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Some of the Best Operators

The WeeklyDX™ Helpful Hints No. 38 from the DX University™*

There has been quite a bit of DXpedition activity in the last few weeks. Some of these entities I have needed for band-country fills, and some of them have been more of a listening experience. (I often put the word listening in italics because it is such an important element of DXing. Sometimes you can get by without listening, but others may pay the price.)

While spending last week visiting the grand kids in Montana, I noted that XT2TT was very active. Alas! No radio. Although I need XT on all bands but 40M (Gus Browning at XT0H back in December, 1965!) there wasn’t much to do but hope that I could pick up what I needed on returning home.

We returned – finally – on Thursday. While concentrating on XT2TT and picking up a few new band-countries, I did some listening, thinking about what I was hearing. It was mostly CW – some SSB – and it was really pretty good! Some of it was very impressive. Most of the operators I heard were good. Moderate speed on CW, spreading the pileups just enough, and not much complaining on their frequency – all signs of good operators.

But, most special was one operator in particular. This operator was excellent on CW. He was doing all of the right things: He was picking calls out of the huge pileup very quickly, sending at a moderate speed – about 30 WPM – sending his call after every other QSO or so, and sending “UP” after every QSO. His rate was very good – not racing – but fast and most of all, steady. This operator’s said his name is Vini.

Vini’s operating reminded me of an experience during our P40V CQWW CW contest effort in November, 1988. I was half asleep, having been awake for more than 45 hours, and while relaxing in an adjacent room, I could hear the ten-meter CW operator (N6IG) running a moderate pileup. He was soooo regular, picking out full calls, and working them with such rhythmic ease that I was mesmerized. That is the ultimate in efficiency. Of course, it was a contest, and on ten meters, where they always call one at a time, right? J  But the XT2TT operator was doing the same thing – with a huge pileup. It was truly a joy to hear.

Vini also reminded me of another great operator, Gianpaolo Forti, I2FGP. “Paolo” was one of those rare operators who manage to instill confidence in DXers that they will eventually make a QSO. There are and were other such operators of course. Vince, K5VT was one. Baldur, DJ6SI is another, as well as OH2BH and several others. This confidence comes naturally with their procedures. This confidence [in making a QSO] is what helps keep the audience under control. Once the DXers start to worry that they may never make a QSO, trouble can start. These guys have gained a reputation for their excellent operating.

I remember many times chasing some really rare stuff from the Far West Coast. Some of these were new for me – often in the Indian Ocean – and some were active at a time when conditions were not that good. But, there were these operators who you just knew would be able to pull you out of the pileups or out of the noise for a good QSO – and you knew after the QSO was over that you were in the log.

So, here’s to Vini, Gianpaolo and all the other really great operators! All excellent DXpeditioners who are really fun to listen to!

* These weekly articles published in the WeeklyDX™ are archived in the pages of The DX University. For more information on these topics, see www.dxuniversity.com The DX University™ is an in-person learning session for newcomers and old-timers wishing to hone their DXing skills. The next scheduled sessions will be at the International DX Convention in Visalia California, April 19, 2013. Register for the DX Academy at www.dxconvention.com