Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net

   Home   Help Search  
Pages: [1] 2 3 4 Next   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Totally stressed out by a DXpedition?  (Read 4712 times)
AF5C
Member

Posts: 123




Ignore
« 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
Logged
K6UJ
Member

Posts: 305




Ignore
« Reply #1 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.  Grin

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


Logged
K7KB
Member

Posts: 605




Ignore
« Reply #2 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
Logged
W6GX
Member

Posts: 2291




Ignore
« Reply #3 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
Logged
WG5G
Member

Posts: 140




Ignore
« Reply #4 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.
Logged
NU1O
Member

Posts: 2564




Ignore
« Reply #5 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


Logged
K0AP
Member

Posts: 117




Ignore
« Reply #6 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
Logged
K3TN
Member

Posts: 278


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #7 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
Logged

John K3TN
KE4YOG
Member

Posts: 182




Ignore
« Reply #8 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.
Logged
KY6R
Member

Posts: 3133


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #9 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" . . .

Logged
AF3Y
Member

Posts: 3676




Ignore
« Reply #10 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.  Grin

73,
Bob
K6UJ


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

73, Gene AF3Y
Logged
AD9DX
Member

Posts: 1464




Ignore
« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2012, 06:30:39 AM »

I never got them  Sad 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. 
Logged

EX, KC9TRM, KB9IRZ
AF3Y
Member

Posts: 3676




Ignore
« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2012, 07:32:12 AM »

I never got them  Sad 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
Logged
AD9DX
Member

Posts: 1464




Ignore
« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2012, 07:36:10 AM »

I never got them  Sad 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. 
Logged

EX, KC9TRM, KB9IRZ
K3NRX
Member

Posts: 1943


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #14 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

Logged
Pages: [1] 2 3 4 Next   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!