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[Articles Home]  [Add Article]  

Your First Pile-Up and How to Handle It

from Joachim Braun, DH5JBR on December 28, 2013
View comments about this article!

Your First Pile-Up and How to Handle It
By Joachim Braun, DH5JBR

"Editor's Note: Due to the popularity of some of eHam's older articles, many of which you may not have read, the eHam.net team has decided to rerun some of the best articles that we have received since eHam's inception. These articles will be reprinted to add to the quality of eHam's content and in a show of appreciation to the authors of these articles." This article was originally published on: 07/06/2012





What did provoke this article? I do not own a power amplifier, but I am frequently on the air with powers of 25 or 40 or 60 Watts. On several occasions, I would have liked to make a contact with a station that would have been a DX for me, but was operated by a person that did not know how to handle a pile-up.

Ok, there are people who are against "59"-QSOs and would like a relaxed chat with a station - fine!

BUT when I hear an OM who notices many stations calling and then picks the loudest one and introduces himself (spelling it out - even a name like Mike Alpha Radio India Oscar) and his QTH (spellimg it out) and his rig and his amplifier and his antenna and how far it it is up and insists on stating that it has been like this for over 20 years and he did not ever feel any need ever to change it and listens to the same from the other station before embarking on a lenghty discussion on the merits of the one antenna over another in view of his local surroundings and one occasion of a portable operation 30 years back, which seems to contradict it and that he really should be doing something else and needed to QRT soon, it starts to get onto my nerves.

Once this is over, he remarks that many stations are calling and then picks the loudest one and introduces himself (spelling it out - even a name like Mike Alpha Radio India Oscar) and his QTH (spellimg it out) and his rig and his amplifier and his antenna and how far it it is up and insists on stating that it has been like this for over 20 years and he did not ever feel any need to change it and listens to the same from the other station before starting a lengthy discussion on the advantages of the one holiday destination over another one and that he really should be doing something else now and needed to QRT soon.

Once this is over, he complains about many stations calling and then picks the loudest one and introduces himself (spelling it out - even a name like Mike Alpha Radio India Oscar) and his QTH (spellimg it out) and his rig and his amplifier and his antenna and how far it it is up and insists on stating that it has been like this for over 20 years and he did not feel any need ever to change it and listens to the same from the other station before remarking and that he really should be doing something else and needed to QRT soon.

I have heard stations going duplex under these circumstances, which does not really help if the band is crowded and the newby did not check if "5 up" is really not in use.

It gets on my nerves. I truly would want to have a short contact with the station but with this operating technique, I would never stand a chance or live that long.

So, if you encounter a pile-up, THINK, that you are using a radio that everybody can pick up. This includes the (-say-) 200 people in your pile-up, that will already know your name and equipment and QTH. Repeating those data for each and every QSO is EXTREMELY inefficient and gets on the nerves of the members of the pile-up.

What can be done about it? My method is the silent pile-up that requires a certain discipline of you and the members of the pile-up. What it does not require is a split operation.

Calling stations by number in the call will instantly silence 90% of the pile-up. If you call "1"-stations only, the big guns of that description will call and can be worked easily. Once they are gone, the QRP and DX stations will have a clear channel and can also be worked. For each new number, you can give your name and QTH and the rest to give stations new to the pile-up an idea of what is going on.

By using this "number" method, even the weaker stations and QRP stand a chance of making the contact. Only when no calling station can be heard, should you proceed to the next number and handle each station in turn. This may consist of a "59" and an answer to a question that the current station may have. This station should be aware that long descriptions of self and station should be avoided in situations like these. I have encountered a station that went on in an "over" of more than 30 minutes - an absolute killer.

Any pile-up can be handled in no time at all. Ok, I have had one situation when I was at the one number for over 30 minutes and feared that I would never get away, but there are countries, that do not issue the higher numbers quite so often. My method of getting round this problem is to alternately start at "0" and going up and at "9" going down. The Swiss stations (who are all HB"9") like this method.

If - during this procedure - you encounter a special friend that you might want to talk to, this can be done if the subject matter is of interest to the pile-up and nobody will mind, e.g. plans for the expedition in the near future - as long as there is no constant repeating of things that have been established over again before.

A pile-up is not the place for rag-chewing neither are the established dx-frequencies.

People that enjoy a relaxed QSO can wait until the pile-up is worked and then conduct it. Even 90% of the piling-up stations can relax and get a coffee until their number comes up.

