Friday, March 15, 2013

Enough to drive you batty!

I wasn't going to post about this; but I'm sitting here and have a few moments while I wait for my daughter to call. She's on a Girl Scout field trip to the NJ State Police Training Academy.  The girls should be back at the troop leader's house in about an hour to 90 minutes, so I have some time to kill before going to pick her up. And I'm too tired to go downstairs and turn the rig on. Just got back from our Church's Friday Lenten Fish Fry. I'm part of the clean up crew and there were only four of us this week, to clean up after 400 fish dinners were served. To say I am beat is an understatement.

Last night I participated in the 80 Meter QRP-L Fox hunt. The Foxes were Paul AA4XX in North Carolina and TJ WØEA in Iowa.  I was able to hear them both well, and work them both - Paul was pretty much 599 the entire evening.  TJ started out ESP but was also 599 before the night wore on too long.

They both started at 0100 UTC and were doing quite well, running the packs of baying hounds in an orderly manner.  But I felt really bad for Paul as he had to QSY a couple of times during the 90 minute session.  Why?  Because someone would start calling up a net right on top of him.  

OK, OK ...... I understand that Paul was a QRP station running 5 Watts and the Net Control Station may not have heard him. But no "QRL?" - not even one?  I was there when this started, and yes, the frequency might have sounded empty to the NCS - but that is never, never, never, NEVER an excuse for ANY station to start transmitting without double checking to see if the frequency is in use.

It's good operating practice and it's good manners.

I was on Facebook with some of the other Hounds after the hunt and brought this up.  TJ WØEA asked me, "You're going to blog about this, aren't you?"  (My friends know me so well.)

My answer to him was that I didn't plan on it as I have beaten this dead horse over and over again. But it bears repeating, even though I might be reported for harming this poor horsie.

Good operating practice and manners will only rule the day if we make it a point to make them rule the day.

There's no excuse for being a Lid - NCS or not.

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!


  1. Just out of curiosity, in a case like this, if the NCS can't hear that the frequency is in use, what good would sending QRL do? Maybe one of the hounds would go QRO to let him know? I'm just unclear on how this could have been resolved, due to my inexperience :)

    de KJ6AKQ

  2. Don't even get me started about how W1AW never checks the frequency!

    73 de Lee, AA4GA

  3. I really appreciate your post, Larry. I, too, operate QRP and while they may not hear me, it's just rude for some station to start calling CQ CQ CQ CQ CQ while I'm in the middle of a QSO. I'd have heard a QRL if they'd have sent one. It can be infuriating. I appreciate your using your blog to spread the word.

  4. Owe,

    Yes, one of the hounds could go QRO and send out a "QRL", and that more than likely would have happened had the NCS queried with a "QRL?" But even had that not worked, at least the NCS would have done due diligence and the resulting QRM would have at least been a little tolerable knowing that he tried doing it properly.

    73 de Larry W2LJ

  5. Larry -

    Good point. I can confess to never sending "QRL?" before starting a PSK31 CQ, though I at least always "listened" for a few minutes before picking a spot to call. In my defense, I will say that I can only remember one time that I saw someone else do it, in 3 years of regular operating, and I thought it was strange. But when I get my HF setup back on the air, I'll take this to heart!