Pile up behavior

I was in the basement, cutting up some cardboard boxes for the recycling pickup tomorrow.  To dispel the quiet and to have something to listen to, I turned the radio on.

I worked K6K/MM on 17 Meters.  My friend Bob W3BBO worked them last night on 20 Meters and let me know that these folks are the DXpedition that is heading to Clipperton.  I worked Clipperton back in 2000; but that was with 75 Watts (QRO).  I will try again; but QRP this time (of course).

From there, I tuned up into the SSB portion of 20 Meters.  I figured I would listen to either some guys chewing the rag, or some guys working DX.  I ended up listening to guys try and work some DX.  To be honest with you, I don’t even know who or where the station was.  He was working simplex and the pile up was not huge; but he wasn’t calling CQ, either.  He had enough stations to handle.

Why do people insist on calling a DX station when they can’t adequately hear him?  I ask this, because there were guys throwing out their calls, while the DX station was still in QSO with the previous station!

It seems to me, that if you can’t hear the DX station well enough to know that he’s still talking and hasn’t finished …… what makes you think that you’ll hear him come back to you?  Do these folks think that propagation is going to magically improve so that a 2X contact can be made?

I’m not getting just on the SSB guys.  It’s no better on the CW side – heck, it’s no better in the QRP Fox Hunts!  I can’t tell you how many times guys just keep throwing out their call signs over, and over and over until you want to tear your hair out.  Call signs being spewed out when the Fox is in the middle of making a contact with someone else.

If you can’t hear THAT, why even bother to try to work them? Unless you can hear him well enough to respond to you, it seems to me that you’re just setting yourself up to be thought of as a Lid by your peers.

That old saying holds true – “You can’t work ’em if you can’t hear ’em.”  But maybe we should also add, “You shouldn’t try to work ’em if you can’t hear ’em!”

Just sayin’

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP – When you care to send the very least!

Larry Makoski, W2LJ, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from New Jersey, USA. Contact him at [email protected].

2 Responses to “Pile up behavior”

  • Charlie G4EST:

    Larry. couldn’t agree more. I was QRT for 19 years and when I came back on in 2011 was appalled at the behaviour of stations calling into DX, and on a couple of cases the DX station. Like you I was monitoring a frequency while doing other work in the shack and listened to a pile-up on a DX station who I could hear perfectly well, however did not know who it was as the operator was simply responding to callers with their callsign, never giving his own. Only after 15 minutes did I identify him from his TX, then realised I had worked that country “back-in-the-day”.

    “You’re 59 – What is your call / Please repeat all your details” really annoys me…

    Charlie G4EST

  • KK4ITN:

    Oh boy my favorite peev. Was in QSO with a station in Mexico on cw 14.050 when it started, people started cq’in the Mexician guy like a street vendor trying to hawk customers. Almost 4 minutes of constant mumbo-jumbo then at the end some ‘gentleman’ gave his callsign with the remark sk 2 u.
    The other one is when you call qrl 2x with no reply- then you hear qrz from another station so you answer de KK4ITN and get no answer. So you call cq 3x and while you are calling cq 2 other people are doing the same on top of you.
    Hope ham radio don’t turn out to be 11 meters!

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