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Author Topic: Ragchewing during contests - where do you go?  (Read 27823 times)
KA0HVE
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Posts: 117




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« on: September 08, 2013, 09:39:13 AM »

Friday night I got stuff set up so I can now work 20 meters.  I waited until Saturday to try out 20 meters.  Saturday afternoon there's a contest in progress.  I go up the band a bit to a quiet spot and call CQ.  I get a reply so I give my name, QTH, and report his RST.  I don't hear back from him.  Another couple CQs and the same thing with another ham.  I guess they were contesting and when they realized I wasn't they bailed out on me.  I can't fault them for that.

The good thing is I now know I can easily get into Utah and New Jersey on 5 watts with my new set up.

For ragchewing during a contest where does one go?  Do you just shut down and wait until the contest is over?  I suppose I could have participated in the contest and not submitted a log but just exchanging the contest required information isn't much of a ragchew.  I guess I would have learned more about how my new set up will do.  But on a regular basis what do I do to avoid contesters?

Any suggestions?
« Last Edit: September 08, 2013, 09:44:20 AM by KA0HVE » Logged
GILGSN
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Posts: 196




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« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2013, 09:47:55 AM »

Usually I just shut down the radio. I know these guys have no respect for others when they are in contest mode. Sometimes I'll go to 30m if I'm home, on my KX3. If I'm out camping and it turns out it's a contest week-end, then I'm screwed, because my Weber MTR, which is my go-to camping radio, only has 20 and 40m. I wish contest organizers would prevent their members from calling on QRP calling frequencies. It would be easy to do, just not count QSOs within say 800Hz of a QRP frequency. But not, they don't do that... Why? I could tell you, but my post would be deleted by the moderator.

Gil.
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VE5EIS
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« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2013, 10:33:29 AM »

Get set up so you can run on the WARC bands like 17m.  Contests are forbidden there so they are a very friendly environment for ragchewing.
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WN9HJW
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« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2013, 11:42:16 AM »


For ragchewing during a contest where does one go?  Do you just shut down and wait until the contest is over?  I suppose I could have participated in the contest and not submitted a log but just exchanging the contest required information isn't much of a ragchew.  I guess I would have learned more about how my new set up will do.  But on a regular basis what do I do to avoid contesters?

Any suggestions?

There are no CW or Data contests on weekdays. Or on the 60, 30, 17 or 12  meter bands any time.

Check the contest schedules before planning your whole life around ragchewing on 20 meters on weekends. I'm not sure what contest you had problems with this weekend. Nothing really big on the schedule this weekend. Unless you ran into the North American Sprint but that's only a few hours.

You'll go nuts if you expect to have full quiet 3khz passband on 20m on weekends.

You can always move up the band as you did, and only a few contests every year fill the band completely up; but there's always going to be people answering your CQs who assume you're in the contest or expect you to give them contest points. E

I wonder if it would do any good to call "CQ NO CONTEST" ?





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GILGSN
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« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2013, 12:11:33 PM »

Quote
Get set up so you can run on the WARC bands like 17m.

If I could buy a second Weber MTR, I would make it for 17 and 30m. I do have my KX3 for that, but again, it is a bit big to take camping, since I like to go for a whole week at a time.. Hopefully there will be a next MTR, with 40/30/20m. Those kits sell within hours of being offered, 150 units per release. Not all QRP radios have WARC bands. Fortunately we do have the K1, KX1, KX3, and LNR Precision FX-2. I am sure there are others.

Gil.
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KA0HVE
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« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2013, 12:41:41 PM »

They were sending CQ WES which I assume is the Week End Sprintathon.  QST said that is next weekend but the SKCC group website said it was this weekend.

Anyway, it is what it is.  I'll get on 20 later tonight or during the week to check things out.

Thanks all.

BTW, I did semi-seriously consider sending something like CQ NO CONTEST.
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W1JKA
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« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2013, 01:59:45 PM »

   Same here on 20m  around 11:30 LT, SKCC WES on 14.063  and 14.058 so I called CQ on 14.060 and had nice qrp  QSO with W0SOC in Texas from Maine. I can usually find a CQ spot somewhere on 20/40m and if not I just go to 30m. As I operate only qrp it's easy for me to find open freqs. between contest/WES etc. by going to QRP SPOTS.com and see where the weekend IOTA/SOTA boys and others are hanging out.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2013, 02:07:57 PM by W1JKA » Logged
K8AXW
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« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2013, 06:27:43 PM »

HVE:  Yup....been there, done that, got a T-shirt!!

