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Author Topic: DX station listen UP. Then HOW MUCH UP?  (Read 1826 times)
HL5BJS
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« on: September 30, 2007, 07:58:40 PM »

Many DX stations use split qso and they clearly mention as "2 UP" or "3 UP".

But when they say just "UP" only without clear mentioning of frequency, how much do I have to be UP?

When propagation condition is good, I can find out the point many stations are trying to contact him. But when I can hear DX station only and calling stations are mostly vanished in the noise or just skipped, how can I find the DX spot ?

73
de HL5BJS
Dongil
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W2IRT
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« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2007, 09:08:01 PM »

This is probably the most difficult task in DXing. Especially on 40m CW when the bands are open to many continents at once for a rare DX station. You really do need to have a good second VFO with tight filtering.

In the absence of any other info, start by listening for a bulge in the pileup. If you have tight filtering (but not too tight), you'll probably hear the guy the DX is working in a minute or so. I just listen for "5nn" on the RX VFO and ignore everything else. If you have cluster access, sometimes you can see where someone worked the DX in the recent past. Not *always* reliable, but it does work from time to time.

Also, listen to the operator's instructions; sometimes he'll toss in a clue like a "random" 4 or something. Your cue to make a quick QSY.

This behavior is also one of my biggest pet peeves. Especially the clowns who say "up," start up 1 and keep GOING up until they're 50 kHz away--then shut down or repeat the cycle. IMHO, a good practice when experiencing a big pile is to use UP, but limit your QSX range to something reasonable, say 2-10 up, maybe 2-15 up for a top-ten DXpedition on opening weekend, etc.
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NI0C
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« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2007, 04:25:48 AM »

W2IRT has written a fine response.  Finding a good QSX frequency is usually much easier on the lowbands than say 18 MHz and higher. You'll have more stations to comb through, but at least you can hear most of them.

I find very few DX operators allowing the pileup to move as much as 50 KHz.  Perhaps that's an SSB thing.  I operate only CW these days.


73,
Chuck  NI0C
   

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KB9CRY
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« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2007, 05:39:40 AM »

But when I can hear DX station only and calling stations are mostly vanished in the noise or just skipped, how can I find the DX spot ?


The answer my friend only comes with personal experience.  There is no hard and fast answer and when you can't hear the pileup, you have to fly blind.

You can't find the spot if you can't hear the pileup.
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W4BQF
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« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2007, 05:48:32 AM »

Sorry but I disagree with W2IRT and N0IC.
The 'clowns' normally are not the DX, but everybody else who is trying to work the DX, that have no clue what to do.
The bright thing to do is BEFORE you start calling the DX is to listen and find out the QRG of the guy the DX is just now working(regardless of whether the DX says 'up' or 'up 2'). Then you keep listening to find out if the next DX QSO has moved up or down, and by about how much. Then you try to anticipate the next QRG and go there quickly!
 
The 'up' or 'up 2' is mainly telling every one that he is working split. The 'bulge' where everybody is sitting and calling is the most difficult spot for the DX to pull out one call sign out of the many calling on that frequency. So he will normally listen either above or below that 'bulge' and YOU, the chaser has to be flexible enough to learn his operating practice!

And LISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN! Do not be a lid and continue to call him when he has called someone else as you are just QRM'ing the DX who is trying to complete his QSO and he is not going to hear you.

I think it's inappropriate to call the DX 'clowns'. Just put yourself in their shoes and think about  how you would handle three or four hundred guys all calling you at the some time. It ain't easy!

Tom - W4BQF
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WW5AA
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« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2007, 08:25:51 AM »

When I was the DX, I would always start 5 up until the pile up grew out of hand. I would say "5 up" with every QRZ. When the pile up turned into a roar I would say (5-10 up) and start listening at 7 up, then after five contacts go to 8 up. Five more and 9 then 10 and start working down. Each DX station has a game plan. Listen and Listen some more. It usually doesn't take long, especially if you have dual watch to figure out what he is doing. Good DX!