This makes everybody happy - especially if you occasionally thank the QRO stations for waiting and co-operating.

Member Comments:
This article has expired. No more comments may be added.
 
Your First Pile-Up and How to Handle It  
by WD8KNI on December 28, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Excuse me, but what make you think you can tell anyone how to use their radio. If you want fast activity just wait till the weekend and work a contest.

If I and someone you consider a DX station want to talk we will, you should do the courteous thing, wait, wait, wait, or turn your dial.. or better hit the power supply switch.

Remember some of us have chased all of the countries that we want to, many years ago.. and don't really care about your DX needs..

Some DX friends won't even say their call except when required because of the pileups you guys create when they are not wanted.

My two point 5 cents.... Fred
 
Your First Pile-Up and How to Handle It  
by KE4ZHN on December 28, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
It is exactly this mentality that is the reason why I don't bother to chase DX anymore. Hit and run contest exchanges are boring and repetitious and only serve to stroke someones ego. Thanks but no thanks.
 
RE: Your First Pile-Up and How to Handle It  
by N0IU on December 28, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
According to this and your QRZ bio, you say that your preferred method of handling a pileup is by the numbers... unless you are a "real DX" station like someone from Australia, South Africa, Chile or Brazil "who are welcome to call in the gap between numbers when I listen for DX."

So who determines who is "real DX"? There are currently 340 DX entities. Of the ones you mention in your QRZ bio, Australia sits at #319 on the "Most Wanted" list. South Africa is at #305. Chile is at #275. Brazil is at #332. While they are certainly "real DX", these are some of the easiest countries to acquire so why should they be allowed to break your rules?

What is the purpose of having your so-called "rules" if you are not going to stick by them? You go on to say, "I thank everybody for the co-operation and observation of this practice." But if I hear you "calling by the numbers" but then take stations out of turn, what is my motivation for sticking to your rules?
 
Just another garbage article  
by AI2IA on December 28, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
It's funny when you think about it. This article is prefaced with:
"These articles will be reprinted to add to the quality of eHam's content and in a show of appreciation to the authors of these articles." This article was originally published on: 07/06/2012"

So what do we have here? An old, washed out article attempting to tell mythical newbies how to operate as hams. "Your first pile-up" - pah! poo!

This is such a limp joke. Look, you get your license, and you are a ham. So then you go exploring and learn the art of operating yourself. No one needs pompous hams telling them what to do. Hams are do it yourself people. Remember when you were a kid? It was "Mom, I'd rather do it myself!" ....And in the Army it was, "Learn by doing." So we get the license, tech, general, extra, whatever, and we go do it and have fun. Meanwhile, some of these washed out articles by exalted hams are strung up to "teach" to an empty audience. No one listens. Most laugh, and a few just pass it by.

"Add to the quality of eHam's content? What a gas!
 
RE: Just another garbage article  
by K8AG on December 28, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
We run the radios and everybody else does as well. Although I don't normally do contests, I really enjoy the operating event/contests that are run by NAQCC and SKCC and such. Usually when working an event I will get an op who doesn't hear or understand the WES, SKN or "test" after the CQ. They will respond as if it was a normal CQ and start a rag chew kind of QSO.
I view these incidents as part of the game. If someone starts into a normal QSO, by my own rules, I need to finish with them properly before continuing on in the event. I consider it as a sort of sand trap for the event.
I also run almost all QRP. Sometimes it is frustrating when an op can't hear me. But again its all part of the game.

My 2 cents

73, JP, K8AG
 
RE: Just another garbage article  
by N0IU on December 28, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
And I wonder if AB7RG actually reads the responses to the original "submission" (I will not elevate them to the level of "article") before he declares them to be "classics"? When a submission gets overwhelmingly negative responses the first time, does he think that it will be received any differently the second time?

I wonder if AB7RG watches "The Wizard if OZ" every year thinking that maybe this will be the time Dorothy does not make it back to Kansas?
 
Your First Pile-Up and How to Handle It  
by KJ4NOO on December 28, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
You do give some good tips but it is up to the DX station to choose the method that he operates. Maybe he really does not want to work a lot of DX stations and wants to have long contacts instead. It is his choice !
 
Your First Pile-Up and How to Handle It  
by K8QV on December 28, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
There's a place for chat and a place for frantic DX chasing. Each op decides what he wants to do at a given time. There are no rules or etiquette to define the type of QSO a given operator wants to pursue; DX entity or not. Were I in some rare DX location, I would quickly tire of the endless pileups that want to "59 and thanks for the new one" hour after hour.
 
