Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
SOME INFORMAL THOUGHTS ON WORKING CW DX
Recently, I came across some questions another amateur radio operator posed to a group of CW enthusiasts. Since I have an interest in Morse code, I thought I would explore these questions:
— begin quote —
1. When chasing some particular CW DX station needed for my DXCC punch-list, what are some things(s) that one can do to improve one’s chances of snagging that DX contact amidst a congested pileup? Is it truly the luck of the draw or roll of the dice? Or are there some time tested methods, less than obvious, that the experienced CW DX chasers have used that seem to improve one’s chances of snagging the DX contact? Yes, I’m aware that there are many variables to consider. I’m just looking for some general suggestions to improve my odds of success based on the experience of others.
2. If, let’s say, a DX station appends “UP 1” or “QSX 2” to his CQ call or just “UP” appears in a DX cluster spot listing, what is considered an acceptable amount of “UP”? I’m amazed sometimes at the amount of “UP” that I hear. LOL. Does a hefty amount of “UP” actually improve one’s chances? What does the DX op expect?
3. After a DX station sends their callsign how long should one wait to reply with one’s callsign? I hear stations respond immediately. But sometimes I hear others wait just a “bit”, and then respond to DX. And sometimes when the DX station is responding to a chosen station, other callers are STILL calling the DX op. What do most DX operators expect with regard to the response of a reply? Immediate? One-Mississippi …?
4. I hear stations reply to DX with their callsign once. Others sometimes twice. If I send my callsign twice I run the risk that the DX station has already begun his reply back to me with my sig-report while I’m still in the midst of sending my 2nd callsign reply. So … I should send my call just once?
— end quote–
Great questions! And, the answers translate over to working DX pileups on voice, too.
Here are some of my off-the-cuff remarks, based on my limited experience DXing since 1990:
(I am an avid DXer, with 8BDXCC, etc.)
1. Listen, Listen, Listen: The DX station typically does work split – the DX station on, say, 14.023 MHz, and the DX station is listening anywhere from 14.028 to 14.033 (up 5 to 10). You first, of course, need to listen to the DX station, but, also to hear the stations that are calling the DX station! The trick is to be able to hear some of the stations that are piling up on the DX, and to determine if the DX is working a station, then tunes up a little, or down a little, from the frequency on which the last caller was chosen.
Once you know this, you want to position your signal so that the DX operator tunes to or very near where you are transmitting your signal. If the DX station does not call you but continues in the same tuning direction, you reposition your transmit frequency (always in the pileup window) and try again. If you do not know where the DX station is listening next, and especially if you cannot HEAR the DX station, you are calling blind and are in for a long effort.
If you have a way to see the waterfall at and around the DX frequency, you can often see the general spread of “UP” where the callers congregate. When listening (and, let me tell you, listening is key) to the DX station, watch the waterfall for the responding caller (the station in the pile-up calling the DX), as sometimes it is very obvious who is answering the DX. Watch this exchange for a number of new callers – and get a sense of HOW the DX operator is moving through the pile-up. Anticipate where the DX might listen next. Choose that “next frequency in the pattern of movement” and use that as your calling frequency.
2. Timing your call: this takes a bit of effort. I typically listen to my chosen transmit frequency, trying to call never at the exact same time as others, on or near my calling frequency.
3. I always send my callsign TWICE… something like this:
DX: DX1ABC UP
ME: NW7US NW7US
DX: NW7US 5NN
ME: R R NW7US 5NN TU
DX: NW7US TU, DX1ABC UP
There are some fine CW-oriented DXing books, PDFs, and websites that talk about this. For instance:
I hope this personal observation of mine about working a Morse code pileup is helpful in some way.
73 de NW7US
European Space Agency GEO satellite opportunity
Footprint could cover portions of Canada and USA.
AllScan: Web based AllStarLink management console
Provides favorites management features, AllStarLink stats integration, and connection monitoring and control functions.
NASA highlights Ham Radio on ISS
NASA promotes the efforts of ARISS and STEM.
Promising news for the Amateur Radio 23cm microwave allocation
It looked as if the decades old allocation might be lost altogether.
HamSCI announces publication of latest peer-reviewed paper
Provides recommendations for Amateur Radio – professional science collaborations in the future.
Made in Vermont: W1SFR
His side hustle is key for the community.
Fire damaged Nikola Tesla’s last remaining laboratory
Crowdfounders previously raised over $1 million to save.
Making math easy for Ham Radio experimenters
There is a tool that can level the playing field – it’s called the spreadsheet.
Ham Radio Outside the Box
Winlink on iPhone/iPad
RadioMail is a new client app for the iPhone and iPad.
Canadian Basic Qualifications question bank
This test bank has 971 questions.
Can you do 160 Meters on two Wolf River Coils?
Let’s find out.
Ham Radio Tube
The Magic Carpet rides again! This time on 80 Meters
KZ9V shares with us how he modified his 40 through 10 meter end fed half wave antenna.
Scientists uncover aurora-like radio emission above a sunspot
These sunspot aurora emissions occur at frequencies ranging from hundreds of thousands of kHz to roughly 1 million kHz.
New Jersey Institute of Technology
SKYWARN Recognition Day is ready to go
The 2023 SKYWARN Recognition Day is December 2 from 0000z to 2400z.
Will AI help us have more fun with Amateur Radio?
Your personal agent could monitor your club’s 2-meter repeater and notify you when your friends are on the air.
