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It may happen that, at the start of a scheduled CW rag chew, the frequency is in use, but only one side can hear that it is in use.

  • A cannot hear the existing QSO.
  • B can hear the existing QSO.
  • A begins by sending "QRL?" ("is this frequency in use?")

What should B do now? If B responds to A's query with "QRL" ("this frequency is in use"), there is a danger of the stations in the existing QSO thinking that this is directed to them, and having them cease or change frequencies as a result. That doesn't seem right; they were there first.

How can B let A know that the frequency is in use while causing the least disruption to the existing QSO?

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Good practice would dictate that an ongoing QSO will yield the frequency to a scheduled QSO. The reason is simple: if you are already communicating with your other party, it's easy for you to move to another frequency. For the people with the sched, not so, because they haven't yet established communication.

If you do hear "QRL?", you can respond with simply "Y". This isn't likely to be misinterpreted, and it's quicker than responding with "QRL" too, which is good, since for as long as you are transmitting, you are interfering with the ongoing QSO, which is bad.

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