Abnormal or normal?

Already 3 days ago, when I was working with a good old friend of mine, Curt, N5CW on 20m, I was interrupted by a contest style caller. First, I thought it was a DX caller in a pile up because he did not ask if the frequency was occupied before starting calling on our spot. Curt told me it was CWT. Yes, it was the moment when the nightmare event for ragchewers had started. We were talking about our mutual friend Orville K5VWW who had been sick and hospitalized. The more serious topic we were talking about, the more anger I felt toward such a rude operator as well as CWT itself.

I posted an article on this problem this time in a group of Facebook for CW funs. I honestly expressed my question if such an event would contribute to the development of overall CW activity. And I seriously wondered if they could occupy the bands as with CWT so quite often every Wednesday. As expected, there were a lot of objections, some of them being too emotional, to my post.

The opponents' points of view as for this issue are as follows;

1) CWT is already a established as well as fixed event. The non participants should avoid the frequency range of each band for CWT or move to the WARC bands.

2) CWT occupies only small amount of time/band width. Someone said it was only 1 or 2 %. Each session lasts only an hour. Only 3 sessions in an event. 

3) CWT participants are asking QRL? before starting calling CQ CWT. 

I have fully argued against these points in the previous posts here.  I hope readers to read what i think about these points in those articles. 

My re-objections to each point are, however, as follows;

1) CWT is a unique contest held on a plain week day. It has disrupted the rule any contest should be held in week ends. It is a factor often making trouble with the others. Anything won't excuse abrupt interruption to the other QSOs going on. Regarding 2), the occupying time/bands are not small in fact. From the standpoint of non contesters, every week end is filled with any contests, mostly, a number of contests being held at the same time. Together with CWT, 3 days in a week are messed by contest activities. It occurs every week. Messing the on going QSOs mostly occurs at the very beginning of CWT session. Three sessions a day are making more interruption to the others than the ordinary single sessioned contests. As for the point 3), I have never met anyone asking QRL? before starting calling CQ CWT or calling another CWT participant. Actually, I have been told by some friends they had been disturbed by CWT participants all of sudden. 

Through the discussion in the Face Book Group, I knew it was a real endless as well as fruitless dispute. The difference between the CWT defendrs and us comes from the point if CWT should be regarded as an intrinsic right for them to operate or as an unacceptable event. CWT defenders quietly force us to move out of their contest range of bands while we could not accept it.

We, either defending CWT or opposing to it, should quietly reconsider if it could be an acceptable event or not. How many hams are involved in it? How to avoid the mess at the beginning of each session? Considering of the numbers of participants for CWT, is it acceptable for them to occupy the bands so frequently?

In my point of view, it should not be concluded the other way than too much and too frequent. Extending the contest to the week day is also a serious defect in the rule of CWT. If aother group would start a contest on plain week day, who could blame them? The bands would be occupied by contesters every day.

Too much conterst activities may suppress the overall CW activities. It is my personal impression without any statistics. But from my career as an exclusive CW operator for decades, I suspect the recent trend of more and more contests is inflating contests themselves. Before and after any big contests, there are less activities on CW. I must say I scarcely meet those CWT defenders on the air for ordinary conversational QSOs with few exceptions. If they seriously consider of the future of CW activities, they should put an insight toward these phenomena as well.

I haven't mentioned on the use of WARC bands. It is a matter of licence system as well as the set ups different from the the problem. The basic problem is if they could force the others to move to elsewhere or not and if such as CWT could be acceptable by all of us.    


  1. I agree with your objections to the CWT. They are a very discourteous group. They have tried to step on QSOs I had in progress and I simply ignore them since I have a good signal and a receiver with good selectivity. I'm sure they are annoyed by my behavior but I am just as annoyed by theirs.
    Bill, W6QR

    1. When we are threatened to be disturbed with our QSO going on, we could never enjoy it. I believe they have no right to force the others to quit the bands they are going to use. It's too rude.

      Honestly, I am wondering if it is the time for me to quit ham radio. Ham radio is taken over by those who handle it as a kind of game. Not interesting to me at all. Life is too short to do with such a game.

  2. Shin, many of us have already voiced our views of this CWT, they are nothing more than rude contesters when continue to be nominated to FOC and get their number not to be heard again.
    It's officers continue to attend FOC events recruiting new members. It's sorta like our political system here, with no end in sight!

    1. I could not recognize you at first!! Red, you are right. But, so far, we should concentrate on the CWT issue. We should go on asking them if they have the right to hold this event once a week on plain week day. I am sure they don't. Have a pleasant and safe trip back home!

