest congestion!

73
bob
 
RE: Getting Along with Contesters  
by K2ACX on November 3, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Yes, because clearly Ed Hare and the ARRL are to blame for your lot in life.

I smell BUNK!

K2ACX
 
RE: Getting Along with Contesters  
by NI0C on November 3, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
W9WHE:
I agree with you that "way more than half" was an over-estimate by N0AX of the contest QRM problems that could be solved by effective receiving techniques employed by non-contesters. However, the author did say that he was hazarding a "guess." I think his tips for using the attenuators and RF gain controls were timely and useful even though there is disagreement on what fraction of problems can be solved this way. I have no doubt that you don't need tips on how to use your receiver, but perhaps others do.

73 de Chuck NI0C
 
RE: Getting Along with Contesters  
by W9WHE on November 3, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
No doubt that the author has some good ideas. He is obviously a capible operator - for a contester anyway.

I take issue with this notion that if stupid non-contesters would only learn how to use their radios, that "way over half of problems would be solved". Its utter B.S.
 
Fan dipole  
by WB2WIK on November 3, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Nice article.

Another solution for non-contesters who hate the interference contests create: Big antennas. Really big antennas, so we can actually *hear* you and might avoid sliding in so close.

The big signals on the amateur bands rarely have anything to do with amplifiers. As a contester, I have absolutely no incentive to operate close to a strong station who will prevent me from hearing other stations, that's lunacy and won't win any contests.

WB2WIK/6
 
RE: Fan dipole  
by W9WHE on November 3, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Oh, I see....so in the contester's mind, might makes right?
 
RE: Fan dipole  
by NI0C on November 3, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Steve, you obviously were referring to a big fan dipole-- perhaps rotating at a higher than normal RPM?
 
RE: Getting Along with Contesters  
by KB0GU on November 3, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Exactly!
Best Regards
 
RE: Fan dipole  
by W9WHE on November 3, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
If contesters were HALF as good as operators as they THINK THEY ARE, they would listen before CQ Contesting. The real problem is that contesters just don't care whom they QRM.

By the way, whether your signal comes from a "big antenna" or a "big amp" is irrelevent. A 10db over "S" 9 is 10 Db over "S" 9.



 
RE: Fan dipole  
by OLDFART13 on November 3, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
>>>>By the way, whether your signal comes from a "big antenna" or a "big amp" is irrelevent. A 10db over "S" 9 is 10 Db over "S" 9.<<<<

It is indeed relevant. An amp just helps your transmit signal but a better antenna will help your receive also so you can hear the little stations out there.
 
RE: Fan dipole  
by KG5JJ on November 3, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
There is a much simpler solution to the "contest" problems encountered, that has worked for years at this QTH; I turn the HF rig OFF! Ahh...much better! ;-}

73 KG5JJ (Mike)
 
RE: QSO's 1.5 Khz away from very loud stations.  
by W3DCG on November 3, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Maybe, re the 1.5 Khz slide-in, IF-Shift, RF-gain, cascaded filters juggling routine was concerning CW operations.
I'm no avid contester, not that I do not aspire to such fun, but I have been able to carry on fun, extended QSO's with very loud stations above and below me. Sometimes closer than 1.5 Kc. +20 over nine signals- by employing precisely the right amount of RF Gain, sometimes switching out the AGC and fiddling with it even more, combined with preamp off if the other station was loud enough to allow, some attentuation kicked in, and by switching in the 500 Hz filters in both IFs, playing with the slope tune, and also moving the RIT back and forth a little, sometimes switching the attenuation out, but switching in the Notch and fiddling with that...
Of course this is all on CW, and of course, all that is way too much hassle in the heat of a contest, hi.
No experience with a Mark Five, in fact not much experience at all- but I really have been able to carry on with very very strong signals above and below, rather closely spaced- using an old TS 850.
 
Too Much Poetic License  
by N0AX on November 4, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I must (gasp!) AGREE with W9WHE that using "way more than half" was way too much mustard on the hot dog. I will attenuate my terminology to "a substantial fraction."

And, if a substantial fraction of these collisions can be addressed merely through education, it is all to the good. There is no need to be insulted if one already knows how to operate your radio and I present solutions to others who obviously do not. Relax!

"No doubt that the author has some good ideas. He is obviously a capable operator - for a contester anyway."

Compliment accepted. Have a good day!

73, Ward N0AX
 
Getting Along -- The Four Es  
by G5FSD on November 4, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
'E' Number One - Education
'E' Number Two - Effective Receiving
'E' Number Three - Efficient Transmitting
'E' Number Four - Eliminate Morse testing

;o)
 
RE: Getting Along -- The Four Es  
by HAMDUDE on November 4, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
1. Eliminate contests - problem solved
 
RE: Getting Along with Contesters  
by HAMDUDE on November 4, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
K2ACX - perhaps you need to change your shorts then.
 
