Friday, July 15, 2016

Some days it feels like everything is Radiosport

Don't get me wrong. I love Field Day, I love the QRP Sprints (FOBB, FYBO, QRPTTF, etc) but some days, just some days ....... it feels like everything else has devolved to Radiosport. Everything has become a competition.

I've stated this plenty of times before.  When was the last time that you've had a DX QSO that wasn't "TU UR 599 QRZ?" I know DX ragchews still happen as I get involved in one myself from time to time, but it seems the majority now are to see how many stations can be worked in a given period of time.

NPOTA, which I dearly love, is not much better in that regard.  Every now and then, you'll hear a few words go back and forth, but for the majority, it has become brief, contest style exchanges and activation reports of, "I was able to work XXX amount of stations in X hours." People have become obsessed with their standings on the Leader Board, and how many NPS units they have worked. To be honest with you, I haven't checked where I stand in about a month or so.  And at this point, I couldn't care less.  I work new ones to work new ones, to see if I can figure out how propagation is working to where and to possibly come up with new antenna schemes. And my purpose for doing activations is just an excuse to get out and operate in the fresh air and sunshine, which I dearly love.

Even my beloved QRP Fox Hunts seem to now be focused on Teams, who worked both Foxes for a two-fer and who worked the Foxes the earliest in the least amount of time. It's driven me to the point where I've decided not to participate in the Summer 20 Meter season and I'm highly doubtful at this point that I will participate in the Winter season coming up this November.

I guess I'm just in a funk, maybe I'm just burnt out a bit; but I tire of ONLY the competition aspect of Amateur Radio - I guess I'm what you'd call a limited contester.  Maybe it's just not being able to endure long hours sitting, any more. Amateur Radiosport has it's place - just not everywhere!

There has to be more to Amateur Radio than "TU 599 NJ 5W". And yet, like a moth to a flame, I inexorably get drawn back into it.

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


  1. Hi Larry,

    Nice commentary. For the last winter fox hunt season, I was part of a team. They are a good group and I am glad I was involved. Learned a bunch from those expert QRP'rs while making a couple of new friends. Unfortunately, I lost site of the camaraderie aspect and became obsessed with scores. By the end of the season, I hated the weekly ritual. It became clear to me that something was amiss when I got really upset with one of the Fox's who was not an A-1 operator and I couldn't get a QSO. Luckily before I made a public fool of myself by complaining on the reflector, I realized the problem was me, not him. I felt like an idiot.

    I won't be teaming up again. Just not going to do it.

    For the summer season, I've happily jumped in when I felt like it and didn't when I had other things going on. I like it a whole lot better this way. What's my score? Don't know. Don't care. And that suits me fine for the moment.

    I do enjoy working contests. QRP CW is a real hoot for me. I'll never amount to anything, but golly, spending a couple of hours working a contest QRP is a perfect fit for me. It amazes me what 5 W's and a dipole can do.

    And when I find myself going stale with Ham Radio, time to just put it away and work on something else. I'll come back to it. Met too many good people along the way and, after all, that is really the point.

    MJ, WO9B

  2. Mike,

    Thanks so much! Was kind of wary about this post, thinking it might get taken the wrong way. Glad to see you saw my point! Feeling relieved.

    72 de W2LJ

  3. I agree with the sentiment. It seems to be a race to the bottom, because on digital modes like JT65A and JT9, it's now quite common to get someone answering a CQ, being acknowledged with a report, and then departing to call someone else without giving a report! It's also irritating when folk call when a QSO is clearly already underway, often interrupting it.

    Sweet revenge, of course, comes in receiving the irritated complaint that I haven't confirmed these people's 'QSO' which, due to their poor operating, I never will!

  4. The beauty of amateur radio is there's so much for everyone.

    I like quick QSOs. Perhaps this is why I'm into contesting and DXing.

    It's still no reason not to be a courteous operator, though.