  3. CWops has about 1665 members according to the numbering system that they use. I suspect some have dropped out, but many are lifetime members (as I am) and stuck. The QTX program they have is their form of contest for rag Chewers. QTX records members that have qso's over 20 minutes in length. Currently, I am in the lead at 447 for the year. There are 28 members of CWops that report their QTX score. Less than 2 percent of the members. On the August 16 CWT contest report, 131 stations reported scores. Candidly, I suspect many more participate, but there is no way of knowing how many. That' about 8 percent. There is a bunch of FOC members involved as well. All you need to do is to watch Fabian's RBN for FOC members light up at 1300z on Wednesdays.

    Here's my point. Please remember that I do not do contests.

    There is no way that the weekly CWT will cease to exist. Shin's point that other organizations will potentially move into midweek contests is likely. I don't know that I feel that my enjoyment of conversational CW is terminated, but I realize that I am in the vast minority of ham radio operators. Let's face it, CW only and no contesting. Like it or not, I just move away from the chaos of CWT. I have voiced my concerns multiple times on the CWops reflector, the FOC reflector, only to barely escape with my front teeth. It is a battle that will never be won. It is a battle that is not worth fighting over. Contesters find extreme happiness in exchanging numbers and names in a form of feeding frenzy. Personally, I like to have a conversation, discuss things, learn of the other person's life. Much more rewarding. On Wednesday's, on Weekends and every day, if it comes to that, I will find a place to have a pleasant conversation, void of deliberate and accidental QRM. I am sure that I will find you, Shin, at the same place. Why, because it is who we are.

  4. Old age has arrived. I forgot to say. As noted, I have registered several QRM complaints about CWT and the frequency range. On both CWops reflector and FOC reflector. I get a few gun shots at me and it dies.

    Shin's comments ran for days. It is a tribute to the respect that you have accomplished. Your opinions, pro or con, are listened to and respected. That says a lot about both you, as the person with the complaint and about those that you are addressing. You are an icon for CW operators and everyone respects what you have to say, agreeing with you or not.

    1. Thanks, Don. I am not such as an icon at all. I believe ham radio activities only oriented to contest won't live long. I could assure you that from my experience of CW activity for more than half a century. Let's consider things with regard to what we would leave to the next generation. Don't be pessimistic but go on questioning of the legitimacy of such contests as CWT. And enjoy CW in our own way. Thanks again for your sympathetic comments.

  5. Hi Shin and all,

    CW Ops is not all bad. They have done a lot to encourage new ops with the Academy program. The CWT thing is impossible for me to take part in due to distance and propagation. Basically it is only designed for the USA members who form the majority. I have worked a few West Coast ops on CWT including K6RB / Rob of course. But that's about as far as my little signals will go.

    On a more general note I think comparisons between the CW hobby and other hobbies can be useful. Another hobby, which I must admit is fast taking over from ham radio, is playing contract bridge.

    There are two types of players and two kinds of bridge : contesters and social.

    The contesters play 24 boards or hands of bridge in about three hours. Each table has four players. Conversation is forbidden. The only thing that counts is the score at the end of the evening. Contest bridge players leave without ever really meeting anyone.

    Then there are the social bridge players where four people get together at someone's house or a quiet corner of a pub and play. The scores are unimportant and often not even noted down, The main thing is the joking and conversation that goes on during play.

    Fortunately there are many social bridge players in Singapore. When the contesters take over it will be the end of bridge for me, but so far we are going strong and enjoying ourselves.

    Let us hope social CW survives as well. If not I will certainly pull the plug, sell everything, and play bridge instead.

    1. Thanks for the moderate comment, John. But this issue seems to me a bit different from that two ways of bridge playing. This CWT insists they could do contesting on the plain week day and could cause messes 3 times in each contest whatever the non participants may suffer from. It is not only unique but also destructive to the custom-rule that contests should be held in the week end and once or twice in a year. I used to be a contester decades ago and know how blood boiling it is to participate in them. Some contesters enjoy conversational QSOs as well. I respect them. But this custom destruction with CWT is hardly acceptable to me. It is not a problem of "whether conversation or contests". But the way they hold the event of CWT is in question.

    2. I used to be an advisor of CWA program. But I felt it was intended to educate new contesters. That was the reason why I won't be involved in that program. This may be a pretty personal impression. Some advisors are making great efforts, I know. But, so far as the result of this program is concerned, it seems off the way it used to aim at.

    3. Hi Shin and all,

      I was not aware that the CWA was training contesters. Although a member I am not active in the club due to the distances involved. I rarely hear them.

      I do note that on Wednesday evenings there are dozens of US FOC members on the RBN, then after CWT it all goes dead.

      Weekends are full of contests, and as you rightly say, CW Ops has set a precedent by contesting on weekdays. Others will follow. It is just a matter of time before mindless 5NN TU fills the bands all day, every day.

      Bridge is looking more interesting.

      All the best