73, de Lindy  
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NI0C
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« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2007, 08:47:54 AM »

Tom, W4BQF:

I didn't use the word "clowns," however I still agree with W2IRT that someone who encourages a pileup to grow to 50KHz wide might be worthy of the name.  Romeo (remember XY0RR and other operations) used to operate that way.  He really was a clown, because he wasn't always where he claimed to be operating from-- XY0RR being a prime example.  

73,
Chuck  NI0C
 
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N3OX
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« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2007, 12:03:31 PM »

"Just put yourself in their shoes and think about how you would handle three or four hundred guys all calling you at the some time. It ain't easy! "

Just because we're not sweating on some mosquito infested island doesn't mean we can't object to a 20m CW op running stations on RTTY frequencies around 14.086.

We all appreciate the DXpeditions, but that doesn't make it good operating to run a 66kHz split on CW.  It's stupid.  It leaves a trail of islands of callers spread every 5kHz up the CW/Digital subband just shotgunning it hoping they'll get picked up.

I'm a DXer.  I like DX.  I appreciate what DXpeditioners are doing for us, but I think giant drifting splits are a public relations nightmare.  They're just fodder for the contest/DXpedition hating ragchewers to point out how inconsiderate everyone except them is.

Dan
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73,
Dan
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Monkey/silicon cyborg, beeping at rocks since 1995.
HL5BJS
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« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2007, 10:00:57 PM »


Hello friends,

Thanks a lot for nice and clear replies.

I think I should listen more carefully, but I have to elect more effective antenna.

Hope to meet you all on air.

73

Dongil
HL5BJS
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WO7R
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« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2007, 05:39:21 AM »

There are no rules.  "Up" simply means "somewhere up from where I am now."  

For some operators "up 2" really means up 2.  

Some mean "I was up 2 five minutes ago, but I'm using a memory keyer and I don't have time to fix it, the pileup is too demanding and I'm knocking them off fast."

Some even mean "really up 2" at so-and-so a time and don't mean it at other times.

How wide is a pileup?  No rule here either.  It would be nice to keep them as narrow as possible, but each op seems to have his/her own ideas about that.

Remember, too, they may be hearing something very different than you are.

The main thing is to treat each pileup as it is, not as how you'd like it to be.

If you're sitting in one for a while, part of listening is to try and figure out what kind of equipment the op is using, how wide is the filter (just because they're working CW doesn't mean they are using the narrow filter) and so on.  This includes their transmission gear.  Everything you can figure out might give you the edge.

If there's any rule at all, the smaller the pileup, the more likely "up 2" really means "up 2."
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G3RZP
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« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2007, 06:53:19 AM »

The first Peter 1 expedition ended up with a split of over 10kHz on 40 CW. He was on about 7002: by LISTENING, I found he was working people on 7013. And I worked him - easily. Then there were 4 telephone calls in quick succession from other UK DXers. They all said  'You b*****d!!! How did you do that?'

And I replied' By being a better *&*^%$g operator than you are! Then I told them where to listen.....

Moral of the story: Listen, LISTEN, LISTEN and then LISTEN again! And you may still get it wrong....

Which is why DX is! And the deserving win through....
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W2IRT
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« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2007, 08:28:11 PM »

My earlier reference to the "bulge" was what to listen for if you simply can NOT hear the stations the DX is working. By now, most DXers have figured out how to listen and will call on or about where THEY have heard others make a successful Q.

For example, if I'm trying to work 9U0A on 40 CW and they're working mostly Europeans, I'll listen to where the biggest bulk of EUs are calling. If I poke around that bulge for a few calls I'm bound to hear one guy give a 5nn and the DX to immediately move on. THEN I throw in my call. Of course, in that situation the chances of busting through are pretty remote since EU will be probably 20dB louder than NA, but you get the idea.

