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Author Topic: An apology to my comment regarding HR  (Read 2596 times)
KE4YOG
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« Reply #15 on: April 05, 2013, 09:16:40 AM »

My reply about the BIC time was not to take away from all the work that happens before you can have BIC time. Antenna work, learning propagation and all the other skills involved. BIC time means a lot but by taking the other time before getting to that point you make the time in the chair much more productive.
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KY6R
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« Reply #16 on: April 05, 2013, 09:42:00 AM »

I know one guy who does all of his DX-ing using someone elses large super contest station. He seems to hear and work eveything - and constantly posts what he works - to show you he made it first.

I'm not impressed.

I know another guy who has bought the top of the line everything, and even hired Jeeves to put up all of his antennas.

I'm jealous, but not particularly impressed.

I know two guys who have made HR QRP and have hand built antennas that are better than anythingyou can buy.

I am extremely impressed.

If all you do is sit on your butt, you will end up with a weight problem.

This was all said jokingly.
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N2RJ
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« Reply #17 on: April 05, 2013, 10:59:31 AM »

Rich that is true!

I say the same for contesters too. A good few contesters don't build or even own their own stations. There's a guy now who is renting out stations for remote use.

Okay all well and good but when you "win" a contest, did you really win? On paper, yes, but I am happy that I built my own station with my time, effort and money and get my results. Sure, I had help from my friends and hired a few people to do a few things (who doesn't?) but for the most part my station is mine.

I may not be #1 world or #1 US or even top 10 US most times but I am proud that my station is my effort. When I win something the victory is all mine.
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KY6R
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« Reply #18 on: April 05, 2013, 11:33:38 AM »

Ironically, once you get a "decent enough" station together, busting pileups becomes a very "redundant" skill.

I wasn't any better when I hit 335 than when I hit 300. It was just more of the same.

But - when I return from this gorgeous big island of Hawaii, I am turning my 40M dipole up 65' into a 2 element "flip Moxon", and phasing it using my Stack Match II, plus the Array Solutions Phaser. Then I am replacing my stack with a 4 element OWA 17M yaggi - made from the 4 elements in my stack on a 20' boom.

I will also add more radials to my 160m vertical.

Best of all, I have engineered floating guy rings for my AB-952 Mast that will hold the 4 el yagi out of " closet flanges". If you don't know what a closet flange is - there is one on the floor beneath your toilets.

The fact that I can keep pushing the antenna performance window is what drives me.

Busting more pileups? Whoop tee doo.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2013, 11:45:53 AM by KY6R » Logged
AA6YQ
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« Reply #19 on: April 05, 2013, 12:37:29 PM »

You can't make HR without butt in chair time. It IS mostly a game of waiting it out.

Yes, you need skill and probably a good station, good location etc but the main component is waiting for entities to be activated, and being there to work them.

I don't see how something like this could be taken the wrong way. DX is a marathon, a journey, and not just a sprint. There's no instant gratification at all.

What Ryan said. Period. You have nothing to apologize for, and if you retract it, I will say it in your place. Most major DXpeditions to ultra-rare places work typically 45,000-50,000 uniques. If you cannot make even one band, one mode, with sufficient BIC time then you must not have your antenna connected or your B is not in the C at the right times.

There is a large difference between "With enough chair-time, anyone can achieve Honor Roll" and "Achieving Honor Roll requires a lot of chair-time".

The latter is true.

The former implies that the only thing needed to achieve Honor Roll is chair-time; an effective station, understanding of propagation, knowledge of DX operating habits, and pileup skills are all unnecessary. This is of course ludicrous.

      73,

             Dave, AA6YQ
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W2IRT
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« Reply #20 on: April 05, 2013, 01:30:03 PM »

But with the chair time needed for HR comes that knowledge...or at least it should. Set a baseline for a DX-capable station (small tribander or other Yagi for 10 through 20m, 500-1000W), and being around the radio for every major DXpedition and I don't see why anybody can't hit H.R. with reasonably minimal effort. Things like 4W, S2, A5, 3A, SV/a (for some) and BS7 will require skill as well as BIC time, but for major operations and even minor activations, it's possible to hit 331 current with a modest setup and plenty of in-the-shack time. It may take 2 or even three cycles to accomplish as opposed to guys like Rich who did it in just one, but it's a lot more a waiting game for things like Peter1, Bouvet, South Georgia and so on. Once they're activated a wet noodle will get them in the log at least once.
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Night gathers and now my watch begins. It shall not end until I reach Top of the Honor Roll.
KY6R
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« Reply #21 on: April 05, 2013, 01:48:10 PM »

I definately agree - persistance is the main driver.

