DX University™

  A Guide for DXers and DXpeditioners


The WeeklyDX™ Helpful Hints No. 59 from the DX University™*


During the extraordinary DXpedition to Amsterdam Island in January-February 2014, although the expedition ops were cranking out QSOs at amazing rates, there was the usual grousing about all sorts of misbehavior on the DXpedition frequencies, on the bands, and of course on the various spotting network comments lines. According to many, the poor behavior was the worst ever.

Yes, there were many examples of DXers transmitting on the DXpedition frequencies, some intentional, most inadvertent – people who need to listen better and/or learn how to operate their radios. And yes, there was also some degree of deliberate QRM (DQRM) on the DX frequencies. Yes, the “problem” is becoming worse. There is also much more activity because of more DXers and more DXers chasing many more band-modes. Perceived poor behavior begets more poor behavior. More people trying to use the same frequencies leads to congestion. When DXers hear these examples of poor behavior on the bands, they don’t like it. And why should they, it’s annoying.

Yet Ralph Fedor, K0IR, the team leader was moved to make the following comment in the Twin City DX Association’s Grayline Report http://www.tcdxa.org/Newsletters/March2014Grayline.pdf :

“DXers and DXpeditioners perceive things differently. DXers hear what’s happening on the DXpedition’s transmit frequency. DXpeditioners hear what’s happening on their receive frequency. My perspective is this: Callers were generally courteous and orderly. If I struggled with a call, others generally stood by until I completed the QSO. I experienced no jamming on my receive frequency. If I called for a specific continent, I generally experienced cooperation. Of course there was an exception from time to time; perhaps just a simple mistake. So, in my personal experience, pileups were a pleasure to work ---- worldwide.”

Ralph is a very nice guy, and probably doesn’t want to upset anyone with negative comments. Yet, I know from my own personal experience that there is truth in Ralph’s observation. Intentional QRM on the DX frequency is a serious problem for some DXers, especially if they are perhaps within one skip distance from the DQRMer. But, there are always other stations to work while the DQRM continues. Some DXers hear the DQRM, others don’t.

There are also many DXers calling in the pileup out of turn. (DXers also hear these calls because many of them are searching through the pileup for the station being called.) These calls happen for a number of reasons. Many are inadvertent, many are caused by unfortunate timing. These transgressions are easy to discern when listening with two receivers, one on the DX station, one listening to the pileup. These calls might disrupt the DXpedition operator if they are intentionally timed and placed to purposely interfere with the DX operator. The DX op has an excellent tool to combat these calls, however: He can move his listening frequency. Frequency agility is a wonderful tool.

In the end, these apparent disruptions aren’t nearly as bad as they seem to DXers. If the QSO rate is good, and the accuracy is high, the problem is primarily aesthetic, but it doesn’t sound good to the sensitive ears of deserving DXers.

This week’s hint for DXers is to think about what is happening in these major pileups, try to understand why people do what they do. And, try very hard to disregard those factors that don’t really affect your probability of getting in the DXpedition log. It is really to your advantage to devise a way around these situations while others are busy hand-wringing -- N7NG

The IDXC is less than two weeks away. There will be two DX University sessions at the International DX Convention in Visalia, California this year. The morning session will be aimed at beginning and casual DXers. The afternoon session will be a seminar for advanced DXers and DXpeditioners. A list of possible discussion topics will be emailed to each of the registrants. If you can join us, please visit the DX University website and register for this interesting sessions.


If your club is interested in presenting a DX University session in the future, go the “Contact Us” page on the DX University Website -- www.dxuniversity.com -- and ask for additional information.