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eHam Forums => DXing => Topic started by: AF5C on November 21, 2012, 08:31:48 PM



Title: Totally stressed out by a DXpedition?
Post by: AF5C on November 21, 2012, 08:31:48 PM
Anyone else ever feel like they were losing their mind chasing a DXpedition?  I wanted a CW QSO with PT0S (already have St. Peter and Paul confirmed on SSB and RTTY) and one for the 2012 DX marathon.  Glad I didn't need this for an ATNO.  Tried to schedule my life around chasing them for the past 10 days, but much of the time I couldn't hear them, based on cluster spots.  When I could hear them, the pileups were terrible.  Didn't realize it was that rare.  10kc or more of a spread, terrible behavior in the pileups, endless callers, couldn't find the station they were working most of the time, etc. Most of the time I really felt I didn't have a chance in these pileups.

I usually don't have too much trouble with DXpeditions 6000 miles or less from OK, even with 100 watts and my dipole.  DXpeditions in the Western Hemisphere are usually pretty easy.

Anyone else get this stressed over a DXpedition in the past?  This one has made me seriously think about giving up DXing for a while.  I can't take the stress.  Can't imagine how bad it will be chasing Heard Island as that will be an ATNO for me, and one that is 10,000 miles away.

John AF5CC


Title: RE: Totally stressed out by a DXpedition?
Post by: K6UJ on November 21, 2012, 09:12:11 PM
John,

There is no remedy.  You are afflicted with DXer disease. You exhibit some of the
symptoms.  Take comfort in knowing that we DXer brothers share the same
malady and feel your pain.  Some other symptoms you have probably already
have:
Desire to be on the radio at sunrise.
Desire to be on the radio at sunset.
Desire to be on the radio at all times between Sunset and Sunrise.
Desire to struggle for months to work a single station in a new country. In extreme cases, this might go on for more than a year.
Never being satisfied with the antenna system and constantly trying new ones.
Only comes down to see the family after working a new country (to gloat). During the rare fantastic opening, will come down after each new country and hold up fingers indicating how many new countries were worked so far. ...
Drinks lots of water before going to bed with the sole purpose of waking up in the wee hours of the morning to see if a new country can be found.  ;D

Getting a litte bit serious, I have had the same obsession John.  Sometimes after
sitting there for hours in a pileup without any luck I just shut down and get away from it for a while.  Coming back later or the next day sometimes yields a contact and how sweet it is! 

73,
Bob
K6UJ




Title: RE: Totally stressed out by a DXpedition?
Post by: K7KB on November 21, 2012, 09:16:42 PM
I think we need to remind ourselves at times "It's Only A Hobby". We get so wrapped up in chasing DX that we forget what's really important. So that's why I don't get too stressed if I miss one. We usually get another chance to work them again, and if not, so be it. If I do miss one that I really wanted, I usually try to evaluate why I couldn't make the QSO. Do I need to change my pileup techniques or was there something else I could have done better? Is there another antenna I could try? etc.

John K7KB


Title: RE: Totally stressed out by a DXpedition?
Post by: W6GX on November 21, 2012, 09:47:16 PM
I agree with John that this is 'only a hobby'.  If I could make just one contact with a dxpedition then life is good.  If I end up making more than one contact then that's icing on the cake.  It's impossible to chase every band/mode combination without disrupting your marriage/family/sleep/sanity, etc.  Don't get too stressed out over what you missed.  Do pay attention to what you have already accomplished.

Take off the 'straight jacket' and enjoy this great hobby.

73,
Jonathan W6GX


Title: RE: Totally stressed out by a DXpedition?
Post by: WG5G on November 21, 2012, 10:00:30 PM
Hello John, Ive been dxing since 1984, I operate Qrp only here strictly by choice, I have done very well but Ill tell you the rocks have always been hard to work from here, especially qrp, Well knowing this was coming on I tried to take vacation for my elusive cw contact, It was denied, so I figured my best chance was going to be 40 mtrs, I hung a inverted vee one week before the dxpedition and it paid off with an easy 0900z cw qso the first night, sure I was extremly lucky, but I still had to prepare for that opertunity. Honestly I could be at the top of the Honor Roll, Ive had all dx entities in my sights, many times calling cq in my face but thats fun of it for me, took me about 20 years to work PY0S on cw, took me about half of an hour to come down from that high so I could go back to sleep for work the next morning, Do I get stressed over a dxpedition to a needed country - Y E S - Hell it starts when I first read about the plans to go to a new one, as far as Heard Island goes, Im already gearing up for it, and I will work it,Think Positive, were all in the same boat, GL & 73 DAN WG5G.


