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Thougths on "The Birds"

Some thoughts on working th FM mode J birds...

While this is directed to no one in particular, I will address it to all
amateur radio operators as I am one myself.  

It is becoming more and more obvioius to all that the birds are becoming
extremely crowded.  ie:  nights, weekends, holidays, etc.  As QST, 73
and we as operators inform others as to the fun and low cost involved in
working these "big boy toys", it seems we are working ourselves into a
"Catch 22" situation.  We pursue the ease of operating with HT's and
portable antennaes, mobile stations, and the like, but, I'm afraid many
a newcomer has had very little enjoyment out of these fantastic
repeaters in the sky.  Human nature steers these potential SATHAMS three

  1.  Either stay with the current setup and eventually the interest
will die due to frustration.
  2.  Upgrade to more expensive equipment.  A number of ways this can be
accomplished only limited to expenses the wife, family, and Uncle Sam
and so on will allow.
  3.  Give up.

I'm sure none of us want to see anyone step to number 3.

So, with my flame suit on, I propose the following suggestions.  (And
these are my own.)

  1.  Limit ourselves to 3 - 4 contacts per pass.  With the growing
number of operators on at once and all trying for as many QSO's/Grid
Squares as possible, we end up saturating the uplink/downlink to the
point that nothing is legible.  We all like to confirm a contact/grid
square when made but before the contact can be confirmed to each
operator, several other contacts are in progress.  Therefore, several
calls are attempted from both stations again which may or may not
confirm contact.  So that brings me to thought #2.
  2.  Etequite/Patience:  If one hears a call in progress, please be
patient enough  to allow contact between the two parties to be
completed.  ie:  gird/call, before transmitting.  We all desire that
rare grid which is so cherished.  And, most likely it will come from a
mobile or HT station.  So, lets give 'em a chance.If we can't hear em we
can't work em.

As more FM birds as well as P3D are on the horizon, I think it is time
we all take a look at our operating practice and instill some ethics
that we may all benefit from not only now but also in the future.  I'm
sure we don't want a CH 19 FM repeater to play with.

I personally operate at this time 99% van mobile and 1% portable/arrow. 
I have enjoyed over 100 contacts on the FM birds myself, many of them
from different states, counties and grids.  Using an arrow and an HT on
a 50' houseboat in DL99 was a blast to say the least.

Thanks for taking the time to read this post.It is by no means directed
or intended to insult anyone.It is just a suggestion. Neither do I wish
to whine so please no cheese!hihi

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