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Author Topic: Working from a list?  (Read 4497 times)

Posts: 778

« on: April 18, 2013, 06:42:26 PM »

I listened to a ham in the Cook Islands a few days ago and when people would call him, the other hams would respond that he was working "from a list".  I could hear what he was doing and I am familiar with lists from some older nets but I have no idea how an individual ham would do that.

Any ideas?  How did he get a list in the first place?  He would get really mad and frustrated when he would receive the many calls that came in so what ever he had in mind wasn't working out so well but I am curious as to what he was trying to accomplish.



Posts: 2005


« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2013, 07:39:01 PM »

A few days ago I worked Z81D (South Sudan) on phone. This country is 46th on the most wanted DX list (according to Club Log) and he was running a list and I have to give him credit for handling it well.

He would give his callsign and say, "QRZ?" and all hell would break loose for about a minute or so as stations from all over the world began shouting out their callsigns. Finally he would come back and say, "QRX QRX" and eventually after the band went quiet, he would just start calling out stations from his list - usually about 6 or so stations. He took his time and made sure to make a valid contact with only the station he called no matter how long it took. If someone tried to bully their way in and call out of turn, he simply ignored them. I can not say this for certain, but he may have also been keeping another list... of stations NOT to include on his list of stations to work! More than once, the "DX police" would come on say that he was working a list when someone tried to come in out of turn.

I went through three rounds and finally made it through on the fourth round which really shocked the hell out of me because I am one of those guys with 100 watts and a vertical! Now all I need is the confirmation!

But for the most part however, "rare" DX stations prefer work split and doing that well is also an art unto itself.

Good luck and good DX!
« Last Edit: April 18, 2013, 07:43:06 PM by N0IU » Logged

Posts: 697


« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2013, 07:40:36 PM »

Often the DX will announce that he's taking a list, and will listen for a few moments why the world calls him.  Once he writes down several calls, he'll then announce that he's got a list, and works them. You might have heard him when he was in the middle of working his list. They'll do this to make it easier to work a lot of contacts without straining to pick out individual callsigns between each QSO.

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...ham radio, basic electronics tutorials, etc.

Posts: 165

« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2013, 04:07:33 AM »

Generally speaking, the best operators work split and do not use lists. GW4BLE used to go round with a pin that said 'Lists are for Lids', and I agree with him.

Posts: 778

« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2013, 04:16:13 AM »

I listened for over an hour and he never called for any new entries for a second list so it sounds as though he might have called out only once, I missed it, and that was it.

Strange way to do things.


Posts: 2005


« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2013, 04:23:38 AM »

Well it certainly sounds like the guy down in the Cook Islands was not doing a good job of running his list.

Posts: 184

« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2013, 06:10:44 AM »

Years ago before the advent of the internet and spotting clusters it wasn't unusual for a state side station to take a list for a DX station and work off of it in conjunction with the DX station. I can remember when BY first came on the air. I managed to get on the state side list on Saturday afternoon being taken by a W4 station. Sunday morning at 1100z was when the BY station was going to be on the air. So at 1100z Sunday morning you would go to the frequency and wait for your call to be passed to the DX sation by the list taker and then the DX station would call you. Hopefully propogation was still there as often times it might be an hour or so until your call came up. Lots of folks frown on this way of working DX but back in the day it wasn't all that unusual. Not a whole lot different then using the various web sites around now days to set up a schedule with a DX station. Looking back it seems almost comical as BY stations are plentiful now days.

Posts: 2243

« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2013, 06:16:38 AM »

He would give his callsign and say, "QRZ?" and all hell would break loose for about a minute or so as stations from all over the world began shouting out their callsigns.

This is typical and if you are the DX station and are new
at it....very intimidating....and exhilarating!
My first experience operating DX was from 5R8 (Madagascar)
back in 2000. Certainly not near as rare as South Sudan, but
wanted enough that everytime I got on the air, in whatever
mode, a pileup wasn't far behind. Propagation was outstanding in those days,
so almost everybody sounded loud to me!

It took me a few days to settle into the best rhythm & mode
for me.  But in 2000 I was getting back into ham radio after
a 5 year hiatus. Looking back now, I would have done some
things a little differently.

I was on vacation for a month, not a true DXpedition,
and my sister was living there at the time, so it was an
ideal arrangement. I loved giving out a "new one" to lots
of folks, and lots of folks were grateful and thanked me.
Then again, quite a few were obnoxious, rude, shouters,
cutting in out of turn and disrupting things. It gets real old
real fast when you say "Standby, Standby....
S51 Tango Station ONLY please make your call" and some
jerk jumps in and shouts "Italy Tango Three Alpha Bravo Charlie"
three times.

I guess I am saying that not every DX Op you run into is
going to have ideal skills. We are all human, so cut the guy
a break if you don't like his style, or perhaps a short and
friendly email suggestion about operating practices. Not
all of us can be like the Super Pro DX ops that are on those
"Mega DX Ops". I wish I had their skills, I really do. That
those guys can very quickly pull calls out of gigantic
pileups is amazing.

And sometimes a DX op will just want a friendly rag chew,
like back home, and not work a pileup. Some people can be
staggeringly rude about this. I'd tell them "I'm in a QSO
with XXX station, please wait for us to finish". Or "Tell you what,
I will be checking into the Afrikaner Net Net at 1730z. We can work then".
But nooooooo...Another time
I was running  by numbers for a change and on 7's and a very loud IT3
station shouts at me. I said "Sorry, only 7's, QRZ?" then
he came back again and said that I MUST work him NOW
because HE was going to late for his job if I didn't.
Sorry Charlie. If you give an inch one time in a pileup,
people will run you down like a deer in the headlights at night.
I gave up on calling "Any QRP Stations" or "Any Mobile Stations?"
because I got called by guys obviously running legal limit
into serious antennas. A presumption on my part? Maybe.

Maybe when we get frustrated at the way the DX Op is
handling things we can put ourselves in his shoes.
73, Ken  AD6KA, ex 5R8GQ
« Last Edit: April 19, 2013, 07:13:19 AM by AD6KA » Logged

Posts: 778

« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2013, 06:52:49 AM »

To be clear, I wasn't irritated with the guy or annoyed.  I just wanted to know what the procedure was since what he was doing was odd.

Thanks for all the feedback.


Posts: 196


« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2013, 03:07:39 AM »

It is all a matter of opinion and taste.... Some people frown upon list operations - especially when the list-operator encourages callers to give the last two characters of their call sign only....  A rare-DX list operation can be effective when the DX cannot operate split and there is a "local" strong controller to keep the pile up at bay. This used to be more common in the 60's and 70's solar peaks. But nowadays most rare DX have sufficient power and can operate split so there is no need for an extra controller - just working split spreads the pile up.

Personally - being at the receiving end of both phone and CW pile ups frequently - I hate the practice of just sending two characters of the call.  Sometimes one is forced to respond to persistent callers that blot out weaker stations but I still hate it. So when you hear me own: give me your full calls sign Smiley

Posts: 1050

« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2013, 04:25:37 AM »

GW4BLE used to go round with a pin that said 'Lists are for Lids', and I agree with him.

No he didn't.

Posts: 6764

« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2013, 09:24:02 AM »

I read many years ago that those on the "lists" were contributors to that particular DXpedition.  This was before the Internet so it wasn't an eRumor. 

But then again, it still might have been incorrect information.


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