Mid Florida DX Association

Used with permission of Carl N4AA from QRZ DX

Suggestions for DX Pile-ups
By Uncle DX

By addressing some of the basics for DX behavior, we will increase our awareness/knowledge, help our ham buddies and make the DX journey successful and pleasurable. It takes two to tango, and both sides have responsibilities.

We can agree most of the differences in how we deal with these issues have to do with which side of the pile-up we are on, being a little pistol or the so-call big gun and perhaps just the size of our egos. DXers may have an ego!

Below are some of the terms/issues for DX pile-ups and Uncle DX’s opinion on how to deal with them from both sides.

1. The DX station operators are in charge.
Yep, you bet. They are the ones who spent the money, lost sleep, have crabs and spiders crawling up their legs, perhaps risked their life, been cold, hot, sea sick, abused, etc. They are the boss, period.

2. Rules.
The DX station should make and adhere to their rules quietly and respectfully. The rules should be followed the same way by the other side.

3. By the numbers (call areas).
When the pile-ups are large (this is relative but again the DX operator decides what is large), the numbers game is good and prevents using too much spectrum to enable a decent rate.

4. Split and spread out.
ALWAYS PLEASE, even from the first QSO. The DX operator should listen where they say, never using more space than absolutely necessary and being aware that existing QSOs may be in progress where they are listening.

5. Signing calls by the DX stations.
I like giving the DX call sign to end a QSO and indicate it’s time for others to call. Obviously this serves two purposes.

6. Timing.
I put a lot of stock into timing and pattern for a DX operator. Roger, G3SXW/Nigel, G3TXF and Andy, G3AB are very good at this. It adds to their rate and improves accuracy for ALL.

7. Dupes.
If the QSO is not certain, do it again, and the DX station should keep on trucking and not even waste time saying ‘B4’ or ‘dupe’. Don’t break rhythm. We should all try to be better operators and not dupe.

8. ‘Who first’.
This is hard, however I believe the DX station should work the easiest and the ones which will provide them the best rate (and Uncle DX is a QRPer). As the pileups become smaller, work the edge to give little pistols and those using low power a chance to work them. It must be said this practice will make better operators out of all of us trying to work the DX. Just as important is the fact that many hours have been spent building and installing better antennas/stations, spending indecent amounts of resources, spilling blood and hurting for days from climbing trying to make a ‘big’ signal. They darn well deserve to be loud and work the DX first if possible.

9. Lectures (on the air).
Never, never ever by anyone, period. Rise above.

10. Full calls.
Always. Any questions?

11. Gray line.
Know it. Both sides and live it.

12. Everyone should know their equipment and how to best use it.
Take pride in your note (CW), quality of your SSB signal, correct frequency, and operating techniques. Listen and listen some more to instructions by the DX station and then abide by their instructions. Call when you can actually hear them... enough ESP, poor timing and guess QSOs. Give a chance for others to complete their QSO.

13. KC cops.
Forget it. It only builds the egos of those intentionally causing the problems. For those who are still learning to operate their radios, they are not going to hear or heed, and for the honest mistakes (and we all make them), they will discover their mistake without any cop’s QRM. Perhaps an “UP” once is okay under some situations. Respectful help is authorized, but quick and seldom for it will cost others that critical letter in their call and all that goes with it.

14. Spots.
Yes and often by EVERYONE, not just a few. We should help others and not just sit back, reap and never sow but please make them accurate. I’ve seen some very sloppy spots lately.

15. Comments on spots.
Keep any comments in the true ham spirit and not personal, or with a political/religious agenda. We are all equal in Ham Radio-- no exceptions.

There may be more, but these are the high spots for both sides.

Ladies and gents, let’s clean up our act, and one place to start is 3Y0X.

These are ‘professional’ amateur radio operators operating from a beach of ice, a tad cool, expensive, perhaps dangerous, and we should do our best for them, and us, by following some of these suggestions. Common sense always applies as well as helping our brothers and sisters make that special Q.

Uncle DX