DX University™

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Full Disclosure – A Story in Two Cases

The WeeklyDX™ Helpful Hints No. 47 from the DX University™*


I hate it when that happens. What? Well, I heard Vadym, UT6UD last Thursday evening signing FO/UT6UD at the Marquesas Islands on 30 meters. I need that one, so I listened a bit more. He was loud here, but working/listening for Europe. I listened for a while, and waited to see if he would listen for anyone outside Europe later. He did, and I called a few times with no luck, and then he went back to listening for Europe. Other than not signing often enough, his operating was flawless until…while specifying Europe, he answered Jacky, ZL3CW and had a short QSO, and then went back to listening for Europe.

I wanted to move Jacky off frequency and say hi, so I pushed the transmit button on the 5000 in order to transmit to Jacky. That was a mistake, and I should have realized it. For several reasons I didn’t transmit to Jacky, and I didn’t immediately switch the VFO back. Then I forgot where I was transmitting; I was set up to transmit Vadym’s frequency. (CRS disease! The old timers among you may have heard of it.) When he went back to listening for anyone, of course I called. No one said anything, which is unusual. I must have called several minutes until I saw that bright red light in the wrong place – right on the main VFO. Arrrrgh!

Like I said, I hate it when that happens! Maybe a policeman would have been of some help (!) Maybe no one heard me, but I’m probably not that lucky. I guess I have to take some of my own advice and learn how to use my radio – and above all be more careful. (The lesson, of course, is that when you hear someone do that, think of the times you have done the same.)

The second case in this duo followed. I switched VFOs and proceeded to call the Marquesas. After zeroing in on the listening frequency and making a few calls, I finally hooked FO/UT6UD. To my surprise, he said “N7NG QSO BEFORE.” Hmmm, I had heard him complain to several others that they also were already in the log. What gives?

Now, I have to explain something. I keep a paper log. I use electronic logging for contests, but for “day-to-day” DXing I keep a paper log. There are several reasons. I certainly wouldn’t trust my computer to log an all-time new one. But much more significantly, I have logged way more QSOs than I want to pay someone to enter for me. If I don’t enter all those QSOs, starting to log electronically at this point doesn’t make much sense to me. So, without electronic logging, I have no screen to tell me we already had a QSO.

Without my log available on my station monitor, I can’t see instantly whether I have worked a particular station. However, since spots for FO/UT6UD go back only to about 03Z on 7.July.2013, a quick inspection told me that we had only two QSOs, one on 17M CW, and one on 20M CW. Checking the Summit, I found that Vadym had been spotted on those bands when I worked him. I should have been OK as there was no sign of any other QSOs with FO/UT6UD.

This is a very common situation. Consider the logic: One of us has made a mistake. That is certain. To resolve the situation requires a meeting of the minds – or computers – to determine exactly who is at fault. That isn’t difficult, but it might take an extra minute or two. Many DXpeditioners and contesters don’t want to take the time. So, contesters and DXers have almost universally determined that in most cases it is far easier to just work the apparent duping station rather than to argue about it. This is covered in the DX University Best Practices, www.dxuniversity.com. Unfortunately, our egos get in the way. We don’t want dupes in our logs, and we naturally assume that the other guy is at fault. It’s amazing how that works. I think it’s human nature.

In my case either UT6UD has busted my call, or I have forgotten to put anything about our QSO in the log. That is possible. Since I log on paper, there is no possibility of not recognizing something that is in my log related to a QSO. There is a possibility that I thought I was working someone else, since he wasn’t signing very often. If that’s the case I don’t know when it was, so I can’t be sure. A fact is that he isn’t in my log. In the end, I suspect that N7NM might be upset, because his QSO is probably listed as N7NG. Maybe I can figure out how to claim that QSO J

*The DX University™ is a day-long learning session for newcomers and old-timers wishing to hone their DXing skills. You are welcome to join us at future sessions. For more information on upcoming DX University sessions, visit www.dxuniversity.com