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Author Topic: Ragchewing during contests - where do you go?  (Read 35071 times)
K7KBN
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Posts: 2840




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« Reply #30 on: October 08, 2013, 09:21:34 PM »

If the contest is on SSB and I'm not working the contest, I use CW.

If it's a CW contest and I'm not working the contest, I'll find my mike and use Phone.
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73
Pat K7KBN
CWO4 USNR Ret.
KB9BVN
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Posts: 116




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« Reply #31 on: October 31, 2013, 06:15:16 AM »

WARNING:  BIG CW CONTEST THIS WEEKEND!!! Cry

ARRL November CW Sweepstakes runs from 5PM Saturday EDT to 10PM Sunday EDT on all non WARC HF BANDS

DO NOT WORK THIS CONTEST AS IT IS HIGHLY ADDICTIVE, AND YOU WILL BECOME A CW ZOMBIE IN SEARCH OF QSO MEAT.

If you are not interested in the contest, and a lot of hams aren't, you should find a safe place to operate CW on 12m (Morning), 17m (All Day), and 30m (Afternoons and well into the darkness).
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K0CBA
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« Reply #32 on: November 01, 2013, 07:57:55 AM »

The 60m, 30m, 17m, and 12m bands normally are exempt from most if not all contesting during the more world wide popular contests.
Option 1: tune into a band out of the many there are where no contesting is allowed on.

Considering the combined size of the so called WARC bands, why do contesters always suggest  non-contesters could simply take refuge there while they exercise their self appointed right to exclusive use of the rest of the amateur spectrum? 

If the WARC bands are truly the answer, try limiting the contests to them and them alone and see how that works out for the "testers"!
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K7KBN
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« Reply #33 on: November 01, 2013, 02:43:30 PM »

See Reply #30.  Go where "they" ain't.
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73
Pat K7KBN
CWO4 USNR Ret.
N0IU
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Posts: 1375


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« Reply #34 on: November 02, 2013, 07:12:18 AM »

Considering the combined size of the so called WARC bands, why do contesters always suggest  non-contesters could simply take refuge there while they exercise their self appointed right to exclusive use of the rest of the amateur spectrum? 

If the WARC bands are truly the answer, try limiting the contests to them and them alone and see how that works out for the "testers"!

The suggestion to use the WARC bands is only used as an alternative during a contest if you absolutely insist on using the same mode as the contest. Yes, I realize that there are "on-air competitive events" every weekend, but except for events like state QSO parties, most of these are mode specific and some are band specific. With the exception of the IARU HF World Championship, there are no major 48 hour multi-band multi-mode contests during the course of the year. Well there is Field Day, but as we all know, it is an emergency preparedness exercise and is NOT a contest! So to say that contesters use "the rest of the amateur spectrum" is simply not true.

And as far as the right to use the bands, are you somehow implying that non-contesters have a greater right to the bands than contesters? Let's pick a mode at random, any mode, and see just how many major single mode multi-band 48 hour contests there are in a given year. I threw a dart at a dart board and it landed on Phone.

I have already mentioned the IARU HF World Championship which is in July, but let's what else is out there. Starting in March, there is the phone portion of the ARRL International DX contest. After that, there is the phone portion of the November Sweepstakes. That's it as far as multi-band 48 hour contests sponsored by the ARRL.

So now let's take a look at the other major contest sponsor, CQ Magazine. Also in March, there is the WW WPX / SSB contest. OK, March can be a bad month for you non-contesters. Then in October there is the CQ WW DX / SSB contest. That's it as far as multi-band 48 hour contests sponsored by CQ Magazine.

Now let's the math...

If you include the IARU HF World Championship, there are TWO phone contests sponsored by the ARRL and TWO phone contests sponsored by CQ Magazine. According to my calculator, 1 + 2 + 2 = 5. With 52 weekends in a year, this means that less than 10% of the available weekends have major single mode multi-band 48 hour contests. And when you turn the coin over, that leaves over 90% of the available weekends when there are no major multi-band 48 hour contests!