Title: RE: Totally stressed out by a DXpedition?
Post by: NU1O on November 21, 2012, 10:57:04 PM
Anyone else ever feel like they were losing their mind chasing a DXpedition? 
John AF5CC

This is a hobby. It is supposed to be fun. If you are really getting stressed out because you did not work PT0S on CW even though you already have SPSP confirmed on SSB and RTTY I would say you are getting too wrapped up in this hobby and instead of a relief from the stresses of daily life this is actually causing you added stress. My personal opinion is when this hobby is no longer fun and is instead adding to one's stress levels instead of reducing them, it is time to take some time off from the hobby.

It's time to reevaluate the hobby my friend. I think you are much too invested in the DXCC count which many hams do not even pay attention to.  Maybe you should take some time off and spend the new time just talking to common locations about their gear, their work, your work, whatever. Although I am a Dxer at heart I often have much fun talking to the guys in Europe, and Australia and New Zealand even though I have worked them hundreds of times. 

73,

Chris/NU1O




Title: RE: Totally stressed out by a DXpedition?
Post by: K0AP on November 22, 2012, 01:05:27 AM
Anyone else ever feel like they were losing their mind chasing a DXpedition?  I wanted a CW QSO with PT0S (already have St. Peter and Paul confirmed on SSB and RTTY) and one for the 2012 DX marathon.  Glad I didn't need this for an ATNO.  Tried to schedule my life around chasing them for the past 10 days, but much of the time I couldn't hear them, based on cluster spots.  When I could hear them, the pileups were terrible.  Didn't realize it was that rare.  10kc or more of a spread, terrible behavior in the pileups, endless callers, couldn't find the station they were working most of the time, etc. Most of the time I really felt I didn't have a chance in these pileups.

I usually don't have too much trouble with DXpeditions 6000 miles or less from OK, even with 100 watts and my dipole.  DXpeditions in the Western Hemisphere are usually pretty easy.

Anyone else get this stressed over a DXpedition in the past?  This one has made me seriously think about giving up DXing for a while.  I can't take the stress.  Can't imagine how bad it will be chasing Heard Island as that will be an ATNO for me, and one that is 10,000 miles away.

John AF5CC

If chasing PT0S is causing you so much stress I think you should probably quit chasing DX. I've heard this story over and over again. Have you asked your self if maybe you, your equipment and operating skills are not good enough to log that rare DX? I understand there are unruly pileups, too wide splits, jerks on the air, bad propagation etc... but to blame everything else but your self, simply does not cut to me. If you want to get into the log, most of the time you have to be patient, listen and listen again, spend several hours on the radio, get used to the bad operating practices etc... you cannot expect that whenever you turn on the radio you have to work that rare DX by default. Maybe you should improve your station. If you can afford, buy an amplifier, improve your antenna or simply try to do something to set your self in better position in the pileups. I too felt I did not have a chance to work PT0S on 30m with a dipole and 100W but after couple of days trying I finally got him. Most of the time working rare DX is not like shooting fish in a barrel, but it's just the opposite. With the new technology put in place, clusters, skimmers, "new jammers on the block" ... it's becoming a very competitive hobby. My advise is either get used to it and adjust to the new situation or simply quit. Sorry if this is something you did not expect to hear but this is the reality. No matter if you like it or not.

73 Dragan K0AP


Title: RE: Totally stressed out by a DXpedition?
Post by: K3TN on November 22, 2012, 03:55:15 AM
Quote
Anyone else ever feel like they were losing their mind chasing a DXpedition?

John - three things to remember:

1. The DX gods, like beautiful women, know when you are desperate. If you get too stressed, your odds of breaking the pileup go down significantly.

2. The DX gods, like your third grade teacher, also know if you are not trying hard enough. A little bit of stress to focus the mind to make sure your are anticipating the DXpedition's actions and making sure you are at the top of your game, goes a long way.

3. There is *always* a next time. There is a documentary on TV right now by Ken Burns, "The Dust Bowl." It talks a lot about the "Next Year will be a good year" mentality of the farmers, even as the drought and dust storms went on for years. Rabid sports fans have the same mentality about their favorite team, and those who love working DX have that same mentality - there will always be a next time, even if it is 11 years or 19 years from now.

Bonus point (4) - Never calculate the distance to the DXpedition, as the propagation gods, like used car salesmen, can always tell if you are afraid to negotiate the distance (price). Preted ever DXdpedition is a small island off the coast of Texas, just far enough away to meet the arcane DXCC rules.

Hope that helps.

73, John K3TN


Title: RE: Totally stressed out by a DXpedition?
Post by: KE4YOG on November 22, 2012, 04:41:11 AM
I was lucky. I called 4 or 5 times Sunday and got PT0S. Put it in the log and started looking more. DXing to me is the best part of this hobby but I also like a good rag chew on the local machine or with the friends I am making in other countries. I also hunt. Deer hunting and DXing are very similair. You have to be in the woods to kill a deer. You have to be the radio to make contacts. When I know a big buck is in the area I try to figure out what I need to do to put myself in a position to have a shot at the deer. I will try and try to make contacts until the idiots show up. The police and QRMers get to the point at times that I cant tolerate it any more I switch bands or simply turn the rig off. I will not stress over it but I will try to do all I can to make contact.


