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Author Topic: With DX stations ... what does "Up" mean.  (Read 1900 times)
KU8K
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« on: November 26, 2012, 05:15:56 PM »

I see this often when people are talking about DX stations or DXpeditions.  They will say something like 7.160 up 5.  I don't feel as if I'm exactly clear how this works.  Could I get a little explanation? Does it mean that the DX'er is listening on 7.160 and responding on 7.165? I know this is probably the stupid question of the day, but I need to know.

Thank in advance. 
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AD9DX
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« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2012, 05:33:24 PM »

Say Mauritius is spotted on 7,160 (up 5) that means that the station is Transmitting on 7,160 and listening on 7,165.  These are usually approximate frequencies, and sometimes people will lie about where they are listening.  Also some spotters won't put on the "split" on the spotting network.  So the best policy is to find the DX listen and after you are sure what you are listening to, THEN transmit. 
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EX, KC9TRM, KB9IRZ
K0RS
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« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2012, 08:38:38 PM »

As AD9DX indicated, if the DX says "5 up," he is listening for your call at least 5 kHz up.  There are two reasons for this.  1: It spreads the callers out so the DX stations stands a chance of picking out calls more easily.  2: It gets callers off his transmit frequency so callers can actually hear him and respond appropriately.  Simplex pileups (all stations on the same frequency) tend to be a real nightmare with nonstop calling because no one can hear the DX respond.

When a DX station says up 5, that usually means that is the minimum difference from his transmit frequency that he listening.  He may be taking calls up 10 or even more.  That's your puzzle to figure out.  Dual receive transceivers make this much easier, but nearly all modern transceivers provide some facility for monitoring your own transmit frequency so you can determine where exactly you want to put your signal.

As I type, I am listening to EL2LF on 30m.  He's transmitting on 10.105 and listening for replies on roughly 10.107, which of course is "up 2," but he doesn't say this.  Only occasionally he says "up" after his call.  His transmit frequency never changes, but he moves his receiver around picking out calls.   When you hear a rare station, especially a DXpedition, assume they are working split unless you can actually hear the DX station responding to callers on his own frequency.  CW pileups such as this one tend to be much more closely spaced than SSB pileups.

The trick is to find the last station(s) the DX worked and plant your signal near there.  Often the DX listens in a predictable pattern, moving up or down the band after each QSO, and it's your job to figure that out.  Obviously the best thing to do is plant your transmit signal where the DX is going to be listening next.  Some DX stations make this easy to do, and some are quite difficult.  It's all part of gaining DXing skill.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2012, 08:53:06 PM by K0RS » Logged
NU1O
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« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2012, 08:10:33 AM »

When AD9DX says the DX stations "lie" he means they are sometimes listening to a wider range than what they give out, not that they are lying about the basic information they give out.  If a station says he is listening "up 2" that means sometimes that is exactly where he is listening, whereas other times it means they are listening from 2 to 5 up, 2 to 10 up, or 2 to 20 up. Sometimes a station may listen down a few kHz but that is for another lesson. When a station has a very wide listening range he will usually just transmit Up, and not Up 2.

With experience you will learn which stations need a very wide spread (say, 5 to 15 up for CW) due to the heavy demand for the location they are at, which stations can operate listening more or less close to "up 2", and which stations don't need to operate "duplex" or "split" at all and can transmit and receive on the very same frequency which is known as simplex.

This is a lot easier to demonstrate in person than to write out and it's not nearly as complex as it may seem.  I wish more people would ask basic questions as you did.  During virtually every pileup we have for a rare entity we constantly hear hams transmitting on the DX station's frequency. Either a lot of hams do not understand this very basic concept or they are intentionally interfering with the DX stations to lessen enjoyment for other hams. It's extremely difficult to believe we have so many hams who do not understand this most basic of operating practices!

Chris/NU1O

« Last Edit: November 27, 2012, 08:55:24 AM by NU1O » Logged
N1UK
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« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2012, 08:57:54 AM »

The older radios only had one VFO,  so split operation (over a limited range) could be done by using the RIT control. Radios like my old TS930S came out with 2 VFO's which means I can easily transmit UP and listen on the DX frequency. To listen to my tx frequency (where the DX is listening I hope) I have a spring loaded TF SET button. When the DX is listening to another station I depress the TF SET button and tune around to see if I can hear the guy who is working the DX. If I do, then I know that is where the DX is listening right at this moment. If I can't find him, I have to gauge the time and then release the TF SET button and return to listening to the DX. I repeat this process as necessary. If you are transmitting near or on the frequency that the  DX is listening to then it will greatly increase your chances of working him.

