It is disappointing that I can't make a contact on phone or CW on weekends. For the nearly 5 months I have had the ability to use my HF prvileges, I have been banned from using on weekends. Here's a condensed version-
Phone: I don't have a linear amplifier nor do I intend to get one. But that leaves my 100 watts as a weak signal for contesters to squash when they start calling CQ. And it would seem they find the frequency I'm using as a great place to tune up then call CQ. No chance of working DX there.
CW: I don't know 35+ WPM although you don't need it to hear "TEST" being sent 5x with a callsign. But that and contesters are all that I hear on the CW portion of the band during the weekend. I am currently about 13 WPM and that's pretty good since 5 months ago, I was barely able to copy 5. What really sucks is when I find a frequency that's not in use (I Call QRL? a few times first just to make sure) and call CQ, I don't get an answer, I just hear someone tune up for 30 seconds then call CQ contest much louder on top of me. Great, so much for part 97!
So what I really want to know is, where can I go to get away from contests and make a good DX contact on weekends? Is there any weekend when there isn't a band-hogging contest running?
I would just like to find a portion of the CW band that is not hogged-up by contestors on weekends. If I can get a straight and honest answer, please let me have it!
Next maybe we can build a device that shuts off transmitters remotely when tuned up over a QSO. Wouldn't it be dandy if we could just copy that weak signal once without being interrupted!
In the past five months there have been several weekends where there was no big contest going on.. in fact many weekends.. During IARU things were very crowded.. but still no contests on 17 and 12 meters.. during CQWW and the CW TEST that you heard takes a lot of bandwith.. Still you can go tot 12 or 17 meters.. Also During the CW contest this weekend, QSY up to the phone portions of the bands, you should be able to work some good DX, and some nice stateside stuff.. During the 10 meter contest next month, QSY up to 12, 15, 17, 20, 30 (since you do CW) 40, 75/80 (if you have an antenna for the band) and even 160meters (if you have an antenna for some good ragchewing)
I hear a lot of non-contestors complaining saying "These contestors are on top of me" but I have been on a contest frequency having non-contestors QRM us.. when asked to QSY they got offensive.. With Part 97 the bands indeed must be shared.. I am with you 100% on that, but no just blame contestors..
Yep, I was on 10 meters for about a half hour this afternoon...did hear several district 6 stations that were primarily interested more in some " 10 10 #s " more than an actual fcc call sign, so I did not join in.
First reason -- if my call sign aint good enuf then I dont need to let you know that I heard your station.
Second reason --- I do not, nor do I plan to get a " 10 10 # " ; mostly because I just do not need it.
I suppose I COULD have just made one up, but no need in lying to some one just to make a 15 second contact for a contest situation. I would not have been real happy if some one had done me like that. What goes around tends to come around. You reap what you sow.
God loves you .
Be as nice as you can to others.
I type real slow for those of you who can not read fast.
...Still you can go tot 12 or 17 meters.. Also During the CW contest this weekend, QSY up to the phone portions of the bands, you should be able to work some good DX, and some nice stateside stuff...
Easier said than done considering I don't even have a rig that works 12 or 17. Sorry, but the hobby has been in the later considerations as far as budget goes.
And I don't blame all contestors. Like all "groups" there are the select few who make the whole lot of them look bad. So I don't blame all contestors. But I do note the bad ones.
In the last 5 months I have had 4 hurricanes hit and so I have not been on all 4 weekends. Also I only have access to 10 which is dead, 15 which seems dead most of the time, 20 and 40. 75/80 and 160 I cannot use for equipment issues and the other bands I just don't have. I hear 30m is a great band for getting away from the ridiculous power-mongers and contests, so I have been interested in getting on 0m, but again I just don't have the financial means of getting on it right now.
Great! Except that I don't have 12 or 17 meters. I guess I should just put the radio on the shelf for the weekends. Or maybe the rules should be enforced! (Ha! Neither are probably likely.)
I don't see why certain contestors feel it necessary to run me off the frequency so they can contest. Then again, I guess if they really need their points that bad, go right ahead and be CBish.
I can understand how you can get angry at those few contesters who decide to break part 97 of the FCC rules.. next time log their callsigns and send them to riley.. or ask the stations to please QSY, or you can QSY.. There are so many options to try.. Also during the smaller contests, you should not have a problem finding a place to call CQ...
The phone portions of the bands are wide open this weekend.
I am a slow coder like you and the contesters were too fast for me to copy, so I went up to the phone segments of the bands for a couple hours.
Managed to talk to South Korea, a couple JA's, Washington state, Texas, California, and I heard some a couple other stations that I wanted to try, but I lost patience waiting in line on the pileups.
All on 100 watts.
It can be done. Just be patient and it happens.
From Florida, you should be able to work some nice DX while all the 'testers are down on cw.
There are no contests here on 2-meters. Nor big antennas, QRM, K1MAN, and a lot of other bad things.
TOM K8ERV Montrose Colo
Check the Novice subbands, especially near the bottom 5 kHz, during contests. Slow code ops on 80M and 40M were calling slow CQ's and getting answers Saturday night.
Try two meter FM simplex during weekends, especially during HF contest weekends. Monitor and call on 146.520 MHz simplex FM and look for hams who you have never worked before. Check out distant 2M and 70cm repeaters for contacts, also!
Advantage of HF over VHF? You can work the world. Disadvantage of HF, versus VHF? You get interference from around the world!
Spent about 4 hours "playing" with the cw contest this weekend and have 77 contacts and 18 zones on all bands in the log. Yes, some of the ops are clipping along at 35+ but if you listen to them for a bit you will pick out the call, you know the 599, and you will be able to decipher the zone. It might take 3 or four listens but once you have this information you are ready to answer and maybe get a new one in your log.
For this kind of contest, 100 watts is enough. I have been using a straight key and responding at about 15 - 18 WPM and no one has turned down the contact and the points that go with it. I have also heard quite a few responding at the 10 WPM or less level.
These guys (and gals) want contacts. Towards the end of the contest when new ones are scarce you can use 3-5 WPM and they will welcome your contact.