Title: RE: Totally stressed out by a DXpedition?
Post by: KY6R on November 22, 2012, 06:17:43 AM
I have felt that stress too - but only missing an ATNO, certainly not a band fill.

I have taken that stress and focused it to build a much better antenna system after becoming an expert at HFTA and EZNec. See my QRZ.COM page for details.

After missing FT5GA, E44X and ST0R I realized it was up to me to fix my antenna farm. I did and came roaring back and will have worked 6 ATNO's this year - inlcuding E4 and Z8 - making up for most of what I had perceived as a loss.

I also understand that there are limitations - I don't have the perfect location or station - but I like what I have very much. Its not a great QTH for DX-ing, but fantastic for cycling, and I lost 30 pounds this year - which is way more important than DX-ing anyway.

What all of this antenna building has done (like George Costanza) is let me be the "Master of My Own Domain" . . .



Title: RE: Totally stressed out by a DXpedition?
Post by: AF3Y on November 22, 2012, 06:20:18 AM


You are afflicted with DXer disease. You exhibit some of the
symptoms.  Take comfort in knowing that we DXer brothers share the same
malady and feel your pain.  Some other symptoms you have probably already
have:
Desire to be on the radio at sunrise.
Desire to be on the radio at sunset.
Desire to be on the radio at all times between Sunset and Sunrise.
Desire to struggle for months to work a single station in a new country. In extreme cases, this might go on for more than a year.
Never being satisfied with the antenna system and constantly trying new ones.
Only comes down to see the family after working a new country (to gloat). During the rare fantastic opening, will come down after each new country and hold up fingers indicating how many new countries were worked so far. ...
Drinks lots of water before going to bed with the sole purpose of waking up in the wee hours of the morning to see if a new country can be found.  ;D

73,
Bob
K6UJ


Thanks DOCTOR BOB!  Now I know what is wrong with me!  Your diagnosis is right on the money 8).

73, Gene AF3Y


Title: RE: Totally stressed out by a DXpedition?
Post by: AD9DX on November 22, 2012, 06:30:39 AM
I never got them  :( It would have been an ATNO.  Am I stressed, no, am I disappointed??? Yes. 

It is still a hobby, something I do to relax and something I do for fun, when it stops being fun, I'll quit doing it. 


Title: RE: Totally stressed out by a DXpedition?
Post by: AF3Y on November 22, 2012, 07:32:12 AM
I never got them  :( It would have been an ATNO.  Am I stressed, no, am I disappointed??? Yes. 

It is still a hobby, something I do to relax and something I do for fun, when it stops being fun, I'll quit doing it. 

I guess I take DXing seriously, as I took competitive athletics seriously all of my life.  I had coaches through the years that the word LOSE was not in their vocabulary. When you dont get that ATNO, you lose. Sure, I gave it my best shot, but I should have made that QSO. I lost.

To me, DXing is more of a challenge and a 'winner take all" situation. A lot like competitive athletics. Having been a jock a large part of my life, from little league sports through semi-pro, its hard for me to be anything but competitive in almost everything I do. If you dont eventually make the QSO. You lose. No one likes to lose.

I am certain that some will agree with this. A lot of you will not. Thats OK.  (Some may admit it, some wont.......)  Just my outlook on DXing since I logged the very first one.

73, Gene AF3Y


Title: RE: Totally stressed out by a DXpedition?
Post by: AD9DX on November 22, 2012, 07:36:10 AM
I never got them  :( It would have been an ATNO.  Am I stressed, no, am I disappointed??? Yes. 

It is still a hobby, something I do to relax and something I do for fun, when it stops being fun, I'll quit doing it. 

I guess I take DXing seriously, as I took competitive athletics seriously all of my life.  I had coaches through the years that the word LOSE was not in their vocabulary. When you dont get that ATNO, you lose. Sure, I gave it my best shot, but I should have made that QSO. I lost.

To me, DXing is more of a challenge and a 'winner take all" situation. A lot like competitive athletics. Having been a jock a large part of my life, from little league sports through semi-pro, its hard for me to be anything but competitive in almost everything I do. If you dont eventually make the QSO. You lose. No one likes to lose.

I am certain that some will agree with this. A lot of you will not. Thats OK.  (Some may admit it, some wont.......)  Just my outlook on DXing since I logged the very first one.

73, Gene AF3Y
I used to take sports that seriously, then at 28 I blew out my knee.  I couldn't walk for 3 months (per the surgeon).  It gave me a lot of time to reflect on my life...  Ever since I have made a concerted effort to remember, life is too short to stress. 