RE: Getting Along with Contesters  
by K2ACX on November 4, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
<<K2ACX - perhaps you need to change your shorts then.>>

Perhaps you need to get a callsign!
 
RE: Getting Along with Contesters  
by AD6WL on November 4, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Since someone has decided to drag CW into this forum I will reply. I have operated many contests in SSB, RTTY, PSK31 and CW. I have also had QSOs in these modes during contests and in my opinion based on my experience, there are few to no problems on CW. It appears to me that the CW ops are a better class of operator. I have noticed more problems on SSB than any other mode. I have also never had any problems during RTTY contests. As for PSK31, it is a great mode but terrible for contests and I will never operate a PSK31 contest again. I may operate a PSK63 contest in the future. Also, CW is the hardest mode for me to operate in contests. It requires a lot of work to become proficient in this mode at the speeds needed for contest and I think therefore attracts more serious contesters with more experience and therefore less problems. Better operators mean fewer problems and there are fewer problems on CW.
 
RE: Getting Along with Contesters  
by HAMDUDE on November 4, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I have one Brian, but its none of your buisness what it is. Doesnt that just rile you to no end? Perhaps anger management classes would help you cope with your apparent hostility towards someone you dont even know.
 
RE: Getting Along with Contesters  
by K2ACX on November 4, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
HAMDUDE:
<<I have one Brian, but its none of your buisness what it is. Doesnt that just rile you to no end?>>

Haha, no. If you're afraid to post it, well, you're right- that's none of my business. You just have to understand the trouble I have taking your comments seriously.

<<Perhaps anger management classes would help you cope with your apparent hostility towards someone you dont even know.>>

There's no anger here. Don't read too far into anything I've written. My only reason for posting in the first place was to point out what seems to me like your unfounded resentment toward the ARRL generally and Ed Hare specifically.

Maybe I'm mistaken about that. For all I know they could have wronged you in the past. After all, you wouldn't be hostile toward someone without sound reason. If so, please accept my apology.

And if you hear me calling CQ, I'd welcome the chance to talk about something meaningful with you.

All the best,
Brian K2ACX
 
RE: Getting Along with Contesters  
by W9GOC on November 4, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
W9WHE seems to have taken N0AX' article as a personal affront. :-(

Mr. Silver did NOT say that only non-contesters have to learn how to effectively operate their radios, nor did he say that all of the accommodation has to occur on the non-contester side of the fence.

Granted, 1.5KHz is pretty tight - - but yes, your fancy Yaesu FT-Mark-whatsis CAN be tuned to supress interfering signals that close. You'll lose some fidelity, but you'll be able to QSO.

And it would be nice if those starting up with 'CQ Test ..." would preface it with a QRL??, first.

Maybe they DID ask if the frequency is in use, and heard no response ?!?

Folks, all propagation paths are not equally bidirectional, so your ability to hear an offending station doesn't guarantee that he can hear you when you tell him that you are mid-QSO and the frequency is busy. You Know this, in your heart of hearts.

Perhaps I'm wrong, and contesters look for W9WHE spotting reports and actively QSY to those specific frequencies; but I'm skeptical on that point. :-)

Skilled hams, contesters or not, make the best use of the band conditions available to them. Band conditions at your station also include remotely generated signals which impinge on your antenna.
Operating one's radio to overcome the challenges encountered is more a mark of a good ham than defending your 'right' to exclusive use of more than 2 KHz of bandwidth in the vicinity of your chosen frequency of the moment, IMHO.

I hope you enjoy the QSOs of your choice in the upcoming weekend, whatever your hamming interest.

73,
Frederick/W9GOC
 
RE: Fan dipole  
by N4GI on November 4, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
W9WHE:
<<<If contesters were HALF as good as operators as they THINK THEY ARE, they would listen before CQ Contesting. The real problem is that contesters just don't care whom they QRM.>>>

Somebody needs to work on N0AX's "E NUMBER ONE".

There were several big QRP scores posted after last weekend's SS. Quite obviously, some contesters had to be LISTENING just a little, right?

I've never heard W9WHE on the bands during any contest. Was I just not LISTENING correctly?

Blake, N4GI

 
RE: Fan dipole  
by NI0C on November 4, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
G5FSD:
Your addition of the fourth "E" (eliminate morse testing) was a non sequitor in this discussion. You also help prove my point that those who don't "know code" aren't qualified to judge its usefulness in amateur communications!

73 de Chuck NI0C
 
Getting Along -- The Three Es  
by WV2B on November 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Contest free segments- Great! Make 10 Khz contest free, and ban all nets, ragchews, or other operating activities from the rest of the band for the duration of the contest.

