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Wednesday, 11 March 2015

How working the DX qrper should NOT be done :-)

You have set your DX cluster alarm and the station you want is on the air.... (C5/M1KTA is expected on AF-060 this w/e at some point).

(seriously tongue in cheek)...

You come upon the pileup the alarm tells you I am on air, you must find the exact frequency I am using and slowly tune up your amplifier, best take a few minutes to do this, use the mike a few 'dah dah dah's' and maybe a few ditdahditdah of the key for best effect to really squeeze that last watt out.... Take your time doing this as it has maximum effect this way. The longer you take, the better. It lets others know that YOU are going to call me.

You THINK it is Dom C5/M1KTA but being the sort of fellow you are you just cannot wait to find out who he is as his signal is pretty weak and you didn't get it all so you just have to drop in and ask, "What is the DX call sign is that C5/M1KTA?" On CW best send ?DX?? Call? at 30wpm as I really love that and find it so useful" Don't forget to confirm I am on AF-060 too (or not) that is so important, I will not have done it when you 'found me' so of course you would not know. Whatever you do do NOT listen, this takes time. If I have not responded and you are not sure if everyone else has heard you yet you need to repeat, I am sure that someone else will let you know. BTW this will display to all others on frequency that you are a serious and important operator and really want to work this DX. This is called sharing.

Now you have it confirmed that it is me, it is time to send your call sign, please do not be worried about the fact that someone else has just been trying to finish a contact with me , it is important that you must get through to me immediately so, repeat your call over and over again on the DX frequency using non standard phonetics. Don't worry that I had been speaking to someone else, he will not mind.  This works really well if you cannot hear any other stations on that frequency, I'll be working split which means I'll be listening either up or down from the transmit frequency. That way I'll never hear you and you will make sure that everyone knows and eventually someone will relay that you are transmitting over me.

Then you must make sure that you protect YOUR qso and the DX is a qrp station so you need to remain on frequency and shout UP at regular intervals or let others know I am on that frequency and how I am operating it is so helpful.

As I know C5 can be a rare one from some places about the globe the bands open only for a short while for a qrp signal so just when I say Pacific or JA only please, all you stations from EU with 24x7 propagation please try extra hard to contact me. Of course I'll forget you are there and never come back again (SP8 station you know who you are!).

When I have a few stations calling and it sounds like I got part of one call sign and say 'G3XX only' or the 'G3xx portable station only' then please make sure I don't forget you are there too and keep calling. You're right I am a qrp station and probably couldn't hear him anyway.

You manage a contact and I am running split and there is a mini pile up and I have a small run of stations (SSB) so by all means move just a khz up above my calling frequency, switch in that speech processor and pa and start calling CQ I just love the effect it makes. And then ignore all attempts to ask you to qsy as that VFO dial seems locked.

If you have worked me before either this trip or a previous one then please make sure you call and let me know I am stronger/weaker than the last 6 times you worked me before. I will be really grateful you let me know this. Others on frequency will respect you more, you will be recognized as a Big Gun DXer. (One EA station called me every day last time just to tell me this!)

I have just spent 2 hours working station after station on say 15m SSB and propagation has improved to the extent that I am now working West Coast NA stations and you manage to work me, being so excited don't forget to ask me when I am going to operate another mode just for you. I am sure all the other callers will love to know this too. And even though I cannot say make sure you discuss on air when YOU need to schedule a contact as you need that mode too, I am sure everyone else will love that.

I finally manage to find time to operate some RTTY from C5 and ask for short contacts only, but please don't listen as I am sure I need to see every macro you have spent hours coding into your software that tells me all about your pet cat and their kittens too. This is really helpful to everyone and I am sure it will not hold up anyone else, this is extremely effective operating practice if you time it so that it happens just as 15m propagation fads out for everyone.

You KNOW I am in West Africa and on an island in the Atlantic so why should you have to wait for a QSL card or a LoTW confirmation? Make sure you ask what the QSL route information is on air too as this is most effective use of everyone's time and my precious batteries. Of course the QRZ and blog pages will not have any useful information and of course LoTW certificates were not already applied for and loaded.

Lastly my favourite as we all love these guys.... you have that regular contact you make with your mate 'Sid' down the road on 14.260 or 14.285 (you see each other in the pub later anyway) and you know that often the frequency isn't being used or it is but you only hear these really faint signals that only seem to be calling CQ UP or they are using some wierdo language that isn't English of course the hearing aid batteries are not what they were as you bought them from Woolworth but it is a shame to have to buy new ones and the audio isn't working too well from the radio so you need to make sure you let Sid know he needs to turn his pa on and then arrange to chat for hours talking complete drivel about whatever the grand kids did at the lunch, or was is dinner you forget. Make sure you do this every day that I am in C5 I really appreciate this and so will everyone else.

Life's too short for QRO.

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