Title: RE: Totally stressed out by a DXpedition?
Post by: K3NRX on November 22, 2012, 10:05:22 AM
This is why I scoff (in a friendly way) at the guys who "live for this." ...This being the challenge (aggrivation) of fighting the insanity that comes with chasing a rarity making it impossible to work it, and in return critisize those of us who use DX nets (uh oh...here comes that dead old debate again)....and other methods to obtain qsos......It's been said...It's a freakin hobby....a fun activity in one's spare time....Life is stressful enough.....Some of us don't need stress in our hobbies......that is why I get frustrated sometimes and say "this is the one that is going to end it for me"....meaning my pursuit of new countries (I need 60 more which may or may not happen) is over......I was fortuneate enough to get only one qso with PT0S.....anything beyond one qso would be extra gravy, which is why, unlike a lot of people, I don't care what band or mode I work them on...translation, I am not killing myself, especially during a sunspot cycle that is a joke...Make the effort, but If you are getting stressed over this, it's not worth it....there are far greater things in life to get upset over than keying a microphone or a bug or whether or not you contacted a pile of stones in the middle of the water....

V
KA3NRX



Title: RE: Totally stressed out by a DXpedition?
Post by: K9NW on November 22, 2012, 10:10:27 AM
It seems a good number of ops will be stressing over finding out they didn't work PT0S on 28051.8 today where they really worked 6V7V.  Yes, 6V7V was ID'ing.....even really slow at times.....and the pile raged on!


Title: RE: Totally stressed out by a DXpedition?
Post by: N2RJ on November 22, 2012, 12:38:21 PM
I never stress about these things. I can be totally calm under pressure, which is something I need for my daily life and my career.

In the end "it's just a hobby" anyway.


Title: RE: Totally stressed out by a DXpedition?
Post by: AF5C on November 22, 2012, 02:23:11 PM

I also understand that there are limitations - I don't have the perfect location or station - but I like what I have very much. Its not a great QTH for DX-ing, but fantastic for cycling, and I lost 30 pounds this year - which is way more important than DX-ing anyway.


That is part of my problem-cycling is a big hobby of mine also.  Hard to find time for chasing DX and cycling as well. Lost about 20 pounds myself this year, but some of it has crept back on once the fall DX conditions hit, and I was showing signs of overtraining from the exercise bike and running so had to back off of that a little :(

John AF5CC


Title: RE: Totally stressed out by a DXpedition?
Post by: AF5C on November 22, 2012, 04:05:47 PM
Did work EL2MF yesterday for a new 12m country, and 5B4AJC today for a new one on 30m, so everything hasn't been lost in the past few days.  Usually new band countries are better than a new mode country, except when it is one needed on CW.  Getting another one for the 2012 marathon would be nice also.  Might have to not track stuff for the 2013 marathon.

Wish I could afford a beam again, but money is pretty tight right now.  Have no real desire for an amp at this time.  Did 320 countries with 100 watts.  The money would be better spent on antennas than an amp anyways.

John AF5CC


Title: RE: Totally stressed out by a DXpedition?
Post by: K6UJ on November 22, 2012, 08:02:21 PM

I also understand that there are limitations - I don't have the perfect location or station - but I like what I have very much. Its not a great QTH for DX-ing, but fantastic for cycling, and I lost 30 pounds this year - which is way more important than DX-ing anyway.


That is part of my problem-cycling is a big hobby of mine also.  Hard to find time for chasing DX and cycling as well. Lost about 20 pounds myself this year, but some of it has crept back on once the fall DX conditions hit, and I was showing signs of overtraining from the exercise bike and running so had to back off of that a little :(

John AF5CC

John and Rich,

I didn't realize there were other cycling DXers on board.  :D  I also am a cyclist, enjoy the great rides here in northern cal. I enjoy building up and riding road bikes, just finished outfitting a Carbon Fiber Trek Madone frame I bought with all Campy gear and it really rides sweet.  I have a goal (besides making HR  ;D) to ride my first century.  This summer I did an 80 miler which is my record so far. I have been able to keep my weight in check and my sanity too, hihi, thanks to cycling. Dont want to get too carried away with cycling here, just wanted to throw in my two cents. Its great to hear there are other Ham Radio cyclists around.

73,
Bob
K6UJ


Title: RE: Totally stressed out by a DXpedition?
Post by: W6GX on November 22, 2012, 10:52:49 PM

I also understand that there are limitations - I don't have the perfect location or station - but I like what I have very much. Its not a great QTH for DX-ing, but fantastic for cycling, and I lost 30 pounds this year - which is way more important than DX-ing anyway.


