To dupe or not to dupe-that is the question…..

Posted: November 25, 2014 in Uncategorized


I recently checked the online log for FT4TA and I was surprised to see that I had made several duplicate contacts with them. These are known as “Dupes” in DXer parlance. A Dupe is making two or more contacts of the same band and mode. One of my Dupes with FT4TA was on RTTY. I remember there was a lot of DQRM at the time I worked them and they must have logged me and given me a signal report before I was aware of it due to QRM.

Last night, I was calling VU4KV on 17 CW. They were clear and easy to copy. The Op came back with N6?  And then N6? again. I gave my call over and over. At one point, I thought I heard him give my call and signal report while someone was sending ” up up up” on top of VU4KV.

I gave a 5NN TU but I did not hear a TU from VU4KV.  I decided to pause for a moment and call him again. I really wanted VU4 on 17 CW and I had some doubt that I had successfully worked him. A few moments later, I got a clear “N6PSE 5NN” followed by TU VU4KV Up after my signal report to him.

I just hate to make a dupe but I feel if you are not sure and you are nearing the end of the operation, well then it’s better to call again.

From the DX end of the pileup, taking calls from Dupes can get rather annoying. On each Dxpedition that I’ve been on the percentage of dupe callers is very high towards the end of the operation. I remember working what seemed like one dupe after another in the last days of 3D2C and looking out the tent to our boat anchored off shore and thinking “that boat is costing us $7000 a day to sit here and work dupes”

I think that as long as we all operate as carefully and as prudent as possible, that dupes are bound to happen. The higher amounts of DQRM and “cops” on the bands just add to the confusion and increase the likelihood of dupes. Dxpedition operators should log the dupe and move onto the next caller as quickly as possible.

What do you think?

  1. Chris Tate says:

    Paul, In my opinion if your not sure you made the qso.. you have no real choice but to dupe. In fact I think this happens quite a bit less now that we have leaderboards and technologies like clublog that let us confirm we “got em”.

    However this can work against us as well. VU4CB, as a small contingent broke off from the VU4KV team to activate Annoban? not Nicobar as an Iota. They announced this on the web, but I had not seen that published. Ironically I had a similar situation where qrm made if difficult for me to confirm I got them. So I worked a different bandslot.. at the time VU4 would have been ATNO. I finally made a complete QSO circuit on 10 meters.. only to be scolded by the OP for working too many times. since they were unable to load the logs on club log.. how was I to know?

    The reality is we really cant. the only one who knows is the controller of the log. Therefore its up to the dx to make a statement of intent.. ATNO only… In The log.. etc.

    how are we to know? we dont.. they need to let us know.. On the air. there is a much bigger CW or SSB veracular than 5NN tnx.

  2. Keith Heimbold says:

    I was not able to work FT4TA but I want to comment on dupes. My only point of reference in my short ham career (almost 4 years) was during last year’s VU7AG Lakshawdweep island Dxpedition where the pileups were very unruly and Lids were QRMing almost to the same degree at the FT4TA Dxpedition.

    I had a much better station (S33 at 250′ effective height, ocean view, K3, SPE 1k, etc) and was a first day DXpedition guy for my ATNO Dxpeditions. I was on the prowl on day 1 of the VU7AG Dxpeditionn and I got through but never heard the return call. Since I didn’t know I was actually in the log I was back on the next day and worked them and finally heard them.

    It was some days before they uploaded to Clublog and noticed that I had two contacts on 20m SSB and I felt bad because I was ripping some stations on QRZ forum that were making dupe contacts on the same band and mode. I recognized them calling because I had a K3 with dual receivers at the time and I cursed them under my breath. How could they take away an opportunity for someone to get an ATNO. Clearly they were in the same boat as I was.

    I hope that no one dupes on purpose though I have clearly heard some of the big guns do this time and again. I have even heard some of these stations try to ragchew with Dxpeditions asking about the weather, their spouses, medical conditions, stock picks, etc. Usually this happens when they think no one else can hear the DX station but back then I could hear them and probably many others could too.

