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Author Topic: Operating Etiquette  (Read 4220 times)
KB0TXC
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Posts: 80




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« on: August 21, 2013, 04:41:50 AM »

Hi,

As a soon to be general, I have been listening almost every evening to 40 Meters, (which I will be using most of the time). There is a really neat group of hams that regularly get on 7.200 and chat about everything imaginable. There are others that I also would like to get in on the conversation. Last weekend, there was a contest going on, and the band was full of ops working for the contest. However, I noticed that there were several contestors that were within a KC or so of a regular QSO that had been ongoing for about an hour. I thought that it was common courtesy to give a frequency in use at least 3 KC room so as not to interfere. Is this the appropriate amount of space to give? Or should it be more or less? I could not adjust my receiver's PBT enough to eliminate the adjoining frequency without distorting the QSO that I was listening in on.

I am not trying to stir up a flame war, I have nothing against contesting, though I probably will never participate since I only have a barefoot rig and do not plan on getting an amp.

Also, except for the contest, I have never heard anyone call for CQ. What would be the appropriate manner in which to do that? Call CQ several times then announce my call sign?

I am just seeking some guidance for when I do get on HF so that I won't be a PIA.

Thank you much,

Joe KB0TXC
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N9BH
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Posts: 47




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« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2013, 04:47:43 AM »

Someone may have been inconsiderate, but also consider that even though you heard the QSO and the contester, they may not have heard each other.
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K4EZD
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Posts: 101




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« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2013, 05:04:42 AM »

Here is an article that explains proper procedure for calling CQ on HF --  http://www.eham.net/articles/7952

I very rarely hear CQ called on 40 so I advise that you monitor 20 meters, where you will hear it often and get an idea of how it is done and the variations hams use to call.  In the Extra portion of 20 you will hear DX CQ calls frequently too.  Anybody have an explanation as to why there are so few CQ calls on 40?

 Huh

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W7MMQ
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Posts: 25




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« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2013, 06:53:30 AM »

Starters, on 40M and 75M you very rarely hear a CQ because the groups that have been on that band have been there forever and CQ's on phone are rarely answered because they don't know who you are.  20M not so much, the best band to get CQ's answered is 17M

As far as contesting goes, you don't need an amp for it, as a matter of fact a lot of people in contests work low power and there are separate categories for Low power and even QRP.  NAQP is strictly a low power contest and fun to do (50 states in 12 hours is not out of the question even for a small station)
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KE3WD
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Posts: 5689




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« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2013, 07:51:03 AM »

Yes, the HF bands can be such that the Contest Ops may not have heard you from where they were. 

Local stateside nets, the incidence angle of antennas that are likely a bit lower to the ground at their business end (dipoles, etc.) can hear those local signals easily enough. 

But another ham who has set up antennas for DX, perhaps a dipole with the apex at a much higher altitude, is enjoying a much lower angle of attack to the Ionosphere, and their signal path could be reflecting a lot farther away from the antenna than the stateside signals. 

In other words, the contesters' stone is skipping at a point on the lake that makes their signal (and also the signal they receive, as well, due to the reciprocity of the thing) to skip right overtop of your signals, which are hitting the lake much closer to the shore and thus bouncing at greatly different angles. 

Also consider that many contesters have invested in tight filters for their rigs, which effectively will filter your ragchew/net interference out of their receivers, but the more casual operator may not have deemed the investment for such kind of filtering necessary and thus is more susceptible to being annoyed by the adjacent transmissons. 

You might consider aftermarket SSB filters for your rig, can help a lot in such situations. 

And, lastly, such things can still be a problem of the overzealous contester, human nature being something we can't simply order up a better filter to correct.  It happens. 


73
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G3RZP
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« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2013, 08:45:23 AM »

You can also get the situation that the contester has been 'running' QSOs on the frequency for some time, and the conditions change. Conditions Changing conditions often leads to interference starting to occur. Then the argument can start as to who has the moral right to the frequency - the net that has met there since the dawn of radio, or the guy who was using the frequency before the net started who they couldn't hear when they did start.
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N1UK
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Posts: 1588




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« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2013, 06:22:51 PM »

You give the contesters too much credit I think. A lot of  them just don't care and will jump on you and try and run you off. Etiquette goes out of the window in the scramble for a clear calling frequency during the contest madness.

Without naming names we had it done to us on 80m a few years back. A big contester who had moved in a kHz below us got tired of talking through us and then moved right on top of us. He was about 600 miles away and all signals were 59 +20 to +40, so he could hear us fine.

He just wanted our frequency and when we carried on ragchewing he eventually gave up and moved off.


73 Mark N1UK


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N0IU
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« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2013, 07:33:52 PM »

Now I am by no means condoning the behavior of the contesters, but....

If you want to save yourself a lot of grief and aggrivation, check out the contest calendar before you get on the air.

