I am being piled up on a voice mode. (Hypothetical)

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by BH4FHO, Feb 26, 2021.

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  1. BH4FHO

    BH4FHO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Here is a hypothetical situation I want to discuss: being piled up by a lot of voice QSO's at the same time. How to deal with that? Should I just convert it into an ad-hoc net, with me, the pileup target acting as the net control?
  2. N1YR

    N1YR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    If you are rare DX, answer the callers one at a time. The callers want to contact YOU, and may not want to talk to each other at all. Callers often can not even hear all the other callers due to propagation distance dead zones. If you advise two stations to talk to each other, nothing may happen.
    WQ4G likes this.
  3. WQ4G

    WQ4G Ham Member QRZ Page

    Work as many stations as possible... Use a split frequency.... Break the pile up down by requesting only certain call areas make their calls... Give each call area 5 minutes and rotate through each call area. For example you could request that only 4 area make calls. Request that only certain geographic areas make their calls.

    Listen for WQ4G and make contact with him....

    KI4MYD, WA1GXC, KL7KN and 3 others like this.
  4. K8BZ

    K8BZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Being a desirable DX station that is not part of a DXpedition can be a lot of fun. But it can also be very annoying to be hounded by callers when you just want to have casual contacts.

    As mentioned previously you definitely want to start working split as soon as the number of callers interferes with the ability to make contacts. It's up to you to be in charge and take control of how the pile up is managed. Even on major DXpeditions some operators handle it well and have good QSO rates, and some other not quite as well and have much lower QSO rates.

    Even when working split, you still need to do the following:

    1. Announce you are working split after every QSO. Even then, you could still get a lot of callers on your frequency who either didn't hear it, thought they were in split mode but weren't, or are just inexperienced. Most just announce "listening up" or "QRZ up" or "Up 2" or similar.

    2. If you hear part of a call sign but can't make out the entire call, rather than wait an indefinite period of time to get the entire call you could say "The Bravo Zulu?" on SSB or on CW "BZ". The rest of the callers should all stand by at that point and allow the station with BZ in the callsign to respond. Don't expect miraculous results from this tactic. Some callers will not hear it for several possible reasons (QRM on your frequency, they were calling you when you asked for a specific station, or they just ignored you and are still trying to bully their way to a QSO). But in extreme cases of very heavy pile ups it still needs to sometimes be done. You may have to be assertive and make your intentions clear by saying something like "STAND BY, STAND BY, THE BRAVO ZULU ONLY". By responding to a different station when you asked for a specific station only encourages others to ignore your instruction. Don't be timid, but do be tactful when it comes to taking charge of the pile up.

    3. It's not unheard of for pileups to just spontaneously start happening when a rare DX station just want's to have a regular QSO. There was a time when a contact with BH4FHO would be a major event. I couldn't say whether that's still the case today. But I'm sure there are lots of station world wide that still need your DXCC entity in their log. If you are not interested in the fast paced pile up style of operating, just have a normal QSO and pick up another caller when you are done for the next normal QSO. It would be kind to announce you are going QRT when you are all done, so those waiting in line will know you have left the frequency.

    4. Have clear and specific QSL instructions on your QRZ.com page. Some desirable DX stations are pretty vague about their QSL methods. Be clear about how to obtain a paper QSL card from your station. Many hams world wide will need your QSL, so you are not out of line by requiring some assistance with postage costs to obtain your card via direct mail. But be reasonable and don't ask for more than the actual cost. I know of some rare DX stations that ask far more than the postage costs for a card sent direct. Also clearly indicate which electronic conformation system you use, and some indication of how often you upload. If you use LoTW but only upload once every 2 years the stations you work may want to request a QSL direct instead of waiting. It's a good idea to have complete and clear QSL instructions for all of the methods you use at the top your your QRZ page. I have seen some that are vary long and they have specific QSL instructions buried somewhere down a long scrolling page.