RE: Your First Pile-Up and How to Handle It  
by KG4RUL on December 28, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
The author sounds like our current administration - Trust me, I KNOW what is best for you.
 
RE: Your First Pile-Up and How to Handle It  
by K8QV on December 28, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
"The author sounds like our current administration - Trust me, I KNOW what is best for you."


Well, if you MUST inject politics as so many here are prone to do, let me fix that.

"The author sounds like EVERY administration - Trust me, I KNOW what is best for you."

There. Fixed.

 
RE: Your First Pile-Up and How to Handle It  
by G3RZP on December 28, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
There's a big problem that I see to working by numbers. The DX has a BIG pile up of US stations, he's over in Africa and the opening to the West Coast isn't that long. But not all hams in California are 6's, just as not everyone with a 1 callsign is in New England. So working by numbers - certainly for the US - is going to penalise some amateurs in some part of the country. Same applies to every large country where the number has (or had at one time) a geographical significance.

Far worse is where the DX says "The SM4 go ahead" and half Europe calls. The best one I heard when that happened was to a G4. The DX came back "Sugar Mike four slash Golf four......., you're five by nine". The G4 went back, No its NOT sugar Mike 4 slash, it's just Golf Four..."


To which the DX replied " I called the Sugar Mike Four, not a plain Golf Four. You are not in the log and you are on the blacklist, so don't bother calling again - on any band or mode. QRZ?"
 
Your First Pile-Up and How to Handle It  
by W9BGJ on December 28, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Not saying someone should tell DX stations how to operate. However this mentality of "Remember some of us have worked all the countries we wanted and don't really care about your DX needs" How rude is that!? Give some of the stations that want to work a quick DX contact a chance and don't berate us for it! This kind of thinking is what makes the newer people think HF operation is an old mans game. Been in the hobby 22 years myself and realize radio spectrum is huge, there is plenty of room for all of us and not just the OF's with the 3kw amplifiers that want to hog up spectrum and not give anyone else a chance. Another thought "Some of my DX friends won't even identify when required because they might create a pileup" Wow illegal operation sounds like a great idea! Give me a break!
 
Your First Pile-Up and How to Handle It  
by K1CJS on December 28, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
The last article and this one just goes to show that serious writers just aren't interested in writing for this site these days. Sad...
 
RE: Your First Pile-Up and How to Handle It  
by G3RZP on December 28, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Even worse is the 'Hey Mario, good to hear you again today, hope you are keeping well, and you're five by nine again this morning, just like when I worked you yesterday, and the cat here has had a peaceful night and the XYL is feeling fine this morning and what is the weather like where you are?'

Now a good DX op will come back with '73 es QRZ?'

Everyone else will wish for an AGM88 High speed Anti Radiation Missile to be heading to the offender......
 
RE: Your First Pile-Up and How to Handle It  
by K8QV on December 28, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
So it seems some people expect certain "rare" station ops to live solely for the benefit of DX chasers.

Not surprised.
 
Your First Pile-Up and How to Handle It  
by AI2IA on December 28, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
All these comments illustrate the importance of the "big knob" on your transceiver.

When things start going wrong, simply turn the big knob.

It's a rule that every rational ham learns very early on in his radio experience. You don't need anyone to teach you that one.
 
RE: Your First Pile-Up and How to Handle It  
by NV2A on December 28, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
ROFLAMO!
 
RE: Your First Pile-Up and How to Handle It  
by N4OI on December 29, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
"This makes everybody happy - especially if you occasionally thank the QRO stations for waiting and co-operating."

The bizarro world of ham radio…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bizarro_World

73
 
Your First Pile-Up and How to Handle It  
by K6RIM on December 29, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
This garbage is a "classic"?

Good grief!
 
Your First Pile-Up and How to Handle It  
by UU1CC on December 29, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Such an article! Thank God that I'm not that Mario (Mike Alpha Radio India Oscar), but an adult taxpayer with my own Ham Radio background and preferences.

*turning the big knob*
 
Your First Pile-Up and How to Handle It  
by VU2SWS on December 29, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
The article is just about a method to tackle a pileup. I do use the number system during pileups and it does help.
The writer is not forcing anybody to do anything. So I cannot understand what the gripe is about!!
And no, the article is not garbage, but the comments are definitely in bad taste.
 
