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What Happened to "CQ" Etiquette?

Discussion in 'On-Air Operations - Q&A' started by W0ARM, Jan 31, 2021.

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  1. W0ARM

    W0ARM XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Hello All,

    As I write this thread, I'm sitting here listening to a popular Italian Op calling "CQ North America" on 20-meters (with a 5/9 signal into west Texas, BTW), and to the ensuing pile-up from US hams. It is interesting, as I listen, to how so many US operators have [seemingly] lost proper operating etiquette for replying to a CQ-DX call... The basic etiquette for all operators at all times.

    First, let me preface these comments with the fact that I have been away from ham radio for several years, and got back into the game just a few years ago. I was an avid SWL'er for many, many years (as both a kid and adult), which means I listen... alot. Even now, when I come across a QSO or someone calling CQ, I will listen for a minute or two before calling. Also, with regard to the comments below: I have, of course, experienced this many times, when calling CQ myself, or when replying to a CQ (or CQ-DX) call. It nonetheless continues to amaze me...

    My number ONE pet-peeve:
    WHY... don't you WAIT until the QSO has ended, before giving your callsign? Usually this is when the "CQ'ing" station has finished his QSO, and said "QRZ". NOT when he gives his 73's to the responding station. More often than not, the other station will give a reciprocal salutation to end the QSO. It is SOOO irritating when operators just can't wait to jump on the pile! PLEASE, PLEASE... wait until the CQ station has FINISHED with his QSO, and calls "QRZ"! NOW it's time to give your callsign. If you're not sure the QSO has ended, then LISTEN for a bit, before you blindly blurt-out your callsign.

    Number 2:
    WHY... must your give your callsign more than once [per call]? Proper etiquette is to throw-out your callsign ONE TIME. Don't repeat it two, or three, or four times on the same key-down. Very disrespectful to others who are calling once, and waiting for a call-back.

    Number 3:
    WHY... do some operators find it necessary to tune-up on a frequency in use? This is just plain rude and disrespectful. Move up, move down, whatever... but please don't tune-up on a frequency that's in use.

    Anyway, these are just some of the rude and improper operating practices that should not be used, in my opinion. I'm sure most will agree, as they are just the common-sense "basics" we should all know.

    //End of Rant//
    W7EDC, N0KRS, K2CAJ and 6 others like this.
  2. WG7X

    WG7X Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Lou from Barcelona? Calling CQ NA, or CQ West Coast and listening for a call. EA3 something something?

    That guy always generates a big pile up...

    But to your rant: Good rant, but a subject that has been beat to death too many times to count. Spanish stations aren't rare, but in times of poor conditions, most any call from outside NA will generate a pileup. Good bad, or indifferent, the pileup will happen along with all the things that you mentioned.

    Believe it or not, there are actually some folks who really appear to like squashing the other fellows in the pile up and they appear to really delight in being a boor on the air. Yes, it seems to have gotten worse in the last decade or so...

    What can we do? Mostly nothing. Not too many folks will read your rant, good as it was. Hopefully it made you feel better, but that's about all that will happen.

    Please make my popcorn with lots of real butter, none of that oily slop that movie theaters sell under the guise of hot, buttered, popcorn!
    KP4SX, N4CKC, W5PFG and 3 others like this.
  3. KK9W

    KK9W Ham Member QRZ Page

    Because stations running the pileup encourage it by NOT setting the tone as how things will be run. They lack repeatability, meaning sometimes they do, sometimes they don't call QRZ or CQ after the previous QSO. This leaves everyone competitvley guessing and then it's like 100 Ray Charles' playing Whack-A-Mole on frequency.

    This coupled with poor ops who butt in prematurely or out of turn when calling by the numbers still get rewarded versus being called out and dismissed. Calling stations who refuse to enforce good discipline are a pet peeve of mine and there are few of them these days.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2021
    M0TNX, VE6CLG, NA0W and 3 others like this.
  4. W0ARM

    W0ARM XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    You're both correct. I wish these DX operators WOULD call out the bad actors, and some do (always a fun listening experience!), but most don't, I guess to avoid the ill will.

    John Stuart Mill, who said in 1867: “Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing”.

    Thanks gentlemen...
    M0TNX, W7EDC, WA1GXC and 2 others like this.
  5. N5CM

    N5CM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Oh no! I must absolutely tune up atop the station calling CQ. If I move up or down just a bit to a quiet spot, I might lose a nano watt of power from my BelchFire QRM Plus amplifier, and that nano watt would make all the difference. Shame on you for even suggesting that I go elsewhere to tune. Besides, it only takes a minute or two for me to tune.
  6. K1LKP

    K1LKP Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page






    dont worry be happy .jpg





    73 - K1LKP
    W0ARM likes this.
  7. K2CD

    K2CD Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Let's not forget those calling with their "lass two". . .

    Alan, for those tuner-upers try the digital notch filter in that beautiful rig of yours. It's annoying to have to, but people tuning right on the DX is something that won't ever change.


    I am often in a ragchew QSO on 20 meters and suddenly a number of tuner-upers will show up very near my frequency at the same time. If I glance over at the cluster I'll see a DX station was just spotted 5 or 10 kilocycles from my frequency.

    So in this case the tuner-upers are respecting the DX but disrespecting me, lol. I tell ya' life just ain't fair. Hang in there, bud.
    W0ARM likes this.
  8. W0JKT

    W0JKT Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    What about tail ending is this considered proper. i.e. pileup and he is not immediately responding so toss in your call after the masses. I have heard it work sometimes.

    Another pet peeve as I just got back on the air after 40 years of silence, sometimes DX stations do not give their call enough! They just say QRZ and takes contact after contact as I am trying to figure out who and where he is to check the beam heading!

    When first hearing a station I try and look them up here also, be sure I am hearing the call correctly and listen to his manner of fast exchanges or a bit more extended. However, often I am sitting there waiting to hear his call sign. I thought you had to ID at the beginning and end? Besides every 10 minutes...

    I am out of date by decades but enjoying it if we can just get that darn Sun to definitely reach the terminator and get that North hemisphere more in line with the South when a few sunspots show up! Come on cycle 25!
    N0KRS, VE6CLG and W0ARM like this.
  9. G8FXC

    G8FXC XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Why transmit your entire callsign? I'm G8FXC - I was taught to reply to a CQ with "x-ray charlie" and wait for the calling station to select me. So many of the current generation of operators sit there giving their entire callsign two or three times over - the calling station just hears a mass of noise.

    Martin (G8FXC)
  10. WG7X

    WG7X Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    That's not true for all countries, unfortunately. Having said that, I totally agree with you about the DX stations that just send their call sign once in a while, or when ever they feel like it. It's really bad operating.

    Speaking of bad operating: @G8FXC. Whoever "taught" you to just use the last two of your call did you a huge disservice. That is a not really a good thing to do. If you give your full call it does two things: first if the DX hears your full call it saves him asking for it and in the event he only hears a partial, he can ask for a fill. Second, depending on the requirements of your license, it ensures that you are identifying your station properly.

    Yeah, I know... You've been doing it that way since forever, right? Still not all that great...
    AE0Q, KG7WGX, W7EDC and 5 others like this.

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