    Thank you for being willing to work pile up and give others the opportunity to work a new one.
    M0TTQ, WA1GXC and K7EA like this.
  5. BH4FHO

    BH4FHO Ham Member QRZ Page

    What if I am being piled up on MMDVM?
  6. N3QAM

    N3QAM XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Remind them that it’s the internet and not DX
    WE4B likes this.
  7. W9RAC

    W9RAC Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Quickly switch to CW, that will eliminate 95% of the useless conversations. 73 Rich
    WE4B and W5TTP like this.
  8. N1VAU

    N1VAU XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Start working stations by the "numbers" or geographic area.


    "One calls only" (then 2, 3 etc)

    "North East USA only" (then South East USA and so on)

    Or my favorite "N1VAU only" :D
  9. W4NNF

    W4NNF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    You've got some good answers here. But the best advice I can give you regarding working DX on HF is "listen." Listen to a few experienced DX ops working a pileup and do your best to do it the same way. :)
  10. W3SY

    W3SY Ham Member QRZ Page

    My advice is free -- and worth every penny! First, make up your mind whether you are going to work them pileup/contest style or ragchew style. It's totally up to you, and you are not required to go one way or the other. But... Once you decide, please be consistent, just as a courtesy and so the other operators know what to expect.

    If it's a big pileup and you want to give everyone a contact, acknowledge one station at a time, and give a signal report. "W3SY, five nine. over?" Then wait for W3SY to give you a report and turn it back to you before you acknowledge anyone else! It is not the least bit necessary to tell EVERY contact "You're 59, name is Bob - Broken Old Bottles. QTH is about 15 and a half miles south of Podunk, New Hampshire. QSL via GO2L. G'head...?" I have heard DX stations repeat the same schpiel to each and every contact! Not necessary, if you ware working pileup/contest style. You can give your name and QTH once in a while if you'd like. Each contact will get that info shortly before or shortly after his QSO with you.

    But PLEASE DO give your call regularly! "UP1URS QRZed?" I've heard DX stations go a very long time without ID. Like a half hour, even! If you identify regularly, you won't have dummies pop on to ask "Who's the DX??"

    DO NOT permit tail enders, or people who call out of turn! People who call you while the station you are currently working is still transmitting are called "tail enders," and are among the biggest a-holes on the planet. When you acknowledge a person who calls while your current contact is still transmitting, and give THAT person a contact, you absolutely encourage others to do the same, leading to complete chaos. It is totally up to the Rare DX Station to maintain order on the frequency! The other ops will do whatever they see other people getting away with. Do not reward bad behavior, or you will get a lot more of it.

    Similarly, if you ask for a repeat on a partial callsign, do not acknowledge someone who tries to steal the contact. Example:

    "Okay, W3 Sierra-something, please try again...?"


    "Ok, K5ABX, five nine."

    No! Don't reward liddish behavior like that! Likewise, if you ask for Asia, the 7th call area, or any other kind of specific request, DO NOT answer anyone who calls out of turn. These operators are lids and need to learn better on-air manners.

    Trying to remember who (old timers, help me with this), but there was a fairly rare DX guy in the middle east who actually compiled a list of bad operators who tail ended and called out of turn, and he either would never work them, or at least would never QSL. Feel free to announce that you will not work anyone who calls out of turn. There's nothing harsh about that.

    Another practice used for controlling big pileups is to ask calling stations to call OFF your frequency. You can say "Listening ten kilohertz up." For humongous pileups, you can give a range of frequencies so everyone can spread out. "Listening ten to twenty kilohertz up." When you work split frequency, definitely announce that regularly to keep people from calling on your frequency.

    One other thing. And I KNOW I will take some heat for this, but there's a good reason I bring this up - Do not stop a pileup to "stand by for the YL," especially if you're not getting the callsign. I am as gallant and chivalrous as the next guy - maybe even MORE so - but no YL op I know wants special, patronizing treatment. They want to plow through the pileup and fight for the contact like anyone else. But here's the REAL reason I bring this up: Not mentioning any names, but I had a buddy in the old days who would call into pileups in a high YL-Like voice. Very often, the DX would bring the pileup to a grinding halt to tell everybody to stand by for the YL. My pal would then sashay away with an easy contact. Boo! Foul! And he was a big hairy GUY, so... Don't do that.

    Happy pile-upping!
    WZ7U likes this.

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