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up up up up.....
DX-ing - and good behavior?
What happens when you get frustrated by dx-peditions.

I got into a discussion on the net about the matter, and would like to let you know what happened:


up up up up.
by LA6CF on September 30, 2009

Now it's enough. With all those dx-peditions going on at the moment (which I enjoy- got some new ones...)
It is almost impossible to use some of the bands, i.e. 17 and 30m when a dx-stations calls for up up up up and the next 10-15 kcs are occupied by (there must be) hundreds of dx-hunters and the like.
This doesn't work in the length. Therefore lots of stations is jamming the dx-station, some are screaming 'idiot' and worse... May be the dx-stations should invent a new way to sort out the hunters. Once they asked for number 1,
then 2, then 3 etc.

May be that's not enough, but realise one tenth calling at a time, they need only 1-2 kcs up.
If dx-stations could ask for 'ending a', 'ending b' etc, may be it would be sufficient with 1 kc up, and there would be space left to others too. Imagine 20 m at the moment when 3D20CR and the XV3 is on at the same time, one on
14025 and the other on 14040, and all frequencies from 14022 up to 14055 is occupied by the myriads of hunters
and deslike.

Something has to be done. Also it will no doubt help the dx-stations sort out those calling. Or has the good old days gone??? Equipment and power from the dx-stations results in being heard in whole of the world at once, and I think we are more than 1 million hams now?There are at least more than 10.000 participating in CQ WW DX Contest...

So, what to do?


by N3QE on September 30, 2009
Going by the numbers works if everyone calling the DX can hear the DXpedition.
But I'm convinced that at least half of the callers cannot hear the DX today, they're only trying because they saw
it on the DX cluster.
So instead of narrowing the QRM to 10%, at best going by numbers today only narrows it to 60%.

Few DXpeditions have the really super top notch operators and operation.
In the past few years, VP6DX really stands out at being able to work through and tame the insane QRM.
I'm not saying that the others are poor ops, just that I'm in awe at the way that Ducie Island was run.
I didn't know any of them personally but I could recognize their different CW ops and their different succesful approaches to bringing order to the pack.


by KY6R on September 30, 2009
OH2BH said it best when he said that it is the responsibility of the DX-peditioner to manage the pileup.

I can think of a good handful of skilled DX-peditioners who can control the crowds, and Martii is one of them.
They are so good - the "Q rate" is so high that the lids and jammers just don't get a toe hold on the DX-pedition.

These top notch DX-ers are fabulous CW ops, they put up antennas that are extremely effective,
and they work the grey line's and use "selective propagation" to keep the pileups large - but manageable.


by K9IUQ on September 30, 2009
"But I'm convinced that at least half of the callers cannot hear the DX today" .
I have come to the same conclusion.
I use Dual RX and monitor the dx station freq and the pileup freq. The majority of the stations call over and over again,
no matter that the dx station is xmitting and not listening. And when the DX station sends something like K9? K9?,
NO ONE heeds, just keep sending your call over and over and over and over and over.

It is no wonder there are so many frustrated hams in pileups......


by N3OX on September 30, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
"OH2BH said it best when he said that it is the responsibility of the DX-peditioner to manage the pileup. "

My emotional response to FT5GA being a bust here so far doesn't make me behave badly in the pileups.
My sad wish that they'd stop calling for "JA JA" on 30m as they fade out ...
my wish that the QSB would bring them up and they'd take all callers... that doesn't translate into ME causing QRM
by just going
"N3OX N3OX N3OX N3OX N3OX" over the top of someone else's QSO. But that desperation DOES in fact drive SOME PEOPLE to do that.

That irrational behavior in the face of a HOPELESS situation causes REAL ACTUAL PROBLEMS in terms of other people getting to work a DXpedition.

So while I have no rational right to complain about *ME* not being able to work any particular DXPedition, and *ME* not being able to work them is certainly not a "valid excuse" for bad behavior, I also think it's kind of silly to expect something other than bad behavior when there's a somewhat high profile DXpedition that is looking more and more hopeless for a lot of the people who want to work it.

I'm 30 years old and have 304 worked. I'll get Glorioso next time, and actually have worked it once, just no card (again, my fault, 100%). But I still find myself bummed out that I probably won't get them this time. If I were also an a**hole I'd be a potential source of real trouble, and given my need level for FR/G that's silly. The headache inducing QRM, the jammers, the constant callers...these are not rational, unemotional people doing some utility calculation about whether or not it's worth spending time on FT5GA. These are people engaged in some sort of emotional crisis because they can't get a Q, and I very much doubt that all those people need this for their "last one."


by WD4ELG on September 30, 2009
N3OX - Dan, AUTHOR AUTHOR. I could not agree more with your posts. After a day, I realized that the conditions were not favorable.