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

Yes, there is some sort of competitive event every weekend, but I don't think the CVA DX Contest this weekend will bother you much. It is sponsored by the Amateur Radio Club of the School of Communications of the Brazilian Army. But if you see a contest sponsored by the ARRL or CQ Magazine, then that is the weekend to explore the WARC bands or just find something else to do.

You're just not going to win. Let's say you are driving down the road and see a semi coming straight towards you in your lane. Of course he is wrong. Of course he is doing somthing illegal. He has no right to be in your lane. Well, you can be as righteous as you want and end up dead or you can get out of his way and, despite the fact that he is in the wrong, keep on living.

Remember, its just a hobby.
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N1UK
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Posts: 1588




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« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2013, 05:45:23 AM »

There are way too many contests. I find them to be a scourge on the hobby. A bit like having drag racing on public streets.

Quote
You're just not going to win. Let's say you are driving down the road and see a semi coming straight towards you in your lane

Actually in this case we did win and he crawled away but it did leave a bad taste in every bodies mouth especially as this was a well known DX'er who had actually dropped by 40 minutes earlier to chat with us. So it wasn't as if he didn't know we were there. He just wanted our real estate and tried to take it by force.

Bad form !!

Mark N1UK
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KE3WD
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Posts: 5689




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« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2013, 06:15:09 AM »


Without naming names we had it done to us on 80m a few years back. A big contester who had moved in a kHz below us got tired of talking through us and then moved right on top of us. He was about 600 miles away and all signals were 59 +20 to +40, so he could hear us fine.


He really may not have been able to hear you.  Consider the situation where the contester may have been running one type of antenna on Receive and another on Transmit, the Receive antenna exhibiting a very low incidence angle to the horizon. 

Unless the op TELLS you he hears you, which means that he could QSO with you, you really have no way of knowing if he could hear you or not simply because your S meter was on the pin when he was transmitting.  You might have just been under his backscatter. 


Quote
He just wanted our frequency and when we carried on ragchewing he eventually gave up and moved off.

A contester moves off because the contester did not find any/enough contacts. 

If he would have found a run there, I guarantee he would've stayed there until the run petered out. 

Things like this that can be annoying, it is all too easy to make assumptions about things that are biased, I know how that can be. 

We all should practice starting out by giving the other guy some benefit of the doubt, though. 

Sure there are some contesters out there who are bad guys, no question about that. 

But IME they represent a minority of contest operators. 

Just something to think about,


73
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N0IU
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« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2013, 07:16:10 AM »

There are way too many contests. I find them to be a scourge on the hobby.

I have posted this many times before so one more time won't hurt...

I am going to make a leap here and guess that you are referring to phone contests since this notion of "too many contests" rarely, if ever, comes after CW or digital contests.

So let's see just how many multi-band 48 hour phone contests there are from the two major contest sponsors...

ARRL:

1) International Phone Contest - March 2-3, 2013
2) IARU HF World Championship - July 13-14, 2013. Well this one isn't an ARRL sponsored contest, but they are our IARU representative.
3) November Sweepstakes - Phone - November 16-18, 2013

CQ Magazine:

1) CQ WW WPX / SSB - March 30-31, 2013
2) CQ WW DX / SSB - October 26-27, 2013

That's it - FIVE MAJOR MULTI-BAND 48 HOUR PHONE CONTESTS! With 52 weekends in a year, that leaves 47 weekends where there are no major multi-band phone contests! That is less than 10% of the available weekends where there is a major multi-band 48 hour contest which leaves you over 90% of the remaining available weekends and this isn't enough for you?

We are over halfway through the year and with the exception of Field Day, there have only been THREE multi-band 48 hour phone contests this year.

Yes, there are other major multi-band 48 hour contests, but they are on other modes.Yes, there is some sort of organized on-air activity every weekend, but nothing comes close to those 5 biggies.
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G3RZP
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Posts: 4957




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« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2013, 08:25:09 AM »

Further to Scott's comment,

The 'Big Contests' attract up to 20,000 or more different callsigns active, and several thousand entries - a lot of casual operators hand out some points but don't enter. Now go figure what the bands would be like with that many people on the air ragchewing in casual QSO's over a weekend? The problem becomes one of activity. Now that's maybe a good thing, because you don need 'use or lose' bands, although at HF, demand is slowing a bit. Not that stops a number of countries putting Fixed and Mobile Services in bands allocated on a Primary basis to amateurs.....

It's regrettable we don't see more activity on VHF, UHF and microwaves, though, where 'use or lose' is more intense.
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K1DA
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Posts: 539




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« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2013, 01:09:23 PM »

Contests have sold a lot of good size amps.... to NON contestors. 
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K5TED
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Posts: 809




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« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2013, 09:06:03 PM »

At least one well known net control operator has a bad habit of "sweeping the porch" with inane bloviation, ignoring ongoing QSO's 1kc away from "The Net Frequency" about 10 minutes before net time..

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