Last night I ran into a very frustrating situation. I was in QSO with VE3HIE/W8 who was portable in Dearborn, MI. We were on 40 Meters and there were thunderstorms going on all throughout the NorthEast; so QRN was horrendous, with a good bit of QSB thrown into boot.
Tom was using his K1 at 4 Watts; and I had a decent copy, despite the horrific conditions. All of a sudden out of the blue, the familiar cacophony of +35 WPM code. What ?????? It reminded me that Thursday night is "contest practice" night for the die-hard, hard core contesting crowd; as they tune up for the weekend's coming event. Unfortunately, these guys were causing so much QRM that Tom and I couldn't even get a word in edgewise to inform each other about a frequency change (QSY).
I'm not much of a contester; but I do dabble in QRP Sprints, so I have no qualms or grudges against contesting or contesters. But hey, guys, not even a "QRL ?" before hitting the airwaves? What happened to good operating practice and common courtesy? One of my very best friends is an avid contester; and I am certain 1000% beyond a shadow of a doubt that he would NEVER think of blindly calling "CQ TEST" without the common sense of checking the frequency for occupancy, first.
I know that the hair on the backs of most contester's necks get raised up when someone complains about the over- running of the bands with contests every weekend. I generally have no gripe with them about that. But you know what guys? You're bringing these complaints on yourselves when you demonstrate shoddy operating like you did last night.
There is absolutely no acceptable reason for these guys to behave like they own the frequencies. They don't.
73 de Larry W2LJ