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eHam Forums => CW => Topic started by: KA0HVE on September 08, 2013, 09:39:13 AM



Title: Ragchewing during contests - where do you go?
Post by: KA0HVE 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?


Title: RE: Ragchewing during contests - where do you go?
Post by: AK4YH 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.


Title: RE: Ragchewing during contests - where do you go?
Post by: VE5EIS 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.


Title: RE: Ragchewing during contests - where do you go?
Post by: NN4RH 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" ?







Title: RE: Ragchewing during contests - where do you go?
Post by: AK4YH 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.


Title: RE: Ragchewing during contests - where do you go?
Post by: KA0HVE 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.


Title: RE: Ragchewing during contests - where do you go?
Post by: W1JKA 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.


Title: RE: Ragchewing during contests - where do you go?
Post by: K8AXW 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. 


Title: RE: Ragchewing during contests - where do you go?
Post by: AA4N 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


Title: RE: Ragchewing during contests - where do you go?
Post by: KH6AQ on September 08, 2013, 07:32:38 PM
During a big contest the place to go is 30, 17, or 12 meters.


Title: RE: Ragchewing during contests - where do you go?
Post by: WA2ONH 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.
 


Title: RE: Ragchewing during contests - where do you go?
Post by: KA0HVE 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. :)


Title: RE: Ragchewing during contests - where do you go?
Post by: K3STX 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


Title: RE: Ragchewing during contests - where do you go?
Post by: AA4GA 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!


Title: RE: Ragchewing during contests - where do you go?
Post by: KA0HVE 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.


Title: RE: Ragchewing during contests - where do you go?
Post by: N2RRA on September 09, 2013, 04:37:01 PM
This post certainly has a hidden agenda knowing damn well the response from non-contesters is going to be negative. LOL! So here are a few suggestions and my opinion towards some of the negative comments made.

First the answer to your question!

All bands and modes are not used during contest periods so finding a band is not the issue. As the operator you have all the room in the world. Just because you can't use a particular band the precise moment you want doesn't mean your crippled, or inhibited in any way finding a band or mode to call CQ and have a rag chew.

The 60m, 30m, 17m, and 12m bands normally are exempt from most if not all contesting during the more world wide popular contests.

What would make common sense is to try other bands to hear if there is any contesting going on, or on the World Wide Web there are contests calendars found. The more informative site is right here on Eham in the "contest calendar" column.

Respect!

How about respecting other people's needs.

This topic will never die nor will contesting. In That case you have to deal with it in A variety of ways.

Option 1: tune into a band out of the many there are where no contesting is allowed on.

Option 2: wait patiently until its over.

Option 3: choose one of the many other "modes" there are to communicate with other than the same every single damn day norm.

Option 4: if you can't beat them join them!

The non-contesters have 5 days of druleing over themselves talking about the same crap on all these NETS than run all day and night. With NETS so abundant you can't find a clear frequency to call CQ. Even if you do you find a clear freq. to CQ you'll find the same disrespect shown to the CQ'er by rag chew groups, because they think the frequency on that day and time has been allocated solely for their group every single day.

Contests are organized and scheduled months in advanced so that all can prepare or be aware. This is not just for contesters, but for rag chew groups and NETS as well so they can do the courteous thing and allow contesters to enjoy a few hours being that 5 and sometimes 7 days a week is usually open to them.

So where's the common sense and courtesy too play nice and fair allowing contesters to enjoy that small 24hour window they've been waiting months for?

Stop being winers and selfish little spoiled babies! The world doesn't revolve around rag chew groups or NETS!

This message is not brought to you by a hard core contester. Just an opened minded respecting ham willing to share all bands and modes.

Try it!


Title: RE: Ragchewing during contests - where do you go?
Post by: KE5SBZ on September 09, 2013, 07:30:07 PM
CQ CQ no test CQ CQ no test de KE5SBZ K  has always worked for me.
73 Ed


Title: RE: Ragchewing during contests - where do you go?
Post by: KA0HVE on September 12, 2013, 06:53:56 AM
N2RRA,

If you go back and read what I posted you'll realize that most of your post doesn't apply to the situation I'm talking about.

I was limited to 1 band (20 meters) and 1 mode (CW) in trying to accomplish what I needed - getting my station working on 20 meters with my CW-only rig.  As far as 'joining them' I probably will later.  I mentioned that.

Hidden agenda?  There isn't one.  As I mentioned, I'm not anti-contester.  I've been back into ham radio all of about 2 1/2 months and I'm trying to get my station more up to date for rag chewing.  Contesting is a whole other level.

