You may recall:
- Part 1 was a potpourri of BEEFs; a Beefy Potpourri.
- Part 2 brought us a look at the technology side of 40-meter QRM.
This included an encounter with an Indonesian Witch Doctor.
I KiD you NoT.
- Part 3 was another potpourri opening with a look at CW on steroids and ending with a look at stations who GIVE UP.
However first, let's begin Part 4 with a look at operators who waste everybody's time by sending
large amounts of unnecessary exchange data.
BEEF #16 - CW STATIONS WHO SEND 599+ EXCHANGE EVERYTIME I ASK FOR ONLY A SPECIFIC PIECE OF INFORMATION
One of the BiGGesT wastes of time in radiosport contests is sending unnecessary information.
A not insignificant number of contests have us send "599" followed by an additional piece of information; typically, a Serial #. To be in compliance with contest rules, I send a "599" for
every contact (but only once per QSO).
Under N1MM+ I define Function Key F6 to send "UR NR?" and F7 to send "NR 1234".
Sending a minimal amount of information is very important when the receiving end is
When I send "NR?" and you send "599 1234", what usually happens is I hear the 599 VERY LOUD just in time for the signal to fade when you send me the number. This causes me to ask for a repeat AGAIN and AGAIN; whereas, if you JUST sent "1234", I would get it the first time and we can then BOTH move on. Is that so difficult for people to understand? It MUST be because most people
make this most fundamental of radiosport mistakes. WAKE UP PEOPLE!
BEEF #17 - STATIONS WHO DON'T WAIT AT LEAST 1.5 SECONDS BETWEEN RUN QSOS LISTENING FOR CALLERS BEFORE MAKING ANOTHER CALL
When I run a frequency during a contest, after EACH QSO I take a 2 second pause, listening
for other callers. Doing this prevents me from having to make a lengthy CQ call when there are stations ready and waiting to make a QSO.
When I am calling a run station, IMMEDIATELY after he concludes his QSO I press F4 to send my call. Often when the rig is back in receive, he is in the middle of calling CQ (we both transmitted at
the same time). I call him the second time and comes right back to me.
HuH? If you had waited JUST 2 seconds you would have heard me calling you and there would
be no need to call another CQ until AFTER we make our QSO. The bottom line is PATIENCE.
Getting ANXIOUS actually slows things down rather than improving operating efficiency.
BEEF #18 - SO2-R OPERATORS WHO DO SUCH A POOR JOB RUNNING THINGS THAT "BOTH" FREQUENCIES END UP WAITING
While I have mixed feelings about running SO2-R in contests (as long they are in their own separate category I don't mind them), my BIGGEST problem with SO2-R are the operators who THINK they are SO2R-Aces, when in fact, they are just beginners.
Nothing is MORE annoying than hearing an S-9 "CQ contest" call and not only does he not come back to me, he responds to no one else either. After sending "WQ6X" 3 separate times, if there is
no response, I send "QRL?" 3 separate times. If there is STILL no response, I press F1 to call CQ
and the frequency is mine; unless of course NOW the Idiot wakes up and blindly calls CQ without
first listening to see whether or not the frequency is in use (a violation of FCC rules which require
we listen BEFORE transmitting).
When that happens I intersperse [F1] CQ calls with [F9] QRL QSY messages.
What if the reason they were delayed was because of an equipment glitch? TOO BAD.
If you're having equipment problems, then fix them off the air; not at our expense.
BEEF #19 - SO2-I - SINGLE-OP TOO IDIOTIC
A variation of the above complaint is the Dingle-Dork (usually during his state's QSO party)
running a CW frequency (VFO-A) and an SSB frequency (VFO-B) - (in many contest events
this is forbidden).
I remember one day waiting "in line" to work a QSO party station on CW. After each QSO he would ask: "SSB? QSX 14222.22". Next thing WE discover he was now using VFO-B to make a ragchew-style QSO party contact, leaving US stranded on the Cw frequency with the line getting longer (I was listening to the SSB frequency with the FT-1000mp's Sub-RX).
After no replies to my 3 "QRL?" queries, I started calling CQ for HIS QSO party signing as "WQ6X/CA". When he blindly came back on frequency I pressed the [F9] key, letting him know the frequency was now in use. The amazing thing is, he actually yielded the frequency over to me - I can at LEAST credit him for that. Nevertheless, I registered a complaint with the QSO party sponsor.
What is even MORE amazing is that I managed 5 QSOs from his state in that original pileup which included some of his state-buddies; ALL of which he could have worked for QSO point credit had he JUST stuck to running CW.
BEEF #20 SO2R-NL - SINGLE-OP 2-RADIOS - NOT LISTENING
Similar to BEEF #17 is the SO2-R IDIOT with an S9+ signal who calls CQ TEST with a 1-second pause in between each call.
Realize it takes me at least TWO seconds to press the [F4] key sending my callsign. It's clear that this operator is simply keeping this frequency busy (which is against most contest rules). My solution?: QRLx3 and then I just "MUSCLE" in on the frequency and call CQ. When he complains the frequency is in use, I say "no it isn't - I called you 5 times and you didn't respond. If my signal is so loud that I am QRM'ing you then why did you NoT respond to my call?"
SOME LAST MINUTE THOUGHTS
wOw! What began as a single Top-10 contest beef BLOG entry has become a 4-part Top-20 BLOG series. Instinct tells me that before the summer is behind us I will have enough material for a 5th (and possibly 6th) BLOG entry in this series.
What are YOUR beefs in Radio sport?
e-Mail your ideas to me and I can include them in Part 5 OR 6.