I actually felt at 325 that I "had my fill" and more was just more and didn't mean diddly squat.

Then I thought - hell, I've come this far and could hear my German Dad saying, "Don't start something unless you plan to finish it"

or my coach saying

"Follow through"

HFTA and EZNec is what helped me retain my sanity - and is what got me to the finish line. I fooled myself into liking it again.

Now I at the starting gate of #1 HR......

It's an OCD I tell ya - a pure mental illness...
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K9AIM
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« Reply #22 on: April 05, 2013, 01:54:50 PM »

There is a large difference between "With enough chair-time, anyone can achieve Honor Roll" and "Achieving Honor Roll requires a lot of chair-time".

^that^ is the a very resonant frame you have provided through which to view this topic.  thanks
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AA6YQ
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« Reply #23 on: April 05, 2013, 06:11:00 PM »

But with the chair time needed for HR comes that knowledge...or at least it should. Set a baseline for a DX-capable station (small tribander or other Yagi for 10 through 20m, 500-1000W), and being around the radio for every major DXpedition and I don't see why anybody can't hit H.R. with reasonably minimal effort.
If that were true, Pete, then every DXer with a solar cycle or two under his or her belt would be on the Honor Roll, and W9KNI's "the Complete DXer" would consist of one chapter entitled "Keeping your Butt in the Chair".
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W2IRT
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« Reply #24 on: April 05, 2013, 06:30:16 PM »

But with the chair time needed for HR comes that knowledge...or at least it should. Set a baseline for a DX-capable station (small tribander or other Yagi for 10 through 20m, 500-1000W), and being around the radio for every major DXpedition and I don't see why anybody can't hit H.R. with reasonably minimal effort.
If that were true, Pete, then every DXer with a solar cycle or two under his or her belt would be on the Honor Roll, and W9KNI's "the Complete DXer" would consist of one chapter entitled "Keeping your Butt in the Chair".

Most folks have real lives and cannot live by their radios. If I could get back in the workforce full time I wouldn't have anywhere near what I do. They are at work, with the wife, playing with the kids, on vacation, living in an antenna-restricted area or half a hundred other reasons. Or they are just not that dedicated or don't believe that they can do it. I've met guys with half-decent stations who don't ever dare try for the rare ones 'cuz they think you have to have 2kW and a stack to work the rare ones. Then I sit down in their chair, run Europe for an hour and work a couple of uncommon entities without working up a sweat and their eyes light up.

If all you have is a low G5RV or vertical, no amp and a 'meh' radio, you may not hit HR but there's no reason you can't be over 275 or 300 after at least one full cycle if you have the time, drive and desire to go after as much as you can get. There were a few entities I could never get from Queens on that crappy dipole; the most glaring was Ed on P5. I curse myself for not asking a QRO friend if I could work Ed from his station--he'd worked him at least twice with only 3 elements at 30 feet and 1200W. But with a simple tribander and an 811H or AL-80B (or equivalent), an active cluster connection and all the time in the world to play radio, yeah, HR becomes a game of waiting and availability, and during the time of waiting, you work contests and other DXpeditions and get a feel of where and when and how to work the rare ones.
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Night gathers and now my watch begins. It shall not end until I reach Top of the Honor Roll.
AA6YQ
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« Reply #25 on: April 05, 2013, 06:56:55 PM »

But with the chair time needed for HR comes that knowledge...or at least it should. Set a baseline for a DX-capable station (small tribander or other Yagi for 10 through 20m, 500-1000W), and being around the radio for every major DXpedition and I don't see why anybody can't hit H.R. with reasonably minimal effort.
If that were true, Pete, then every DXer with a solar cycle or two under his or her belt would be on the Honor Roll, and W9KNI's "the Complete DXer" would consist of one chapter entitled "Keeping your Butt in the Chair".