"This message is not brought to you by a hard core contester. Just an opened minded respecting ham willing to share all bands and modes."

I think this is the point that is being made: during contests contesters need to show a little respect for the non-contesters.

As it was I waited until the contest completed and then I did my testing and adjusting of my station.  I would call that showing respect for the contesters although I was a bit disappointed by having to wait more than a day but it is what it is.

BTW, I contacted several stations on 20 meters since Sunday afternoon and my station seems to be working quite well.  :)


Title: RE: Ragchewing during contests - where do you go?
Post by: N0IU on September 13, 2013, 04:29:30 AM
I think this is the point that is being made: during contests contesters need to show a little respect for the non-contesters.

With all due respect, this is exactly the same tired old worn out argument presented by the hard core contest haters! You talk as if rag chewers have a greater right to use the bands and it is the contesters that are interfering with your rights.

NEWS FLASH: People who participate in competitive on-air events have THE SAME RIGHTS TO THE BANDS AS YOU! If someone promised you that you would be guaranteed an open spot on any band using any mode any time you wanted, they lied to you! Amateur radio does not work that way.

It sounds like you want this to be a one-way street. You want contesters to respect your rights to the bands but yet you seem to be unwilling to respect our rights! Sometimes you have to wait your turn!

What about this scenario...

I had a task to perform Saturday afternoon and got delayed until Sunday night.

Obviously you had other things that needed to be done that kept you off the air from Saturday afternoon until Sunday night, but yet you are not here complaining about how these activities, whatever they were, were keeping you from testing out your radio. But when a contest keeps you from getting on the air, now all of a sudden, you have a problem!

And what if you were all set up to test your radio that weekend and there were cells of severe thunderstorms moving through Des Moines? Of course the prudent thing to do would be to stay off the air until they passed well out of the area. If that had happened, would you be here complaining about how the forces of nature were not respecting your rights to be on the air?

I hate to burst your bubble, but sometimes life gets in the way of our hobbies! You don't always get to do what you want any time you want to do it!


Title: RE: Ragchewing during contests - where do you go?
Post by: KA0HVE on September 13, 2013, 07:00:16 AM
NEWS FLASH: People who participate in competitive on-air events have THE SAME RIGHTS TO THE BANDS AS YOU! If someone promised you that you would be guaranteed an open spot on any band using any mode any time you wanted, they lied to you! Amateur radio does not work that way.

Uh, NEWS FLASH!  That's what we're talking about.  They have the SAME rights; no more, no less.

Quote
Obviously you had other things that needed to be done that kept you off the air from Saturday afternoon until Sunday night, but yet you are not here complaining about how these activities, whatever they were, were keeping you from testing out your radio. But when a contest keeps you from getting on the air, now all of a sudden, you have a problem!

Sure I had other things to do.  No one I know does nothing but ham radio 24x7 and that includes me.  AND I'm not complaining.  I'm asking for advice on how to share the band better.

Quote
And what if you were all set up to test your radio that weekend and there were cells of severe thunderstorms moving through Des Moines? Of course the prudent thing to do would be to stay off the air until they passed well out of the area. If that had happened, would you be here complaining about how the forces of nature were not respecting your rights to be on the air?

I've shut down before when a thunder storm has rolled in.  I always do.  Right now I'd gladly give up time on the radio for a big, old, nasty thunder storm.  We're in a drought.  AND I wouldn't complain about a thunder storm either.

Quote
I hate to burst your bubble, but sometimes life gets in the way of our hobbies! You don't always get to do what you want any time you want to do it!

At this point I'm wondering what thread you've been reading.


Title: RE: Ragchewing during contests - where do you go?
Post by: NI0C on September 13, 2013, 07:24:34 AM
My suggestion would be to focus less on calling CQ, and call others instead. Find the SKCC and QRP frequencies and hang out there.  Expand your band capabilities; I think you would be much happier on 30 meters.

Or join in the contesting fun during major contest weekends.  See: http://www.mail-archive.com/elecraft@mailman.qth.net/msg16585.html

73 & welcome back,
Chuck  NI0C


Title: RE: Ragchewing during contests - where do you go?
Post by: W7ASA on September 13, 2013, 12:39:13 PM
The answer should be simple and truthfully, it really is in the hands of the contesters themselves: if the frequency is busy, do not transmit there.  Most hams adhere to that, so why make an exception Friday through Sunday because there is some award involved?  No reason - just habit.

