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 ?!
(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 ..._ ._