Re: Encouraging Causal Participation in Contests
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Civility is not too much to ask, Jack.
In my experience, most hams are civil, polite and friendly. I believe many of our on-air conflicts are innocuous and inadvertent. Very few are deliberate … but they stand out and are memorable because of the aggravation caused.
We tend to forget all the other times that such issues were resolved without aggravation, and of course we don’t even know how often someone listened for a clear frequency, heard it being used, and graciously moved away without even transmitting.
It takes two to tango. Our response when someone lands on “our” frequency can turn an innocuous and inadvertent mistake into an angry dispute, or it can defuse the situation. Sometimes, it makes more sense for the incumbent to concede the frequency, for instance when a DX station’s split pileup sprawls across busy frequencies or (as you say) when a net starts up on sked. Sometimes, when the bands are very busy such as during major contests, there may be no clear frequencies to move to. Even then, we may be able to narrow the filters, slide a little HF or LF, turn the beam, or change tactics e.g. try search and pounce, or change bands.
From: ARRL-Contesting@... <ARRL-Contesting@...> On Behalf Of Jack Spitznagel (KD4IZ)
Sent: 02 April 2021 09:29
Subject: Re: [ARRL-Contesting] Encouraging Causal Participation in Contests
What you say is true *and* it seems to be a two way street. I have a foot in both camps here.
I have been on (or run) many a net that is “regular” and whose NCS (including myself) asked several times if the frequency was in use, then waited sufficient time to receive an answer and did not. No sooner than the net was in progress, 59+ contest stations moved on to the frequency and immediately started calling. Not a propagation shift there. Now, I do run an amp and rarely have trouble being heard (as do many of the other NCS’ I know). That being said, I have also been in the middle of a contest run and had a net start right up without asking if the frequency was in use.
Bottom line: Neither the rude contester nor the rude NCS ever asked if the frequency was in use, they just started transmitting.
We (Amateur Radio) have a respect problem… not good when the airways are crowded. “We” do not “own” any particular frequency, we only have been granted the privilege of operating on a range of frequencies we share with several hundred thousand or so other hams. “We” do owe it to each other to be civil, ask if a frequency is in use, and if it is, move off -or- politely ask the person to move so a net could begin on schedule…
It would be great if there were “contest free” and “net free” segments of the major classic bands, but that is asking too much of a community that has a history of “staking a claim” and be damned anyone who dare suggest that claim does not exist.
A bit of civility might help, but it may be just too much to ask.
Jack Spitznagel – KD4IZ