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Author Topic: Why do people tune on the DX station's CQ frequency?  (Read 4229 times)
VE3FDT
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« on: February 09, 2011, 08:17:11 AM »

This morning, while I was listening on 17 m CW, I came across XT2RJA CQing. As far as I could tell he was not spotted yet; there was no pile-up volume and behaviour characteristic of the presence of "internet hams". In fact, he had a good but not hectic rate and had time to insert a full CQ here and there. The signal was borderline ESP with really deep QSB, coming in and out of the noise, and I was waiting for it to become strong enough for me to call. I have a very modest station and situations like that are quite probing: if I call too early I may not be able to hear the response on a QSB low, if I wait too long the station may get spotted (or otherwise develop a big pile-up) and I will get killed by the power/antennas crowd. In the end I did not call, he remained too weak for me to hear him well enough to justify a call; but the half an hour or so spent listening was a fertile ground for observations.

I feel justified in making an assumption that stations calling (whether making a QSO or not) were experienced hams and not the crowd of newbies, "packet rats", undeserving "no-coders" and "good-for-nothing-clueless-CBers" (other usual name calling left to reader's imagination); after all they had to actually actively listen, be familiar enough with propagation to know what and where to listen for and, last but not least, fish the DX out of the noise.

Because of this assumption I am astounded by some exhibited behaviour (and no, I will not list any call-signs):

Which part of "up" do people not understand? This is a true "oldie but goodie" that never ceases to amaze me. Forgetting to press the split button happens to everybody (yes, it has happened to me; more than once), but sometimes ignoring the "up" request obviously goes beyond a momentary lapse in concentration.

Why not wait and listen (it did not have to be long in this case; XT2RJA's operating practice was beyond reproach) instead of sending "call?" or "cl?" on the CQ frequency?

And my all-time favourite, "an enigma, wrapped in a puzzle, shrouded in mystery": why do people tune on a DX's CQ frequency?

Never mind a quick "touch-up" (not that any amount is justifiable), I mean a really long, laborious tuning. And let me get this straight: I do not think any of the tuning today (and there was quite a lot) was of a malicious QRMing kind; all "tuners" proceeded to attempt a QSO when done with their tuning.

I have no rational explanation for this so prevalent practice. None whatsoever. In fact, this behaviour seems to me to be utterly counter-productive and a serious detriment to the "tuner" himself.

By QRMing the DX in the process the offender presumably slows the DX's QSO rate thus preventing the pile-up from thinning and making his own attempt at QSO more difficult when he's done tuning and ready to call. To play a "devil's advocate": why not quickly figure out the pile-up pattern (not really needed: almost always the pile-up is up) and go in the opposite direction (down) a couple of kHz, tune up and come back to make your attempt? And no, I do not believe that offenders think that tuning precisely on the DX's frequency makes a difference in their signal's efficiency; it would not and they must realize that in most cases they end up not calling there anyway, but a few kHz off.

So here is my request to the community: please realize that I am in no way trying to defend any on-air tuning, but please help me understand why it is mostly done in a manner that seems not only so malign (and irritating!) to others, but also so self-defeating to the offender?

Please answer this question for me: Why do people tune on the DX station's CQ frequency?
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W5FYI
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« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2011, 08:28:31 AM »

I think they do it because they know the DX station is "listening up" (off his calling frequency), so their tuning up on his calling frequency won't bother him, and gets them close enough to his "up" frequency for tune-up purposes.  I'm guessing this is done mostly by lids who don't understand, or even care to learn, how their transmitters and antennas work.
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N3OX
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« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2011, 08:34:08 AM »

Please answer this question for me: Why do people tune on the DX station's CQ frequency?

Such behavior is fundamentally selfish and shows lack of critical thinking about the effects of the behavior on others.

We might consider the following :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antisocial_Personality_Disorder#Psychopathy

I think that it's important to avoid glibly labeling people as mentally ill just because we're frustrated with their behavior.  But I think that it's well established that a small percentage of people appear to be fundamentally incapable of calculating how their actions affect others.