That is part of my problem-cycling is a big hobby of mine also.  Hard to find time for chasing DX and cycling as well. Lost about 20 pounds myself this year, but some of it has crept back on once the fall DX conditions hit, and I was showing signs of overtraining from the exercise bike and running so had to back off of that a little :(

John AF5CC

John and Rich,

I didn't realize there were other cycling DXers on board.  :D  I also am a cyclist, enjoy the great rides here in northern cal. I enjoy building up and riding road bikes, just finished outfitting a Carbon Fiber Trek Madone frame I bought with all Campy gear and it really rides sweet.  I have a goal (besides making HR  ;D) to ride my first century.  This summer I did an 80 miler which is my record so far. I have been able to keep my weight in check and my sanity too, hihi, thanks to cycling. Dont want to get too carried away with cycling here, just wanted to throw in my two cents. Its great to hear there are other Ham Radio cyclists around.

73,
Bob
K6UJ

You could add me to the cycling ham list.  Here's a tip for those cycling hams looking to further improve their fitness.  While cycling I carry my smartphone loaded with DX Hunter (http://www.michiv.de/dxhunter/).  When I hear it go off it means that I have an ATNO being spotted by a NA station.  Not wanting to miss the action I would pedal harder.  You would be surprised at how hard you could pedal when there's an ATNO waiting for you  :D

73,
Jonathan W6GX


Title: RE: Totally stressed out by a DXpedition?
Post by: NU4B on November 23, 2012, 04:19:19 AM
I also cycle. Unfortunately this past summer was my worst in many years for riding. And I'm feeling it. Hopefully staring next spring I'll be able to ride more than I have this past summer. I guess as the sunspots went up, my bike rides went down.  ;D I just need to plan better.


Title: RE: Totally stressed out by a DXpedition?
Post by: KY6R on November 23, 2012, 04:47:57 AM
Wow - this forum is full of cycling DX-ers. Very cool. And the weight I put on from sitting too much in front of the radio also came off from cycling. W6GX - now that's funny. I have pedaled extra hard to get back to work DX too.

N6UJ - Bob, I used to ride metric centuries - in the SF Bay Area:

The Top Hat
Grizzly Peak
Marin Century
Holstein 100

And I used to ride mountain bikes at Mt. Tam, Mt. Diablo, Nicene Marks and Wilder Ranch. My QRZ.COM bio picture was taken at Wilder Ranch in Santa Cruz - one of my favorite places.

I've slowed down a bit and ride 100 miles a week - 5 times 20 miles - but I do it as much as a sprint as I can. I have always ridden Cannondales - R5000, Scalpel, CX9 Cyclocross.



Title: RE: Totally stressed out by a DXpedition?
Post by: W1VT on November 23, 2012, 05:48:33 AM
 Does a Schwinn Town and Country Tricycle count as an exercise bike?  My wife and I got trikes for sightseeing--we went to Cape Cod and Block Island this year.  It is a little heavy, but I seem to go up hills just fine.  ;D


Title: RE: Totally stressed out by a DXpedition?
Post by: AF5C on November 23, 2012, 06:35:22 AM
Great to see all of the cyclers on here. Done a few centuries myself-Apple Cider Century in Michigan, Hotter than Hell Hundred in Texas, TOMROV in Iowa, and did the ride across Illinois.  These were all back in Grad school when I had much more time due to no XYL or daughter.  Still do bike to work each day. Hoping to go bicycle mobile sooner or later.  Need funds for a FT817.  So far only do bike mobile with an HT.  Check out W9XS on QRZ.COM for a serious bike mobile setup.  I have worked him twice on 20m.

John AF5CC


Title: RE: Totally stressed out by a DXpedition?
Post by: AF5C on November 24, 2012, 03:51:43 PM
If you are really getting stressed out because you did not work PT0S on CW even though you already have SPSP confirmed on SSB and RTTY I would say you are getting too wrapped up in this hobby and instead of a relief from the stresses of daily life this is actually causing you added stress.

It's time to reevaluate the hobby my friend. I think you are much too invested in the DXCC count which many hams do not even pay attention to. 

Chris,

That is good advice.  Decided to reevaluate some things this afternoon after spending too much time on the CQWW contest.  I should be grateful that I have PY0S confirmed on 2 bands and modes, and I have ZL9 confirmed on 20m CW already, so need to keep that in perspective.

Decided to delete my scoresheet for the 2012 DX marathon.  Don't need the stress of keeping that score as well.  So it is gone and already out of the recycle bin.  Same thing for the log I was keeping for the CQWW contest.  To quote Black Sabbath "It seems like desperate measures but sometimes it has to be done."

Nice to work you last weekend in the SSB SS.  I was running from the minivan in the parking lot of Olympic Gold Gymnastics in Clinton, OK where my daughter was doing a meet.

Now to get on the exercise cycle and hit the cycling again!