Moving in 1.5 Khz away- Yes, contesters should ask if the frequency is in use, and listen before transmitting. On the other hand, I have often asked if a frequency was in use multiple times, and after operating on the frequency for 10 or 15 minutes had someone come on saying I was interfereing with a net. Obviously, I was not interfering with anyone when I asked {or any complaining station was not audible}, and someone tuned into the net and discovered my use of the frequency prevented them from hearing what they wanted. Well, amateur frequencies are shared, and because a net uses a certain frequency does not mean it is entitled to clear-channel communications everywhere around the world at all times.

Use of a frequency is not always clear-cut. For example, once I was working a pile-up of Europeans {not during a contest} and had been doing so fo over an hour. I was called by a South African station and turned the beam to peak his signal to continue the QSO. I was met by-"hey the frequency is in use, blah, blah, blah" from a bunch of 4 land stations. In their opinion, I had moved in on them, in mine I had been on the frequency for over an hour. Who had the "right" to the frequency? I just signed off with the ZS and moved the beam back where I couldn't hear them, and likely they didn't hear me.

Rude operating- Well, one time during the infamous "PA QSO Party" I had been operating on a 40 meter frequency for about an hour when a trader net started up 3 KHz away. Stations from that net came down and badgered me with the worst profanity I ever heard on ham radio, and said they would not stop jamming me until I left. This type of thing has happened to me many times, so if some have the impression that only the contesters are rude and inconsiderate they need a serious reality check.

Often stations rant and rave and never realize that the offending station can't even hear them. I was listening to a net I operate on once and a station in Egypt set up about 1 Khz away. Nobody on the net heard much until he turned his beam to the US and started working US stations. Then this ham in the mid-west with an attic dipole started carrying on for about an hour threatening that he would keep it up until the Egyptian station moved. Finally I could stand it all no longer and turned my beam to the Egyptian and explained that the US callers were disrupting a net here. He instantly agreed to move, and the attic dipole guy never realized that the Egyptian never even heard his ranting.

73,

Duane
 
Getting Along -- The Three Es  
by KD7KGX on November 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
There needs to be a little give-and-take on both sides.

Last weekend during the CW SS, there were lots of CW stations calling in the 20m PSK area. I don't personally have a problem with this, since this is the CW subband and they certainly weren't interfering with my casual CW and PSK forays, nor did I see any CW op start up on top of existing PSK QSOs (but the opposite was certainly true - PSK ops calling CQ on top of a SS'er who was calling CQ SS).

Notably, one ham was running PSK63 right at .070, and when I contacted him, he told me that he was 'protecting the band' for the other PSK operators (against the CW SS barbarian hordes who would otherwise swarm into the PSK freqs).

Now... I guess I was guilty too because I replied to him in the same mode... but what is it that makes PSK operators (or even one operator) think that they have a RIGHT to .070 thru .0725 or thereabouts?

I tried to point out to this op that anyone (including him, me, or CW SS participants) had an equal right to use any frequency as long as they weren't stepping on an existing QSO and were far enough away to prevent interference. He agreed with me but still felt he was providing a valuable service to his fellow PSK operators. I also tried to point out that a 100 Hz-wide signal at the start of the PSK area was a lot more interference than the occasional CW operator, and tried to get him to QSY up to .0725 or higher, but he wouldn't budge.

Now, this fellow was a nice guy and I think well-intentioned... but I believe there was a fundamental lack of understanding of frequency usage and sharing, and band plans going on here. And, I think this fundamental lack of understanding is what gets so many non-contesters angry at contesters.
 
RE: Fan dipole  
by G5FSD on November 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
>Your addition of the fourth "E" (eliminate morse
>testing) was a non sequitor in this discussion. You
> also help prove my point that those who don't "know
> code" aren't qualified to judge its usefulness in
> amateur communications!

>73 de Chuck NI0C

You obviously didn't spot the wink 'emoticon' ;o)

It was a joke... not brilliant I admit, but every thread seems to degenerate into code v no-code...

73
 
RE: Fan dipole  
by NI0C on November 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
G5FSD:
You are right-- perhaps I miss much because I tend to take words at face value and don't understand some of the symbols used in this form of communication. Ironic, isn't it, coming from me who has been arguing for Morse literacy on the bands?

Anyway, I'm relieved to know your remarks were made with a "wink."

Cheers & 73,

Chuck NI0C

 
RE: Getting Along with Contesters  
by W1RFI on November 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
<<Perhaps anger management classes would help you cope with your apparent hostility towards someone you dont even know.>>

<There's no anger here. Don't read too far into anything I've written. My only reason for posting in the first place was to point out what seems to me like your unfounded resentment toward the ARRL generally and Ed Hare specifically.>

And he doesn't even know me! I wonder why he is so hostile! :-)

He seems to be a bit obsessed by ARRL and me, though. For some reason, he really wants a pat on the back from me. If he did well in a contest, I certainly would offer him a well-deserved congratulations, of course, although there are a few thousand other things a ham can do that could bring even more value to amateur radio.