Most folks have real lives and cannot live by their radios. If I could get back in the workforce full time I wouldn't have anywhere near what I do. They are at work, with the wife, playing with the kids, on vacation, living in an antenna-restricted area or half a hundred other reasons. Or they are just not that dedicated or don't believe that they can do it. I've met guys with half-decent stations who don't ever dare try for the rare ones 'cuz they think you have to have 2kW and a stack to work the rare ones. Then I sit down in their chair, run Europe for an hour and work a couple of uncommon entities without working up a sweat and their eyes light up.

If all you have is a low G5RV or vertical, no amp and a 'meh' radio, you may not hit HR but there's no reason you can't be over 275 or 300 after at least one full cycle if you have the time, drive and desire to go after as much as you can get. There were a few entities I could never get from Queens on that crappy dipole; the most glaring was Ed on P5. I curse myself for not asking a QRO friend if I could work Ed from his station--he'd worked him at least twice with only 3 elements at 30 feet and 1200W. But with a simple tribander and an 811H or AL-80B (or equivalent), an active cluster connection and all the time in the world to play radio, yeah, HR becomes a game of waiting and availability, and during the time of waiting, you work contests and other DXpeditions and get a feel of where and when and how to work the rare ones.

Major DXPeditions don't visit each rare or semi-rare entity at least once per solar cycle. Working Monk Apollo SV2ASP/A in Mt. Athos, Trevor VK0TH on Macquarie, or Pierre ZS8M on Marion required knowledge of propagation and operating patterns, pileup skills, and an effective station. Clueless wet noodles (QRPers, as Cass WA6AUD called them, and he wasn't referring to their RF output) made few QSOs with these stations. Yes, "time in chair" is necessary for Honor Roll, but it's far from sufficient.
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W2IRT
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« Reply #26 on: April 05, 2013, 07:44:19 PM »

Major DXPeditions don't visit each rare or semi-rare entity at least once per solar cycle. Working Monk Apollo SV2ASP/A in Mt. Athos, Trevor VK0TH on Macquarie, or Pierre ZS8M on Marion required knowledge of propagation and operating patterns, pileup skills, and an effective station. Clueless wet noodles (QRPers, as Cass WA6AUD called them, and he wasn't referring to their RF output) made few QSOs with these stations. Yes, "time in chair" is necessary for Honor Roll, but it's far from sufficient.

10 years ago I'd have agreed with you. Not so much now with cluster penetration as strong as it is and the RBN chugging away in the background. I didn't have the foggiest about propagation to Macquarie when Trevor was first spotted. I thought it was a gag, in fact. He was on PSK. I fired up on that mode, found him and worked him (gawd, I hate to think how filthy my PSK signal must have been!) just based on a cluster spot from other W2s/W3s spotting him. Ditto Pierre. Spot, turn short-path, fire up Big AL and wait 'til I can hear him strong enough to work. Ditto Apollo, although he requires a fair amount of calling skill, especially on RTTY.

Doing HR in one cycle is bloody hard, but 22 or 33 years? If you're really interested in DX and have a marginal station with a good cluster connection *today*, that's probably 95% of it, if not more.
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AA6YQ
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« Reply #27 on: April 05, 2013, 08:46:02 PM »

Major DXPeditions don't visit each rare or semi-rare entity at least once per solar cycle. Working Monk Apollo SV2ASP/A in Mt. Athos, Trevor VK0TH on Macquarie, or Pierre ZS8M on Marion required knowledge of propagation and operating patterns, pileup skills, and an effective station. Clueless wet noodles (QRPers, as Cass WA6AUD called them, and he wasn't referring to their RF output) made few QSOs with these stations. Yes, "time in chair" is necessary for Honor Roll, but it's far from sufficient.

10 years ago I'd have agreed with you. Not so much now with cluster penetration as strong as it is and the RBN chugging away in the background. I didn't have the foggiest about propagation to Macquarie when Trevor was first spotted. I thought it was a gag, in fact. He was on PSK. I fired up on that mode, found him and worked him (gawd, I hate to think how filthy my PSK signal must have been!) just based on a cluster spot from other W2s/W3s spotting him. Ditto Pierre. Spot, turn short-path, fire up Big AL and wait 'til I can hear him strong enough to work. Ditto Apollo, although he requires a fair amount of calling skill, especially on RTTY.

