Is it greedy to work split on 17m? It’s a question I’ve been kicking around in my head for the last few days.
I have no hesitation in calling ‘CQ 5 up’ on 10m since it’s a huge band and it would be rare not to be able to find some space. 17m, however, is a different kettle of fish. Recently it’s been very busy and sometimes hard to find space to work simplex let alone split. The pile ups and band conditions have been such that it would really have been nice to work a split and waaaay more productive but I’m very conscious that it’s a crowded band and there’s always an inner dilemma as to whether to jump in with both feet and start off split or not. I also had a suggestion from a caller during one of the pile ups that was becoming hard to mange that we would be better off split. I agreed and had already taken a QSX to try to find a nearby space – without success.
I find this question most challenging since I was calling a station on 17m a few months ago that was working split very efficiently. The sage advice of many DXpeditions is to start split and stay that way. Certainly, it means that you don’t have the problem of ‘QSX while I find a frequency’. It was working very well for this station. However, that day, there was a very voluble Irish station that decided it was unacceptable to run split on a crowded band and made his point well known by calling CQ and then working several stations. So it became a battle of rudeness.
I don’t like confrontation and when that kind of thing happens, it leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth. It’s meant to be a hobby. When a frequency is in use, we’re meant to move on and find another to work on not just elbow our way in. It’s just the same when we’re in a crowd, we space ourselves out to find out personal space which is fine till we have our 8 children with us that all need our attention.
Why do I say that? Working a pileup is like attending to the competing demands of all your children at once and we each have developed ways of dealing with them so peace is restored. But my question is really what does the crowd do when I take my children out in public? Do they give me space to manage my family in or do they insist that I take up no more space than they would and crowd us all into one spot. I’d like to venture that we’d give the family a bit of space so it can mange better. After all when a mother duck leads it’s gaggle of ducklings across the road, the traffic screeches to a halt and everyone says ‘aaawwww cute’ – apart from the very rare Irishman who runs them over calling ‘CQ’.