Maybe if everyone is nice to him, we can coax him out into the open. If he is looking for recognition, that is a lot easier to come by if it is all above board.

I do wish him well... whoever he is. :-)

73,
Ed Hare, W1RFI

 
RE: Fan dipole  
by W1RFI on November 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
>>>>By the way, whether your signal comes from a "big antenna" or a "big amp" is irrelevent. A 10db over "S" 9 is 10 Db over "S" 9.<<<<

<It is indeed relevant. An amp just helps your transmit signal but a better antenna will help your receive also so you can hear the little stations out there.>

The antenna with gain also limits the strength of a signal to a particular direction, minimizing the interference potential in other directions.

Of course, many of the big-gun contesters use both. :-)

73,
Ed Hare, W1RFI

 
Getting Along -- The Three Es  
by KA4WJA on November 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Ward,
Nice article!!

When I read, < "Late breaking news - RF Gain controls are not welded in the full-on position!" > I laughed so hard, I almost fell out of my chair!!!!

In nearly 30 years of HF communications (ham and commercial), it still surprises me to see how many hams run their RF Gain wide open all the time.......
(Personally, I find that less than 5% of the time, do I have my RF Gain wide open......)

Aside from Field Day, and my occasional "Contest Expeditions", I'm not a big contester..........
BUT, I am one of those hams that actually believes that we can "all get along".....

If I had anything to add to your fine article, it would be simply:
1) The first E, "Education", should include knowledge of propagation......
NOT simply knowing what the solar flux is/was.....BUT, real knowledge of radio propagation, and how it changes....and sometimes changes rapidly......

2) The third E, "Efficient Transmitting", should include LISTENING first, before transmitting anything at all!!!
(NO "tuning up" and then listening to see if the frequency is in use......)


Using the info that you've provided in your article, and adding my 2 points above, I actually agree that "way more than half of all contest/non-contest conflicts" can be eliminated........

Please let me EMPHASIZE, that USING the info provided, and KNOWING about radiowave propagation and its changes, and LISTENING BEFORE TRANSMITTING, can (in my opinion) actually resolve/eliminate more than half of all these "contest vs. non-contest conflicts".....
AND, Yes that includes the "1.5khz away" conflict, since that would not happen often.....because everyone would be listening before transmitting, and everyone would be aware of propagation and changes that are occuring......

Ward, thanks for the great article....

73,
John, KA4WJA
 
RE: Getting Along with Contesters  
by N8IK on November 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I didn't have/near any problems in the Sweepstakes last weekend - 224 QSOs and 63 sections (anyone work NT?). Heard ragchewers along with contesters on 10/15/20/40m. Everyone was having fun. Oops, sorry that was the CW contest. I'll repost after the SSB portion next weekend.
 
RE: Ending contesting problems  
by W9WHE on November 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
If contests were limited to a 20 Khz segment of each band, there would be no contest-related problems. And since contesters are such "highly skilled operators" I'm sure that they will have no problems.

See...problem solved!
 
RE: Ending contesting problems  
by W1RFI on November 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
>If contests were limited to a 20 Khz segment of each
>band, there would be no contest-related problems. And
>since contesters are such "highly skilled operators"
>I'm sure that they will have no problems.

>See...problem solved!

Proposing something entirely impractical and unrealistic doesn't solve any problems. It only adds to them...

73,
Ed Hare, W1RFI
 
RE: Ending contesting problems  
by W9WHE on November 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
What do you mean "entirely impracticle and unrealistic"?

For years, us non-contesters have been told that contesters have the finest stations and are such superior operators. I'm sure that with superior stations and operating skills, that contesters would have no problem.

Surely you are not suggesting that there would be too much QRM for such super-operators.
 
RE: Ending contesting problems  
by KD7KGX on November 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Your solution is unrealistic for many reasons.

Perhaps the best reason is that thousands of operators participate in the major contests, and they have just as much right to use the frequencies as anyone else does.

Non-contesters may not LIKE the fact that hundreds of CW operators are calling CQ SS in each of the CW subbands, because they feel they can't find a clear frequency... but that is THEIR problem. The contesters are merely using the frequencies as allowed by the rules.

Go to the WARC bands. Squeeze in a QSO between the contesters (it's possible... if I can do it, you can too). Work another mode. Participate in the contest. Or, take a nice relaxing walk.

I personally LIKE to hear the contesters all over the band. I get to make sure my beam antenna is working, look for new states or DX, and work other non-contesters as I play with my rig to get the selectivity I need. In short, I get to play with my equipment and practice getting the best out of it under demanding conditions.

