Friday, October 21, 2011

Why am I not surprised?

A couple of years ago, I subscribed to the CQ-Contest reflector list. That was back when I was trying my hand at contesting and I thought it might be a good place to glean some pointers and tidbits.

Unfortunately, I’ve been greatly disappointed because many of the threads degenerate into name calling and repetitive gripes about cheaters and what can possibly be done to run off people who aren’t contesters but want to do the unthinkable…like operate on 20 meters during CQ WW.

It also seems a lot like a closed society. Newbies are often run over.

I’ve considered pulling the plug many times but an interesting thread started up recently about using multiple direction antennas and splitters. Not that I would have the capability to ever do that, but I was curious how this might work. No harm in being curious, right?

So tonight I’m following the thread and I read this (and I give credit to the author, who I don’t know from the man in the moon) from N4OGW/5, and I quote:

“In a contest situation once such a lid has started up, it sometime also works to go narrow on the lid :) Point a gain antenna #1 at the lid during transmit, and receive on another antenna #2 pointed in a different direction. Usually antenna #1's pattern has enough leaks in other directions that you can continue to work other stations until the lid moves on.

I also use split stacks of two yagis quite a bit on 20 and 15 during stateside contests from MS (single amplifier of course). From MS the two population centers are northeast and west. If I point a beam at one of these centers, the other is precisely in the null off the end of the elements. I suppose I could use a stack of moxons or similar with a wide forward pattern, but that would sacrifice a lot of dx performance compared to the yagis.


Finally a “real tidbit” that probably shouldn’t have been spoken out loud, don’t you think? What we’re talking about is nothing more than deliberate QRM, aren’t we? Someone gets too close to your frequency, just point towards them, blast them and run them off.

In hamspeak, the term “lid” generally refers to a poor operator. But, between us adults, let’s face it, it means someone being an ass or someone doing something stupid. I see some irony in his decision to refer to another op as a lid.

Now, I’m not naïve enough to think that this doesn’t go on all the time. I’m also not so naïve that I don’t think that people without multiple direction antennas tied to a single transmit signal are the only ones who employ this tactic. I’m sure a lot of contesters and hams in general with single antennas turn them in the direction of a someone to run them off. But I’m thinking that there’s a lot of contesters, both of the courteous and sneaky persuasion, who are probably gritting their teeth and thinking, “Hey man, just keep your trap closed about this tactic.” Is this how to maintain a run frequency?

I’ll be curious to see if anyone posts anything and addresses that.

1 comment:

w4kaz said...

Not really enough context included in the snippet to determine which is the bigger lid. Seems like a lot of gray areas here that require judgment calls.

Who was there first? Did he have reason to think the frequency was unoccupied before he began operations? Is he to leave every time someone decides to operate despite his current and prior use of the frequency? Did changes in propagation cause them to "appear", even though both had been using the same frequency for some time? Is an operator using a vertical broadcasting in all directions less to blame than an operator using a directional antenna? What of the op with directional rx antennas, whose xmit antennas spam in many directions away from the rx antennas direction? Amplifiers vs QRP?

Thats just a few off the top of my head, all common practice by "good" operators.

73 de w4kaz