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Author Topic: BIGGER Pileups? Or NOT??  (Read 1580 times)
AF3Y
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« on: March 26, 2013, 05:42:13 AM »

Since there has not been much that I need, even for bandfills , active for the last couple months, I decided to just do a LOT of listening to pileups.  (Yes, even on SSB, gasp! Shocked)  As I keep hearing/seeing newer DXers (and a few older types as well Grin) yelling about the size of the pileups for even semi-rare DX entities.

My opinion(s) after a lot of time spent listening is not surprising, at least to me.
 
CW pileups are not any larger than they were a few years ago (as I only started DXing in 2006, I cannot speak for earlier situations). Really, I just dont see where they are much different. A little ruder or cruder perhaps, but not much bigger, sizewise.

SSB pileups are positively bigger, ruder, cruder, and just plain nasty, at least in my way of thinking. Good Manners, good DX practice, etc seems to have gone out the door. Screaming four year olds could not make much more of a fuss.

Just my thoughts on this........ Cool

73, Gene AF3Y
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N3QE
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« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2013, 05:58:50 AM »

There's a number of confounding factors that make it difficult to compare.

The pileups sure seem a lot smaller, as my station's ability and my ability increase :-)

Even better, I know the correlation between my skill, the propagation, and the time of day, and I know when it'll be easy to snag the DX and on which band.

Early on in my contesting tries - say 2005 or so - I would spend a long time working away in a deep pile-up for what turned out to be a very common mult that simply wasn't ID'ing properly. Today almost everyone seems to ID much much better, and if they aren't ID'ing then I don't care to work them.

I am not by nature the kind of guy who will bang away in a pile-up forever especially if I know there is something, anything, anywhere else on the bands to be worked. My recent contesting successes have taught me to never sit in one place for long, and very often a minute is too long even outside of a contest.

On the low bands I am familiar with many of the regional big guns, and I know if they are struggling, that I do not stand much of a chance. When I know that I'm competing with some of the local big guns and I come out on top, wow, that feels good (although I know it was just blind luck.) OTOH if I hear a lot of little stations having success I know that I will succeed quickly too.

If I can figure out the DX's schedule, I will usually plan to come along when they are less in demand.

To QSO with someone in zone 26, I pretty much have to be the only remaining caller. With the zone 26 regulars this usually means just waiting for 10-15 minutes on a weekend, or even less mid-weekday if I'm home. With the zone 26 DXpeditions, it's a lot harder, but it has happened near the end.

I don't do phone (except for some club-type events where I was the last available op and they were willing to teach me how to use a mike-row-phone thingy. Literally scraping the bottom of the barrel!).
« Last Edit: March 26, 2013, 06:03:52 AM by N3QE » Logged
K3NRX
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« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2013, 06:58:15 AM »

Pile Ups SUCK!...Just Say'n... Angry (& ruffling your feathers, Geno... Grin Roll Eyes)....

V
KA3NRX
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N6PSE
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« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2013, 07:05:46 AM »

I think pileups for even run of the mill DX are much larger and snarly than in years past. I attribute some of the largeness to the annual award chasers such as the Marathon and Challenge awards. I notice that the pileups tend to thin out towards the end of the year as these award seekers have already worked some of these entities.
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NI0C
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« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2013, 07:14:00 AM »

About the only way we have of quantifying pileup size is by width (indicating how much spectrum they occupy).  I recall some 15-20 Khz CW pileups from the early '60's.  During the late '80's and early '90's, Romeo created some horrific pileups.  I recall being the only one in my local DX club who did not work Romeo as XY0RR.  Turns out he wasn't in Burma.
73,
Chuck  NI0C
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NI0C
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« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2013, 08:27:25 AM »

One reason I have come to enjoy the low bands so much is the pileups are often considerably smaller in terms of the number calling at a particular time.  This has to do with the selectiveness of propagation.  I think some people are put off by how loud their nearby competitors are, but I find it much easier to find a good calling frequency on 160m or 80m. 

On the 10m and 12m bands, it is much more difficult to estimate the depth of the pileup and to pick out a good Tx frequency.

73,
Chuck. NI0C
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W6GX
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« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2013, 08:39:49 AM »

I have only been active for a few years so I can't say if pile ups are larger than in the past.  One thing I find it interesting is that some common DX stations generate huge pile ups while other rarer entities have no pile ups.  I attribute this to selective propagation.  On Sunday morning I worked V85 and VU on 20m with one call to each on simplex.  Both were spotted on the cluster but there were no pile ups.  The same evening I was trying to work XW and the pile ups were insane.  The XW was working NA stations from coast to coast.  It took a good 30min. to finally break the pile up.  My best DX catch in the last week was 8Q on 17m RTTY.  Once again there was no pile up and with a few calls I'm in the log.  All of these DX stations mentioned were spotted on the cluster.  So the point here is that not every juicy DX has a pile up.  And if you are bored of pile ups try to find secondary openings to work some exotic stations free of pile ups.