What do I do?  Shut the radio off.  Find something else to do until the weekend is over.  Of course if the 'test is SSB, then there isn't a problem.

I have found, on very rare occasions a quiet spot and try to scarf up a ragchew but invariably I'll get wiped out by someone running QRO.  In which case I crank up my power until it takes a hellova signal to wipe me out. 

I then call CQ repeatedly which usually gives the idea that I'm not a contester and quite often get let alone.  But all in all, you sift the wheat from the chaff and find someone to talk to.

But, mostly, go find something else to do.  I do agree with the suggestion that contesting should be allowed only on specific band areas. 
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AA4N
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« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2013, 07:12:00 PM »

Depends on the contest.  Small stuff like WES can be dodged quite easily by just moving 10 kHz either way.  The skcc guys generally stay between .045 and .060. Ive noticed that most contests will name a center frequency for activity.  State qso parties rarely take up more that 10 kHz.

Granted cqww or field day can eat up an entire band, but they are the exception.

I've held rag chews in amongst the contesters before, I always found it rather amusing.  Imagine being a navy radio op during the dday invasion...  It's actually great copy practice.

Another option...  Grab a copy of the rules and jump in the contest.  More than once, I've turned on the radio, planning on a lovely rag chew, and found the dreaded super CQ sweepstakes worldwide field day in full swing.   So, I made a few hundred contacts instead.  It's all good.

73. Mike
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WX7G
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« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2013, 07:32:38 PM »

During a big contest the place to go is 30, 17, or 12 meters.
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WA2ONH
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« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2013, 06:37:22 AM »

But on a regular basis what do I do to avoid contesters? Any suggestions?

If your don't already have it bookmarked, here's a site of the ongoing Contest Calendar by WA7BNM for 8-days ahead...

LINK: http://www.hornucopia.com/contestcal/weeklycont.php

Yes, depending of the "size" of the contest, USA only (Field Day), Worldwide (DX), Club (FISTS), State QSO party or several hour SPRINTS, will determine whether you may find a quiet place on 20 to operate.

Good Luck.
 
« Last Edit: September 09, 2013, 06:40:40 AM by WA2ONH » Logged

73 de WA2ONH dit dit    ...Charlie
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"No time is ever wasted that is spent LEARNING something!"
KA0HVE
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Posts: 117




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« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2013, 07:35:08 AM »

I did get a chance to talk to a guy last night that is in Maine 1270+ miles from me.  I got a 589 report for my 5 watt signal.  I'll take that!

Not that it's a record setter by any means but it helps me know I'm getting out there on 20 meters.

Maybe I can start working some DX now and then...maybe...perhaps. Smiley
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K3STX
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« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2013, 08:33:16 AM »

if you want to ragchew just use the ol' CQ CQ CQ (X3) and your call ABOVE 50 KC FROM THE BOTTOM OF THE BAND! Unless it is a HUGE contest, activity is usually in the first 50 kc or so. Also, a 3X3 CQ usually alerts contesters that you are NOT in a hurry for a quick contest QSO.

paul
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AA4GA
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« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2013, 10:08:48 AM »

It's very easy to avoid contests:

1 - use the VFO to tune a little - *most* contests don't take up large chunks of the band
2 - use the mode switch to change modes - *most* large contests are single-mode
3 - use the bandswitch - *no* contesting occurs on the "WARC" bands

It's really easy to avoid contests...if you want to.  It's actually easier than complaining about contests!

I've been a contester for over 35 years now, and sometimes even I like to avoid them for one reason or another, and the above tactic has never failed me!
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KA0HVE
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« Reply #14 on: September 09, 2013, 12:30:35 PM »

AA4GA,

I hope I didn't come across as complaining.  I had a task to perform Saturday afternoon and got delayed until Sunday night.  If that situation arises again I'd like to know how to avoid it.

I do have an SKCC member number and I do use a straight key most of the time.  I can see participating at least casually in a WES contest in the future especially now that I have both 20 meters and 40 meters available to me.  I'm not anti-contesting but I do like the recommendation that was made that certain parts of each band should be avoided by contesters.

As I mentioned I did try your #1 suggestion without success.  I have a CW only transceiver and don't have WARC bands available to me so I can't use your #2 and #3 suggestions.  And 20 meters was the only band I needed to try for my task.  So, I was sort of stuck.

Maybe instead of going up the band 20 kHz above the fray I should have gone up 50 kHz.  There may have been other people who wanted to ragchew.

I can see where your suggestions would work though and I'll keep them in mind for the future.
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