Not the propagation, that's a separate thing. I'm referring to the economic conditions: demand for FT5GA is so far beyond the supply, that it's not worth my frustration to even try.

Now, we can certainly discuss the reason for the demand: partially, FT5 is high on the most-wanted list, and partially because of all the pre-trip publicity.The demand is unrealistic and it is not going to be satisfied. Not the DXer's fault, but expectations are not properly set for the chasers of the DX... and that's trouble. Remember Bouvet in 1991 (I think it was)? The entire 20 meter SSB segment was chaos.

Every 2 kHz, someone was calling. Nobody knew where the DX was listening. It wasn't a pileup, it was a mass riot.
But the behavior was similar - folks QRM'ing each other intentionally.

It's like when all the parents went crazy for those Tickle-Me-Elmo dolls 10 years ago at Christmas, and grown adults were fighting it out over a silly stuffed muppet. Artificially increased demand (publicity), and as a result every kid wanted one.

Not an excuse for the behavior, just an explanation of sorts...


So, I read in another Forum that someone proposed to listen 10-20 kcs up, and I went into a new discussion.....

by LA6CF on October 2, 2009
Why do dxpeditions have to listen 10-20kcs wide up????  See my notice of Sept. 30th, up, up, up....

Whether on CW or SSB, it should be possible to limit the dx-hunters by their number, country or what else,
so that hundreds dont have to call at once. Should be easier for the DX-peditons operator to hear who's calling, too!

Listen at the bands right now for FT5 and TX5, callers are occupying up to 20 kcs on some of the bands. Why is that necessary?
(Not that I dislike dx-peditions, thats the way we get new ones, but I dislike being one of thousands calling on a frequency where nobody is listening.....

73 de Jim, LA6CF


by AF3Y on October 2, 2009
LA6CF, Jim sez: "Not that I dislike dx-peditions, thats the way we get new ones, but I dislike being one of thousands calling on a frequency where nobody is listening"

Jim, with a bit more effort to figure out how/where the DX is working/listening, you probably wont have to call where "nobody is listening"


by LA6CF on October 2, 2009
I just don't call while I am one of thousands.  What I dont like is that the rest of the band is occupied.......
That's why I am wishing someone to invent a new and better way of handling calls - or back to the old number 1, number 2 etc..


by AF3Y on October 2, 2009
Jim, with all due respect, sounds like you want the DX "Handed to you".
I dont want to sound like some kind of jerk, but busting the pile and fighting the QRN/QRM is part of DX.
The lids/jammers/cops will be there when you and I are gone, I believe. That will not change.

I am no expert and dont have a big gun station, but since starting DXing about 3 1/2 years ago, I have 264 worked, and 255 confirmed . Would I have had more, if the DX was working by the numbers, or by a list or God forbid, by a stinking DX net?
Probably, but I would not feel as good as I do by fighting for the contacts I have.
DXing is competitive, and well it should be. Why??? Because DX IS! 73, Gene


by LA6CF on October 3, 2009
Looks like there is some misunderstanding here....
I love hunting DX, but what I do not like, is to go onto i.e. 18 or 30 Mcs and find the band occupied by lots of stations calling one single DX. That is what I am complaining at. Whether to call by numbers or whatever is not the question.
The question is how to find a solution to a dx-pedition saying up 10-20 kcs.

I have been listening to some of the ongoing ones, and when conditions are really good, it seems they have quite a difficulty to sort out a call. They often spend 30-60 seconds listening to the crowd. And as mentioned before - so many calls wasted, as nobody listen to them. If you call on 5 up and the dx is listening 15 up, its nonsence....
Yes, I know all about listening to where the dx is listening, but that doesn't help when you can't hear the fellow he is working.... So, is there no solution at all to go for????

Also imagine 50 guys with a KW and beam calling at once - what is the chance for a 100w dipole???
Of course there is a chance, and thats DX-ing... but still.......


by W2IRT on October 3, 2009
Jim, going by numbers is a complete waste of time, both for the DX operator and the guys trying to work them. Let me explain a little.

There are 3 areas of the world to concentrate on for the purposes of DXing, which is to say, where the biggest audience is. Europe, North America and Japan. Any DX location will be good for one of these, OK for the second and damned hard for the third. DX in the south pacific is dirt-easy for JAs, modest for west-coast NA, hard for east-coast NA and very hard fot western Europe. Indian Ocean is great for Europe, sucky for NA, and Navassa and Desecheo are chip shots with a peanut whistle for NA but very difficult to JAs.