What's the problem?
 
RE: Ending contesting problems  
by W9WHE on November 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Let me try to "esplain" it.
If you read up, you will understand the problem is that some contesters deliberately slide in 1.5 KC away from an ONGOING QSO, causing QRM. Add in wayyyy too much compression, and overdriving an amplifier past 1500 watts, and you get chaos.

Still don't understand?
Its called common courtisy, something to many contesters fail to show. And since contesters are such 'superior operators" that "don't mind" a crowded band (because of their superior operating equipment and skills) we should file a petition for rulemaking with the FCC proposing that all contests be limited to 20-30 KC per band.

 
RE: Ending contesting problems  
by N2NL on November 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Ward - nice article.

Unfortunately there are a few people out there - trolls as I call them - who argue just so they can hear themselves make noise. They like to get a rise out of others and get personal satisfaction as a result. Their comments do not add to the discussion, nor offer legitimate solutions. If more people simply ignored these type of comments, those who make them will eventually grow tired and go away.

The whole contester/non-contester aspect has been going on for years. The fact of the matter is that everyone has to share the limited available spectrum. Contesters, rag chewers, DXers, ETC. The problem will get worse in a few years at the bottom of the sunspot cycle, when the whole world is trying to squeeze into 200Khz of 20m. Frankly, in these situations, EVERYONE has to deal with a little bit of QRM. There simply isn't room for everyone to space out 3Khz.

There are a few bad apples out there - on both sides of the fence. There are those who will sit on the frequency a contester is using and broadcast SSTV, record and repeat messages over and over, catcalling - garbage like this. I also know a few contesters who will jump on a frequency without asking if it's in use, and start blasting away, refusing to move at any cost. Unfortunately people seem to believe they can hide behind the radio and get away with anything. There's been times when I wished I had the telepathic ability to blow up an offenders radio simply by thinking it.

On the other hand, there's the [largely silent] majority. Those who are courteous, and show the fellowship Amateur Radio should be. During the CQWW SSB contest I heard someone who'd been contesting on a frequency for quite a while. Someone came up and asked him to move, since he had a scheduled QSO coming up. They made a deal - the contester would move down 1, and the other guy went up 1 - and they lived in harmony. Granted, often there's times where there isn'troom to move, but in this situation it worked. I think this type of thing happens the majority of times, however it's usually just the negative stuff we hear about; just watch the evening news.

Gentleman, this is not a problem which will go away. We all just need to be respectful of each other, regardless of the aspect of Amateur Radio they wish to pursue.

Respectfully,
73
Dave N2NL/KG4NL
 
RE: Ending contesting problems  
by W1RFI on November 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
> Non-contesters may not LIKE the fact that hundreds of
> CW operators are calling CQ SS in each of the CW
> subbands, because they feel they can't find a clear
> frequency... but that is THEIR problem. The
> contesters are merely using the frequencies as
> allowed by the rules.

I have never had a problem finding a clear frequency for casual operating, even in the CW sweepstakes. What has been a problem is keeping that frequency. I am running 5 watts of power and generally, after a few minutes, one of the contest folks just plops on the frequency and starts calling CQ. That is not using the frequency as allowed by the rules; it is using the frequency in a way that is prohibited by the rules.

Now, in many cases, I am participating in the 'test, but even then, I know I am Q5 to the op who just took over my frequency because when I answer HIS CQ, he gets the exchange on the first try.

73,
Ed Hare, W1RFI
 
RE: Ending contesting problems  
by W1RFI on November 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
> And since contesters are such 'superior operators"
> that "don't mind" a crowded band (because of their
> superior operating equipment and skills) we should
> file a petition for rulemaking with the FCC
> proposing that all contests be limited to 20-30 KC
> per band.

Doing so would be a waste of the FCC's time. It is preposterous for you think think that because you believe that all contesters consider themselves to be "superior operators" that the FCC should limit them to 20 kHz. In reality, most contesters have modest stations and are not any better an op than you or I, and they don't think of themselves as superior at all. If you truly believe that it is possible to squeeze a couple of thousand operators into 20 kHz, perhaps you need to bone up on your communications theory a bit. I can recommend a few books that might serve as a good refresher.

I am always amazed that a handful of hams want to carve our bands into smaller and smaller pieces so they won't have to listen to people who operate ham radio differntly than they do. Such balkanization of our spectrum can only harm us.

Perhaps you should put up an antenna for 30 meters, where you can operate in peace on the 3 major CW contest weekends that happen a year.

73,
Ed Hare, W1RFI
 
RE: Getting Along with Contesters  
by W9WHE on November 7, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
W1RFI writes:

"most contesters have modest stations...and they don't think of themselves as superior at all".