Do I think that this is going to change and suddenly contesting will become sane?   ::)    No - However, the fact is that a small percentage of those who contest express the 'my transmitter is bigger than your transmitter' nonsense both here on the forum and -unfortunately- on the air. Rather than discuss this topic like adults, this kind throw trash or worse like a baboon at the zoo, hoping that all their noise and dust will be mistaken for strength.  Are all contesters like this?  No.  However, having a significant percentage who DO intentionally interfere with their fellow hams 'because it's a contest', gives a black eye to those contesters who do have manners and are considerate ham radio operators.



73 de Ray
W7ASA ..._ ._




Title: RE: Ragchewing during contests - where do you go?
Post by: N0IU on September 13, 2013, 12:55:31 PM
NEWS FLASH: People who participate in competitive on-air events have THE SAME RIGHTS TO THE BANDS AS YOU! If someone promised you that you would be guaranteed an open spot on any band using any mode any time you wanted, they lied to you! Amateur radio does not work that way.

Uh, NEWS FLASH!  That's what we're talking about.  They have the SAME rights; no more, no less.

Are you sure we are talking about the same thing? You said:

"This message is not brought to you by a hard core contester. Just an opened minded respecting ham willing to share all bands and modes."

But in the very next sentence you said:

I think this is the point that is being made: during contests contesters need to show a little respect for the non-contesters.

So you are willing to share the bands... as long as the contesters respect your rights. I made my comment about rag chewers and contesters having equal rights because you seem to want the contesters to capitulate to your limitations but not the other way around.

The fact that you only have access to two bands on one mode is a self-imposed limitation. If the reason is that you can't afford to buy a radio with more bands, including the WARC bands, then it is none of our business. If the reason is that it is your preference to to use only those two bands where contests are regularly held and only use one mode, then you are simply going to have to deal with the fact that there are competitive events that you will have to deal with.


Sure I had other things to do.  No one I know does nothing but ham radio 24x7 and that includes me.  AND I'm not complaining.  I'm asking for advice on how to share the band better.

I've shut down before when a thunder storm has rolled in.  I always do.  Right now I'd gladly give up time on the radio for a big, old, nasty thunder storm.  We're in a drought.  AND I wouldn't complain about a thunder storm either.

The point that I was trying to make was that there are thousands of things that conflict with our ability to be on the air when we want and we willingly (or not so willingly) take them in stride. When our kids or grand kids have sporting events or recitals, we don't come here complaining about not being able to get on the air. When our wive's want to go shopping for furniture or paint, we don't come here asking them to be more understanding. The list is endless, but I think (I hope!) you get the point. But when a contest keeps you from getting on the air when you want using the mode you want, that's when it is incumbent upon us mean old nasty contesters, to use your own words, "show a little respect for the non-contesters".

As far as advice on how to "share the band", when there is a major 48 hour multi-band ARRL or CQ contest, there is no sharing. Without being able to use the WARC bands or another mode, then there really isn't anything you can do about it. You can come here and look for sympathy, but don't expect to get any.

As far as limiting contests to certain portions of the non-WARC bands, that won't work. Contesters already relinquish 3 HF bands where contesting is not allowed. Just because you don't have access to them or other modes, either by choice or other circumstances, well that just isn't our problem.

Other than Field Day, there are only FIVE 48 hour multi-band CW contests during the course of the year: two by the ARRL, two by CQ Magazine plus the IARU World Championship. On the remaining 47 weekends throughout the year, it is literally just a matter of finding an open spot if you can and claiming it for as long as you can.


Title: RE: Ragchewing during contests - where do you go?
Post by: W7ASA on September 13, 2013, 02:11:33 PM
5 contests of that specific type you mentioned - I'll leave for others to decide.  As for the number of CW contests held, here is only ONE list, that I found with one click of the mouse, as for CW contests, it's a large number.

http://www.lzopen.com/contest/calendar/ (http://www.lzopen.com/contest/calendar/)

I was going to just cut and paste, but it's so loooooooooooooong of a list that I included the link instead.




>de Ray
W7ASA ..._ ._


Title: RE: Ragchewing during contests - where do you go?
Post by: N0IU on September 13, 2013, 03:29:04 PM
Yes, it is a long list, but I don't think that events such as the Independence of Venezuela Contest or the Estonian open HF Championship are going to be nearly as much of an issue as one of the CQ or ARRL contests.

No one is denying the fact that there is some sort of competitive event almost every weekend, but there are only a few that run from band edge to band edge for 48 hours.

When someone is limited to CW only on 20 and 40 meters, there is simply no way to avoid these events... other than to not be on the radio at all.


