What would you do if you ran across a really poor operator on the air...and you knew him? When I say "poor operator", what I mean is, someone who is probably not intentionally causing QRM but maybe they don't know any better and the QRM is a side-effect?
Would you tell him or her? Would you just let it go? I know if someone posed those questions to me, I'd probably say that it depends on the circumstances.
Well, I find myself in that predicament and I don't know what to do.
Here's the details - a nearby ham - and by "nearby" I mean that he lives within 5 miles of me - has been active on 20 meters lately. I don't know him well, but I have made his acquaintance. In recent days, he's been trying to work some DX stations on SSB and he's not having much success. Either they're not hearing him, he's not in the right place at the right time, or they're ignoring him because of his behavior.
He's incessantly calling out of turn, calling when the DX stations are calling for specific stations (not him), tromping over ongoing QSO's, and calling before the DX stations have ended their contacts . And it's not a random, isolated thing - it's an on-going, long term approach. And I've encountered it at least 4 times this week. In fact, each time that I've stumbled across him, he's committed some sort of screwball action.
To top it off, instead of using standard phonetics, he's using ridiculous words that a foreign speaking ham is unlikely to understand. This isn't his call, but let's say it ends in "LHU". Instead of saying Lima - Hotel - Uniform, or even London - Honolulu - United, he might say something like Long - Handle - Underwear. I know that's not a crime, but c'mon, he's not doing himself any favors and he's probably angering or confusing the DX.
There have been some, not many, on the air comments directed towards him by other hams trying to work the DX, but he seems oblivious or undeterred. Maybe he's not hearing them? I would think he has to be, since I'm hearing them. I don't agree with their approach to call him names, but I can understand their frustration. He's kind of spoiling the fun, you know?
Now, here's the kicker, the fellow has been a ham for a long time (extra class), licensed since the mid-30's, in fact. So, I'm sorta torn between the following:
1. Cut him some slack, maybe his hearing isn't that good.
2. Leave it be, maybe his station is marginal and he really doesn't know if the DX is coming back to him or not (ok, probably not true, if he heard them to begin with...unless he's relying on spots only).
3. Tell him because he ought to know better no matter how long he's been a ham.
I know if I were doing something boneheaded and didn't realize it, I'd want someone to tell me. How would I react? Hard to say, depends on what I've done. But my dilemma is, does he know what he's doing and just not care? If that's the case, then, indeed, it's wrong. I feel that I have an obligation to point it out to him, but at the same time, will I just make a bigger mess of things and should I just leave it alone and tune away?
What would you do?