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Author Topic: "Search and Pounce" isn't 99% of the time  (Read 10013 times)
N3QE
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Posts: 2202




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« on: August 08, 2010, 07:00:35 AM »

Some of the words used in contesting are IMHO attributing too much strategy and tactics to what is basically a rote operation.

e.g. we seem to often label the activity of tuning up a band, looking for stations we haven't worked yet and working them, with the words "search and pounce". A better term, perhaps, would be "shooting fish in a barrel but be careful you don't waste your bullets on dupes".

Tail-ending is often remarked upon as a clever skill but it isn't. It's just the easy way of getting a high QSO rate (for BOTH SIDES) without calling CQ.

IMHO the "Search and Pounce CQ" is a combination of tactics and strategy that is worthy of a name. But in reality it's not an ACTION but a broad AWARENESS of what's happening on the band up and down from your frequency. It's a kind of awareness that hunters know of, but it's not "searching".

Worst of all, I see some locals, calling the activity of pointing and clicking on their computers to QSY to spots on the packet cluster, "Search and Pounce". I'm not sure what they're doing (and in fact I'm sure that doing it in an unassisted category of a contest is definitely not in the spirit of the contest!) but it's not Search and Pounce.

Oh, and while opining, these modern computer logging programs beat the living **** out of Op Aid 6.

Tim.
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W1KQ
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« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2010, 05:50:56 PM »

I know what you're saying Tim.  For me though, S&P is 100% of the time.  I just don't like parking on a frequency calling CQ in any contest....and I don't begrudge anyone who does.  Yes, there are those in the club I belong to whose primary mission is to strategize and work hard to get as many points as they can in a contest.  My primary mission is to obtain as many points as I can but in S&P mode.  Granted I will not obtain the higher scores but I'm enjoying myself and contributing at the same time.  When it stops being fun...I stop.  For almost 30 years I've been having fun spinning the dial.  I've found clusters pretty much useless in most contests...so it's pot luck for me...and using N1MM logger (I've tried many others) is definitely mejor que (for English Press 1) hehehe...better than dupe sheets and paper logs.  Grin
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AD6KA
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Posts: 2237




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« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2010, 07:58:03 PM »

Quote
Tail-ending is often remarked upon as a clever skill but it isn't.


Nope, you're right, it isn't a skill at all. It's a form of QRM, used by the same jerks
who put their DVR's on to and xmit their callsigns 3-4 times
for each QRZ in a pileup.
When I was operating out of
5R8 I just hated the "tail enders", they caused so many busted/dificult QSO's.
Not to mention being just plain rude to folks calling in a civilized manner.
So I either:
1) Went out of my way not to work them.(pretended not to hear them)
or
2) Worked them if they were really loud, then
put an "N"  next to their call in the log.
N = "SRI OM, NIL" when they wanted a QSL card.

Quote
It's just the easy way of getting a high QSO rate
(for BOTH SIDES) without calling CQ.
If you say so. I think in the long run, they LOWER QSO rate.
I'd rather be known for a polite operating style than a high QSO rate.
And yes, I do enjoy contesting when I can.
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KF4CZV
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Posts: 142




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« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2010, 07:00:31 AM »

I understand "search & pounce" but what are "tail enders?" It sounds like something I don't want to be.

Terry
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AD6KA
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« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2010, 02:07:54 PM »

I understand "search & pounce" but what are "tail enders?" It sounds like something I don't want to be. Terry
"Tail Ending" happens in a pileup or contest.
Instead of waiting for the DX station to call
"QRZ?" to give their call, the "Tail Enders" will wait
until "they THINK" there is no one transmitting in the QSO
to just throw out their call. %99 of the time,
the DX station is busy copying ANOTHER station, one
which "Mr. Smart Guy Tail Ender" can't even HEAR
.

Which is why I call it "Intentional QRM" and NOT a smarty pants
operating strategy.

Plus with the (Ahem) "recent changes in HF licensing",
most new guys on HF are actually emulating the Tail Enders
like sheep. because they just don't know any better.
They've never been taught proper pileup etiquette.
They don't know to wait for DX to call QRZ.
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KF4CZV
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« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2010, 02:54:33 PM »

Thank you! That does sound rude and not very good operating procedure. I'll make it a point never to do that.

Terry
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KG6MZS
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Posts: 476




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« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2010, 10:36:34 PM »

While I am in general agreement with you on the tail-enders thing, I have come across stations that never call QRZ or CQ.  If they are working a certain skip I cannot hear and continually take stations without calling QRZ or CQ, then I will work that pattern in that rhythm.  Admittedly this phenomena is pretty rare.

Another country heard from.

73 de Eric, KG6MZS
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AD6KA
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Posts: 2237




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« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2010, 01:25:49 PM »

Quote
While I am in general agreement with you on the tail-enders thing, I have come across stations that never call QRZ or CQ.

Yup.
And don't you just LOVE the DX stations
that ONLY say QRZ for 30+ minutes without giving
their callsign?

As if everyone should automatically know who they are.
As if everyone calling them has Internet access to a DX
spotting website, (i.e. you might be mobile or portable).

It's especially aggravating when the band is open
and you don't have access to spots. You gotta
decide "Is it worth waiting to get an ID out of this idiot?"
(Might be a new one for band/mode) "or should I move on?"


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K4XZ
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Posts: 82




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« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2010, 02:59:53 PM »

How about you do both. If the contest is rolling then search & pounce is the way to go. But if It's a slow night like some VHF contests I'll run the voice keyer. Any way to pick up points. Tail ending is a fact of Ham Radio. If you don't like it don't work them,work split. or move around the band. Contesting should be fun and improve your operating skills. If your not having fun you need to make some changes.

