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Author Topic: Amp Etiquette working DX ?  (Read 4473 times)

Posts: 4

« on: March 10, 2002, 09:57:11 PM »

Is there any such thing as "Amp Etiquette" ?

I ask only becasue a VU was on 20 meters tonight, and I put my call out with about a kilowatt and he came right back to me.  I was able to bust through a really heavy pile up.

While the VU was giving me my report, a station in New York came on and said "Plus 40 FD".  I didn't respond to him as I was listening to the VU.  Once again, the NY station came on and said "you're 40 over into New York FD".  To this I quickly replied "thanks".

Not sure if I was doing something wrong, I backed down to about 500 watts out and finished my QSO with the VU.

This was the 1st VU i've ever been able to work, so I wanted to make sure I got him in the log!!

Now, is there a such thing as to much power?  Is this offensive to some ?  Being a new amp owner, I'm not sure if I may have upset someone of not.

Any ideas on this ?


Jim - KT4FD

Posts: 492

« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2002, 01:17:27 PM »

FCC Regulations require us to use no more power than necessary to complete the desired objective. The QRP'ers motto is:" Power is no substitute for skill." Many DX'ers have made the Honor Roll without amplifiers. Amplifiers have really proliferated in these days of "easy credit". There is no easy answer to your question because some of us are very patient and will take as long as it takes to work DXCC, WAZ, etc. Others think they've accomplished something by working DXCC or WAZ in a very short time. If amplifiers were employed during every qso, we'd all be in trouble. A good beginning rule of thumb to consider is this:" if you think you need the amplifier over 5-10% of the time, perhaps you're getting carried away." 73 Roy

Posts: 21760

« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2002, 02:26:43 PM »

If this is the whole, and accurate, story, I don't think the NY operator was trying to tell you that you were "too strong," or to shut your amplifier off.

59+40 is a good signal report.  Most of that has to do with propagation, and your antennas.  Very, very little has anything to do with whether or not you're using an amplifier.  If you dropped from 1kW to 100W, you'd still be 59+30, which is still a nice, strong signal.

It's likely the NY station was simply complimenting you on a nice signal, and didn't mean anything other than that.  I hear those kind of quick break-in reports all the time -- just one ham letting another one know that he's got a good signal, someplace.


Posts: 991

« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2002, 11:59:39 PM »

I think Steve's assessment of the situation is correct, but whoever made the comment was rude.  Speaking over the top of a DX station that you were working was uncalled for.  If he wished to give you a signal report, common sense dictates that he waited until you finished your QSO.  He could then slip in a quick comment like, "FD meet me up 10."  Then you both could have QSY'd and spoken at leisure.  He  could have told to you exactly what he wanted, instead of leaving you guessing.  Had a similar thing happened to me, I think I would have ignored the comment.  If he persisted I would have given him a curt and unequivical "standby!" especially if the contact I was working was a new country for me!  Your are entitled to complete your QSO without idiotic comments from the peanut gallery.  Whos cares if your "40 over in NY" when you are working VU?!?  I'd be much more concerned with my signal report from India!

As far as "amp etiquette," just use common sense.  Did the VU just sign with someone else, has a good strong signal and no one else is calling him?  Then your amp probably isn't necessary.  Is it a huge howling pipeup wtih marginal signals?  Fire it up!  Sometimes using an amp can REDUCE QRM.  How?  Assume you use your amp, and get thru in one or two quick calls.  You work the station, and QSY.  You have created less QRM than calling barefoot time after time after time.  Maybe working them barefoot builds character, but it might drive your fellow hams nuts, too.  Having the amp off isn't always good, and having it on isn't always bad.  It's situational.  W9KNI has some excellent examples of when to use, and when NOT to use an amp in his book "The Complete DX'er."  It's a very entertaining read, and full of great DX'ing tips.

Posts: 26

« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2002, 11:26:26 PM »

I doubt "easy credit" has anything to do with it.

Posts: 492

« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2002, 11:59:02 PM »

Easy credit appeared in the '70's and became progressively easier as time went on. During the same time period amplifiers proliferated disproportionately to past generations. It used to be almost unheard of for young hams to have amplifiers. Now its common. After you've been around a few decades you'll also be able to interrelate various phenomonon.
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