A first time for everything.

I have been a ham for some time now but there are some things I just have not done as of yet......I can now cross off one more "not done thing" and make it DONE!! To some this may be old hack and you have done it hundreds of times. I was on the radio on the weekend and I heard VP2MUQ down in Montserrat, this is not a new DXCC for me but I did notice here was operating split (transmitting on one frequency and receiving on another). I had two strikes against me before I even gave Bob (VP2MUQ) an attempt. He had a large pileup and he was operating split. Up to this point in my have carrier I have never been able to make a contact when the station was operating split. It made me wonder if I was doing the split thing  right or wrong. I had tried many times in the past but was not able to make contact with ANY op using split. Well on July 21 2012 that all came to an end. I setup the offset for the split (the split according to a spot on a cluster) and gave it a go.....nothing.....but there was a large pileup so I gave it a couple more goes. Then at 01:15 UTC VP2MUQ came back to me and before you know it I worked my first split. Well that's it for the post not very exciting to some but to me it was GREAT!! I now know I have been doing the split thing correctly all along. Another item stroked off the ham bucket list.

Mike Weir, VE9KK, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from New Brunswick, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

12 Responses to “A first time for everything.”

  • Never managed it myself, but my station is a bit small and pile ups aren’t my usual QSO preference. You’ll have to be the one on the other end of the pile up next doing the split thing.

  • Ron, K5HM:


    What a coincidence. Bob is a member of my club, Texas DX Society. His home call is W5UQ. Bob is a great guy. Hope you get to meet eyeball to eyeball someday.

    Ron, K5HM

  • Richard KWØU:

    Good job. I never could do split till replaced my ancient rig with a slightly more modern one, then tried it for an SØ listening 3 up…and was so surprised when it worked! Hope you crack lots more pileups with it. And be sure to have fun with the Armed Forces annual split band event. It’s fun to transmit on the ham bands while listening “out there.”

  • Doug WA0EMX:

    Congratulations! When I was actively DXing I worked lots of splits using my now vintage Kenwood TS-820S with external VFO. Maybe it was easier in the old days using the older equipment than it is now with the extra VFO options software internally defined and menu driven. Not nearly as intuitive as it used to be, eh? 73 Doug wa0emx, Raytown, MO

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good evening Alex and great to hear from you, my station is (not to toot my own horn) a modern state of the art setup….well expect for the attic antenna…:)I run either QRP or QRPp so don’t let the size or power influence you. I too really kinda shy away from the split op’s as the pileups are very large…BUT on my blog John N8ZYA who also is QRP and works splits contacts tells me to just set your transmit to the extreme edge and it seems to work for him. I am going to give that a go. As for me operating split…..well not sure Ontario is all that much of a valued DXCC…..
    Thanks for taking the time to comment Alex and have a good week.

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Hi Ron, it sure is a small world out there and do pass along to him that he is a great CW op. With his contacts it was not just a simple 599 and move on. He took some time to get names or QTH nice to see that instead of a fast report and on to the next station.
    Have a great week Ron and thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Top of the evening to you Richard, yes ham radio is full of nice surprises now and then. Now that I have made my first split contact and knowing it works I am going to be giving it a go more often. As for the Armed Forces annual split band sounds like a fun evening…..My daughter is in the Canadian forces.
    Thanks for the info Richard and have a good week.

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good evening Doug and how are things in Missouri, yes the “split thing” can be a bit daunting with the new rigs. Sometimes it just a matter of a push of a button and you are rocking…other times not so much. I have the Elecraft k3 with an independent VFO option along with the Elecraft P3. I find it easy when you can hear both stations (one in left ear and one in the right) at the same time without touching the rig. Also having a view of the pileup on the P3 also helps. But at VE3WDM it’s all QRP or QRPp so the challenge sure is there when there is a pileup.
    Doug thanks for taking the time to comment and reading the blog.
    Have a good week.

  • Jeff - K9JP:

    Congratulations on your first split contact! You did every thing correct and that is the same why I have work many DX stations. 73 and Many More Great DX QSO’s! de Jeff – K9JP

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good evening Jeff, thanks for the congrats I was very happy to had made the contact. To get my Jubelee DXCC award is my plan and I hope the DX split stations can now increase my log book count. Jeff thanks for the encouragement and for taking the time to comment.

  • Ron w0eax:

    Congratulations on your first split contact. I am sure many more will be posted in your log book !

    Ron Melancon Woodland, California

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good evening Ron and nice to hear from California, thanks for the kind words and I too hope there will be many more to come.

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