Your First Pile-Up and How to Handle It  
by W4VN on December 29, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
I agree that this should not be considered a "classic" Hamnet article, and it is NOT well written.
 
RE: Your First Pile-Up and How to Handle It  
by N4UM on December 29, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
D-I-L-L-I-G-A-S!!!
 
I'll use your tips in my P5 dxpedition  
by WB4M on December 29, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
I'll go by the numbers.. maybe prefixes.. I just don't know.
 
RE: I'll use your tips in my P5 dxpedition  
by W5TTW on December 30, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Although I couldn't stand to read the entire rant, I do agree that it is frustrating to hear someone repeating the same thing over and over when working a pile-up. Almost as frustrating as hearing the station that busted it ask "What's your callsign?"
 
Your First Pile-Up and How to Handle It  
by AA4MB on December 30, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Perhaps it is different in other countries, but I am unable to find in the FCC regs a section that requires a certain minimum number of contacts be made in a specific length of time. 'Classic'article? Yeah, right.
 
RE: Your First Pile-Up and How to Handle It  
by G3RZP on December 30, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Let's look at the pile up reason.

#1. You are a DXpedition to somewhere rare. Then you expect a pileup and are going to work it to the best of your ability, which means noting the propagation to give the best chance to everyone - which does not generally mean by numbers. Note that many of these guys you work are helping finance the trip, even though the individual op may be kicking in $10k or more.

#2. You're on vacation: the place isn't going to be REALLY rare or it wouldn't be a vacation spot - except perhaps North Korea!. If you don't operate in the most efficient method to maximise QSO rate when you do have a pile-up, don't get upset when people say you are not a good DX op. People warn of this by saying they will operate 'holiday style'.

#3. You are the only station on from some country. You WILL get a pile up. If you don't like it, then firstly, don't call CQ - although the first time I worked VK0 Heard, he was calling CQ with no other takers! - but call people who are calling CQ - as the VU4 on the Andaman Islands did to me. At the end of the QSO, leave the frequency - it was the other guy's anyway - and find someone else calling CQ.

Adjust your operating style to get the results you want.
 
DUDE REALLY???  
by LEON on December 30, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Silly article, but that's just me.

Straight Key Night is around the corner, hope everyone will take the time to enjoy it.

LEON

 
Your First Pile-Up and How to Handle It  
by W5EN on December 30, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Isn't it really up to the DX running the pile up as to how he or she wants to enjoy their hobby? I'm sorry if the DX does not want to operate in a way which makes it easier for you to work their operation but that is their choice. I enjoy working DX and by no means have a big gun station running 500 watts and a vertical, but many times I am able to crack a pile up. However, my success rate is by no means 100%. When I do not get through to a station that I want it is in no way the DX operators fault. My skills were not good enough, my timing was not right, or my station simply was not good enough. Better luck next time for me. I simply refuse to blame the other operator.

73 de W5EN Steve
 
Your First Pile-Up and How to Handle It  
by RADIOPATEL on December 30, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Dear Friends

I appreciate the radiation of airwaves on ham bands during weekends as an enthusiasm towards hobby, however I also believe => no contest no pileups.

73
Dinesh Patel VU2DCI
 
RE: Your First Pile-Up and How to Handle It  
by K0IZ on December 31, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Just two comments:

1) There was a fairly rare entity on the air, was going by the numbers. Started at 1, went to 9, then started over at 1 !! I wasted over an hour waiting for my time (I'm a Zero). If you go by numbers, don't forget us. Better yet, start with zero.

2) Another fairly rare entity was going by the numbers. Spent about 15 minutes per number. Was coming in 59 in Colorado. But two hours later propagation had changed. Please don't try to work EVERY station in a number before moving on. Band conditions do change.
 
RE: Your First Pile-Up and How to Handle It  
by N9LCD on December 31, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
My first HF "pile up" was as guest operator at HV3SJ.

After three or four years of 2 meters and 70 cm, I was going big time, right to the top - HV3SJ.

The station op got the rig fired-up on 40 meters and said "Call Germany first".

"CQ DX Germany. CQ DX Germany" And then it hit, worst than a run on free beer at Wrigley Field. Every ham in Europe was calling HV3SJ.

I started answering whoever was calling -- not necessarily Germany. I managed to hand out about six QSO's before the pile-up got completely out of hand.