The estimated percentages for such behavior (0.5%? 1%) are probably about right to make sure there are a couple in a big pileup.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2011, 08:46:37 AM by N3OX » Logged

73,
Dan
http://www.n3ox.net

Monkey/silicon cyborg, beeping at rocks since 1995.
KH2BR
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Posts: 98




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« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2011, 09:05:56 AM »

Life is short. Turn the knob and drop it.
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W7ETA
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« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2011, 02:26:48 PM »

DAM if I know.

You'd have to have someone who does that tell you why.

I've always guessed that it is childish and mean spirited?

Fortunately, I don't let it get to me.

If DXing was easy, one would have them all worked in a year.

Best from Tucson
Bob

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N0SYA
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« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2011, 05:15:47 PM »

why are all the dx stas on the national tuneup freq?
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If you have a clumsy child, you make them wear a helmet. If you have death prone children, you keep a few clones of them in your lab.
WG8Z
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« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2011, 08:18:46 PM »

Lack of intelligence?
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KE4JOY
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« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2011, 10:00:28 AM »

Meh there everywhere blatantly intentional.

Last night I listened to the Maritime Mobile net on 20 and everytime the net called for check ins on comes the carrier. The carrier appeared only after the call for check ins while net control wast listening.

Of course they just ignored it and the net functioned fine and the QRMer seemed to give up eventually. That is probably the best approach to take.
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AD4U
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« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2011, 08:28:13 AM »

I have been "listening" since the 1950's and hamming since the 1960's.  This poor behavior is nothing new.

I guess it is kinda like the people who "get off" by writing computer viruses and infecting the WWW.  No matter which hobby you enjoy, there are always some who like to screw it up for everybody else.

They are probably the ones who liked to torture animals when they were little.

Dick  AD4U
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K2FOX
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« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2011, 09:48:39 AM »

A dummy load would be my choice, not tuning on the air.
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AE4RV
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« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2011, 10:53:03 AM »

A dummy load would be my choice, not tuning on the air.

And an added benefit, the dummy load is much faster and easier to tune than an antenna: win/win.   Wink

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KE4JOY
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« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2011, 11:08:50 AM »

Well if your like me you 'tune' or peak the xmitter into the dummy load but you still have adjust the tuner to match the antenna.

But its not really that difficult to listen a little first and not hard at all to move up/down to find a clear spot to tune.

Done right the 'on air' tuning only takes a few seconds.
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AE4RV
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« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2011, 11:15:11 AM »

Well if your like me you 'tune' or peak the xmitter into the dummy load but you still have adjust the tuner to match the antenna.

But its not really that difficult to listen a little first and not hard at all to move up/down to find a clear spot to tune.

Done right the 'on air' tuning only takes a few seconds.

Yep, agreed. My first rig had tube finals and my dummy load saw quite a bit of use but now it sits on a shelf.  My automatic antenna tuner is very low power out and quick, but I still move to a quiet frequency before using it.
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KE3WD
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Posts: 5694




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« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2011, 04:20:17 PM »

Well, there is absolutely no need to have to tune exactly to the freq anyway. 

Move a few KC's away, tune the damn thing and then turn the big knob back to the freq. 


Won't change enough to throw a stick at. 

Also practice tuning such that you can do it in less time.  The LIDS who tune up on the calling freq also seem to tune for a loooooooooooooong time.  Makes me feel for their finals, it does. 
The length of some of 'em makes me think that they are indeed engaging in malicious interference rather than just tuning up. 


73
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VE3YF
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« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2011, 03:33:12 PM »

Hi Dariusz:

I cant think that someone's antenna is that narrow banded that they must tune up that close or on top of the DX Station, moving off 10kcs is not going to really make any difference in your signal.

I can't even think about the amount of qso's I have lost because I never got the DX stations report due to someone throwing a carrier. Alot of wasted time trying to recontact the DX station because I never got his report due to someone tuning up and then have the DX station saying "worked before" or "you are in the log".

Oh well... I look at it from the aspect...It is only a hobby and when frustration sets in just either spin the VFO or turn the rig off.

73 De Mike
VE3YF
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