#47 How to get started in Ham Radio Contesting with the Youtuber's Bunch

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by KM9G, May 26, 2020.

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  1. KA2FIR

    KA2FIR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes. 30 is a 24 hour band and 17 has been open into the late evening.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 28, 2020
  2. W0PV

    W0PV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Whining about contesting using up too much band space is nonsense.

    My previous post about a purpose of radiosport being to develope operating skills applies to NON-contesters as well. Learn how to "spin the knobs"! ;)

    Long gone, thankfully, are the bloviating boat-anchored OM's ranting "I am Xtal controlled, I can not move..." :eek:

    Back in the day there were complainers about NTS traffic nets spreading out and taking up too many frequencies too. Apparently chewing the rag was more important than wartime health & welfare messages. :rolleyes:

    These complaints tend to come from members of small informal yet arrogant gangs that gather together on the same frequency, day after day, feeling a sense of ownership about it, and then getting pissy if their favorite "wateringhole' is occassionally found to be occupied or without enough guard-banding for a clearest possible channel. :mad:

    On a calendar basis, contests, being mostly weekend events, don't come close to over using the allotted spectrum. Oh, but the argument then morphs to be about who gets the "prime air time"; the Chad's & Karen's of ham radio pouting, sigh ... :p

    Most major contests are nearly always one mode, leaving the other half of the usual five bands available and less occupied for using other modes. :)

    If your beef is finding space for a Morse QSO, read the note in the Key box on that band-plan chart; "CW operation is permitted throught all amateur bands." o_O

    Many events exclude or specialize on 160m, and 80/75m has plenty of space no matter what; contests never come close to filling up that band. :D

    As stated by @KA2FIR, 30 meters is open nearly 24/7 with DX opportunities. While 60 meters is the most under-ultilized band of all. :cool:

    Daytime NVIS on 60m works great for regional roundtables. Evenings the 5.357 MHz FT8 "mini-band" is always busy now with loud sigs demonstrating the band is open for DX too, but the other 80% of the USA allocated freq's sit mostly quiet; lights are on and nobody home. :(

    73, John, WØPV

    PS - "... but my (old) rig don't go on 60m!" - see Xtal control above.
    Last edited: May 28, 2020
    KC5NYO and KA2FIR like this.
  3. KC8UD

    KC8UD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm not against contests. Have at it and have a great time. Just leave some space for the rest of us who are also entitled to use all bands and have some common courtesy. Nudging right up against a QSO in progress or just blatantly jumping in on top of it and blasting out "CQ contest, CQ contest" does not endear contesters to the rest of the amateur radio community. Learn how to spin the dial...yeh, that's done frequently trying to get away from that guy who just landed on top of our QSO shouting "CQ contest". We spin the dial trying to find at least a semi-quiet spot where we can carry on our conversation only to be encroached upon again. Seems like in a civil world we could all co-exist happily if there were some spaces allocated or agreed upon that would give us some separation. WARC bands are great. I love em but that's not the answer. Not all WARC bands are open for prorogation at all times, not everybody has WARC band capability in their radio and not everyone has antennas suitable for operating on WARC bands.
    F8WBD likes this.
  4. W0PV

    W0PV Ham Member QRZ Page

    REALLY - thats like knowingly standing on the route of a scheduled Mardi Gras parade conversing and then complaining of somebody "nudging right up against" bumping into and "blatantly" spilling beer on you. :eek: "...have some common courtesy ..." Is this REALLY about the differences in "Minnesota Nice" versus "New York Swagger"? :p

    Radio contesters doing their thing "in a civil world" are no more guilty than polo players taking their turn on the pitch when an outsider tries to joy ride across it during a match. I say grow a little thicker skin and INDEPENDENTLY find the way to "co-exist" PLENTY of space is available; how much is REALLY needed. For the duration, stay out of the way! ;)

    I will help. Here is a detailed Non-contesters HF frequency guide chart to use during contests for least QSO disruption (abide by FCC license and mode rules, of course) On some bands it won't guarantee not being bothered by a contester, but sure will make the chances minimal.

    160m 1900-2000 kHz
    80m 3600-3700 / 75m 3850-4000 kHz
    60m Channels 1,2,4,5
    40m 7100-7125; 7200-7300 kHz
    30m whole band
    17m whole band
    15m 21125-21200; 21400-21450 kHz *
    12m whole band
    10m 28150-28300; 28700-up (* rare exception at top of solar cycle)

    Oh wait, I didn't include any suggestion on 14 MHz, except to choose modes wisely to avoid any contests. Darn. Is 20m REALLY what all this is about ? o_O

    If the band needed is closed, thats that. But if operating during contests for other purposes is REALLY that important, again, perhaps its time for a little station upgrade to improve the odds, an activity most contesters are quite diligent about doing for their purposes.

    WARC band capability has been standard in rigs for decades so there are many low cost opportunities. Full size antennas 80-10m often work well enough on WARC bands with use of a shack tuner, and/or its quite easy to add WARC band legs on an existing wire or vertical to make a "fan dipole" type multiband antenna. :)

    73, John, WØPV
    Last edited: May 29, 2020
  5. WA6JJM

    WA6JJM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Sorry John, but so much of it is robotic, impersonal, and repetitive. I would rather make new friends, discuss topics, exchange station information, weather condx, etc., than 599 TU. Forcing non-testers to use WARC bands is inconsiderate, as is the high powered RTTY stations contest encroachment on the cw portions of the bands.
    Enjoy the contests, but please be considerate of others who don't share the contest enthusiasm.
    WA6JJM Mike
  6. W0PV

    W0PV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Mike, I appreciate your sentiments about contesting, its not for everyone. But being "considerate" is a bidirectional thing. I don't think its a "force" or coercion to point out there are choices of non-contest bands, or lesser used frequencies in nearly every band, and suggest that non-contesters would be wise to simply do what savvy radiomen have always done, avoid the congestion of the moment.

    73, John, WØPV
  7. WA6JJM

    WA6JJM Ham Member QRZ Page

    But John, why should I, or others who are not contesting, have to avoid the congestion? Don't we all have the same licensed access to ALL bands?
  8. W0PV

    W0PV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yup, we all do, within license constraints. (upgrade incentive)

    Mike, mingling with or avoiding the contest crowd are each valid options. Be empowered. Make a choice.

    Last edited: May 29, 2020
  9. KA2FIR

    KA2FIR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Generals don't have the same access as Advanced/Extras do so it pays to upgrade.

  10. WA6JJM

    WA6JJM Ham Member QRZ Page

    You are probably correct, and after 60 years pounding brass as well.

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