The good thing about contests

Don’t you love…
… events like the current CQ WW SSB contest? No? Wait, not so fast.

QRM is great!
It’s the ideal moment to put receivers, filters and antennas to the test. A mediocre receiver will crumble like a cookie made by a 1-year old. A filter with pathetic characteristics will be exposed faster than the Lewinsky scandal. Crappy front ends will relieve themselves, forcing you to wipe their behinds with toilet paper before the stuff hits the PA fan. No testing equipment known to man can beat the interference created by some hams.

One station, 20 KHz of space occupied
How do they do it? I have no idea. A crackling noise, still perfectly readable 10 KHz down and 10 KHz up. All my filters proved as effective as a paper coffee filter (No. 4 size, cone shaped). DSP’s don’t process. Noise blankers don’t blank. Roofing filters are leaking like a sieve. Where’s my roofing contractor when you need him? Decreasing the sensitivity didn’t help much either. I’m stunned. These stations, by the way, were all located in certain parts of Europe.

Could it be that they’re just strong? Nah. UK, US and Canadian stations were sometimes just as strong, or even stronger, but their signals were gone within 3 KHz up or down. These (polite, patient, receiver-friendly) hams were the ones who got points from me. They deserved it.