So you get over 90% of the available weekends for your casual rag chewing and you still have the gall and the nerve to claim that your rights to the bands are being trampled upon?

Your problem is not with the contest community, it is with the person who promised you that you would have guaranteed access to any band using any mode any time you wanted it. THEY LIED TO YOU!
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W7ASA
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« Reply #35 on: November 02, 2013, 01:02:24 PM »

N0IU says: "Your problem is not with the contest community, it is with the person who promised you that you would have guaranteed access to any band using any mode any time you wanted it. THEY LIED TO YOU!"

Please show us where your quasi-quote about 'all freqs all the time' was posted as an actual reason. If you cannot source your statement - then you need to consider why you find the need to use a strawman argument which nobody I am aware of has said was their position. Contest or not - intentionally QRMing other hams is the root of the problem, whether it's in an ARRL sponsored event or sponsored from North Korea is immaterial.  If the frequency is already occupied, do not interfere - that's basic - right?

It's simple - really, to paraphrase Part 97 'If the frequency is occupied, don't use it.' .  Use of the radio spectrum is supposed to involve basic good manners. If all hams; contesters and those who are not contesting would do this, the problem of huge dog piles on top of fellow hams would be resolved.  Do I expect good manners to be the rule people live by this side of Heaven? No, unfortunately bad behaviour is now 'normal'.

The unfortunate thing is that there are - undoubtedly - a majority of ethical contesters, who, when they hear a conversation already in progress, continue past that frequency - to them THANK YOU.  However, there are a substantial number of contesters who do not care if the frequency is already occupied and examples of being in conversation with a fellow ham, only to be inundated by the minions of 599 Land on top of the already occupied frequency are so many and so often that to start a thread about it could go for years. Common sense - if it's occupied, keep tuning.


de Ray
W7ASA ..._ ._
« Last Edit: November 02, 2013, 01:18:49 PM by W7ASA » Logged
NO2A
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Posts: 846




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« Reply #36 on: November 03, 2013, 09:21:33 PM »

If you`re limited to 20m cw only,during a cw contest you might try the higher end of the cw band. I would also try around 14.100, as a cw op you can use those areas. Just try to avoid the digital signals. Often there`s not much activity from 14.100-150 or so.
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N0IU
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« Reply #37 on: November 06, 2013, 04:52:06 AM »

N0IU says: "Your problem is not with the contest community, it is with the person who promised you that you would have guaranteed access to any band using any mode any time you wanted it. THEY LIED TO YOU!"

Please show us where your quasi-quote about 'all freqs all the time' was posted as an actual reason. If you cannot source your statement - then you need to consider why you find the need to use a strawman argument which nobody I am aware of has said was their position.

You're right. I have never actually seen some one say that they expected to have access to any band using any mode any time they wanted it, but that is the implication behind every post that complains about contests.

Here's the scenario...

Let's say its Saturday afternoon. Without checking one of the contest calendar websites, someone turns on their radio to their mode of choice on one of the non-WARC bands of their choice. He is shocked when he finds that the band is wall-to-wall with "CQ CONTEST". So he QSYs to another non-WARC band and its the same thing! So now he is really upset and will most likely write a scathing post about there being too many contests or about how contesters are infringing on his rights to the bands.

The bottom line is that there is not enough bandwidth to accomodate every ham's access to the bands. We all have to share our limited bandwidth. The easiest way to not get "QRM'ed" by contesters is to check one of the contest calendars BEFORE you get on the air and see what else is scheduled for that time period. If you see that there is a 48 hour multi-band contest going on using the mode you would like to use, use the WARC bands or use another mode. Or heaven forbid, turn off the radio and DO SOMETHING ELSE!.
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W7ASA
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Posts: 268




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« Reply #38 on: November 06, 2013, 02:43:45 PM »

N0IU -

Good points made in your posting. I am listening to what you say and while we do disagree on some things, that can lead to a good discussion, so that I am learning how you (and I presume many contesters) see things.  This helps.

