From the Editor's Desk
Rules For Band Cops
a recent QST article entitled "More Views on Pileup Misbehavior," the
author expressed his opinion that pileups are more unruly now than
ever before, and the reason for this is that hams who are calling a DX
station have either a genetic predisposition toward conflict, or a
complete disregard for the rules. I don't know about about any of you,
but my own experience from recent pileups doesn't quite match this
description. Sure there are always those few who continue calling even
if the letters in their call sign are nowhere near what the DX station
came back to, or when working split, there's the occasional few
who don't get the message and call on the DXer's transmit frequency
But these are rare exceptions. The biggest menace lately is the
increasing number of what I call "Band Cops."
you ever wondered who these people are? The fact is, we don't know
because they never identify. They sit on a DX calling frequency,
(obviously without any intention of contacting the DX, since they don't
operate split). Furthermore, they have stations that most of us would
probably envy, because their signals are almost always 20db over S-9!
This makes you question why they don't just work the DX station and
move on, but instead they park themselves there for an extraordinary
length of time, just waiting for the opportunity to pounce.
What authority do they believe they have to "police" the bands, and for
who's benefit? Certainly not hams like me who are trying to work
the DX but can't hear them because there's 11 idiots who are screaming
"he's working split! Up! Up! Up!" over and over and over. Most of the
time I don't even hear the so-called offending station - if there even
is one! As far as I'm concerned, these "band cops" are causing intentional interference, and are the only ones breaking any laws.
What is the Solution?
Now, in order to best answer this question, let's first identify the disorder that is at the root of
this problem. "Band Cops," we know, have or show a
feeling of patronizing superiority. In psychology, this is called a
Narcissitic Personality Disorder. Unfortunately, this is one of the
three most difficult disorders to treat. It is definied as an ongoing
pattern of grandiosity and need for admiration, and a lack of empathy
for others. It should be noted that it's three times more common in
males than females. (which seems to hold true, since I've never heard a
YL Band Cop). These individuals have an obvious self love, and they
believe they are more knowledgeable and indeed an expert in "the rules
of DXing," among other things. Furthermore, they are usually shocked when they are not
praised for their efforts.
The QST article, which blames inexperienced and "unruly" hams for
"Pileup Misbehavior" is unfortunately the kind of condescending and
unhelpful nonsense that is actually the most damaging behavior in
amateur radio today. It seems to me that if this were truly an issue,
then the easiest way to fix it would be through education and support -
something it doesn't offer. It is more likely that this particular
article, in a misguided attempt to deflect blame, is written by a card carrying "Band Cop" himself.
I've now shocked the "Band Cop" community by not praising their
efforts, I will now attempt to explain my reasoning. The biggest being
that you're doing it all wrong! So, to help assist you in your future
band-policing efforts, I've come up with a few simple rules:
Number 1 - For a split operation, spend most of your day listening and
transmitting on the DX sending frequency. On CW, if somebody calls on
this frequency, right away, using your Vibroplex at 5 wpm, send: VP..
UG.. NP... UP (until you get it right).
This has three benefits.
Others waiting to work the DX station will be forever indebted to you
for informing the offending station that the DX is working split.
B. The offending station will be grateful.
C. You will get some needed code practice so you can get over that 5 wpm hump.
Number 2 - (For those with CW and Voice memory keyers, this will be
easy). All you have to do is pre-program some macros with the words:
"UP" and "LID." For the more advanced operators, you can try "SPLIT" or
"YOU IDIOT, WORKING SPLIT." And don't forget the simple, but effective
the memory keyers for your days policing will save your voice. Should
you happen, by chance, to have a QSO... you might need it.