DX Web Sites, Good or Bad?

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by Guest, Dec 13, 2001.

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  1. KC5SDY

    KC5SDY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Because of my limitations of living in an aparment, I usually can not hear what is listed on the clusters. I like using them myself so I can at least tell what band is open. If I do hear a pile-up, I will try to work it. If I get in, I get in. If not, there is always someone elsewhere in the band that I will be able to work.
    It really depends on if you want to use the clusters only for your contacts or use it as a tool that shows you what bands are doing what.
  2. AL7KC

    AL7KC XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I believe DX Clusters serve a purpose, and both help, and hurt. I frequently use them to try to keep an eye out when I'm doing other things and can't stay on the radio. Sometimes I jump on and work the rare one I'd otherwise miss. They do attract what I call "the swarm" when someone spots you....it's an obvious, immediate increase in callers. That's a good thing if it's slow and the DX station needs to increase his rate, but it can help create a mess and slow things down when conditions are good.
    Many times, however, I've been alerted to DX in a direction that I was not listening, and would have missed if not for the spot. (such as: I'm beaming Europe, and a weak Pacific station is on I couldn't hear without turning the Yagi.) I've been happy more than once to be monitoring the DX Cluster while operating.
    True that many spots are useless, depending on location. Others are very valuable. When you can actually hear the rare African spotted by some other DX, it makes dealing with the "false spots" not as annoying.
    I often find it helpful to analyze past DX spots by callsign at DX Summit http://oh2aq.kolumbus.com/dxs/ to discover rare DX operating habits when I'm "on the hunt" for a new one that I've not yet found. If you see that he gets on most Friday nights for 4 hours, then I don't need to listen for him the other days of the week; I'll be there listening when he calls his first CQ on the next Friday night. This helped with bagging several evasive targets that I've needed this past year. The site is also good for finding QSL and QTH info.
    If people wait for a spot to be posted before they do any listening, they miss out on lots of DX. This can be a sign of laziness, I suppose. Many good DX stations never get posted, I've noticed. I attribute it to differences in opinion on what's DX, and who's on at the time. To serious DXers, a UA, JA, and many common countries won't be worthy of a spot, but to many others, it is a most desirable contact. I've observed that spots drop off drastically when stateside is asleep.
    Don't like pileups and competing with everyone else? Don't. Listen and find your own. That's probably the best way, anyway. Don't want to spend $ on a decent antenna system? Don't...find a cheap, used yagi someone's replaced and clean it up. Build your own wire beam or quad. Three elements puts you in the game. No tower? Find a cheap push-up mast or build one with 2X4s. I've found that by looking, you can find some really good deals. (Like a 60ft Rohn tower with yagi and rotor for $250. Free yagis for take-down. Aluminum for free=40M vertical, etc.) Network, meet others that are interested in the same things, talk. This is a hobby primarily involving communication. When there's a will, there's a way! (Nothing happens until you get purpose...)
    73, Mike AL7KC
  3. Guest

    Guest Guest

    K2WH, did you really mean to say that???? You're going to admit that you own an amp that needs a three minute warmup, then you're going to claim a budget limit????? Now, just whose leg do you think you're fooling here?

    Last I looked, the three minute warmup amps all had 8877s, 3CX800A7s or 4CX800A7 tubes, and not a one of them is a budget amplifier. They're all bloody expensive.

    If you really had any sort of monetary limitations, you'd be using a 3-500Z based amp (instant-on) or a multiple 811/572B amp (also instant on). You can't fool us! If you have a 3-minute warmup limit, then you have got money to burn!

    Besides, we never got an answer to the question:

    "Why didn't you call him barefoot before the amp warmed up?" There might be a 3 minute requirement for the tubes to warm up, but there's no requirement that you wait for the amp to call the guy, you know!

    As far as spoiled on HF - for some of us, that's life. I have time to get on the air maybe once a week for an hour and an occasional evening. I'll be damned if I'll resort to DX clusters or DX nets, and I'm very pleased to say that I've now worked 195 countries since September, of course with very few QSL'd. There are some major big time VHF weenies who live near me, and I'll tell you this - their lives revolve around ham radio. They schedule work around openings. I ain't retired yet, so I can't do that! Them's the breaks, eh?

  4. K2WH

    K2WH Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    This article is about DX Web Sites and not me. Stay on the subject.
  5. NK0S

    NK0S XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    With the introduction of any new technology there are some who resist adoption of said technology. However, it is a proven fact that someone who recognizes the benefit to be derived from adoption of the technology and does so, places everyone else in the position of playing "catch-up."

    Due to my busy schedule I find it difficult to spend hours "spinning" the dial hoping to find a new dx station . . . due to that I find it helpful to periodically check the dx spots.

    From the view point of being the dx station (HP in '80-81, YS '81-83 & HL '87-'88) before the introduction on dx clusters or websites there were time when I needed a particular US state on a specific band and would have relished the ability to post such a notice on the clsuter.

    So, DX clusters/websites, personal preference, I guess.

  6. n7ah

    n7ah Ham Member QRZ Page

    What fun is this? Really? Just like the DX spotter nets where a DX station is very weak and one big gun runs the show. Telling others when to transmit. 59 signal reports when the guy can't be even heard, etc. Yeah go ahead and do it, but for the rest of us it has totally ruined the DXing like we used to know of. It used to be such fun coming across a rare one before anybody got to them, especially when running low power and less than ideal antennas. Nowadays a person can work DX without even operating the rig. Just let the computer do it. Curt, N7AH
  7. Guest

    Guest Guest

    True. It seems more people are getting a case of the "gottas" now... gotta have a tower, gotta have a log periodic, gotta run a kilowatt. No wonder it's impossible to find real estate without antenna restrictions.
  8. W4CNG

    W4CNG Ham Member QRZ Page

    Shooting fish in a Barrel. Starting in 1961 there was no internet or VHF repeater Clusters to forward the Rare Find.

    Back to the basics, you hear it, work it, QSL it!

    73 Steve W4CNG
  9. KA8DDZ

    KA8DDZ Ham Member QRZ Page


    Everyone has an opinion on clusters, here's my thoughts. After 20 years of DX'ing I have found that by crusing the bands and listening carefully you can find the DX yourself, many times being the first call they answer, or, if very rare having only a small pile up to contend with. By the time you see it on the cluster there is already a good size pile up (typically but not always).

    As far as DX for your region, remember your neighbor with a much better antenna system can hear stuff you may not anyway so I don't bother with trying to compare my location with another, additionally, it's good sometimes just to know a particular station is on the air, if you hear Europe working Bouvet Island you can pay a bit more attention so when propagation changes you'll be ready.

    Since you admit this is somewhat new for you here are a few tips.

    * DONT call the DX if you can't hear him at least well enough to know when he's calling you.

    * LISTEN CAREFULLY, many DX ops will only work complete calls e.g someone calling Delta Zulu, Delta Zulu, then again some do

    * Jump in an call no matter what other signal strenths may be, your hearing W5's at 40 over 9 at YOUR QTH but the DX may not hear them but could hear you.

    Think of the Clusters as more of a "heads up" bulletin, helpful for QSL info etc, don't use them as your sole source for finding DX.

    Good DX'ing

    Tim KA8DDZ
  10. KI8CO

    KI8CO Ham Member QRZ Page

    I really love them because I can just sit back and fool around and wait for something good to show up. Then I fire up my gigantic amp, zero
    in the monster beam and activate my endless loop
    IDer till the DX station has to work me or go QRT.
    Even if I can't hear the DX, it doesn't matter.
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