    My conclusion is that Lids are Lids and we can do nothing about them. In the end we will all dupe from time to time. It is an inevitable part of the hobby especially for the rarer Dxpedtions. I have no solution for it but I know that when i have a better station down the road I will continue to be ultra careful not to prevent others from getting an ATNO.

  3. Jonathan W6GX says:

    I have two dupes with FT4TA. One of which was on 20m SSB. That QSO was unlikely made by me. I had good copy when I made my SSB contact and I only logged them once. So it was probably a busted call that showed up in the log under my call. Busted calls are a real source for dupes. I’ve had a number of busted calls land on my callsign for bands I didn’t even have an antenna for. A QSO with K9W on 160m is a good example. My second dupe with FT4TA on 40m CW was real. On the first contact I had sent my report however I didn’t hear a reply. I resent my report again and heard nothing still. At that point I realized he had already moved on however I was not sure if he logged our QSO. So I went back to the pileup and made a second contact. The second one was solid and I heard the ‘TU’. I don’t get too many opportunities to work FT4 on 40m LP from Colorado. I don’t regret my action and I think dupes are inevitable for the rare DX.

    Jonathan W6GX

  4. Ed Muns says:

    We should try hard to avoid dupes, but if we do not hear the confirmation, then making another QSO is OK. That is, unless the DXpedition has stated a different dupe policy. Many DXpeditions encourage stations to work them again if there is uncertainty. On the DX side, the operators should not break pace, but just work dupes as fast as they can, keeping the rhythm going. Sending QSO B4 or commenting on the dupe should never be done. It just slows things down further.

    Ed W0YK

    • n6pse says:

      I’m glad to see in the latest Clublog upload that I only made one 17 CW contact and in fact, had not duped VU4KV. I’m really glad that I waited for the “up up up” to clear and called them again.

  5. Wayne Mills says:

    A little story: One time from XF4L, logging on paper, I noticed that a certain HA8 had duped me three times on one page — 100 QSOs. I asked, and then I slowed to 25 WPM and asked again why he continued to dupe me. He then quickly replied “I don’t sure.” He got the point across. Maybe I was going too fast, maybe there was QRM. But it didn’t matter.

    It takes two to make a QSO, and it’s partly the responsibility of each party to be sure that the QSO is complete. I eventually realized this and at Dayton the next April, I had a small badge made with his comment so that I wouldn’t forget.

    There are lots of reasons why a QSO is in one log and not the other. It’s a waste of time to argue or comment. Experienced DXpeditioners (and contesters) just log the new QSO and move on. Yes, some guys work you twice daily, but that’s another story…

  6. N7SMI says:

    As TX7G, we had a high dupe percentage, but mostly because we also did the CQ WW contest with the same call (there was much debate as to whether we’d have given more opportunity by not doing the contest). I didn’t mind most dupes, especially ones within minutes of the first (indicating they weren’t sure of the QSO) – and would happily work and log them without comment. The ones that were frustrating were the braggarts – the ones that worked us repeatedly just so their voice was on the air proving that they could bust the pileups when others couldn’t. These were the only ones I would chastise on the air after their 3rd or 4th dupe.

    • Keith Heimbold says:

      Yes those guys are the big guns I was referring to who also like to ragchew with DXpedition operators and want to be nearly the first one to make contact with them when the band opens. I see this behavior a ton on 20m. I was usually thinking, wow dude, you are so clueless and selfish that you are most likely taking someone from making a new one. Just unacceptable. This is probably a mechanism to offset some kind of inadequacy or lack of affection as a child. Sorry to digress on this topic but it is one or my biggest pet peeves in the hobby.

  7. RoyInNC says:

    I primarily work cw and seldom have dups. Of the few I’ve observed, the cause seems to be evenly divided between a busted call, and a need to hear a completed exchange to feel confidence in the qso. The availability of on line log data goes a long way in qso assurance.

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