Yea right!
Ed, did you read the original article? Its whole thrust was that IF only non-contesters knew how to use their radios (RF gain, IF shift, and filters) that "way more than half" of problems would be solved.

Contesters are CONSTANTALY crowing that:

1) contesters have the best "engineered stations";

2) Contesters and have "superior operating skills";

3) If non-contesters only "had a signal" they would not be pushed around.

How can you suggest that most contesters don't think of themselves as superior?? ANYBODY that has ever read a contest thread has seen dozens of "elete contester" posts.

I don't suppose that the fact that you work for a major contest sponsor has anything to do with your opinion, does it?

 
RE: Getting Along with Contesters  
by W1RFI on November 7, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
> How can you suggest that most contesters don't think
> of themselves as superior?? ANYBODY that has ever
> read a contest thread has seen dozens of "elete
> contester" posts.

Are you seriously suggesting that there are only dozens of contesters? If you are basing your views of what "contesters" are based on a few dozen "elete" (sic) posts, then your sample size is too small. Are you telling us that the ONLY posts that show up are from contesters who tell everyone that they are better than everyone else? Would it be more accurate to say that a few contesters think that they are elite and that you have built that up in your mind to mean that all contesters do so?

The majority of those in the SS operate with 100 watts, a modest and antenna and make a few hundred contacts. How many of that majority are included in the "dozens" of posts you have used to form your opinion about all contesters.

> I don't suppose that the fact that you work for a
> major contest sponsor has anything to do with your
> opinion, does it?

Sure it does; it means that I have a better opportunity to take a look at more than a dozen posts from a handful of contesters who think they are elite and form a pretty well rounded opinion. My operation in the ARRL-sponsored contests is done with 5 watts or less. My circle of contesting friends does the same. If any of the QRP contesters are reading this thread, they will find your delusion that all contesters think they are elite to be laughable.

Care to back it down a bit and admit that only some of those that operate in contests think that they are better operators and have a better station than most hams?

73,
Ed Hare, W1RFI
 
RE: Getting Along with Contesters  
by HAMDUDE on November 7, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Hey Jonathon, Ed is on the ARRL payroll, so naturally hes going to fall on his sword for the league. No matter what points you bring up, and many are good valid ones, he will forever defend the league and those contests and any other silly idea the politicians at the league cram down the throats of the amateur population in the interest of keeping more money flowing to the ARRL. BPL is a fine example. Send them your money or lose your bands....hogwash. Id rather sell my gear and dump the hobby then send money to an organization who feels that the minority who belong are more important then the majority who dont.
 
RE: Getting Along with Contesters  
by W1RFI on November 7, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
> No matter what points you bring up, and many are
> good valid ones, he will forever defend the league
> and those contests and any other silly idea the
> politicians at the league cram down the throats of
> the amateur population in the interest of keeping
> more money flowing to the ARRL.

Can you tell me which of the things that I said that you think are incorrect?

In what way do you believe that contesting brings money "flowing" to ARRL?

73,
Ed Hare, W1RFI

 
RE: Getting Along with Contesters  
by W9WHE on November 7, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
W1RFI writes:

"Care to back it down a bit and admit that only some of those that operate in contests think that they are better operators.... then most hams?".

Ed, this is Ham radio, not everybody is anything. But if you survey 1000 non-contesters, a majority would agree that most (not all) contesters are convinced that they are "superior" and are not shy about expressing their PERCIEVED superiority.
 
RE: Getting Along with Contesters  
by W1RFI on November 7, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
>> Care to back it down a bit and admit that only some
>> of those that operate in contests think that they
>> are better operators.... then most hams?".

> Ed, this is Ham radio, not everybody is anything.
> But if you survey 1000 non-contesters, a majority
> would agree that most (not all) contesters are
> convinced that they are "superior" and are not shy
> about expressing their PERCIEVED superiority.

Let's look at that a bit. I would guess that if you surveyed 1000 hams about that topic, the majority of them wouldn't answer the survey. Let's find out here. I will ask the question:

What best represents your views about contesters:
1. Most are convinced they are superior and are
not shy about expressing this publically.
2. Most of those who participate in contests are
typical hams who use the contest as another
operating opportunity and don't it much thought
afterwards.
3. Some contesters are excellent operators with
superior stations, but most who participate in
contests use 100 watts, a modest antenna and
they spend only a few hours in each contest.

We can guage whether the majority would answer the survey by seeing if the majority of eham.net readers post a response.

And let's look at the big-gun contesters. Most ARE excellent operators. Most DO have stations that are a lot better than mine. Would taking pride in that accomplishment in amateur radio be a bad thing? Of course not -- no more than my taking pride in my QRP accomplishments in ham radio is a bad thing. I have known a lot of contesters in my time in ham radio, and I have not found them to be rude to me in any way. I have found a few non-contesters to be rude to me, though, even here. Would it be appropriate to conclude ANYTHING from that? :-)

Can you provide any examples of what you are offering as a widespread attitude that contesters seem to share? URLs where others can go to see the dozens of posts from contesters that are acting in a superior way?