Doing HR in one cycle is bloody hard, but 22 or 33 years? If you're really interested in DX and have a marginal station with a good cluster connection *today*, that's probably 95% of it, if not more.

Your results with a directional antenna, amplifier, and pileup skills do not support the argument that "time-in chair" is all that's required to achieve Honor Roll.

     73,

          Dave, AA6YQ
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W2IRT
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« Reply #28 on: April 05, 2013, 08:59:46 PM »


Your results with a directional antenna, amplifier, and pileup skills do not support the argument that "time-in chair" is all that's required to achieve Honor Roll.

Time plus a modest station, which I clarified upthread. We're talking about a DXers now, not guys with a station who are happy as a pig in mud to bag Italy or Spain on 40m. Take J. Random Ham with a simple trapped tribander or other modest directional antenna on a rooftop tower or old TV antenna mast, an el-cheapo amp and a mid-line radio, and the desire to get H.R.

With those criteria met it's more an issue of BIC time and being around when the rare stuff is on the air. There are two kinds of rare for guys like that. There's "DXpedition-to-rocks-in-the-ocean" rare and there's "over-the-pole and only 2 active hams there" rare. The first kind is a matter of BIC, watching the spots, firing up the amp, and getting in on 15, 17 or 20m during the 2 weeks they're QRV. The second kind needs that as well, plus watching when others nearby are working him from spots. Do that often enough and you do learn the patterns of propagation but even if you don't, when you see spots from all your close-by neighbours working the 4W or the 3A long path, you just play follow the leader. Not sayin' you shouldn't endeavour to learn more and seek them out, but today you CAN accomplish it with BIC+cluster and a room temperature IQ.

A friend parallels this to fast food. Potential McDonalds franchaisees have to scout out an area, do significant market research over months if not years, learn the demographics of the neighbourhood and see where it's most advantageous to open a restaurant. B.K. just opens 2 blocks away from Micky Dees a couple of months later.
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AA6YQ
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« Reply #29 on: April 05, 2013, 09:26:04 PM »


Your results with a directional antenna, amplifier, and pileup skills do not support the argument that "time-in chair" is all that's required to achieve Honor Roll.

Time plus a modest station, which I clarified upthread. We're talking about a DXers now, not guys with a station who are happy as a pig in mud to bag Italy or Spain on 40m. Take J. Random Ham with a simple trapped tribander or other modest directional antenna on a rooftop tower or old TV antenna mast, an el-cheapo amp and a mid-line radio, and the desire to get H.R.

With those criteria met it's more an issue of BIC time and being around when the rare stuff is on the air. There are two kinds of rare for guys like that. There's "DXpedition-to-rocks-in-the-ocean" rare and there's "over-the-pole and only 2 active hams there" rare. The first kind is a matter of BIC, watching the spots, firing up the amp, and getting in on 15, 17 or 20m during the 2 weeks they're QRV. The second kind needs that as well, plus watching when others nearby are working him from spots. Do that often enough and you do learn the patterns of propagation but even if you don't, when you see spots from all your close-by neighbours working the 4W or the 3A long path, you just play follow the leader. Not sayin' you shouldn't endeavour to learn more and seek them out, but today you CAN accomplish it with BIC+cluster and a room temperature IQ.

A friend parallels this to fast food. Potential McDonalds franchaisees have to scout out an area, do significant market research over months if not years, learn the demographics of the neighbourhood and see where it's most advantageous to open a restaurant. B.K. just opens 2 blocks away from Micky Dees a couple of months later.

The statement with which I'm taking issue is "With enough chair-time, anyone can achieve Honor Roll". You insist this statement is true so long as the operator does X, Y, and Z, but those are all things that the statement implies are not necessary. Yes, any op with sufficient desire to learn the skills, gain the knowledge, and construct an effective station can attain Honor Roll. Yes, this will require lots of chair time. But chair time alone will not be sufficient.
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