Suffering from ten hours in coach on Alitalia, airline food, and an unheated shack, I DOZED OFF AND SLEPT FOR ABOUT THREE HOURS while the regular station op worked the pile-up.

N9LCD



 
Your First Pile-Up and How to Handle It  
by KD8GTP on December 31, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
The largest pileup I ever was in was back in 2011, week before Christmas. I was driving home from work on I77 in Summit county and came up on a 9 car pileup. I handled it with my cell phone, but others had already called it in. My wife was in a 12 car pileup yrs ago but someone else handled it.
 
RE: Your First Pile-Up and How to Handle It  
by ZENKI on December 31, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Many dx'peditions seem to have high numbers as a higher priority rather than being fair about giving every ham a chance.

It seems many dxpedition only seem to recognize 3 call areas. Those 3 call areas are USA, Europe and Japan. The rest of the world does not exist. The operators think they looking good and impressive by making as many contacts with one particular area.

Worst still is when these 3 favored areas have dominant or easy propagation with high signal strengths. Who in the world can break a pileup that full of 30db over S9 Europeans, USA or Japanese signals.

Do you ever hear DX-peditions make calls for QRP, mobile, South Pacific, South American or stations with a G5RV or attic dipole. They just too busy running high demand areas.

When I operate from rare locations on holiday. I do this and ask for less populated areas. I even call for mobile and qrp stations. I also have a rule that once I make 100 QSO say to NA,JA or EU i must make 100 QSO's in other areas before returning to highly populated areas. Its just amazing how many African, Pacific and South American countries I would pick up by sticking to this procedure.

JA stations even with limited English language skills have the best pileup discipline. The worst are the Europeans! JA stations will always obey the operator when asked to standby. The continuous calling Italian stations who seem to be deaf to any request are just the worst operators i have encountered. There is no reasoning with them.

Numbers are good way to reduce the QRM and bandwidth of a pileup. I religiously use numbers. I start on a frequency like 14200. Transmitting split from say 14190. Zeros NA on 142000. 1's on 14201 and up I go till 14209. I Can then shift to JA or Europe on the same whole numbers. There is no confusion and operators know exactly where to transmit. There is only a pileup on 1 frequency and no QRM for other operators anywhere else. I do this on CW as well and as a result my QSO rate is double that of a normal pileup. This technique also gives QRP and less populated ham population areas more of a Chance. I regularly get congratulated by VK's for giving them a chance because mand dxpeditions carry on as if VK/ZL's dont exist and they are beaming right in their direction.

A lot of DX'pedition operators also appear to have an intolerance to working weak signals. If its not over S6 they dont want to work it. Very rare to find good operators that will pick through a pileup of S1 stations. I do this with the JA's and it makes the JA's very happy working very weak stations on the margin limits of propagation.

A lot of recent expeditions I would fail because they ignore being equatable to whole world. Its even worst when the dxpedition favors an area solely based on the support funding from 1 or 2 areas of the world. Its even worst when you have dx'peditions standing by just for individuals who make individual donations. I missed a rare ones on 160m because the operator kept on calling for his favorite of financial contributors. Most of the contributors donate not for special treatment but to make the dx'pedition an success.

Dxpeditions should have an "equity manager" that studies propagation and looks at the QSO distribution as the numbers come in. He should then direct operators to concentrate on areas that seem to have low representation. Its only then that everyone will be happy.
 
Your First Pile-Up and How to Handle It  
by WN2C on January 1, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I wonder what the comments were like when this article was first published? If they were like the comments posted here now then I think the eHam staff should re-read the comments from the prior posting to determine if they should re-post an article or not!
Come on guys, you can do better!
 
RE: Your First Pile-Up and How to Handle It  
by N0IU on January 1, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
@WN2C "I wonder what the comments were like when this article was first published?"

Well here's a thought...

You could go to the Articles main page and do an author search for DH5JBR. If you had taken the time to do this, you would have seen that there are two submissions from this person: this one and another one from July 6, 2012. Do you want to look for it yourself or do you just want me to post the link for the original "article"?
 
ORIGINAL "ARTICLE"  
by LEON on January 1, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Reply by N0IU on January 1, 2014

@WN2C "I wonder what the comments were like when this article was first published?"

Well here's a thought...

You could go to the Articles main page and do an author search for DH5JBR. If you had taken the time to do this, you would have seen that there are two submissions from this person: this one and another one from July 6, 2012. Do you want to look for it yourself or do you just want me to post the link for the original "article"?