Amateur Radio accounts for 17% of Icom’s business
Icom released a document titled Medium Term Business Plan 2026.
What’s up with NVIS?
I was amazed that I sent and received a 59 signal report from an antenna that was only about 6 feet off the ground.
Cubesats: How an accidental standard launched a new space age
NASA was initially reluctant to embrace the small form factor.
Cheap & cheerful telescopic SPOTA antenna
This is a handy standby antenna, or for holiday activations, but bring your tuner along.
NASA launches Spot the Station app
Notifications each time the station passes over your location.
Amateur Radio Daily
K9DP Broadcast Interference Filter 2.0
Field tested with a Xiegu G90.
How to build a mini HF loading coil
No need for a tuner.
Mr. MuD’s Radio Time VA5MuD
The OMs on QRZ said this won’t work
You can’t make QSOs with a wire that low to the ground. Boy-howdy were they wrong.
FCC drops symbol rate for HF
Instead, the Commission establishes a 2.8 kHz bandwidth limitation in the applicable Amateur Radio bands.
Amateur Radio Daily
Self-spotting SOTA and POTA over HF.
DITs and DAHs from Alcatraz
I will activate with Morse code in the shadows of Sean Connery, Nicolas Cage and Ed Harris.
A spectral look at the KH1’s sidetone
I don’t particularly care for the KH1’s sidetone for two reasons.
Automating NOAA APT and Meteor M2 LRPT reception with SatDump
SatDump is a popular program used to receive and decode various forms of weather satellites.
How to improve Ham Radio station grounds
Station grounding has the most misconceptions.
Antenna goes up for student-run Ham Radio station at University of Scranton
The new antenna was installed to help students learn more about radio waves.
Fort Baker on the air
This location offers spectacular views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the city of San Francisco.
Converting a CB to 10 meter AM
Trailer: My Radio My Life
The film revisits the golden era of radio in India, including Ham Radio operators.
Stealth HOA antenna system
The ultimate (resonant on 8 bands) stealth HOA antenna system.
Portable with the new FX-4CR transceiver
Results and experience out of the box and on the air with the FX-4CR.
Coastal Waves & Wires
First worked all states certificate awarded for the 33-cm band
W5LUA’s 38-year quest to contact all 50 states on the 33-centimeter band has ended.
Dedicated to providing free email hosting for all licensed Ham Radio operators globally.
An upside down antenna?
A Zepp is basically a quarter-wave length of window line.
Ham Radio Outside the Box
Boondock Echo RF recorder
Records transmissions, stores recordings in the cloud.
Nucleo-64 development board
RF transceiver 150 MHz to 960 MHz frequency range.
Add your Amateur Radio certification to your LinkedIn profile
Adding your Ham license requires only a few steps.
POTA: Contest or operating event?
It comes down to whatever floats your boat.
Morning by the bay
An early shift activation at K-3429, then meet the train at 8:30 am.
ARDOP protocol for Winlink
ARDOP is a free, Open Source alternative to PACTOR and VARA HF.
Sunset over Mount Saint Helens
2 meter contacts while flying over Mount Saint Helens.
Hams crowdsource ionospheric science during eclipse
Probing the ionosphere’s response to the 2023 annular solar eclipse.
A few photos of the new Elecraft KH1
The KH1 is even smaller than I imagined.
NASA tech breathes life into potentially game-changing antenna design
An inflatable device that creates wide collection apertures.
Get publicity for your club with a PSA
How to spread the word about Amateur Radio.
SSTV images received from the ISS
12 images were transmitted from the ISS during the 2023 verification test.
Is a compromise antenna efficient enough?
The antenna you put up always works better than the one you don’t put up.
Ham Radio Outside the Box
Backscatter on 28 MHz
Signals are being reflected back towards my location from some distant point.
Machine teaches Morse Code
Picking the best battery for portable Ham Radio
Lead Acid vs Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4).
High impedance amplifier for software defined radio
Converts Hi-Z (High Impedance antennas) to 50 Ohm.
2M Yagi Ham Radio antenna that fits in a pocket
Designed for SOTA and versatile field use.
Ham Radio Rookie
New Elecraft KH1 Transceiver demo
Wayne Burdick N6KR Elecraft cofounder talking about the new KH1.
ISS SSTV Verification Test Oct 27-Nov 1
The SSTV system will be activated to attempt to verify a replacement piece of hardware.
Being a YL in Ham Radio
A personal experience.
40th anniversary celebration of the positive impact of Amateur Radio on human spaceflight
Held February 22-24, 2024, at the NASA Kennedy Space Center Visitor Center.
Eclipses do odd things to radio waves
An army of amateur broadcasters wants to find out why.
Linux Packeteering: The full service HF PBBS
How to set up your very own full service HF packet BBS on a Raspberry Pi.
Wind turbines for off grid radio: Pros and cons
Wind turbines, the forgotten stepchild of off grid power, deserves more attention.
Off Grid Ham
Listening to astronauts
All the elements screw together through the boom and so it makes it quick to put away and assemble.
K1N The Navassa Island DXpedition 2015
The complete video of the 2015 Navassa Island DXpedition.
USGS Shakeout exercise 2023 over Winlink: A video report
Participating in the USGS worldwide Winlink exercise.
Tape measure vertical on cheap dowel mast pulley system
Resonant on 5 bands.
Stealth foil antenna designed for a car sunroof
Simple antennas can bring joy and a sense of accomplishment.
Ham Radio Rookie