That said, let's say you're in a needed location in europe (HV, SV/A, 3A, etc).
If you go by numbers, say calling ones-only, you're going to get 19 bajillion Italians, Germans, Croatians, Russians, etc, all with number one in their calls, big power and big antennas, calling you non-stop. Meanwhile, the poor guys in W1-land will never make it through the wall of locals.

You call "ones-only" for 5 minutes, work 25 Italians and Germans, then move on to number two.
Now, you have hams from all other regions of the world with 9 out of 10 numbers all frustrated at "how slow you're working the pile and only 25 satisfied, loud locals in your log.

Now, try this instead. First, where's the rarest area from where you are located? Probably west-coast US if you're activating a rare one in Europe. When the charts say there's propagation, get on and call NA West Coast only, then work the pile down as far as you can, then go NA only in general. Repeat for JAs/Asia, who'll be the next-hardest. After that, when the bands are closed to NA and Asia work the local Europeans till you're blue in the face.

Same thing for Desecheo or Navassa or Malpelo, etc -- work the JAs in their window exclusively, then eastern Europe and finally the rest of NA. Everybody's happy.

Going by numbers is the easiest way to get a lot of unhappy hams whining their brains out on the clusters--and worse--on top of the DX.

As to your complaint on wasted bandwidth, I agree to a limited extent. I have little respect for any operation that runs more than 7-10 kHz on CW and more than 15 kHz on SSB, and even at that, only in the first few days of a top-ten-needed activation.

If you have good operators with decent equipment, there's no reason a CW pileup needs to go much beyond 5 or 6 kHz after the initial surge is over. With modern filtering techniques on the K3 and IC-7000s, it's easy to get real narrow and pick out a single call in a pile.

On Phone, up 5-10 is a good range. In both cases it serves two purposes:
1) it conserves band space so others can use it and 2) it makes it a lot easier to find the QSX.


by N3OX on October 3, 2009
"I have been listening to some of the ongoing ones, and when conditions are really good, it seems they have quite a difficulty to sort out a call. "

Jim, it is a combination of bad manners in the pileup and DXpedition operators who sometimes let a bad caller through. These people call and call and never stop. They call during a QSO in progress! Furthermore, if the DX waits 30-60 seconds in between QSOs, callers get desperate and begin to realize they have a very poor chance of getting through.

The constant callers are terrible. The DX says "W2IR something? Whiskey Two India Radio Again Please?
And you hear KG4xxx and OH3xx and WB6xxx all interfering with W2IRT's QSO, which started the moment the DXpedition heard him.

This is the thing many people seem not to understand: that as soon as the DX operator has a partial callsign,
a QSO has started and it is no longer a PILEUP situation to transmit one's call further but willful interference.

I hear many stations who don't care how complete a partial callsign is, they will call anyway.
They call when the DX has five characters of a six character callsign!

Some DX ops are very iron-fisted about this and their pileups are more in control... the constant callers eventually figure out there is no chance unless they call only after the "QRZ?"

There's no simple formula to fix it: only a really strong operator on the other end can keep control, make sure the bad callers don't get QSO's until they behave, and keep the rate up so that no one gets desperate. If any of this is relaxed, a big, sloppy, stupid pileup tends to result.


by LA6CF on October 4, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Thanks boys for wise words. I've better come down onto the earth again.
Think I got a bit too frustrated the other day while trying to catch a dx-pedition, but had to give it up (temporarily) as 5 was sending 'lid', 4 sent 'idiot', 3 sent a worse word, some where helpful and sent 'up up up', and one held his paddle on dots to jam the dx-station. The rest of the band was crowded by callers.

I was on air back from 1956 to 1965, and again in the beginning of the 90'es. I guess there wasn't that many hams at that time. Then it worked by numbers.

You may have put your finger to the right problem - the callers. Their behaviour is really bad today, calling and calling, whether they seem to hear the dx-pedition or not. May be it is here we should put some effort - through magazines and web-pages - try to put some good behaviour into their minds?

I fully agree in your opinion on looking for one specific area, some dx-peditions even inform that they will look for one part of the world for the next 15 minutes. i.e. 'NA only - EU QRX 15 mins'.

Of course it doesn't help, the Italians etc are still calling - but that's probably where we have to work for a change.

However, there is another second problem that might give the lower powered stations some frustration also -
FT5 sent out a message the other day saying they had worked 30.000 QSOs, of which 10.000 individuals.
Then that must mean that almost 20.000 others might have got that 'new one' if it wasn't for those wanting the new one not just as a new one, but on all bands at the same time....

I often only manage to hear the expedition on only 2 or perhaps three bands, when its probably only workable on one band. See what I mean?

Still, DX-ing is fun, and I love getting new ones. Last week got two....

Thanks again for all replies.

73 de Jim, LA6CF


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