_________------------


LEON:

Yes Sir, would you please post the link for the original "article".

Thank you and Happy New Year!!

LEON

 
RE: ORIGINAL "ARTICLE"  
by N0IU on January 1, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
@Leon "Yes Sir, would you please post the link for the original "article"."

Well he did say, "please" and he did call me Sir!

Here you go Leon. Here is the link to the original article:
http://www.eham.net/articles/28394
 
Your First Pile-Up and How to Handle It  
by W3TTT on January 2, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I would PREFER that DX stations would join a net. The Net Control Op would direct stations to contact the DX station in order...
Again, this is my preference. What the other stations do is up to them.
DX and all stations are invited to try the 3905 Century Club net, for more info go to 3905CCN.com
 
Your First Pile-Up and How to Handle It  
by W1CAL on January 3, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
This is exactly why I'm no longer active in ham radio. The majority of Hams are more that willing to tell other hams just how they should operate their station. Monkeymuffins, I don't need that sort of politics in my leisure activities. Quite frankly I would rather pick up my guitar or my accordion and have fun without someone telling me what to do, how to do it, etc...

73
 
Pile Ups, contests, DX'ing  
by W4DMZ on January 3, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Guys - We all love this hobby and there is plenty of room for everyone's interests. I personally don't care for Hit and Run contesting, but that does not mean it other Hams shouldn't do it. I just don't like other hams pontificating and telling me what I should do as long as I am courteous and follow FCC rules. We have enough Obama's in the White House.
 
Pile Ups, contests, DX'ing  
by W4DMZ on January 3, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Guys - We all love this hobby and there is plenty of room for everyone's interests. I personally don't care for Hit and Run contesting, but that does not mean it other Hams shouldn't do it. I just don't like other hams pontificating and telling me what I should do as long as I am courteous and follow FCC rules. We have enough Obama's in the White House.
 
RE: Your First Pile-Up and How to Handle It  
by N0IU on January 3, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
@W1CAL -

"This is exactly why I'm no longer active in ham radio. The majority of Hams are more that willing to tell other hams just how they should operate their station. Monkeymuffins, I don't need that sort of politics in my leisure activities."

Well here's a thought... If someone tells me how I should operate my station and I don't agree with them, I ignore them and move on with my life! Why are you letting someone else, especially strangers, run you off from amateur radio?
 
The THREE Simple Words To Pile-Up Handling...  
by VE3CUI on January 4, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
There is nothing at all complicated about how to handle a pile-up---in fact, three simple words cover it all, i.e.:

(1) Listen;

(2) LISTEN, and,

(3) L-I-S-T-E-N.

No matter what side of the pile-up bedlam you may be on, nothing beats a GOOD pair of ears.

If you're part of the mob, LISTEN to where the DX station might himself be listening: up 3...? Up 5...? Maybe he's following an upward trend of some 200-HZ, or so, after each QSO---if so, anticipate that, go up 400-Hz and beat the crowd!

If you find yourself on some rare tropical island (lucky you!) and half the world is calling you, put on your listening cap and imagine what you must sound like to the guys eager to work you: are you sending your call sign after every 3 QSOs, or so, to let them know who you are...? Are you faithfully "listening up 5", or are you encouraging mass mayhem by picking-up someone who might be DOWN 5-KHz, and then listening up again on the next QSO...?

The BIGGEST detriment to working DX pile-ups is surely the ability to listen effectively---and that most assuredly does NOT mean checking-out some DX spotting web site, then blindly calling on that frequency with your rig!

Listen, LISTEN, then L-I-S-T-E-N again!!! It'll make YOUR life much easier, as well as the lives of untold numbers in the pile-ups...
 
RE: The THREE Simple Words To Pile-Up Handling...  
by K1PJR on January 5, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I agree that listening is what it's all about. When I came across my first pileup I just sat and listened for about 10 minutes until I got the hang if it. It took me about an hour to get through but I was patient. It's not hard. You just need patience, good listening skills and follow the DX rules of conduct. You will get through most of the time. Once i tried to get through to an OP in Oman for an hour then he went QRT. If it was always easy then it would get boring.
 
RE: The THREE Simple Words To Pile-Up Handling...  
by VE3CUI on January 5, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Hi K1PJR, some sage advice you are sharing, bar none...!

Unfortunately we now live in an "instant gratification" society: people want what they want, and they WANT IT NOW---and they want to be the FIRST to get it, too.

