I was substitute Fox last night for the last 80 Meter Foxhunt of the 2008/2009 Winter Season. As always, it was a ton of fun; and I managed to hand out 62 pelts during my 90 minute run.
The evening started off extremely well, and for the first 40 minutes or so, I was making contacts at a rate of one, maybe sometimes two a minute. Then at 0140 UTC, give or take (not sure of the exact time), it all came crashing down.
A loud (EXTREMELY LOUD = like 90 dB over 9 loud!) station came on the frequency N3SW, calling up the 3RN Net. Two things ticked me off here. First, I was occupying the frequency for over half an hour at this point - I was there first. Second, N3SW came on the frequency and started transmitting blindly, without so much as the courtesy of a "QRL?". And I don't want to hear that he couldn't hear anyone on frequency. I had a mini-pileup going. He HAD to hear some of them, even if they were QRPers! Things ended up with me changing the way I was operating; so as to accommodate them. I wouldn't have expected 3RN to move for me if they were on frequency first; and by rights, they shouldn't have made it necessary for me to vacate the frequency.
These guys are important as they move message traffic; and they can end up being a backbone someday if the country's communications network fails in the face of an all out disaster. But they can't figure out how to adapt to a situation such as an occupied frequency? These guys can't figure out how to QSY? I'm sorry - NTS or no - that was very rude and "Amateurish" of N3SW and 3RN.
No one should start transmitting on a frequency without listening first. The Foxhunt started at 0100 UTC. I was down at the rig at 0050 UTC picking a quiet spot and "QRLing" the heck out of it in order to insure that I wasn't interfering with anyone. All I ask is that other stations do the same. I don't care who you are and what you're doing. Unless it's a dire life and death emergency, courtesy should be the rule for everyone.
73 de Larry W2LJ