Well, some will say that i am wrong only by reading the title...
As a foreword, it is not my intention to blame contesters.
I am in my early 40 and have a busy job, some other particular projects and can operate my radio in weekends.
I do not have, yet, established a "big-gun" station; only 100 W from a FT2k, a vertical and a Inverted V antenna on the rooftop of my building.
I also have some familly obligations here so I cannot stand in front of my radio to make QSOs in weekdays.
The only time I have for chatting is in the weekends, even in holydays BUT...
Yeah, you already know!
Try to search a weekend WITHOUT a contest!
As a practical observation, not a single weekend for old fashion hamradio QSO in this summer! Everytime I powered up the radio, there was a contest. thousand of Watts, QRM from "Russian QRP" and all you can hear are contest exchanges and the ubiquitous "599".
Is this hamradio? I think is not!
The regulations - at least in YO - ask for operators to send a REAL REPORT in the QSO's. I don't know how, but in the contests I NEVER heard a REAL REPORT based on Strenght, Rediability and Tone!
We, the OM, teach the younger how to sent a receiving report in a QSO. The contest means that the contesters are tested about the capacity to copy signals, to wrote the (correct) informations in a LOG and to sent back some (correct) informations AND to make a certain number of QSO's in the contest time..
Instead, the contest become more and more a speed run.
I am bored of local QSO's about weather and cristal sets; I want to discuss with other hams about Emergency comms, about how their local clubs manage to keep the team, about new technology.
Well, it is almost impossible to do so in weekends on shortwave!
Try this on a contest!
The progress in hamradio, at least in the last years, means big antennas and QRO mainly for the contest activity.
It is almost impossible to chat with a fellow ham about new receving techniques, about new modulations or something like that!
The ham bands was established also for experimenting but, at least on IARU bands, you hardly find a non-contesting segment to do some tests with a faint signal station... Spletters and QRM.
So, more and more, the experimenting activity moved to internet discussion groups which, in my opinion means death to real hamspirit! The contesting is only a fraction of that!
73 de YO3HJV.
The picture is courtesy of http://k5go.com/
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