John AF5CC


Title: RE: Totally stressed out by a DXpedition?
Post by: WD4ELG on November 24, 2012, 08:32:22 PM
Thanks, OM's.  You just saved me a TON of stress and anxiety as I was considering the DX Marathon for 2013.  I read Bob Locher's book on his 2007 quest, and I was hesitant.  Now I won't bother, as I need to get some balance and perspective.  Seriously.  I am taking this hobby thing way to far.  Need to get back into rag chewing and some digital experimentation and take an occasional break from the DX hunt.


Title: RE: Totally stressed out by a DXpedition?
Post by: AF5C on November 24, 2012, 09:03:03 PM
How was Bob's 2007 book?  I loved "The Complete DXer" but it does show how serious DXing has to be a life's dedication.  It sure is hard to make that dedication when you have a family to raise, job, etc.  I have read lots of ham bios where they said they were QRT during the family/work years.  I can be thankful that my situation hasn't reached that point.

John AF5CC


Title: RE: Totally stressed out by a DXpedition?
Post by: KB2FCV on November 24, 2012, 09:55:59 PM
It's usually the same cycle for me as a ATNO comes on the air. It's a major source of stress to get them in the log the first time. If the pileups are big such as PT0S was, there are many hours spent trying and trying.. getting up at odd hours of the night or sitting there for hours at a time during the day chasing them around as they change bands. I begin to think is it really worth it? I also wonder if I'll ever work them or get through these pileups. Then, when I think it's never going to happen.. I hear my call come back. I breath a sigh of relief. A huge weight lifted off my chest... heh until the next ATNO comes along..  ::)

Oddly enough, the next QSO's with the station come a bit easier..

It's a cycle that repeates itself over and over. I'm creeping slowly towards 300..


Title: RE: Totally stressed out by a DXpedition?
Post by: W1VT on November 25, 2012, 07:21:23 AM
 My competitive hobby is growing roses for exhibition.  Just got a lot of exercise raking leaves--will grind them up to make leaf compost for the roses.  I got into a minor disagreement with my cardiologist about the exercise you growing roses in gardening--I got a ton of exercise this past year taking out tree stumps with an ax--after an hour I can fill a 3 gallon bucket with wood chips.  Seems like every time I decide to start a new flower bed, I find another tree stump!

Did OK this year DXing and showing roses--not as many trophies, but I did take Queen and King HT of show at the Rhode Island rose show--the top two prizes ;D


Title: RE: Totally stressed out by a DXpedition?
Post by: AB8MA on November 25, 2012, 08:00:06 AM


This is a hobby. It is supposed to be fun. If you are really getting stressed out because you did not work PT0S on CW even though you already have SPSP confirmed on SSB and RTTY I would say you are getting too wrapped up in this hobby and instead of a relief from the stresses of daily life this is actually causing you added stress. My personal opinion is when this hobby is no longer fun and is instead adding to one's stress levels instead of reducing them, it is time to take some time off from the hobby.

It's time to reevaluate the hobby my friend. I think you are much too invested in the DXCC count ...

73,

Chris/NU1O




I printed this and taped it to the wall at my operating position. You described me to a fault. Thanks.


Title: RE: Totally stressed out by a DXpedition?
Post by: W2IRT on November 25, 2012, 12:48:15 PM
I will tell you the ultimate stress. Working CQWW-CW from a lightweight station in Canada. Once the band to Europe closes, IF I can get a rate of 5 Qs an hour to the Caribbean or Africa it's miraculous. The stress is absolutely insane. Every PY and LU has 5-10 guys calling constantly. The places in SA or countries with only one active station have piles worse than PT0S. OA4SS may as well be BS7H. Now, try running 100W and a small yagi at 25' with an extremely bad callsign. The only stations I can work are the ones CQing. I'd sell my left, um....arm....for an amp or a real antenna from here. Not possible to work more than 200 Qs in the entire weekend single band 15.


Title: RE: Totally stressed out by a DXpedition?
Post by: NU1O on November 26, 2012, 05:41:20 AM
It seems a good number of ops will be stressing over finding out they didn't work PT0S on 28051.8 today where they really worked 6V7V.  Yes, 6V7V was ID'ing.....even really slow at times.....and the pile raged on!

6V7V is causing a lot of problems.  There was a spot during CQWW for a BU7V and although it turned out to be 6V7V many just looked at the cluster and worked them w/o even listening for their call.

If there is one rule I see commonly broken it is not listening for an actual call but trusting a call from a spotting network. 

