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Making Pile-ups a Little More Fair


For years I have been an avid chaser of DX and special event stations. I am accustomed to patiently working pile-ups. I have also been an operator of a special event station and have had to pick out callers trying to get through. I know how hard it is to be on both sides of the pile.

I appreciate when the special event operator is overwhelmed with callers and decides to use split frequency operations or operations by the prefix number. This help to reduce the chaos and allows a lot more stations to be heard. However, it is frustrating when the special event operator switches to prefix numbers after I have been working the pile-up awhile, and almost always begin with numbers starting with “1.” I am in “9” land, which means I have to wait another 30-45 minutes for my chance. If I am lucky, propagation is still good but many times that isn’t the case.

I realize that this is just part of operations. However, it might help if the special event operator limited the number of stations or minutes operating each prefix number so that everyone gets a chance without losing propagation.

Another idea would be for the operator to consider starting numbers beginning with “0” or “9” areas once in awhile. The point is to give everyone a reasonable and timely chance to work the pile-up.

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  • Matt W1MST, Managing Editor