I know what you mean about 'impressions' - certainly.  One impression I get ( and from a few stray contesters, actually read on the contesting forum ) is the 'MIGHT MAKES RIGHT' idea: 'I spent a lot of money on this stuff ... if you don't like it.' I can't see any way forward through that mentality, but I am hoping that it is very rare. It's usually the few insecure guys with the big egos who ruin things for everyone else.

The number of contest weekends is a funny thing. To many of us who do not contest, it seems amazingly high.  To us, it seems that at least every other Friday night through Sunday Night, that there is a contest somewhere, generating "599 TU" exchanges at 1.5KW across all but the bands. No, I know this is not literally so, but that's in impression. Probably for an ardent contester, he's thinking just the opposite, something like: "Man! - why, on the few weekends that I have time-off, are there so few contests.?". One man's meat is another man's poison - plus Murphy's Law thrown-in for good measure.

Your thoughts on sharing of available bandwidth is also where I see this centered.  All that I need for my contacts can be a little more than 50 Hz, and a little space on each side so that I can communicate with the ham at the other end of the CW link, so let's call it 100Hz.  In a contest, I've been in QSO with a friend and BANG! zero beat and stacked on each side of the narrowest filter is blasting  "CQ TEST". There is nothing that we are doing which will prevent a legal and ethical contest.  Enough hams who contest might get close, but with good filters, do not occupy bandwidth by simply stomping on the 'small fry' who were already there. - i/e jam'em till the freq is clear. Unfortunately, that is - from my experience - a regular occurrence. There is nothing in casual hamming which would prevent ethical contesting.  However, those who are UNethically contesting do prevent us from using the bands where they are operating - almost total exclusion.  I have literally been in QSO and at XXXX hour GMT when the contest begins, are QRM'd off the band. That is wrong. 

WARC bands are great - I've been using each one of them from almost day one of their availability.  I used to operate military surplus radios, so as soon as the green light was issued on 30m for example, I was there, because the rig could operate on any HF frequency! That was a long time ago.   Now, ham rigs are so frequency agile that I'm not using those anymore - though they still turn my head. However, you're a ham - you know that propagation on 30m is not the same as 40m or 20m at a given time of day between two stations.  At some distances, there is some overlap & it's a close choice.  However, from this side of things it seems that we're being told the we must learn when other people's contests, then we must flee to our our 'ghetto' and bolt the door until the big boys are done. Rather like: "HEY you kids, the gang and I are going for a swim, so you get the @^^& out of the pool. You should have KNOWN that WE were coming swimmin' and you have to go do something else." . I understand that you don't likely see it that way, but is there any OTHER ham activity that disallows anyone else using the bands?  We have no QRPp weekends, when only stations below 1 Watt are allowed.  No sparkgap weekends - with the mayhem THAT would cause ?!    Shocked     (ha! THAT would be something.) 

OK - so do I have a solution?  Man, I wish that I did. Other than the same: 'if it's occupied, do not transmit there.' , no new solution for either of us comes to mind.  Between you and I (and everyone reading) I don't know that there will ever be a solution to the contesting -v- all other hams on the band debate.  As an engineer, I could design one for my friends and I for our CW chats:  a spread-spectrum CW rig ... but that's not on my bench for another decade or so - ha ha (though I think about it occasionally.  Roll Eyes

Speaking of doing other things, it's time to make a special dinner for my Wife.  Thanks for your thoughts and reasoned response.  the discussion itself is worth much.



73 de Ray
W7ASA ..._  ._





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KA8VIT
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Posts: 40


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« Reply #39 on: November 14, 2013, 05:25:05 AM »

I just find a spot and call "CQ RAG CHEW".

Someone usually responds.

73 - Bill KA8VIT
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AA3EJ
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Posts: 4




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« Reply #40 on: December 04, 2013, 09:28:02 AM »

Try 60m, 30m, 17m, etc...WARC bands.. I find 30m great to escape to!!..73's Dave,aa3ej Smiley
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