I’ve been thinking… because I am troubled..

Is it important how a QSO is carried out, i e what procedure is used?


Why this question then?

Well, it has to do with how the system works, and how we should be able to compare and trust each others achievements, both in contests and for awards or toplists.

As radio amateurs we must develop operating skills, and they are important for the future of the hobby. Dumbing down of amateur radio is actually speeded up these days, and the computer is part of it.

So, operator skills is what we are looking for. We don’t want to see a “follow the leader” beaviour where people do anything to achieve “what he just did”.

Loggers sure are a phenomenon where the concept of “follow the leader” is mandatory. Especially when both parties who are trying to make a contact are logged in, because there is always a leader among the two.

If, and I say if, the leader is teaching the other guy not to disclose ANY QSO information while trying to complete the contact he gets a star in my book.

But if he is constantly maneuvering to make the contact possible , for example saying:

“transmit now, pse TX message #3”,
“stand by, don’t call, just waiting for RRR from DJ5XXX”
“stand by, I am being called by another station”

we clearly see that the contact would probably never have been completed had they not been chatting on the logger.

In the above example, who can say that this guy is teaching the other operator anything useful?

Instead he is ordering him around, and actually make his fellow ham a customer in his “shop”.

All in the interest of getting one more “initial” in the log. But not by being a smart and skillfull operator taking care of business on the air, no it is all done via the internet, under full control.

What I am trying to say is, that when looking at the N0UK logger I am sad to see guys who used to be very good operators, and who have a wealth of routine and knowledge to hand over to others, act like bad role models.

Their desire to quickly get that new station in the log overshadows all other things. And that new station will NEVER call CQ anywhere, he will be bossed around by the leaders on the loggers, one after the other.

This is sad. We should instead learn to operate the radio without constant chatting on loggers, and we should learn the newcomers the real game rather than making them stand in a queue via logger commands, waiting to be serviced.

Actually, digital communications in the form of JT65 Deep Search, where you need all info beforehand on the computer, has created this behaviour.

If the program had been designed for full random, and no data needed to be present on the computer, it would have been helpful in preserving good operator behaviour.

Instead, now they all demand space on a logger, so they can fill in the details before they even try to contact each other via the radio channel.

Random operation, with all parameters unknown, is hardly every used by the digital crowd. Why else would stations self spot all the time?

They constantly tell the world that they are calling CQ, or try to be “smart” and announce their frequency on the cluster while thanking the stations they last worked, one after the other.

And the experienced operators, who should be there to teach people how to make a proper contact via the radio channel, are too busy. They will instead set the level for others, by constantly violating our old, well established QSO procedures.

Nobody’s minding the “good old book store” any more, they are all in the warehouse across the street looking for bargains..

That’s why I am troubled… I don’t want to see the same thing happen to CW.

But then again, I’m sure it won’t..

We CW operators are using our brain to decode, and we therefore focus on what hear on the radio. We don’t stare at a logger and a decoder screen on the computer, while trying to keep everyone in order, not to cause an “overflow”…

Today the most wanted country BS7 came on the air. The whole world was waiting for them, and it was NO surprise that they started by operating CW. The skilled operator managed the most tremendous pileup, hour after hour, without the help of loggers or knowing calls in advance.

Now that made me happy! Did I work them..? Sure, two minutes after they started..

I’m sure you know by now… CW is King!!

73 de Peter SM2CEW