73,
Jonathan W6GX
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N2NL
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« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2013, 01:49:32 PM »

Pileups absolutely are bigger and unruly.

-Packet plays a big role.  With global packet, a DXpedition gets spotted and the whole world knows the frequency within minutes.

-DXCC Challenge.  In the past, the desire to work the DXpedition on as many bands as possible was somewhat less than it is now (IMO).  Granted you had single band DXCC for decades, but now with the DXCC Challenge breakdown you can easily see which bands you still need confirmation on.

-Clublog Leaderboard.  All you need is one QSO per band, all three modes (which can be done with 9 QSOs if 160-10) to cover all your DXCC needs for that country.  Thanks to the Clublog Leaderboard, there is incentive to work the DXpedition on as many band modes as possible.  20 QSOs or more is now the norm for the top of the leaderboard list for big DXpeditions.

-Unruly Behavior.  This started in Europe but is spreading world-wide.  There have always been "police", but the non stop calling has gotten insanely bad.  XR0YG on 80m the other night would ask for K8G? and there would still be twenty JA's calling away.  If you are trying to work EU, you always try to work the Italian first because usually they won't stop calling, even if you are asking for the "G" station.
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N6PSE
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« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2013, 02:04:34 PM »

N2NL I agree with all your points, however it isn't just during DXpeditions, but just about any DX these days.  Try working the S0 or TZ6 these days from the West Coast, you are beaming all across the USA and hearing all of the bad behavior. I'm sure it is the same for the East Coast trying to work that uncommon Asia station.
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K3VAT
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« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2013, 02:13:07 PM »

An excellent post from N2NL.

Pileups absolutely are bigger and unruly.  
 I agree with this observation.  DX stations are partly to blame as their frequency plans for the first half of their DXPedition should cover only the extra class portion of the band.  This would definitely reduce pileup size.

-Packet plays a big role.  With global packet, a DXpedition gets spotted and the whole world knows the frequency within minutes.  
Or in a matter of seconds.  

-DXCC Challenge.  In the past, the desire to work the DXpedition on as many bands as possible was somewhat less than it is now (IMO).  Granted you had single band DXCC for decades, but now with the DXCC Challenge breakdown you can easily see which bands you still need confirmation on.  
 Valid, but not as much as a problem as these other points.

-Clublog Leaderboard.  All you need is one QSO per band, all three modes (which can be done with 9 QSOs if 160-10) to cover all your DXCC needs for that country.  Thanks to the Clublog Leaderboard, there is incentive to work the DXpedition on as many band modes as possible.  20 QSOs or more is now the norm for the top of the leaderboard list for big DXpeditions.
 We call this the Clublog Ego-Board.

-Unruly Behavior.  This started in Europe but is spreading world-wide.  There have always been "police", but the non stop calling has gotten insanely bad.  XR0YG on 80m the other night would ask for K8G? and there would still be twenty JA's calling away.  If you are trying to work EU, you always try to work the Italian first because usually they won't stop calling, even if you are asking for the "G" station.
 Agreed.  Add to non-stop calling "tuning up on the DX frequency and calling on the DX frequency [when he is working split]".  The police wouldn't have much to "police" if these two lid activities were absent.

73, Rich, K3VAT
« Last Edit: March 26, 2013, 02:40:10 PM by K3VAT » Logged
AF3Y
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« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2013, 03:12:24 PM »


  If you are trying to work EU, you always try to work the Italian first because usually they won't stop calling, even if you are asking for the "G" station.


That's old news Roll Eyes. hi hi

73, Gene AF3Y
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W2IRT
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« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2013, 03:51:43 PM »


  If you are trying to work EU, you always try to work the Italian first because usually they won't stop calling, even if you are asking for the "G" station.

I wonder what the result would be in the DX stations in desirable locations put together a second log with call, date and time and, when the inevitable QSL arrives, they get back a note, written in grammatically-correct Italian (i.e. not a bad Google translation) telling them that their bad behaviour has cost them a QSO or access to an entire DXpedition, and that next time a rare one comes up, please behave like a civilized human being and not a rude, inconsiderate mouth-breather and only call when invited to do so. It might take a while but if enough major DXpeditioners did this it could have a profound effect. By all means, take their call so they don't start jamming or continuously calling, just spank 'em after it's over.
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N7SMI
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« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2013, 07:23:25 PM »

I think Marathon and other awards (5 band and 9 band DXCC, for example) have created a demand for DXpeditions to work every band/mode which results in more folks in the pileups, but fewer unique calls getting logged.

To demonstrate this, go to http://www.clublog.org/uniques.php and sort by "% Unique" from lowest to highest. Almost without exception those stations with the lowest percentage of uniques are the ones that have had the biggest and most unruly pileups. They are also the ones that worked every single band resulting in all of the big guns battling it out for a band fill along with the pop gun stations hoping to just make the log once.

I'm no genius, but it seems like one solution to larger, more unruly pileups is working fewer bands longer (or focusing more strongly on one or two bands) to get more folks in the log even once, then the big guns can battle it out alone for their much-needed 27 band fills.
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