Posts Tagged ‘Lids’

Mad enough to spit nails

I was chasing Saudi Arabia on 17 Meters tonight. 7Z1HL was on the air and was working mostly W/VE stations. I boosted up the power to 90 Watts and joined in the fray. I have never worked Saudi Arabia before, so this would have been a new one.

Finally – finally he comes back to W2L? So I start sending my call several times. Can someone, for the love of Pete, please tell me why a W6 station would start calling on top of me when 7Z1HL clearly asked for “W2L?”?

I didn’t make it through, so again he sends, “W2L?”. Again, the same W6 station takes it upon himself to QRM me. Sadly, all I got for my effort was “SRI W2L? QRM NIL”. And he moved on.

Nuts! – for lack of a more appropriate sentiment.

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

Another new one; but not QRP.

I got another new DXCC entity into the log tonight; but it was not QRP, and even at 85 Watts it was a bit of a chore.

The station was A61Q and the entity was the United Arab Emirates. The band was 17 Meters. For whatever reason the DX op decided not to work split; but to stay simplex.  That made for pandemonium.  I found him by tuning around, and when I saw/heard the pileup, I checked the cluster, and sure enough, he had already been spotted multiple times. It’s no exaggeration to say that a melee ensued.

At the beginning, he was as loud as A45XR was from Oman the past couple of nights.  I thought I stood a good chance with QRP and started there.  The pileup was a zoo and I threw out my call many times with no luck.  I sensed a pattern – A61Q would call “CQ DX” and the ensuing cacophony of chasing stations followed his “K”.  It turned out that he was working stations that he could pick out as the calling died down, and everyone started listening (funny how that works, eh?).

As I sensed his pattern, I thought I stood an even better chance. But then the inevitable started happening – the band began to change.  He went from 599+++++ to 599++, then eventually 599+, and then eventually just 599.  At that point, he looked like he might fade fast; so I decided that discretion was the better part of valor and turned the K3 up to 85 Watts.  It took about a half dozen calls or so (waiting for the avalanche of calls to die before throwing mine out), but I finally heard my call coming back to me.  We completed the exchange (stations were actually calling him while he was still working me!!!) and I listened for a while as I put the QSO information into my log.  Within the next ten minutes A61Q was becoming covered by the background noise.

I heard plenty of other DX; but for some reason QRP just wasn’t working for me tonight.  I didn’t hear any more new entities; so after A61Q I kept it to 4.8 Watts (I always stay just a bit below 5 Watts – call it a quirk).  I did end up working N4FOC on 20 Meters and then John N8ZYA on 30 Meters before pulling the plug for the night.

Getting back to the pileup situation, though. Folks – the most formidable DX weapon you have is your ears. Use them!  You have two ears and one key (or microphone) – that should tell you something. Listening is more important than transmitting.

It seems like when “exotic” DX comes on the band, people just snap and go crazy or something.  Here we have a station working simplex, which is bad enough – but we also have a gazillion or so chasing stations that just aren’t listening!  When the DX calls “WB4?” – why are W7 or N6 or AA5 stations throwing out their calls?  Isn’t it deathly obvious that he’s trying to work the WB4 station?  And please don’t tell me you thought the was calling for something else.  You know, if you couldn’t hear him well enough to know that he called “WB4?” then you shouldn’t be trying to work him in the first place.  Just because a DX station is listed on the cluster doesn’t mean that you should click your mouse and immediately start throwing out your call. See if you can actually hear him first, OK?  If you can’t hear him, how are you going to know that he’s calling you back?  Common sense, right?

If A61Q had worked split, the situation might have been better, but that assumption is not a lock, either.  But if everyone had been listening and not sending out their calls needlessly while simultaneously foaming at the mouth, then the DX station could have worked a whole bunch more stations than he had.  The pandemonium slowed things down exponentially.

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

Frustration X2

In honor of Holy Week, I will be charitable and not refer to certain ops the way I might normally be so inclined.

I had two nice rag chews on 40 Meters busted up by inconsiderate ops.  The first QSO was with Howard K4LXY.  This was a 2X QRP QSO. Howard was using his KX1 and I was using my KX3. We were going at it pretty well until a certain W2 station (I will refrain form posting the suffix, although I certainly made note of it) came on frequency and called CQ right on top of us. Before that, another station came on frequency, but had the decency to “QRL?” and politely moved when he discovered that there was a QSO in progress.  Unfortunately, this W2 station didn’t bother with such niceties.

The second QSO was with Hank K1PUG.  Hank had answered my CQ, which I sent AFTER listening to the frequency to make sure it wasn’t being used AND after sending a “QRL?” with no response. Our QSO was evolving into a rather nice discussion about the Ten Tec equipment that Hank was using.  Again, this chat was going nicely until some digital mode (not familiar with the sound enough to know which mode it was) user came on and just put the complete kibosh on things. For crying out loud, we were on 7.035 MHz.  Can’t digital stations stay above 7.060 MHz? It’s bad enough when they practically come down to the Extra portion of the band on contest weekends. Can’t they leave CW ops in peace during a weeknight?

At the risk of sounding like a curmudgeon OF …… back in the 90’s when I was doing A LOT of digital mode work, we made sure to stay above 7.060 MHz on 40 Meters – EVEN during contest weekends.  Has civility been completely thrown out the window?  Man, I hate sounding like some bitter old man; but now I think I can begin to understand how they get that way.

Anyway, I jumped on over to 30 Meters to escape the madness and worked HC1MD/HC2, Dr. Rick Dorsch in Ecuador.  Rick is operating from the Fallaron Dillon Lighthouse through Friday, according to his QRZ page.

Although Dr. Rick was 599 here, I didn’t know whether or not to expect that I was going to be able to get him with QRP.  For some reason, I don’t always have the best of luck working South American stations.  I guess maybe my antennas don’t radiate all that well in that direction.  But I did indeed, work Dr. Rick with 5 Watts with the 88′ EDZ antenna.  According to the QRZ page, Dr. Rick was using a Yaesu FT-857D at 100 Watts to an Outbacker vertical.  When I read that after our QSO, I was even more impressed! I wonder if he’s an ear doctor, because he has to have a good pair of ears to have picked me out of the pack!

And so ends my night.  Have to turn in so I can get up and go to work tomorrow.  But Friday is a day off as it’s Good Friday.  The bad news is that W3BBO e-mailed me today to inform me that the Easter Island DXpedition ceased operations today.  Another one missed!

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

Subscribe FREE to's
Amateur Radio Newsletter

We never share your e-mail address.

Do you like to write?
Interesting project to share?
Helpful tips and ideas for other hams?

Submit an article and we will review it for publication on!

Have a ham radio product or service?
Consider advertising on our site.

Are you a reporter covering ham radio?
Find ham radio experts for your story.

How to Set Up a Ham Radio Blog
Get started in less than 15 minutes!

  • Matt W1MST, Managing Editor

Sign up for our free
Amateur Radio Newsletter

Enter your e-mail address: