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The Ugly American HAM

Dale "Kuby" Kubichek, N6JSX /8 (N6JSX) on November 21, 2001
View comments about this article!

The Ugly American HAM

Many years ago I was instructed on were to find HF SSB DX on various bands. These semi-established DX windows are virtually unknown and require publication. The HAM radio national organizations need to highlight these windows into their bands plan for the world to be able to understand and use. Then apply peer pressure and establish a gentlemen's operating code-of-conduct on the HF SSB community.

I've heard ugly comments about the operating practices of other nationalities but the real UGLY comments need to be pointed directly at the Ugly Americans with their discourteous, arrogant attitudes, and operating practices. The word courtesy has been omitted from the American HAM dictionary. The worst lacking of American civility will be found on metropolitan 2m repeaters followed up by 20 meters and then 75 meters.

The 20 meter SSB DX Window has been 14.195 ± 0.005 MHz. for many years. Listen to this area and notice the abundance of scheduled American QSO's/NET's in this window area. I heard a Cambodian XU7 operating split on 14.195/14.200 Mhz. But two extra class (0 and 6 land call signs) American HAMs squatted on 14.197.5 MHz. They sounded quite senior and should know better. They had 59+ signals into Wisconsin and most of the USA, as many USA HAMs asked these two to please QSY, but they refused as their Monday morning scheduled QSO was just too important. So for +30 minutes the weak XU7 signal was stepped upon. Finally the two were getting annoyed by so many HAMs asking them to move they went QRT, unfortunately at the same time the XU7 either quit or the band fell out and then some HAM began tuning up his station. Gee, I wonder who?

Side-bar idea: Establish an internet site to post The HF LIDs list. When five or more HAMs submit complaints about the operation of a particular call sign the web site would move this LID's call sign from hidden data gathering list to the disclosed PUBLIC LID list adding the count of complaints behind this LID's call sign. After one year with no complaints the call sign would be removed from the public list. Let everyone and the OO/FCC know who is a LID - a passive vigilante method!

This type of Ugly American HAM operations is becoming the normal operating practice on 20 and 75 meters and I've been hearing it spreading to other bands in recent years. I enjoy trying to work DX with my meager barefoot station on inverted V antennas, but I've given up on 20 & 75 meters as you must have a 2 KW amplifier and on 20m a beam at +75 feet to barely compete in the pile-ups.

The DX Cluster can claim sole responsibility for inspiring a resurgence in HAM DX'ing and now the Cluster has grown from the packet frequencies to the Internet. However, the Cluster is also a curse; within two minutes of an uncommon DX spot announcement the pile up becomes deep with American beams and amplifiers. The suggested DX windows will not stop the power stations from dominating the DX but establishing QRP/Mobile DX windows would even out the playing field! I can understand why Canadian HAMs want their special HF band areas that prohibit any ugly American operations!

Suggested (or observed) DX, QRP/Mobile, & SSTV windows are:


SSB DX Window

SSB QRP/Mobile





















Any where








Any where





[All frequencies ± 0.005 MHz.]

Note: The logic of the SSB frequency selection was to use the top of the advanced band for the DX window and the bottom of the General band for QRP/Mobile/Weak Signal areas. However, pre-existing establish HAM usage prevents this convention from being enacted on some bands.

The Gentleman's Rules for these special operating windows should be:

  1. ALL HAMs (especially USA HAMs) NO QSO or NET's in or near these windows.

  2. ALL HAMs (especially USA HAMs) ONLY DX CQ'ing allowed in the DX window.

  3. The DX window users add DX to the CQ.

  4. The DX windows users keep the contact QSO under three minutes or QSY.

  5. The QRP users add stroke QRP_ to your callsign.

  6. The Mobile window users add mobile (your area/state) i.e. Mobile 8 or Mobile Ohio to your callsign.

  7. No CQ'ing in the Mobile windows with power over 125 watts.

SSB HF QRP definitions: (measured at the transmitter)

Under one watt QRPP

One to 10 watts QRP

Ten to 50 watts QRPX


Article/Opionion by:

Dale R. "Kuby" Kubichek, N6JSX /8, Ohio

Credits to:

Gordon West, WB6NOA Band Plan Chart

Icom America Amateur Radio Band Plan Chart

ARRL Band plan (some alterations are needed)

Member Comments:
This article has expired. No more comments may be added.
The Ugly American HAM  
by N5ZVP on November 21, 2001 Mail this to a friend!

Except for an rare occasional jerk, most of the 2m repeaters (and simplex) in my area (DFW) have decent operators and good QSO's when there is any activity at all. Occasionly propagation provides a chance to get rare DX from Waco or Tulsa, but there are not many pile-ups and any confusion usually results when this occurs during a club net on a repeater that doesn't use a PL tone.

Activty is rare on the upper bands like 70cm, 23cm and above except for the occasional satellite pass, and folks pretty much seem to be sticking to the band plans in the VHF/UFH/Microwave amateur bands. This may be do to the lower availability of commercial equipment for these bands or increased operator professionalism and skill. But some think it is due to the large amount of bandwidth available.

You might want to expand your chart to cover 6 meters, since folks seem to be able to use it to do DX and contesting, it will soon attract nets, contesters and "ugly american" operators.

But if you get tired of noise on HF, give 1.25 meters a shot. Most folks don't even know that band exists, let alone have a radio that covers it.


Chris N5ZVP

The Ugly American HAM  
by EA5ON on November 21, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Here's how US hams are viewed from this side of the pond: The vast majority are sensible, polite, and thoughtful operators, no different from others all over the world. There is a small minority of "Ugly American Hams" around, and it is true that I hear them exclusively on 20m. Their conversations are so awful and I object so strongly to the prevailing attitude that for this reason alone that I am planning my new station antennas to run on 17m instead of 20m.

As for mobile and QRP DX windows, I thought that QRP clubs and people like HF-pack had already established windows or frequencies to be observed - or am I misunderstanding this? Personally I agree with the QRP windows, but for a mobiler who has worked 226 countries (most all with 100w) I don't see the need to over-complicate things.

73 Duncan EA5ON
The Ugly American HAM  
by WG7X on November 21, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
"I enjoy trying to work DX with my meager barefoot station on inverted V antennas, but I've given up on 20 & 75 meters as you must have a 2 KW amplifier and on 20m a beam at +75 feet to barely compete in the pile-ups."


There is a lot of truth in your article, and advice that should be taken to heart, but...

The defeatist statement above I hear all the time. Let me put in my two cents worth!

I use an eighty meter wire dipole, fed with ladder line. The antenna is about 15 meters above the ground. I also have an amp, but I don't use it ALL the time. Having said that, I have worked many DX stations barefoot on all bands, not just 20 meters. In fact, I have had many DX replies to my barefoot CQ's.

So, I can't believe that you would be so intimidated by the so-called big "ugly" stations that you will not ever try to work 20 meters? I really enjoy beating out the big ones in a pile up. At least get in there and try, for crying out loud! If your defeatist attitude can't be beat, you will never work DX on 20, or any other band for that matter.

You cannot level the playing field in this game. There are no "handicaps" as in golf. What are you going to do? Quit simply because there are better equipped/operated stations out there?

You better take up an easier game, might I suggest "Old Maid"?

DX is!

Gary WG7X

The Ugly American HAM  
by N9SD on November 21, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Surely, we would all like to have special windows
set aside to accomodate our own particular ham
radio interests. But there are a few realities
we have to keep in mind:

*Reality number one: The bands are crowded. If I want
to get on the air for whatever reason (ragchew,
contest, you name it) and the ONLY frequency that
doesn't have someone one it is in some special
window, is it being suggested that I should simply
not get on the air at all? And if that particular
band makes the most sense for what I'm trying to
do at the moment (make a sked, run stations in a
contest, have a net, etc...) going somewhere else
does not solve my problem. What if 20m is the only
band that has the propogation I _need_ to do what
I want to do? Should I just shut down the station
so as to keep the special window silent?

*Reality number two: 20m is and will remain the most
crowded band for just about everything. Does it
really make sense to start adding reserved windows
on 20m when there is so much space on 15m and 10m
that is quiet most of the time? (I work mostly
15m and 10m, by the way.) I don't store seldom
used items in premium spaces in my house, I store
them in the basement where there is more room. Do
we all (all the gentlemen, that is) think we should
be setting aside yet more reserved windows on the
more overused band of all?

*I would like a window reserved for hams who are
photographers, have three kids, use simplicity lawn
tractors, drive a Ford Taurus, and have herniated
disks? Where shall I locate this window to meet the
needs of a very small minority of people?

To the general ham population, I would say this:

*If there is an open spot on the band that would
permit you to do what you need to do, stay out of the
special reserved windows.

To those who use the special windows, I would say

*When the bands get so crowded that there is simply
no place else to go other than the 'reserved windows'
you will have other people operating in them, and
that is entirely reasonable, fair and legal. By the
way, it's definitely NOT legal for you to deliberately
QRM them just because they CAN NOT move elsewhere. (Oh
yeah, man...I've seen that happen wayyyy too many

Folks, the ham bands are a public resource. We set
aside special windows as a courtesy, not as a right.
And when band crowding simply does not permit us to
operate somewhere else, it makes absolutely no sense
whatsoever to leave a part of the band silent...JUST
IN CASE someone wants to use it for a special purpose.

I'll see y'all on 10m, outside of any special windows.


The Ugly American HAM  
by K2WH on November 21, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Who would determine when the "LID Threshold" is crossed? A committee of five as you suggest. Who would these five be. Who would choose them. Your suggestion of a LID LIST is ridiculous.

I'm sure there are readers of this article who are already calling you a LID just for the act of complaining. There are no winners.

The Ugly American HAM  
by N1YRK on November 21, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
While I understand the frustration of the DXer, it is important that we not pick favorites when claiming frequencies. For instance, I see an SSTV window but no digital modes. Are we going to pick special spots for clover,pactor,psk31,mfsk16, etc DX? luckily the last two use little bandwidth, so finding a spot is easier.

Also, while I'd like to know who the lids are, I think this will just make things worse. First, there could be legal problems. Also, many people will not respond well to such criticism and instead you would start a great fight.

How about looking the offender(s) up in the callbook and posting their zipcodes, and the time/frequency of their offenses? In that way, any one here who comes across such a report and recognizes it as their own can take heed of the report while not having to be publicly humiliated. Also, include what you think should have been the correct behaviour, and why. I think this would be much more productive than public floggings.
This IS Ugly...  
by NB6Z on November 21, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Wow, this article is so wrong on so many levels... I am soooo glad that I am not a SSB operator any more!
You are proposing to turn the international brotherhood of amateur radio into a police state, complete with hi-tek internet vigilantes and your own view of a "world order". That pretty much defines the "Ugly American" in my mind!
This all seems to boil down to working DX some how...? I guess DXing is like a drug with some hams? Maybe what we need is a simple return to basics. Sort of a "fundamentalist revolution" (pardon the term) for ham radio! Maybe if we all study our hobby and prepare our selves to be in the right place at the right time with the right equipment to work DX, we will find we enjoy the experience more. Sort of a natural high... Works for me ;-) Using a crutch like packet clusters and the internet to get that next DX "fix" seems like a sad and desperate act. Put yourself in the shoes of that "rare DX" station; the pile ups must be no fun for him. Lets stop being "ugly" (if that is what you think we are) and start being smart.
Thanks, I feel better now...
The Ugly American HAM  
by WB2WIK on November 21, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Cute article, Kuby.

I think the proportion of "ugly" to "pretty" HF ops in the U.S. is similar to all other countries. We just have more active, HF-equipped hams than anyplace else, so by sheer numbers Americans are going to be best, worst, and leaders in virtually every category.

With the XU7 situation, although I didn't specifically hear that one, it's unusual for a U.S. "big gun" to simply not step in and call the XU7 to advise him that he's being badly QRM'd Stateside, and suggest an alternative calling frequency. Happens all the time. The "Monday morning sked" guys generally cannot compete with a serious gun, and since many serious guns are retired, there's always one around when you need him. If I can't find somebody who I know has a bigger signal than I do, I'll try the trick, myself (calling the DX station and suggesting he move, and to where). It has worked.

If it was easy, it wouldn't be fun for most of us. If I could just flip the switch and work the other side of the world 24/7 without interference, I'm pretty sure I'd give up DXing. No challenge, what's the point? Many of us use QRP or QRPp to create new challenges and goals, even though we have big amplifiers. When it gets too easy, it's time to try something else. That's why I go to the summit of the mountain and do the black diamond runs, rather than halfway up and use the blue or green trails. If I ever became so good a skier that the diamond runs didn't scare me, I'd probably give up skiing.

73 de Steve WB2WIK/6
The Ugly American HAM  
by KK7JS on November 21, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
I don't see how a "DX window" could've helped in another situation I heard not too long ago on 10m:

3Y0C was transmitting on 490, listening on 500-515. Another station starts calling CQ on 495, having first asked no less than 3 times if the frequency was in use. Within a minute, about 100+ hams started screaming at him to QSY/QRT because he was supposedly interfering with 3Y0C. Some were polite, but most were downright nasty...I heard just about every swear word in the book.

Makes me wonder about the situation you described with the XU and the other QSO on 14197.5. Were they treated the same way? Surely then you can't expect them to want to be too cooperative! Perhaps what is needed instead is to make Dale Carneige's book "How to win friends and influence people" a part of the FCC Exam or operating procedures.
The Ugly American HAM  
by AC0X on November 21, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
What a mess! First, despite what you claim, US hams *don't* own the reputation of being the most discourteous hams in the world. I won't tell you who it is, because I don't believe in such generalities, but it isn't US hams with that reputation.

Second, your mish-mosh of rules is confusing and uneccesary. We don't need DX windows on 20/15/10. These bands are by their nature "DX" bands. The reason we have such windows on the lower bands is that they tend to have more local QSO's, and a window was established on them to make sure DX can be heard through the local chatter. Having a "DX Window" on bands where it is often easier to work across an ocean than it is across a few state borders is ridiculous.

Finally, your comment about "you must have a 2 KW amplifier and on 20m a beam at +75 feet to barely compete in the pile-ups" shows how little you DX. With a barefoot rig and a wire antenna you can work a whole bunch of DX on 20 meters, and even a good deal on 80 meters. Maybe your problem is that you constantly look on 3795 and 14195 then go away. Tune around those bands. Maybe even try CW (there's a thought). You may surprise yourself.

The Ugly American HAM  
by N1KFC on November 21, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
There are so many points in this article with which I disagree, I had to read it again to make sure that the intent was not sarcasm or parody. I'll assume that it was meant to be taken at face value.

I have worked plenty of DX on 20m and the other bands, never using more than 100w, and only using simple wire antennas or a high sierra screwdriver when mobile. True, it requires a bit of listening and patience but it is really quite easy.

Some stations have invested in large towers, antenna arrays, amplifiers etc and presumaly enjoy their use. Wonderful! But I would wager that the vast majority of stations remain modest. Some even seek out spartan operating conditions such as QRP, backpack mobile, etc. for additional challenges. If they are so terribly disadvantaged, I wonder why they have so many practitioners.

We do not need further carving up of the bands into special interest group sub bands. Telephones and the internet provide outlets for the instant communications some desire. A bit of courtesy and education would serve the community much more efficiently and productively. Your sidebar suggestion would likely alienate more than embarrass the few.

I, for one, find your term "ugly American HAM" rather offensive. I am quite proud of America and quite pleased to have earned an amateur ticket. I have friends in other countries who are equally proud of their countries, whether they are Hams or not. Perpetuating hateful stereotypes serves no productive purpose.

The Ugly American HAM  
by K6LO on November 21, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Oh come on now, bon ami. That's a pretty broad brush you are painting with Kuby. America the villian, and American's the ugly. That is nonsense. Certainly there are rude American operators, but it is by no means epidemic, and certainly no cause for such rash measures. Too much has been focused on the negatives of ham radio. As we live in the States, and as Americans compose a large percentage of the world-wide ham population, we tend to focus on the small percentage of bad US ops. That is fair. But be realistic, it also means we are close to the largest percentage of GOOD operators. I have been active on HF for over two decades. I hear FAR many more good operators than bad. Skill level tends to vary with experience, but everyone I have conversed with on HF over the years has been a nice person. Maybe not the most skilled operator, but at least a decent human being. There are, certainly, watering-holes on HF and the higher bands for the lifeless malcontents of ham radio, and ocassionally indvidual hams demonstrate bad manners. Why, I'll bet some of them even live in other countries across the globe! In fact, in 23 years of amateur radio I am sure of it. It is trivial.
Do I condem them as people, or single them out?
Most certainly I do not. Lighten up. It is a HOBBY. I say again: It is a HOBBY. Let us be proactive, stop complaining, and lead by example. Exercise utmost courtesy and professional on-air operating demeanor at all times. By doing so we encourage quality operating practices on the bands. Quality does indeed rub off on people. Focusing on the social duds of the ham radio world is a futile and unproductive pursuit. There will always be a handful - often starkly in the public eye - and they do not care about either of our opinions. They really do not. But we can, in part by our own good on air example and tutelage continue to vastly out-number them. This has always been so.

Happy Thanksgiving everybody,


>I've heard ugly comments about the operating >practices of other nationalities but the real UGLY >comments need to be pointed directly at the Ugly >Americans with their discourteous, arrogant >attitudes, and operating practices. The word courtesy >has been omitted from the American HAM dictionary. >The worst lacking of American civility will be found >on metropolitan 2m repeaters followed up by 20 meters >and then 75 meters.
The Ugly American HAM  
by AB2MH on November 21, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
There is nothing wrong with the "Ugly American Hams" IMHO. However, many foreign hams would generally not work them because there were just too darn many of them. No hard feelings, we were looking for rare DX, and US hams simply didnt fall into that category.

As a matter of fact, recently one of my friends from 9Y4 land had a 20m sked with me, and we couldnt complete the sked because everyone heard the 9Y4 "rare DX" and wanted to work him, even though he repeatedly told him that he was "looking for a friend". We eventually gave up and signed off.
The Ugly American HAM  
by N2XE on November 21, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
oh pleeeeeeease...

This could be titled "the Self Hating Ham". Kind of reminds me of people that think Americans are to blame for a few idiots flying commercial airliners into our buildings.

There are a few bad apples out there and they don't respect international borders nor are they the exclusively from North America.
The Ugly American HAM  
by W2VD on November 21, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
C'mon, Kuby, it's a hobby! I work plenty of DX with QRP CW and a mini G5RV! The great thing about amateur radio is that there is something in the hobby for everyone. Have you tried QRP CW? PSK31? ATV? Built anything lately? Life doesn't end if you can't always nail that SSB DX station. If you could, everyone would be on honor roll! Yes, there are some jerks in ham radio, just as in every other walk of life. But they are the minority. I live in New York City, and prefer to think of each and every one of our brother and sister amateurs who contributed to the disaster relief efforts (of 9/11, as well as all previous disasters of years past) as "The Beautiful American HAM!"

Happy Thanksgiving to ALL,
The Ugly American HAM  
by KG6AMW on November 21, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
I don't agree for the following reasons:
1) DX windows confined to one small area is asking for problems. Use the whole band. Also, why should dxing be considered anymore important than ragchewing, nets or contest weekends.
2) Some people do respond poorly to insults. Next time someone is too near a pileup, ask them politely to move. Most do with little complaining. From what I've heard, mostly its just get the hell out of way, we're working a new one.
3) Side Bar Idea. Get ready for a defamation suit that will surely follow.

The general reference to the ugly American is not valid. Sorry, I consider this article basically a cheap shot at the American ham community.
The Ugly American HAM  
by N0AH on November 21, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
It's universal. After spending 2 months in France and a week on Lord Howe, it is common everywhere for lids to operate 1KW to work what equates to the guy accross the street in the middle of DX'ally-
The Ugly American HAM  
by KC8QGL on November 21, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
It seems that those with a General class ticket aren't allowed to work DX. Your DX windows don't fall within our privledges on most bands--at least not the suggested SSB frequencies!

Who says DX can't be found and worked on 20M with a barefoot station? I have broken many pile-ups with a TS-820 fed to a Gap Challenger and I have only been licensed a few months. I now have a 600W amp that I haven't hooked up yet but when I do I doubt that breaking any pile-up with it will be as satisfying as trying for days on end to finally work KC4USV.

A window isn't necessary. I and probably many others find DX simply by tuning through the band. If I confined myself to looking only in the DX window I would never find any. And BTW, the DX windows are hardly "virtually unknown". Rather, they are published in every ARRL publication I have seen so far.
The Ugly American HAM  
by WZ5PM on November 21, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Many, many moons ago, I had a Drivers Ed teacher who explained that it always took TWO vehicles to have an accident.

Americans yes. Ugly? Yes, some. But there is a counterpoint with the DX stations too! And here it is:

If a DX station goes on the air, parks on a frequency and makes a call and ends up with a huge pile, then they are part of the problem too. Why?

Because they have a VFO too and can respond to some one elses CQ. They dont have to just open up shop and work a pile! There is no rule that a DX station has to just show up and be big guy on campus.

If the DX stations would answer CQs of other stations, we would have ham radio working both ways.But a lot of DX ops come on the air and want to be the stars of the pile and not just have a delightful QSO and meaningful interaction.

I have been working QRP for a while now - on SSB. A pileup I am not going to bust. I can "snipe" a station when it first calls, but I cant out gun the noise.

When I do work DX, I often get very good signal reports - so I have an idea I am making it out. But I have yet had a DX station return my CQ. I have often had a DX station "set up camp" a few KC above me after I have been calling - and then work their pileup.

So you see, there is more then one vehicle involved in this wreck. DX stations do not have to Call - they too can answer. And if we had a resonable number of DX stations so doing, the entire event would change for the better.

We are only half of the problem. Granted, we could use some table manners one and all.

RE: The Ugly American HAM  
by VK4JAM on November 22, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
I have to agree with Duncan EA5ON - "The vast majority are sensible, polite, and thoughtful operators, no different from others all over the world." There are always a few exceptions, no matter which group you look at. The important thing to remember that when you are on the air - the "world" can hear you ! Not just hams !

Not sure that I support mobile or QRP DX windows. Generally what is lacking (QRP) at one end of the radio link is made up for at the other end (ie NOT QRP and an GOOD good antenna). Having a QRP only window would probably mean less contacts for those running QRP.

73's Andrew VK4JAM
RE: The Ugly American HAM  
by RobertKoernerExAE7G on November 22, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
I just checked the bands plans on the ARRL site. Nothing about a DX window, mobile operations, or QRP.

I upgraded to Extra, because I wanted to chase DX; there was more DX, and better DX in the extra portions of the bands. At one time, DX hung out in the extra portions, to reduce the pile ups. Major DXpeditions started listening in the general portions of the band to give everyone a chance.

Kilowatt Alley has always started at 14.150 through the "birdie swirls" part on 20 meters.

If you work all of the DX you hear, pretty soon you run out of DX.

Keep your sense of humor Kuby.

When a DX station goes from SSB to CW on the same frequency, someone will ALWAYS complain that CW doesn't belong in the SSB part of the band.

With the P5 on ten meters, barefoot running an indoor dipole, tons of people will be windging that they can't hear him -- "so someone needs to start a list, or have the P5 go by call areas."

This isn't UGLY, it's comedy.

The XT2DX team got on 21.025 qsx up today, at about 40WPM. Right on their xmit, people were calling them at about 5-10 WPM. The XT2DX team on 20 meters knew better, the were below 14.025, qsx up.
RE: The Ugly American HAM  
by W5HTW on November 22, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
The proposal, or whatever it is, leaves me speechless

The Ugly American HAM  
by K8XQ on November 22, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
First off Sir I find your comment "Ugly American"anything offensive. Considering recent events,how dare you and if you don't like US I personally can direct you or anyone else who holds your opinion to one of our borders.As far as the finer points to this arguement ,I believe it has been reasonably argued out. As to how the rest of the world's opinion goes,don't think they do not have there share of bad apples or spectrum problems. So secondly Sir,I would like to respectfully offer that you deal with it.Kevin K8XQ
The Ugly American HAM  
by KM5EW on November 22, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Come on now,'re not serious, are you?

First off I should mention, as others have, that many DXers use modest stations. As for myself, I don't own an amplifier. I would rather use my operating skills and a little luck to chase DX, and I have been successful in doing so. You say you can't work DX on 20 meters because you don't have an amplifier or a tower at 70 feet or more? It seems to me that you just haven't tried.

As far as the "ugly American" concept goes, I realize that we do have a few out there that have a strong tendency to show their posterior sides. That number, kind sir, is actually a small number in reality. It's the same way everywhere else in the amateur radio world. "Ugly Americans"? If we truly WERE, than we would not have received such strong support from our amateur brethren in the rest of the world after the atrocious events of September 11. (Sorry for the political interjection, but an example had to be made.)

Now, a LID list would be tempting, but that would be asking for trouble, i.e. lawsuits, etc. Where do you draw the line on that? A list like that would be drawn up only on the thoughts of certain people, and is only asking for a nasty fight...or worse.

As far as special windows are concerned, how about one for hams who are balding, will need dentures in the next 10 years or so, and will need a hearing aid in the next 20 years? I'll take first dibs on that one, as soon as the ARRL sets up such a window! (Yeah, SUUUUUUUURRRRRRRRE.)

Your article is offensive not only to American amateurs, but to amateur radio in general. Next time you post an article, think about what you say and who it just might offend before you post it. I believe you just upset a few thousand hams that do not believe the way you do.

Warren Rowe / KM5EW
Florence, Texas
The Ugly American HAM  
by K3LS on November 23, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
I don't think that there are anymore "ugly Americans" than there are any "ugly others". In fact my observation is than in pile-ups US ops. are in general more disciplined than non US ops.

What we don't need is more sub-division and sub-allocations of the ham bands. And posting a 'LID' list
will do nothing more than promote further erratic behavior by the LID. Besides the definition of a LID is as varied in number as is the number of hams.

We should promote courtesy and good operating habits and not be counter productive by focusing on the negative behavior of a minority of operators.
The Ugly American HAM  
by PHINEAS on November 23, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
I think we have to remember one thing, HAMS are people too. Regulation wont fix that.

One person made a comment about Amateur radio turning into a police state. It already is. I can tell you how many time I scoped out someold guy in my mirror writing down my license plate, while listening to his radio or scanner.

This QRP thing. ou know depending on which area you are in, QRP is very frowned upon. People that do QRP are accused of wasting band space tring to make a low wattge contact. This is another thing I think is wrong, when there is so much space out ther to work with.

When I was on chicken band (CB) doing skip, you had all of these big power staions dominating in pile up situations. I thought it would be different once I became a HAM. I listen to HQ band all of the time, and hear the sme old thing.

Racism. You would think that a bunch of seemingly intellectual people that talk to people around to world would not be so prude. But that does seem to be the case either.

To make it short, HAMS are people too. You just have to take the good with the bad, and choose to be a good operator in your own shack. Unfortunately, we cant control what people do in their shack. no matter how we try.

Pileup Lids  
by RADIOJOE on November 23, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Congrats to WA1DJK for furthering the case against the Ugly American Lid. I was SWLing on the 15 meter ham band and heard a pileup for a station in Palestine. The DX station was working split frequency. WA1DJK was on the DX station's frequency scolding hams whose operating techniques did not meet with his approval.

What I find baffling is how someone can be critical of another's operating, while committing some of the WORST possible infractions himself!

This pileup had representatives of numerous countries around the globe, all of which, no doubt, could hear this American "amateur" make an ass of himself.

In fact, anytime you hear some fool add to the confusion in a large pileup by appointing himself "Pileup Policeman," the offender tends to be American. Shameful behaviour!

The Ugly American HAM  
by W8FAX on November 24, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
This subject should be called "The Whiney American Hams". That sure is the trend. First whine..."we need phone privelages for novices"......done
2nd whine...."we need easier tests for licensing"...done
third whine...."the code is just toooo hard. we need to lower the requirement or do away with it altogether". Done
NOW....QSLing is just too hard and I want MY verification RIGHT NOW. Thus the start of e mail QSLs
Then, to top it off "waaahhh...I am too lazy to persevere and work DX so I want to level this field also so we can ALL be the same and make it EASY".
If you REALLY listen you will find the same amount of interferance, tuneups, and bad radio proceedures coming from every other country on the globe. Maybe DX is just not a fast enuff turn over reward wise for you. Take up county hunting.....Al
He misses the point here by a Mile (1.6093 kilomet  
by N9GXW on November 24, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
I agree that we (all Hams) should be courteous to a fault and I try to be. If there is a weak foreign station that I am interfering with the QSO if asked NICELY, I should try to move up or down a little. But I feel the writer misses the point. My QSO is just as important as his no more no less.

I do not like the idea of fixed and mandatory windows. They are not efficient. Further, buy the time you do a window for the DX zealots, QRP’ers the Mobile’s , RTTY people, the PSK folks, AM folks, Slow Scan, Fast Scan, Satellite, EME, Contesters, CW east of the Mississippi, CW west of the Mississippi, CW DX, wireless email pickup, and the National Association of Hams that Operate in the Nude, where do the majority of Hams that just enjoy a nice chat with another human go?

I know where the DXers would like to tell me to go but that would not be nice. I am not in favor of anything other than suggested windows to give like minded folks a general place to meet. Windows are just that and nothing more, because a person aspires for DX does not give them ownership of the “suggested” DX window. And if you want an example of arrogance look to the DXer that has the assumption that because his QSO is with a station in Cambodia it is more important than mine with a station in Utah. It is not more important or less, it is of equal importance. The arrogance in this story is not American, it belongs to any Ham anywhere who thinks his or her little corner of this hobby is of greater value than yours or mine!


The Ugly American HAM  
by W8OB on November 24, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
oh brother this is why everything is in the state it is, one group wants to control this the other that
yada yada...... my only question if the dx is working split is it not the responsibility of the transmitting
op on this side to make sure he or she is not qrming a existing qso? this split thing really pisses
me off you get a 25 khz subband for cw and some dx station has to run the damn pile up all 25 khz
maybe some day the gun ho's will realize this dxing is only a hobby part of the service, not life itself
at least the fcc is starting to crack down on these lids without ears. am i a dxer? actually yes but i
dont kill myself to get it last count showed 219 worked big deal.
The Ugly American HAM  
by KZ9G on November 24, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Good day! I suggest we stick with the ARRL's Considerate Operator's Frequency Guide, and the FCC's mandated band plans. If changes need to be made, let's voice our concerns to our elected/appointed folks at the League and FCC.

On the side: I've been off HF at my house for about a year now, and can't hardly wait to get back on-the-air again. A simple vertical with many radials is in the process of going up... Look for my DX chasing and KW signal to begin again on CW and phone!

It's a jungle out there - that'll never change. May the best and keenest operators make the juicy contacts.

The Ugly American HAM  
by G0GQK on November 24, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
I thought Dale Kubichek`s views were rather harsh.

For many years I have chatted to US hams on the usual DX bands and I can only recall one occasion when a few hard words were said. However I have read many times about the pandemonium that occurs on 75/80 metres
and two metres in the US and I think that the problems are really domestic ones.

In Europe the DX end of 80 metres always appears to be quite well mannered and civil to my ears. Perhaps we should be glad that the US users of 75 metres cannot be heard generally in Europe.!
RE: The Ugly American HAM  
by K1ZF on November 24, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Wow... makes me glad I only operate CW on HF...
RE: The Ugly American HAM  
by RADIOJOE on November 25, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
At least on CW, you rarely hear childish arguments and "Pileup Police" in the pileups! I think many SSB-only ops are just glorified CB'ers.
The Ugly American HAM  
by WB4LZQ on November 26, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
What I really enjoy is the considerate DXers who operate split on 40m. Your trying to have a QSO on 40 at night and already having to contend with SWBC when some DXer operating split starts transmitting on the freq. your using with megpower. They don't listen and you can't got down in the Foreign 40 meter phone band to ask them to please listen first. But I guess if these considerate operators can't hear you its ok. It would be my guess if during the above scenero the Foreign station mentioned you causing problems to the DXer he would probility label me as an ugly American. The problem is these DXers and contesters think they are elite and all other ham activity should cease when THEY want to use the bands. Was that ugly? I have learned to live with it, but it can piss a body off. The bottom line is these conflicts will be with us always, so get over it. It may seem like this is an American problem, but it just seems that way because their is a greater percentage of hams here then in alot of places. Well now that I have vented I feel better I hope everyone else does too. 73
The Ugly American HAM  
by W0AKR on November 26, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Sure we all know of the occassional jerk, cop, slim, pirated call, but you did fail to mention the other side of the coin.

DX windows are just that, a gentlemen's agreement of sorts, many of which, are unknown to the amateur population. Publishing a "lid" list, well, I have other thoughts on that.

One problem I have noted with DX stations is their inability to "control" a pile up, or to use splits that are anywhere from 15-50 kcs wide. Not much is mentioned about the pile up suddenly falling upon in progress QSO's....the precious DX must be worked.

I like to work DX, but education of How to Operate as DX really needs to be implemented. 14.195 doesn't have to be the established window, afterall, DX can operate just about anywhere on 20 and generate a pileup. Had the DX station you mentioned had enough savy, he could have moved, up or down with little problem retaining his pileup. All too many get the mindset that 14.195 (i.e) has to be the DX window.

Many DX stations will operate on 14.145 listening up somewhere. That "eliminates" much of the QRM from stateside.

VHF frequencies. There are numerous places the DX or windows have been identified yet time and time again, this continues to be a sore spot. The 75 Meter DX window seems fairly well respected, but the VHF ones aren't.

In summary, yes, we "American Amateurs" could use more "manners". However, being in the zero district, I can tell you that probably 6 times out of 10 I have sat a listened to call area after call area work DX by the numbers and then the zero district is skipped altogether. It comes from a lack of education in working a pile up. There needs to be more seminars, educational articles, etc. about HOW TO work DX from the DX end rather than whine about the QRM, tuning up, etc.
Some of it does come from American culture....  
by N0TONE on November 27, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Rudeness happens from everywhere. There are many more Americans, so we get more blame, that is true. But we are a far more boisterous society, too and that does add to it.

You are probably familiar with this sight: A chap is on his cellphone, across the street from you. He is speaking so loudly that you thought he was yelling something at you. Is this common merely because there are lots of Americans who have cell phones? No. I have spent time in Asia recently, and I can assure you that in the countries where I've been, the cellphone population is FAR higher than in America. Yet that scene never happens! Why? In Japan, evidently, their culture does not include a need to "stake out" one's territory, aurally. So, when they're on a cell phone call, they not only speak quietly, but they in fact, use their hands to cover their mouths so as to provide even more discretion, to avoid interfering with other conversations. They'd never consider answering a cell phone call whilst in a restaurant; most of the cell phone activity I saw was in airports, train stations, and bus terminals - never inside a store or restaurant.

In a philosophically similar vein, it is more likely that an individual American will bully his/her way onto a frequency. It's our nature, like it or not. Or, at least, it's the nature of the more visible of our lot.

Ugly in many ways  
by N0TONE on November 27, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Sad to say, but I've seen quite a few bits of ugliness amongst hams here. Having been in this country for some 30 years, yet still visiting Europe and Asia on occasion, I see differences. Americans have a much stronger sense of personal space and a seeming need to stake out one's territory.

In the southeast, when I was stationed there, a two meter repeater war ensued that involved the outright theft of equipment from a public water tower, and then outright murder. I cannot imagine that happening in Europe. No, this is no secret, the incidents and legal battles afterwards made it to the local papers.

I understand that there is presently a repeater war going on between a ham club and a county government, of all amazing things, in California. Elsewhere, the ham club would opt to select a different frequency (if possible) and quietly go on about their ham radio business and let the Big Bad Government have their silly little frequency. By doing so, the ham group would have visibly demonstrated that they, not the government, had behaved gentlemanly. But no, I am told the ham club plans to fight this tooth and nail. They'll ultimately lose, of course, but there's the principal of the thing. And that principal will be forgotten in a matter of weeks, as history always records the side of the victor, not the loser. But the club has this need to "stake their claim".

And yet, here's another new rudeness we hams are perpetrating. One day whilst strolling along a stream in my favourite arboretum, I heard the sounds of CW. Curious, I followed the sound. It got louder. And louder. And yet even louder. I finally found the source. An HF-backpack enthusiast was walking along the railroad tracks. He had one of those lovely FT-817 rigs perched atop his plentiful belly, with a whip antenna poking up from it. Rather than using a headset, he let the audio blast out through the speaker. From many hundreds of feet away, the sound level was too loud for even me, with my failing hearing. I can understand, to a degree, the desire to bring the ham rig, and enjoy some CW QSOs whilst strolling the park, but must he really involve everybody within a quarter mile? I was not the only person bothered. Many people in the park were making comments about it. It's akin to the teenager with the boom box turned up far too loud. What passes for music to them is horrific to most others. Similarly with the CW (or, for that matter, SSB). I have now seen this scene many times. Passers by are first curious, then they find out what's up with the noise, then they are annoyed that the chap isn't using headphones. I've seen it now in several parks and with several of the newly-mobile set.

For me, when I escape from the home, I prefer to escape, but that, of course, isn't for everybody. But if I were to choose to bring along a hobby (for all I know, the poor sot lives in a CC&R infested neighborhood, and the railroad tracks represent the only place from which he might be able to make contacts!), I do my level best to not interfere with the enjoyment of others, who probably do not want to hear electronic sounds in the park.

Let us think about how we are being gentle - on each other, on others who may or may not share our hobby, and to those who ARE hams but may or may not share our particular fascination within the hobby.

Non-invasiveness is a genuine value.

The Ugly American HAM  
by KR6ER on November 27, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Yes, you are right 90% of the HAMS on 20 meters are jerks. I'm sure they feel they are upholding the spirit of radio, but they are JERKS!
RE: The Ugly American HAM  
by W4PA on November 27, 2001 Mail this to a friend!

EA5ON wrote:
Here's how US hams are viewed from this side of the pond: The vast majority are sensible, polite, and thoughtful operators, no different from others all over the world. There is a small minority of "Ugly American Hams" around, and it is true that I hear them exclusively on 20m. Their conversations are so awful and I object so strongly to the prevailing attitude that for this reason alone that I am planning my new station antennas to run on 17m instead of 20m.


Be thankful you can't hear what a cesspool 3.850 to
4.000 MHz is here in the United States.

Scott W4PA
RE: The Ugly American HAM  
by N0GV on November 27, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Lets get real here -- What do we have?

1) Someone who "missed" the DX of a lifetime. How does this go? Hmmm..... "IM2POD you are 5 x 9 my name is Jerk and I am in the state of Confusion, how copy?" "ID1OT I copy you 99 over 9 here in Upper Lower Nirvana. My name is Dope. Thats right Delta Oscar Peter Echo." "Ok Dope 73 have a good day, IM2POD. QRZ"

2) Impressive huh? Yes I'd love to talk with someone from another country but this is only an equipment test on the part of Dope and Jerk -- nothing there of even a remotely personal or interesting nature -- so where can you get off claiming that DX is more deserving of its own band allocation than ragchewing or a sked?

PUT A LID On IT! ;-)

The Ugly American HAM  
by JIMBOB on November 27, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
id just like to say that ive had many happy years listening to american hams (S.W.L)and i find the vast majority of them polite and very good always boils down to the minority of brain dead UGLY HAM OPERATORS who try and wreck a good hobbie for all the other good folk out there,why dont they do the good thing and sell up if all they want to do is mess around and cause disrupption on the bands..i say ugly ham operators and not ugly american ham operators because this is a world wide thing,here in europe its just the same with a minority wrecking it for everyone else so i find it unfair to use the words (ugly american ham) when there are so many decent operators over in the states..a few months ago i posted a advert on a web page wanting some advice and help with a particular reciever that i owned and guess who i got 3 replies off offering help and advice (3 AMERICAN HAMS)nobody else from any other countries replied to my ads so you lot make your own minds up about (ugly american ham)...... jim,England,Europe (S.W.L)
RE: The Ugly American HAM  
by WM5L on November 28, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Ya know. The whole problem with ALL of ham radio is not too many hams on the air. It is not too little specturm. It is not too many no coders or extra lites. The problem is YOU! Every one of us need to look at ourselves. Our attitude towards our fellow ham. Common courtesy is almost gone on the air. Everywhere you go on the internet you see hams pissed off at each other for simple things. CW or phone is a BIG can of worms. Contesters and ragchewers is a good fight also. there are countless others. I dont need to list them all. This fighting on eham or qrz is stupid and just makes people have hard feeling towards each other. I'm not crying about all this and I know I won't change much of mankind BUT I will continue to do my part to be polite on the air. I can live with letting someone else talk or use the frequency. I dont have to OWN it. If someone "needs" the Freq. They can have it. There is in my opinion plenty of specturm to go around. I will just QSY if Someone asks me to. So if you are a real hard ass and think you need to push you're way into someones QSO or tune up one sombody go on and "show them a thing or two" "teach them a lesson" I hang out on 40m alot I'll be your'e friend. It won't kill you to just give someone a break or to GENTELY remind someone of a mistake they have made...Jim/WM5L
RE: The Ugly American HAM  
by N9GXW on November 28, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Well put Grover.

73 N9GXW
RE: The Ugly American HAM  
by KC9OD on November 29, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Gosh, don't hold back!

I think part of the complaints are like those people who resent others driving Ford Expeditions or Chevy Corvettes-if I can't , then THEY shouldn't, either !

RE: The Ugly American HAM  
by WH6DM on November 29, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Well it seems that the privlege of being a HAM ugly or not is taken for grnted around here. I learned from my elmer (oh sorry elmer someone that montors someone else as to the way one should act or in this case operate on the bands as a ham)some good operating practices. just a quick question how many out there can say they had a elmer?

just my 2 cents worth.

next time a new ham does something wrong be a elmer help him out maybe he/she will return the favor and show the next guy down the log the right way.

just a though it might be contagous kindness that is.

73 de WH6DM Alan
The Ugly American HAM  
by N4GI on November 30, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Dale, you need to quit using SSB, OM!! It's got you all frustrated.

Problem solved...

The Ugly American HAM  
by KC0M on November 30, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
I am sorry, but this article should have been titled, "The Ugly American DXer Sees the Rest of Us."

73 Larry
The Ugly American HAM  
by WA4HHG on December 1, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Well stated. I think that we sometimes forget that when operating on bands which have to potential to propegate signals internationally, hams on boths sides of the water are in the spotlight.

Gentlemans agreements make order out of potential chaos. While we might not agree with the exact boundaries/assignments, its best for all concerned to abide by them while working for possible change.

Personally, I am distressed to read about "ugly" Americans, French, Mexicans, etc.....

I've been licensed continously for 28 years and not to sound like my dad but.... the bands were a kinder, mre orderly place when I was a new Advanced class back in 1974.

-73- to all and thanks for considering my position.
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