The new fancy radios have DUAL WATCH. This means that they have two independent receivers, so now you can hear the DX in one ear and the guy he is working in the other ear. No guessing now on when to release the TF SET button. You can hear it all in stereo. This helps you to stay in sync with the DX. There is no point calling him when he is transmitting like lots of ops are doing in every pileup that I have listened too.

The whole thing is an acquired skill. If you get it right you are in and out of the pileup quickly with a grin on your face. Get it wrong and you can be slogging away for hours and no grin to be seen...hi hi. When you get better you can move on to a cw split operation.

Listen to a split operation and see if you can spot where the dx is listening. Hone those skills.

73 Mark N1UK
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N4NYY
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« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2012, 09:20:36 AM »

KD8PZO,

When I started DXing a few years ago, I asked the same question, and several people here quickly assisted. I then found the split control on my radio and quick realized that the radio had a quick switch to handle that, and made it very easy.

Find the controls because you may be able to quickly jump on a new country as soon as you hear it.
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N2RJ
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« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2012, 09:25:16 AM »

What I have found is that some DXpeditions either use memories or just spin the knob.

However, I find that more and more are just spinning the knob. You can "tail end" a lot of them but some you have to just sit and call.

One op I heard, I think it was on Cocos (Ti9KK) was telling the pileup over and over "Don't find us, we will find YOU."
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N2RJ
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« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2012, 09:27:11 AM »

KD8PZO,

When I started DXing a few years ago, I asked the same question, and several people here quickly assisted. I then found the split control on my radio and quick realized that the radio had a quick switch to handle that, and made it very easy.

Find the controls because you may be able to quickly jump on a new country as soon as you hear it.

One thing I found out is that instead of just pressing "Split" and then doing a/b to change VFOs I could just hold down "Split" for a few seconds then tune my tx frequency while my rx frequency remained the same. This is for the Icom Pro3.
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AF5C
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« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2012, 10:00:38 AM »

What I have found is that some DXpeditions either use memories or just spin the knob.

However, I find that more and more are just spinning the knob. You can "tail end" a lot of them but some you have to just sit and call.

I hate those types of pileups.  I always feel like they will only hear the big signals.  I like it much better when they use some sort of predictable pattern for listening, because most people cannot really figure out the pattern.

John AF5CC
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N4NYY
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« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2012, 10:32:48 AM »

Quote
One thing I found out is that instead of just pressing "Split" and then doing a/b to change VFOs I could just hold down "Split" for a few seconds then tune my tx frequency while my rx frequency remained the same. This is for the Icom Pro3.

My FT-950 has a couple methods, one I never use. I do not use the split because it is an automatic 5 KHz. I use the VFO A and and B TX/RX selector switches, which makes it quick in case he is up more than 5. I am seeing more of that over the last DXpeditions.

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W1VT
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« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2012, 11:06:50 AM »


One op I heard, I think it was on Cocos (Ti9KK) was telling the pileup over and over "Don't find us, we will find YOU."

I remember an operator of one of those really rare Indian Ocean French possessions doing exactly that--he was tuning around working one KH6 after the other on different 10M CW frequencies. Sometimes you just need to find a clear spot and call...even if you don't have a big signal.
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SV1XV
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« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2012, 11:20:25 AM »

I am dreaming of going for a DXpedition to a rare DXCC or IOTA entity and never call CQ or work pileups. I would, instead, reply to every russian, ukrainian, swedish, japanese, etc station calling CQDX without takers.

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N2RJ
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« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2012, 11:28:20 AM »

I am dreaming of going for a DXpedition to a rare DXCC or IOTA entity and never call CQ or work pileups. I would, instead, reply to every russian, ukrainian, swedish, japanese, etc station calling CQDX without takers.



I hope you are rich. Without donors from K, DL, I, F etc you're not going to cover your costs.
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NU1O
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« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2012, 11:33:06 AM »

I am dreaming of going for a DXpedition to a rare DXCC or IOTA entity and never call CQ or work pileups. I would, instead, reply to every russian, ukrainian, swedish, japanese, etc station calling CQDX without takers.



You'd have a very slow QSO rate doing that.  People do not call CQ DX as frequently as they once did.  We have the system we do because it yields many contacts in a short time, not because it is pleasant to listen to or because it is neat and tidy.  

What about your fellow Greek stations, you didn't specifically say if you'd answer them?  Wink

73,

Chris/NU1O
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SV1XV
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« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2012, 11:42:22 AM »

I would not do it for a high rate, just for the fun of it! Just to surprise the poor souls - how often does a EU or NA dxer gets a reply from, say, ZD9, VK9, KH*, VP8 etc?

I would also answer SV stations calling CQ like any other, but I would not do any skeds.
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