The opposite situation is during the day on 15 or 17m when they're working all sorts of local guys who are not just off the back of my beam but also in my skip zone--so there's no real way to hear them. About all I can do in that situation is, if the DX is saying "UP" is quickly turn my second VFO up and down over about a 10 kHz range and hope to hear some fluttery backscatter or someone local to me bag 'em. Or, more likely these days, I provide that very service to most of the OTHER local DXers 'round these parts <hehehe>!

The most RECENT Peter 1 operation on 40 CW was one of the worst offenders in pileup hell. They were a fantastic operation in every other band/mode combination, but 40 CW was utter bedlam almost every night. That's the first time I heard a pile start out low on 40 and ultimately go up about 70 kHz. The op was just sliding up and up and up and up and up. The pileup got wise, followed with him, jumped ahead, etc, and was completely predictable. As such, it was a pretty dumb practice.
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N3OX
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« Reply #12 on: October 03, 2007, 07:06:22 AM »

"The most RECENT Peter 1 operation on 40 CW was one of the worst offenders in pileup hell."

Agreed.  I got them on 30CW, 20CW, and 40m **SSB** with 100W from my apartment.  I was using a hundred foot doublet at 30 feet.

I gave up on 40CW.  There was just no way I was getting through that because it was just one of those pileups that you're really going to have to get through by brute force.

I would have been pretty annoyed if I was holding a nice laid  back CW ragchew on 7055 or something when that pileup came through.  

The bulk of the pile was never that wide, it just drifted up and left a small trail of zombie callers dumping their call fruitlessly and randomly into the ether across the whole 70kHz.  These poor misguided souls just calling and thinking "This op can't go **up and up** forever, can he??"

I hope they figured out you could easily get through on 30CW or even 40 SSB.  There was a raging 40CW pileup going when I worked them on 40SSB... what the heck?

I'm sure it was tough going in that pile but they could have reset down to 3kHz above the TX frequency and worked a few zombies left down there, who would have been very happy...

3Y0X was an AWESOME operation overall.  40m CW was scary.

Dan

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73,
Dan
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Monkey/silicon cyborg, beeping at rocks since 1995.
KB9CRY
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« Reply #13 on: October 03, 2007, 07:52:54 AM »

The pileup got wise, followed with him, jumped ahead, etc, and was completely predictable.


Isn't this what a good DXer strives for?....to be able to predict what the DX operator is doing and therefore be in the right place at the right time?


If you've never been on the DX end of a rare DX pileup, or at least talked in depth with operators who have, you'd understand that for the most part, conventional pileup operation just doesn't work. The wall of sould is so massive that not a single call or even part of a call can be made out.  

Maybe by dividing by continent or call area can help thin the herd but then that raises entire new issues that have been thoroughly disccussed here.

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W2IRT
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« Reply #14 on: October 03, 2007, 09:36:25 AM »

>>The pileup got wise, followed with him, jumped ahead,
>>etc, and was completely predictable.

>Isn't this what a good DXer strives for?....to be able
>to predict what the DX operator is doing and therefore
>be in the right place at the right time?

Yes, of course, but the DX op has to do his part as well. Sliding up and up ad-infinitum isn't good practice. The whole idea is to give out as many Q's as possible. If a DX station operates in too predictable a manner the wall of sound follows him and his rate will drop. Fix a range and bounce around a little through that range, tighten your filters down a little and your rate will improve. I definitely found that to be the case in C6 as DX, and in working many many DXpeditions from this side, I can say that method works nicely and thankfully is practiced by a VAST majority of DXpeditioners.

It's just the few notable exceptions that give everyone headaches. Again, not to pick on 3Y0X, but nobody really has a negative thing to say about their operating on any other band/mode because they did it *right* and made everyone happy.

It's easy to say, in voice, "up 5 to 10." It's a lot harder to do it, repeatedly, in CW; thus up 2 for a fixed split and just UP for a range. It's then up to the op to determine a good split range, and stick to it. Unless we're talking about a KP1, P5 or 7O operation, I can't see ever needing a range in CW of more than 10 kHz...and with good filtering and DSP on the DX end, you don't even need THAT.
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