We're in the birth of a sunspot cycle when we do not get the benifit of F1/F2 propagation where we can have extended periods of time to work a station. Sometimes, with meteor scatter, we might get 2 minutes MAX, and usually a minute or less. Sometimes, for E-Skip, we might get 3 or 4 minutes up to 20 minutes (maybe) to enjoy the opening to a perticular area.
Since we're at the absolute start of a new sunspot cycle, and sunspots are hard to come by-- we depend on E-Skip and meteor scatter to make contacts.
When these modes of propagation are extremely time limited
, it's a good tip to be courteous and make your contact as short
as humanly possible. It's similar to 6M, where openings (without a high solar flux) like E-Skip and meteor scatter, are a gift. These are the propagation god's little gifts to us and it's up to us how wisely we use them.
Many long-term 10M fans know that when there is E-Skip and meteor scatter (propagation gifts) to work quickly and make your contacts quickly to take advantage of the opening so you can work as many stations as possible...(10-10'ers as well as counties, states, etc.). Since we can't depend on sunspots for long-term, long ragchew QSO propagation for a couple of more years, taking advantage of the gift we are given so we we can make as many contacts as possible means short contacts---or you just might end up talking to yourself
as the band dies during your lengthly transmissions.
The E-Skip we get I have observed can be as short as 20 minutes. To make the most of these openings, it's importaint, (if not courteous) to keep transmissions as well as contacts
as short as possible. This gives folks far more chances to make as many contacts as possible. If you wish to have a lengthy rag-chew, (like you have not QSO'ed with that station for a long time and they are a good friend, or you have never worked before)... ask (out of courtesty) if they are prepared, under such a short opening situation, to engage in a lengthy rag-chew. Most stations, and especially 10-10'ers, are looking to collect as many contacts as possible, and sadly (until the solar flux improves to 150+) ragchews aren't a good option right now.Please
be courteous and do not drag a station calling CQ and/or running stations into a protracted ragchew. The opening is a gift and it's best not to waste the gift.
I've had this happen far more often in just the last week than I'd care to tell.
The other tip should be common sense but evidently is not...if a station is calling CQ, and you answer his/her
CQ...and you have a nice contact and exchange information and then 73's....and if someone calls you
afterward...do the courteous thing. Ask the original CQ'ing station permission (since he can't hear them) permission to answer the station and take them up or down in frequency to complete your contact
...after permission is given, leave
the frequency and make your contact on another frequency. Sitting and making contacts on the original CQ'ing station's frequency is considered extremely
rude. It's like moving in and taking over. It's not courteous amateur radio practice. We're supposed to respect the station who is using the frequency at the time...yet...I've had this happen far more often times than I'd like to tell over the last week...and by apparently experienced hams, no less.
I'd rather think that I have wittnessed behavior by a vast miniority, and that this is from a very, very, few.
Folks...courtesy is the best policy.