73,
Ed Hare, W1RFI
 
RE: Getting Along with Contesters  
by KC8VWM on November 8, 2003 Mail this to a friend!

>>>>No matter what points you bring up, and many are good valid ones, he will forever defend the league and those contests and any other silly idea <<<<

Gee, everything is silly huh? And all those darn contesters always trying to challenge themselves too...

Hmmm. after reading your comments, I have to conclude you are one angry individual with interesting theories. In fact, someone reading your comments might just get the idea that you are against the idea of Amateur radio as a hobby altogether.

Why not leave the ARRL alone. What do you have against an organization that is promoting radio communication activities such as contesting?

Who knows, you might actually like contesting.

If not, why bash the positive efforts and activities of an interest group of individuals that others might actually enjoy?

Charles - KC8VWM

 
Getting Along -- The Three Es  
by K2TRU on November 8, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Ok guys, Im going to go way out on a limb here and add something to the fray:

Youre all nuts! Wait, let me attenuate that (to use another contributors phrase): those of you that have firmly entrenched and obviously hostile beliefs are nuts. Ham Radio has plenty to offer and theres plenty of room for anyone to take advantage of this plethora of opportunities some of you have apparently forgotten that.

I am a newly licensed Ham. New as in three weeks

Anyone care to know why I got involved? I did it for/with my 14 year old son. Im 41, but when I was about his age, I got interested in Ham Radio (but never interested enough to get licensed). When he recently showed an interest, he and I decided to get our licenses together. Obviously we were successful.

In about four weeks, well both sit for our General exams. At some point after that, well sit for our Extras. Well do this because its an opportunity to learn something new together. Its an opportunity to do something somewhat unique (since not everyone has a Ham license). Well do it because its a chance to do something other than play a video game, pick up a cell phone, or watch the ridiculous garbage on television. Its a chance to venture into an area that is wide open with chances to meet new people, learn new ideas, and expand our horizons.

But you know what scares me? My son is shy about even accessing the local repeaters because he doesnt want to talk to some old guy. We live outside of New York City, and weve attended several local Ham Club meetings all old guys says my son. I want to expose him to as many new ideas, new interests, and new people as I can, and all he sees are old guys. Im sure if he read some of these posts, hed be thinking what a bunch of uptight old guys

Do I have the experience to comment on some of the positions Ive seen posted? Nope. But Ive got enough common sense to see nonsense when it flies across my computer screen. Some of you are spewing nonsense.

Are some of the complaints written here in this forum valid? Sure! But are they a priority? Perhaps not.

You guys need to start thinking like kids again. You need to remember what attracted you to this hobby. And you sure as hell need to remember that in a world of video games, cell phones, and MTV, your hobby is doomed if you think todays youth tomorrows Ham is going to get involved in a hobby that harbors any amount of elitist hostility. I direct that comment to BOTH sides (all sides?) of the argument posted here.

Im sure many of you have plenty to say in response to my comments. Im sure some of it will be hostile. Youll call me inexperienced, clueless, maybe even an idiot. So be it heres my email address: jay@protitleny.com. Flame away. But do so at the long-term risk to the hobby you allegedly enjoy.

You think contesting threatens your enjoyment of Ham Radio? BPL? Code/no code? Think again; its your ATTITUDE that threatens your hobby. Itll be pretty damn difficult to get that QSL card if theres nobody out there listening tomorrow.

JAY (KC2MBE)
 
RE: Getting Along -- The Three Es  
by KC8VWM on November 9, 2003 Mail this to a friend!

>>>>You think contesting threatens your enjoyment of Ham Radio? BPL? Code/no code? Think again; its your ATTITUDE that threatens your hobby. <<<<

Good Point Jay... Well written thoughts.

73

Charles - KC8VWM
 
Getting Along -- The Three E's  
by W2RBA on November 9, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
This whole controversy is a sad comment on amateur radio -- but I suspect hams have ever been thus. That N9VTB guy has a problem with Riley Hollingsworth, ok, but he doesn't have to spam the comments of multiple articles to do work out his own, personal problems (and he should learn to be brief; I stopped reading after the second paragraph); the hamdude guy has a problem with the ARRL and Ed Hare (Hi, Ed! Great job on the BPL stuff!) but doesn't realize that they're hardly responsible for the countless organizations that sponsor contests; and we've got one joker apparently trying the turn the conversation to his personal bete noire, cw testing.

I've not been bothered by contests, in fact, I welcome them! I'm not a contester, but when I hear the cw sub-band being used to almost full advantage, it makes my day.