73,

Chris/NU1O


Title: RE: Totally stressed out by a DXpedition?
Post by: N9KX on November 26, 2012, 08:38:30 AM
If we can convince enough people that DX'ing is a disease and that it is NOT worth the stress -- it will make bagging those ATNO's that much easier!  ;)

seriously though, with my modest station I always relish ATNO's but don't get too upset if I strike out. 

as for self-inflicted misery -- LoTW being so far behind is causing me stress.  I am so addicted to getting a new confirmed QSO every day or two that the current bottleneck is driving me nuts.  It has been DAYS since I have had my LoTW QSO's and confirmations change, and it is driving me nuts  :'( 

I cannot imagine doing this all the old school way and waiting for snail mail (although I could not afford that).  Did DX'ers of old camp out by their mail boxes?  ;D


Title: RE: Totally stressed out by a DXpedition?
Post by: KY6R on November 26, 2012, 08:46:28 AM
Did DX'ers of old camp out by their mail boxes?

Yes.


Title: RE: Totally stressed out by a DXpedition?
Post by: NU1O on November 26, 2012, 08:50:54 AM
If you are really getting stressed out because you did not work PT0S on CW even though you already have SPSP confirmed on SSB and RTTY I would say you are getting too wrapped up in this hobby and instead of a relief from the stresses of daily life this is actually causing you added stress.

It's time to reevaluate the hobby my friend. I think you are much too invested in the DXCC count which many hams do not even pay attention to. 

Chris,

That is good advice.  Decided to reevaluate some things this afternoon after spending too much time on the CQWW contest.  I should be grateful that I have PY0S confirmed on 2 bands and modes, and I have ZL9 confirmed on 20m CW already, so need to keep that in perspective.

Decided to delete my scoresheet for the 2012 DX marathon.  Don't need the stress of keeping that score as well.  So it is gone and already out of the recycle bin.  Same thing for the log I was keeping for the CQWW contest.  To quote Black Sabbath "It seems like desperate measures but sometimes it has to be done."

Nice to work you last weekend in the SSB SS.  I was running from the minivan in the parking lot of Olympic Gold Gymnastics in Clinton, OK where my daughter was doing a meet.

Now to get on the exercise cycle and hit the cycling again!

John AF5CC

Hi John,

I was reading your bio and you have more countries worked than I do and you're using a "minimalist" station.  I would've thought you would've got stressed out a long time ago since you are using such a modest station.

When a rare DX station, like PT0S, comes on I do not look to work them on every band and every mode.  I just go with the flow and work them where they have a strong signal.  Since I have a Triband Bencher Skyhawk that usually means 10, 15, and 20 meters.  I do not  enjoy RTTY so that eliminates one mode.  I ultimately worked PT0S on 4 bands and 2 modes and I was extremely happy with that result. I am trying to fill in band slots so I can have DXCC on all bands from 10 through 80 but there are many easier targets than SPSP for 80 meters and I don't bother with 160 meters as I will never have a competitive signal from this location.  If I work all the easy targets in just Europe and The Caribbean I will be very close to 100 countries on 10 through 80.

I participate in many of the popular contests but I realized a long time ago since I was never going to win my section it made very little sense to stay up all weekend just to add points to a losing score. For this past weekend's contest I spent about 10 to 12 hours in the contest mainly going up and down the band S+Ping. I did make it a point to work the African stations which were activated for the contest (7P8, EL2) on the 3 big bands and I added three countries to my total for the Diamond Award. I enjoyed the time spent but I really could care less how my score competes with other stations since I did not try to maximize my score.

As for the Marathon, I have other interests and do not want to have to tie myself to the radio for a whole year. I am counting countries for the Diamond Award because I find it interesting to see how the world has changed politically in the past 75 years yet I will not be as competitive as some since I only started participating about half way through the year.

The ARRL Handbooks have a section at the beginning of each issue called The Amateur's Code. I think it would do us all well to keep a copy someplace in the radio room and to read it once a year. I think the part about an Amateur being balanced is the part most DXers and Contesters need to pay attention to.

Here is an excerpt from The Amateur's Code:

BALANCED: Radio is an avocation, never interfering with duties owed to family, job, school or community.

It was written in 1928 and it sounds a tad hokey now but many DXers and Contesters could benefit by keeping the principle in mind.

It is very hard to be balanced if one is looking to fill every band slot and be competitive in contests while working full-time and raising a family.  Actually it is virtually impossible. 

I'm glad the advice was of use to you.  It just seemed like common sense to me.

John, nice to work you on 10 meters during SS.

Here is a link to the full text of The Amateur's Code for anybody interested in viewing it:

http://www.qcwa.org/amateur-code.htm


73,

Chris/NU1O


Title: RE: Totally stressed out by a DXpedition?
Post by: NU1O on November 26, 2012, 08:55:10 AM


This is a hobby. It is supposed to be fun. If you are really getting stressed out because you did not work PT0S on CW even though you already have SPSP confirmed on SSB and RTTY I would say you are getting too wrapped up in this hobby and instead of a relief from the stresses of daily life this is actually causing you added stress. My personal opinion is when this hobby is no longer fun and is instead adding to one's stress levels instead of reducing them, it is time to take some time off from the hobby.