The rules of effective DX'ing haven't changed much over the decades, but our public mores sure have---and this selfishness has transmuted itself into the Ham bands, to the detriment of all.

Oh, there have ALWAYS been alligators on the bands, forever and a day---I've been licensed long enough at my 43 years to appreciate that reality---but the numbers of the "deaf" (the STUPID, maybe...?) seem to have increased exponentially over the past few decades, IMHO...
 
RE: The THREE Simple Words To Pile-Up Handling...  
by K1PJR on January 7, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
VE3CUI,
Thanks! 73 and good DX!
 
Your First Pile-Up and How to Handle It  
by W3TTT on January 26, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
To VE3CUI: The THREE Simple Words To Pile-Up Handling...

Perhaps a bit of listening helps, but hey, if you don't TRANSMIT, you certainly will not work the DX (or any other) station.

73, Joe
 
RE: Your First Pile-Up and How to Handle It  
by VE3CUI on January 29, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
@W3TTT---Joe---that policy works just great on a band like, say, 10-meters, where everyone is sitting in front of their apparently "dead" rigs wondering to themselves, "Is this band even open...?" It's amazing sometimes what a simple "CQ" can net there---and often when you least expect it, too...

However, in an intense pile-up situation, transmitting is NO substitute for listening. Transmitting WISELY---based upon what your ears might tell you to do---is one thing: transmitting out of turn, on the wrong frequency, atop existing stations already in QSO, based upon an on-line spotting site, AD NAUSEAM simply does NOT work...

...And it'll earn you the ire & animosity of Hams world-wide who might be able to hear you!
 
RE: Your First Pile-Up and How to Handle It  
by VE3CUI on January 29, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
@W3TTT---Joe---that policy works just great on a band like, say, 10-meters, where everyone is sitting in front of their apparently "dead" rigs wondering to themselves, "Is this band even open...?" It's amazing sometimes what a simple "CQ" can net there---and often when you least expect it, too...

However, in an intense pile-up situation, transmitting is NO substitute for listening. Transmitting WISELY---based upon what your ears might tell you to do---is one thing: transmitting out of turn, on the wrong frequency, atop existing stations already in QSO, based upon an on-line spotting site, AD NAUSEAM simply does NOT work...

...And it'll earn you the ire & animosity of Hams world-wide who might be able to hear you!
 
Your First Pile-Up and How to Handle It  
by W2NG on February 2, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
How about when you are in a QSO with someone and contesters move in along side of you and on top of you without any regard for the QSO taking place. They do not even ask if the frequency is in use although they already know it is. This is why I do not contest. For the most part a very discourtious group. Not all but many.
 
RE: Your First Pile-Up and How to Handle It  
by VE3CUI on February 3, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Now, contesting protocol is an ENTIRELY DIFFERENT kettle of fish, W2NG...! It merits its own article, dedicated solely to it...
 
RE: Your First Pile-Up and How to Handle It  
by W7TDZ on February 4, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Never, EVER call a DX station on his frequency if he says UP. First off, he won't hear you, because he's listening UP. Next, you are doing nothing but trashing every one TRYING to hear the DX station, with your incessant calling on him. Well, DUH, he can't hear you!. But we can sure hear you, and it does NOT please us. It's rude, obnoxious and you are just wasting your electricity, while getting on the blacklist of every one trying to hear the DX station.
 
RE: Your First Pile-Up and How to Handle It  
by VE3CUI on February 5, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
W7TDZ, that off-frequency caller that you're referring to must be getting pretty long of the tooth & grey-bearded by now...! He's been doing that very same stunt for the 43 years that I've been listening on the bands now...! Hi Hi
 
RE: Your First Pile-Up and How to Handle It  
by W4KVW on February 5, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Best way to handle any pileup on the Ham Bands is:Point the yagi where it should be,go QRO,& 5 UP 5 UP People! It helps also if you know your call sign so you are NOT answering the DX station when they are calling someone with a totally different call sign than yours making you look like the BOZO that you are & most important of all is,"LISTEN" to what the DX station is saying & follow their instructions.Ignore the MORONS who are tuning up on top of the DX & they will go away pretty soon because they don't have enough power or aluminum in the air to actually make a contact with the DX station nor do they understand SPLIT unless it's in the top or side of their head from when they are located doing that tuning up on the DX station!Most of all "HAVE FUN" after all it's just a "HOBBY"!{:>)

Clayton
W4KVW
 
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