DX University™

  A Guide for DXers and DXpeditioners

Reduce Confusion by Improving Your Timing -- And Listening!

Reduce confusion by improving your timing – and listening!

by Wayne Mills, N7NG

Some time ago, I wrote about the confusion that I had been observing when one operator misread the signals from the station he was working and began transmitting before the other operator was finished. In a pileup situation, the resulting confused doubling was often the beginning of a real mess. In recent weeks and months this phenomenon has only become worse. Many operators seem to anticipate what might be called a “standard” QSO and then proceed accordingly.

All of this reminds me of the late – and great – Jim Maxwell, W6CF, who decried the short, DXpedition-style “TU 5NN” QSO. Jim didn’t have a problem with the DXpedition-style QSO for DXpeditions and contests, but in other situations, he wished for more actual communications between hams, both CW and SSB. What I have been observing seems to be the “standard QSO” gone completely astray. Certainly just a few more milliseconds pause before transmitting would help alleviate these gaffs.

It seems that we have come to expect a certain format, and when we hear those signals or indications that might indicate the end of a transmission in this certain format, we assume that a transmission has ended, when often it has not.

Off and on in the next weeks I will be listening – and recording – some of these exchanges, analyzing them and noting possible reasons. Already, I can think of a number of reasons they occur.

The hint for this week – and in ongoing weeks – is for you to listen as well and try to begin to understand what is going on and maybe how to rectify it. Pass you thoughts to me at n7ng@arrl.net

(c) 2012, Wayne Mills, N7NG