[amsat-bb] QSO Protocol

Kevin M n4ufo at yahoo.com
Mon Oct 3 13:34:51 UTC 2016

As far as valid QSOs for ARRL awards are concerned (DXCC/VUCC/WAS), they simply state a 'contact' must be made. But no where do they ever define what a contact consists of. They leave this definition up to the award applicant and the stations that he/she contacts. When asked, I have always explained a contact as, "I called you and you knew it was me, you answered and I knew it was you..." In short, as long as we both understand that we 'contacted' each other, then it's a contact.

My point is, there is no specified rule that says a grid square or any other piece of information is exchanged. There is actually no rule that says the CALLSIGN must be EXCHANGED. A contact exists when the two parties involved in the communication agree that the contact happened... whether they exchange a 'QSL' on air, via e-mail, LotW or by USPS mail, if both parties agree that it took place... then it took place. The requirement for any more, is to saddle the participants with a burden to overcome the non-natural hindrances that can occur with high volume traffic over man made devices... i.e. satellites. If EME or meteor scatter operators want to place certain burdens upon themselves to ensure that their imaginations, tricks of the senses, or natural phenomena did not insert a bit of faux communication that did not actually take place, that is their perogative. BUT, why should one penalize a station and say that a contact did not take place simply because some guy with 50 watts and crap for a receiver decided to say, "Halllo! One, two, three, haaaalo!" over top of Jeeves while he was uttering his grid square. Further, since satellite passes are a time limited resource, why should we take away precious airtime from others by forcing a repeat of a piece of information that we likely already know, and at the very least can easily look up online, etc.

Simply put... if I'm in a rare grid square working lots of stations on a frenzied pass and I hear a voice I recognize saying his/her callsign while obviously calling me, but someone keys on top of him in the middle of saying his callsign, is it really necessary for me to say, "Who is the Hotel Mike?" when I KNOW who it is? OR worse, stop to take the time to ask, 'What's your grid again, Paul?' - Paul knew it was me, I knew it was Paul, I'm simply going to say, "In the log, Paul," and call the next station.

Common sense and basic trust in personal integrity goes a long way towards making life simpler and more enjoyable.... QSL?  73!  N4UFO, EM95, over.

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