73 Joe K4XZ
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AD6KA
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Posts: 2237




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« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2010, 08:56:39 PM »

How about you do both.
Oh I do, just pointing out an example.
There's a time for running and a time for S&P depending on conditions/activity.

Quote
Tail ending is a fact of Ham Radio. If you don't like it don't work them,
Oh yeah..I don't...when I was operating from 5R8 I would ignore any tail enders calling me.
If they were just too loud, I would work them so they would go away,
and put an "N" after their call in the log. If they requested a QSL card,
the N earned them a "SRI OM, QSO Not In Log" in the return envelope.

Quote
If your not having fun you need to make some changes.
Good point. Great advice for life in general, too don't you think?
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N3QE
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Posts: 2202




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« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2010, 01:11:29 PM »

They've never been taught proper pileup etiquette.
They don't know to wait for DX to call QRZ.
The DX isn't calling QRZ especially often. In CW at least, at the end of a complete exchange the DX just says TU and expects everybody who wants to work, to send their call.

In a contest, the better DX ops will make an effort to identify themselves with a nice formal call (CQ or QRZ?) every minute or two. But at a rate of many QSO's a minute (remember, I'm talking CW where you can easily achieve rates like that) you might have to wait for 5 or more QSO's to go by before the DX sends his call again.

There are a few, really classy ops who send their call after every QSO. I can think of a couple DXPeditions in the past few years where this operating style really put them head and shoulders above everyone else.

Tim.
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KJ4ADN
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Posts: 39




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« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2010, 10:33:28 AM »

I'm still learning about contesting, very far from being good at it!  but, I'm having fun.

It's fun and a challenge for me to scroll up and down the band, and pick 'em off, the QRM and pile ups just add to the challenge, which also keeps it interesting - sometimes a bit frustrating.  When it seems I've worked everyone around the band, IF I can find an opening, I'll park... and start calling CQ.  I'm not picky, some of the folks seem to have these "mechanical" sounding callers - eh, who cares, why discriminate - I try to treat everyone alike, and nicely, as I'd want to be treated.  While I've never tried to deliberately piss someone off, I'm sure I have (unintentionally).

Late yesterday, while working the PA QSO party, I heard some guy trying to hassle me while I was working the end of the contest.   No, it didn't bother me, neither does the intentional QRM, it's just part of contesting - it could be a next-door neighbor's dishwasher that adds to the challenge.

When I hear some guy parked on a frequency, giving his version of "how to make a QSO... his way.." - eh, why not take it in stride, do it his/her way, get the contact and move on.   If I'm parked on a frequency, calling CQ - I'll take everyone, and try to make point of thanking them for the effort - DUPE or not.  During the PA QSO party, I got several calls I couldn't log - so I gave them a signal report, a quick description (well above the noise, good audio, at the noise level, nice signal, etc.) - and thank them for letting me know I'm being heard out there.

In the end, 6% of my contacts were made while parked on a frequency... the last 2hrs of the contest.  I like "hunt and pounce", "seek and log", or whatever you want to call it.   

Bill
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KG6MZS
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Posts: 476




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« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2010, 12:34:50 PM »

I think the title of this thread is a gross overstatement.  Most search and pounce is just that from where I live.  If a running station is getting 99% of true tail-enders the blame lies squarely with the running station, IMO.

FWIW, I like to participate in contests just for the fun of seeing how many I can log on my own.  I always make more than a few contacts, always learn the exchange before keying down and always listen to the running station for a few contacts to get his exchange logged first.   This allows me to get the running station's style and rhythm down so I can slide in and out as smoothly as propagation will allow.  I only work the weak ones when they call CQ with no answers for a while - never when they are knocking them down one after the other.

This stuff should just be common sense courtesy.

Another country heard from,

73 de Eric, KG6MZS

PS; Took me a while to learn that sometimes "Thank you" is really QRZ?
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AB3CX
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Posts: 624




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« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2010, 06:39:01 AM »

I've never noticed tail ending to be a big problem in contests. The experienced contesters who are "running" expect that they will get called after the end of their QSO, as indicated by TU, X, or whatever they have programmed into their N1MM or Keying device. I rarely hear QRM from someone dropping their call on an unfinished contest QSO.  Tailending seems to be more of an issue with regular DXing, when callers don't allow a QSO to end normally, considering the various pleasantries and endless 73, GL, GB, TU etc etc to be an opportunity to blast their callsigns through without QRM.  And in pileups of course where no one is paying any attention to what the DX is actually doing or saying, or being aware that he is in QSO with someone specific.

I think that the dedicated Search and Pounce guys are OK to contest any way they like, but calling CQ is a worthwhile activity for everyone. You don't need to be the big gun type station to do it, everyone is looking for more QSOs. Pick some frequency out of the way...of course during the big ones on 40 and 20 M SSB there is nowhere out of the way, but by and large there are places to call.  If you are interested in scoring well, of course, running is a must.
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NP2KW
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« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2010, 07:59:29 PM »

 Being a DX Station,..I prefer running mode,..there are a lot more operators who will come looking for me,..so I generally S&P only at the start (while looking for a clear frequency to run on), then at the end before moving to another band. With my 781 and it's Dual Watch feature,I can work assisted (I always do), and hold a pile-up on one frequency (run mode), and set the other vfo with a single mouse click over the call of a new multiplier in the dx cluster window, and with another press of the a > b swap vfo button, work him quickly, (usually takes only one call), then switch back the vfo's, and continue my run on my frequency, without anyone even noticing. I then use the last hour of the test to s&p all the bands. I've ran out of walls for the awards, so it works for me.
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