Please, please, folks: some common sense and not-so-common courtesy -- this isn't a competition in which we're engaged, it's people who like the various opportunities afforded them by radio. Isn't that enough?

-Pollyanna
(aka W2RBA)
 
RE: Getting Along with Contesters  
by N4GI on November 9, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
N9VTB and W9WHE are one in the same....

 
RE: Getting Along with Contesters  
by OLDFART13 on November 9, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
ARRLWeb Survey Results
Poll date: November 7, 2003
Did you participate in the ARRL CW Sweepstakes contest last weekend?
Yes 4.0 % (74)
Yes, and I'm going to work the phone Sweepstakes, too 41.9 % (767)
No, but I will try the phone Sweepstakes 10.9 %(200)
No, I wasn't interested 24.8 % (454)
No, I didn't have time 15.5 % (284)
What is Sweepstakes? 2.8 % (52)
Total votes: 1831




Note: You may vote only once.

 
RE: Getting Along with Contesters  
by KB3KAQ on November 10, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
first, i have a new radio with all sorts of gizmos on it. i find the article to be a great reminder that those gizmos MAY help to reduce the qrm.

i enjoy listening to the contests. i get an idea of what propagation is like and how good my antenna is receiving. i was excited to hear a German station at nearly s-9 on SSB using a 20 meter dipole in my attic. and then i heard finland and norway. talk about exciting. i had doubts about my homebrewed antenna until then. glad there was a contest to test it out.

i am going to work my first contest this weekend and am going to have fun too. a contest is no excuse to not be the courteous op i always strive to be in all modes on all freqs.

Jay - great way to enter the hobby. i would love to get my 2 year old on the air, but he is shy ;)


-steve
KB3KAQ (less than a month until a General!!)
 
RE: Getting Along with Contesters  
by KB3KAQ on November 10, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
first, i have a new radio with all sorts of gizmos on it. i find the article to be a great reminder that those gizmos MAY help to reduce the qrm.

i enjoy listening to the contests. i get an idea of what propagation is like and how good my antenna is receiving. i was excited to hear a German station at nearly s-9 on SSB using a 20 meter dipole in my attic. and then i heard finland and norway. talk about exciting. i had doubts about my homebrewed antenna until then. glad there was a contest to test it out.

i am going to work my first contest this weekend and am going to have fun too. a contest is no excuse to not be the courteous op i always strive to be in all modes on all freqs.

Jay - great way to enter the hobby. i would love to get my 2 year old on the air, but he is shy ;)


-steve
KB3KAQ (less than a month until a General!!)
 
RE: Fan dipole  
by W9WHE on November 13, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
ED:

My friend, there are none so blind as those that will not see. Choose to ignore "contester attitude" and you will never see it. However, just to placate you, I cite to a contester from this very thread:

"Another solution for non-contesters who hate the interference contests create: Big antennas. Really big antennas, so we can actually *hear* you and might avoid sliding in so close".

The plain message here is that if puny "non-contesters" would just get a signal so "we [the contester-eletes] can actually *hear* you....we might avoid sliding in so close"

My response is that might does not make right. If contester super-egos would just listen [BIG ANTENNA AND ALL] they would hear the ongoing QSO by the puny, no-signal non-contester. Instead, its all about "me and my" score.







 
RE: Getting Along -- The Three Es  
by AH6RR on November 28, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Why don't we leave the top 50khz of 15,20,40m and 28.400-28.500 open for QSO's & ragchewing. That way there
will be less conflict on the bands and on the web. I feel that some contesters do not follow good operating skills but not all of them and if they have a clear cut rule as far as band area they will stick to that. So with all the
spectrum they can operate in this should not be a problem.
Now we need to stress with the people who put on these contests to set a band plan for contesters and disqualfy any contesters not following them.
Then everyone will be happy:)

Roland AH6RR
 
RE: Getting Along -- The Three Es  
by OLDFART13 on December 4, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Why don't we leave the WARC bands open for QSO's & ragchewing. That way there will be less conflict on the bands and on the web.
 
RE: Getting Along -- The Three E�s  
by AB2TC on December 15, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Hello all,

This thread is awfully long and I am not sure if anybody will ever read this post. I am one of the small guys with 100W and a dipole, but I still enjoy the occasional contest. I do agree that many contesters have a lack of respect for the non-contesters. I also do not agree with the original article's contention that many problems can be solved with better receivers or more knowledge of the use of the receiver. Splatter is splatter and encroachment is encroachment and no receiver can fix that. BUT I do think that contests serve a rather useful purpose, namely drumming up activity. Case in point: the ARRL 10m contest last weekend. All of a sudden the 10m band, having been essentially dead for months, was a hive of activity (not all contesters). If we want to keep our bands, we need activity.
73 de AB2TC - Knut
 
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