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Acceptable DX Operation

Discussion in 'On-Air Operations - Q&A' started by W4AVZ, Aug 1, 2017.

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  1. KP4SX

    KP4SX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Nope, not acceptable. A Wouff Hong offense. If they wanted to talk to you rather than trying for the DX then they wouldn't be in the pileup! Your careful wording suggests that you get it :)
  2. W6NYA

    W6NYA Ham Member QRZ Page

    It's easy to get frustrated in the pileup--someone will always be louder than you. Try all the strategies mentioned above, esp the timing one..... I just try to take a deep breath and remember Im doing it for fun, not money. About the only thing that gets my goat is the odd station or two that think its ok to keep transmitting their call sign over and over and over and over, stepping on the entire pileup and usually also the poor dx station trying to respond to someone as well. I heard one guy pushing...(well lets be nice and call it at the legal limit )-- he was hollering his callsign over and over and when the dx station didn't respond he just blurted out "turn on your damn receiver!!!!) and then went away. Then you just take another breath and try

  3. N2SUB

    N2SUB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Quick story.....My father, my brother and I were in my Dad's shack. Dad and I had been licensed for over 20 years, but my brother is new to HF, like you. Dad runs some serious power, and he worked the DX on the first call. Then he told my brother to try.....and he called and called for about 15 minutes but never broke through. My brother was discouraged and walked out to use the bathroom, and so I gave it a whirl. I got through on the first call. We never told my brother about that. ;) Experience counts for something.

    I do not run a lot of power and I've only got a Dipole because I'm in an HOA restricted area. A few things that will help......
    Listen to WHEN the DX station responds. Sometimes they take the first station they hear, sometimes the last. Adjust when you push the PTT to match when you want to be heard in the pileup.
    Listen to WHAT phonetics he is using. If he is using strict phonetics, you do the same. If not, try to match the phonetics of a station you have heard him work
    Listen to HOW the DX station talks. If he talks fast, you talk fast. Match his speed if you can
    Listen to WHERE the DX station is transmitting. Often times they are a little off the frequency +/-10Hz.
    SMILE when you are transmitting.....the DX would rather talk to a happy pea shooter station than a legal limit grumpy old man shouting into the mic.
    LIMIT the number of calls. Often I'll set a limit of 5 or 10 calls. If I don't get through in that number of calls, I note the frequency, spin the knob and come back later. DX will be getting lonely.
    HAVE FUN. It's just a hobby. If you get discouraged, throw the switch and try again later.

    The only time a station took me off frequency from a pileup was when he worked the DX and asked the station if he could make a call. Then he called me and we moved. It's generally not a good practice. Welcome to HF.
    N9FM, K2CQW and WB5YUZ like this.
  4. WE4E

    WE4E Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'll echo what some others have said. Sometimes it's technique more than brute force. Sometimes the band is with you and sometimes it isn't.

    Like N2SUB said, listen to what the DX answers and try to be that. Sometimes being first to call gets it, sometimes it's being the straggler. If you want to catch a mouse, make a noise like a cheese.

    I run a barefoot FT-1000 and an 80m efhw at about 25'. Sometimes I get the first call, sometimes I don't get out of the yard. The times I do get it, I'm sure it's the band and my technique that does it. And I don't mean to suggest that I'm some experienced DX wizard. Not at all.

    And sometimes you have to know when to spin to win. If it's a day where the entire eastern seaboard is calling the DX and some stations are repeating their callsigns and just all of that, I just move along. There's no DX I have to have that badly.

    And to your original question, no, in my estimation anyway, it is not proper at all to make a side call on any frequency much less one with active DX on it.
  5. KQ0J

    KQ0J XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    During contests I have had people that heard me ( when in Nebraska) and give a quick " Nebraska up 10 " call and I slid up and worked them. I wouldnt do that with DX. What you could do is go up or down from the DX as to not interfere and call CQ.... And of course many times the DX contestant would ask that I QSY to a different band for a contact with them on that band. The contests where you needed all the US states were good for that.
  6. KI7KCW

    KI7KCW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks very much for the ethics link. As a new ham it has really answered lots of basic questions. 73s.
  7. K8JD

    K8JD Ham Member QRZ Page

    If the SSB guys turn the mic gain, compression, bandwidth and power to 100 % the guys who get thru have it turned to 110 %
    On CW, the other guys are sending at 30 WPM, you send at 40 WPM to get thru.
    Whatever it takes.
    I just like to rag chew and enjoy a casual evening of operating, I slow down the bug for new ops to copy sometimes :D
  8. NM7G

    NM7G Ham Member QRZ Page

    You put your finger on the key issue. I've chased dx using a station comparable to what you describe and also done it QRP. Now I use a beam at 60' with 100W out, in a fairly quiet rural QTH with decent topography for antenna performance. I understand the difference between my early 1960s setup's capability and now. It is dramatic. My mistake back then was not giving much thought to how well I was being received. No idea of how (relatively) strong your sig is at the dx end handicaps you in a pileup. Pileups are competitive, sometimes to absurd extremes. It is NOT normal hamming. With a 30' indoor wire and 100W, you must be aware that your signal is likely to be substandard, not a little bit sub- but a lot. I did it, and wasted hundreds of hours calling.

    Some things to help you:

    1. Judge how propagation is, and if you are chasing a station when propagation FOR YOU is presently unfavorable. HF prop changes through the course of as little as a few hours. Use the several propagation tools available, such as VOACAP, listening to the many beacon stations, reading the solar indices (A & K) and geomagnetic field stability.

    2. If possible, by use of online info or what he said on-air, determine what antenna and power a dx station is using. If you copy him S7, and he's using a beam up 50' with 500W out, you'll quickly realize you can't be S7 at his end; maybe as weak as S2-S4. Then consider how strong competing callers are likely to be at the dx end. This process will help you decide whether to continue a pursuit, or to QSY and look for other dx with less competition and perhaps a better propagation path. If propagation is forecasted to improve at your QTH soon, wait until it does. This isn't foolproof, because sometimes the dx with QRT or QSY, or change mode. But, waiting for better prop gave me many new countries.

    3. For the sake of getting the most enjoyment and new-ones from the time you've available to operate, I suggest, if you've fewer than 50 DXCC entities worked, avoid pileups entirely, unless the dx signal is consistently S9+. There are plenty of other entities to work with no crowd calling. Find your dx primarily by listening, because depending on a web cluster carries NO guarantee that the dx will be workable for you, at your location. Cluster spots come from geographically widely separated sources, usually with different propagation paths than yours, and with better antennas and perhaps even locations.

    Have fun! 73,
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2017
  9. W4POT

    W4POT Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have a technique that I use to limit my frustration. I'll try 3 or 4 times and if I don't make it through the pile up, I'll use the memo pad function on my rig to save the freq and then I move on to try and find another station somewhere else to work. After 5-10 minutes I'll use the memo pad function to return and try another 3-4 attempts if the station is still there.
  10. NM7G

    NM7G Ham Member QRZ Page

    Right on! Can't tell you the number of times I do that. Great suggestion.

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