Title: RE: Ragchewing during contests - where do you go?
Post by: AB9NZ on September 13, 2013, 04:34:39 PM
  Contesting isn't my cup of tea. It even seems a little silly to me. That said, I respect the hell out of the stations contesters put together, contesters contributions to the radio art, and their operating skills. I bet nobody minds a contester when they pack their rigs and activate a remote outpost. Where do you think the skill to cleanly run a monster pile-up working thousands upon thousands of stations is practiced?
   When a natural disaster strikes, or enemy planes darken the sky, the skills honed in a contest just may prove to be very handy, even life saving.
              Very best regards,  AB9NZ, Tom Bruzan, Mount Prospect, Illinois


Title: RE: Ragchewing during contests - where do you go?
Post by: KD8SAV on September 22, 2013, 01:01:48 AM
One thing I don't think you anti-contesters thought of.

If it weren't contests in the CW bands, we'd probably lose the CW bands.

As for contests being useless, I'd have to argue with that when there are many rare DX countries on ONLY during a contest.


Title: RE: Ragchewing during contests - where do you go?
Post by: REMOVED_ACCOUNT_2015-01-09 on October 02, 2013, 05:43:55 PM
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?

WARC Bands


Title: RE: Ragchewing during contests - where do you go?
Post by: W7ASA on October 03, 2013, 02:21:35 PM
WARC bands-  OK and naturally, the reciprocal is true : that is - you would not mind it if 'they' allowed contests only on the WARC bands leaving all of the older bands to the rest of hamdom - That would be 'fair' - right?  Oh wait - that's "not fair" would be the loud response .  

So what's the solution? It's really very simple: contester or not, if the frequency is occupied, move to a clear frequency.  That would solve all of this. Do I think that this is going to actually happen during contests?  Hmmmm - about as likely as rampant honesty & selfless statesmanship  breaking out in the halls of congress.  ::)  // No// There are ethical hams who contest, but they are largely buried beneath the RF Flashmob.


73 de Ray
W7ASA ..._ ._




Title: RE: Ragchewing during contests - where do you go?
Post by: KA0HVE on October 06, 2013, 04:57:36 PM
Okay.  Lets get something straight.  I originally posted this thread to ask a question.  I'm not ant-contester at all.  Nada. Nyet. Not even a smidgen.  I just wanted to get my rig working on 20 meters one Saturday afternoon and waited until Sunday afternoon because every time I sent CQ way off from all the action it appeared that a contester would answer me and when I began to rag chew the contester disappeared.  Period.

I just wanted to get a signal report or two and have a little chat.  Period.

On Sunday afternoon I completed my task and have been having a wonderful time on 20 meters ever since.  Period.

I will eventually try some casual contesting and if I like it I may even get serious about it.  Period.

I'm sure there may be other times I have to check things out and wondered if there was a good method for avoiding contesters during those times.  Period.

I could try the high end of the 20 meter CW segment but I never hear anyone there.  Maybe that would be a good place for non-contesters to hang out during contests.  Seems like a lot of band width is wasted up there.

Maybe we could call CQ CQ CQ RAG for rag chewing during contests or maybe CQ CQ CQ RC.  I dunno.  Might be a good way to let contesters know that we're not interested in contest contacts at the moment.


Title: RE: Ragchewing during contests - where do you go?
Post by: K7KBN 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.


Title: RE: Ragchewing during contests - where do you go?
Post by: KB9BVN on October 31, 2013, 06:15:16 AM
WARNING:  BIG CW CONTEST THIS WEEKEND!!! :'(

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).


Title: RE: Ragchewing during contests - where do you go?
Post by: K0CBA 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"!


Title: RE: Ragchewing during contests - where do you go?
Post by: K7KBN on November 01, 2013, 02:43:30 PM
See Reply #30.  Go where "they" ain't.


Title: RE: Ragchewing during contests - where do you go?
Post by: N0IU 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!


Title: RE: Ragchewing during contests - where do you go?
Post by: W7ASA 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 ..._ ._


Title: RE: Ragchewing during contests - where do you go?
Post by: NO2A 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.


Title: RE: Ragchewing during contests - where do you go?
Post by: N0IU 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!.


Title: RE: Ragchewing during contests - where do you go?
Post by: W7ASA 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 ?!    :o     (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.  ::)

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 ..._  ._







Title: RE: Ragchewing during contests - where do you go?
Post by: KA8VIT on November 14, 2013, 05:25:05 AM
I just find a spot and call "CQ RAG CHEW".

Someone usually responds.

73 - Bill KA8VIT


Title: RE: Ragchewing during contests - where do you go?
Post by: AA3EJ 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 :)