It's time to reevaluate the hobby my friend. I think you are much too invested in the DXCC count ...

73,

Chris/NU1O




I printed this and taped it to the wall at my operating position. You described me to a fault. Thanks.

Does that make me an author now?  I always wanted to be one.   ;)

73,

Chris/NU1O


Title: RE: Totally stressed out by a DXpedition?
Post by: N2RJ on November 26, 2012, 09:30:05 AM
Nothing is wrong with being passionate about DX, but when it begins to take a toll on your mental and physical well being then maybe it's time to reevaluate your priorities.

Like others said, it's just a hobby.


Title: RE: Totally stressed out by a DXpedition?
Post by: W5DQ on November 26, 2012, 09:51:19 AM
John,

Don't feel like you're alone.... I spent a couple of long sessions trying to get them on ANY mode as I needed them for an ATNO but to no avail. I think this was the worst DXped I have heard in years, not due all to the ops but the myriad of A-holes whos life calling is to create havoc in pileups. I understand and can accept a big pileup but to have to fight a big pileup along WITH the burping, whistling, 'heeelllllloooooooo'ing, constant carriers / tuning, and other piles of dog doo that I heard made it not worth my time to continue to fight it all. I gave up and went to do something more relaxing. I'll wait for the next one (if there will be one in my lifetime).

Gene W5DQ


Title: RE: Totally stressed out by a DXpedition?
Post by: W1VT on November 26, 2012, 10:40:17 AM
Did DX'ers of old camp out by their mail boxes?

Yes.

Now we just check LoTW a couple times a day!  My 80M LoTW QSL for PT0S just came through!

I figured that since these guys were great low band operators, it was worth getting up in the middle of the night to work them.  Sure enough, I had easy contacts on both 80 and 40.


Title: RE: Totally stressed out by a DXpedition?
Post by: N2RJ on November 26, 2012, 11:11:56 AM
I wrote a little program to check LoTW for me. Haven't really used it much but soon I will get a notification in my mac's notification center whenever a new LoTW entity gets confirmed. Has a few bugs to iron out yet though.


Title: RE: Totally stressed out by a DXpedition?
Post by: AF3Y on November 26, 2012, 04:40:28 PM
I wrote a little program to check LoTW for me.

Well, it would not help much right now. ARRL.org is down, and obviously LOTW is down as well.  Why am I not surprised?

73, Gene AF3Y


Title: RE: Totally stressed out by a DXpedition?
Post by: W1VT on November 26, 2012, 05:01:13 PM
LoTW is on a different server.  It was still up a few minutes ago.


Title: RE: Totally stressed out by a DXpedition?
Post by: AD9DX on November 26, 2012, 05:02:13 PM
I wrote a little program to check LoTW for me. Haven't really used it much but soon I will get a notification in my mac's notification center whenever a new LoTW entity gets confirmed. Has a few bugs to iron out yet though.

That would be sweet on my iPhone while I am at work.


Title: RE: Totally stressed out by a DXpedition?
Post by: N9KX on November 26, 2012, 05:47:33 PM
Now we just check LoTW a couple times a day!  My 80M LoTW QSL for PT0S just came through!

Congrats!  when did your QSO take place?  My one good (10 meter SSB) contact with PT0S was on Nov. 20 and for a few days now I am  waiting for LoTW to give me anything beyond Nov 19...


Title: RE: Totally stressed out by a DXpedition?
Post by: N7SMI on November 26, 2012, 08:58:18 PM
I wrote a little program to check LoTW for me. Haven't really used it much but soon I will get a notification in my mac's notification center whenever a new LoTW entity gets confirmed. Has a few bugs to iron out yet though.

I hope it checks relatively infrequently. Having loads of these types of programs constantly checking the LoTW servers will do little to help the current slowdowns. But this does sound very cool. Would you share?


Title: RE: Totally stressed out by a DXpedition?
Post by: W1VT on November 27, 2012, 03:30:17 AM
Now we just check LoTW a couple times a day!  My 80M LoTW QSL for PT0S just came through!

Congrats!  when did your QSO take place?  My one good (10 meter SSB) contact with PT0S was on Nov. 20 and for a few days now I am  waiting for LoTW to give me anything beyond Nov 19...

11/22 at 0608Z--broke through the Eu pileup after I heard K1EA work him.  It might have been in their last upload before they had to get on the boat.


Title: RE: Totally stressed out by a DXpedition?
Post by: W4RS on November 29, 2012, 10:28:48 PM
its just a hobby, but with bragging rights. i have 314 wked, i have one, just one contact with kingman reef. spent 2 days to get it. but i have 3y0pi on 9 bands, 17 contacts.
it just time on the river, be there when they are, and you will work em.