Back to basics-changing my game…

Posted: November 19, 2015 in Uncategorized


When I first started out as a Dxer, my usual practice was to work a Dxpedition only once. I still laugh at my Peter 1 QSL card with my sole 20 meter SSB contact. For a long time, I was content with just one contact. Then I started thinking about 5 band DXCC and I started to improve my station. I operated on 10-15-20 meters only for a long time. As my station evolved, I improved my antennas for 12, 17, 30, 40, 80 and 160 meters.

My DXing style grew and I found myself trying to work a Dxpedition in as many Club log “slots” as I could. I found myself looking at the leaderboard and comparing where I was to those big guns.

I had a lot of fun chasing slots for Dxpeditions such as FT5ZM and K1N. As I was doing so, a realization came over me and I have decided to adjust my approach.

As I find myself working VK9WA-Willis Island, I have stepped back from chasing as many slots as I can and I am just working them once per band and only once on RTTY. I often see stations work a DXpedition on five bands with RTTY.  Why?  I guess because its there but there is really no good reason (in my view) to do that. I hate the thought of my chasing an extra slot would somehow deny a little pistol station a much needed contact.

I realize there are awards such as Challenge and Marathon that interest a good many Dxers but I am just doing this for fun. So I don’t need to push the envelope and chase every “greenie” possible.

There is a spirited debate right now in the DXing forum on Eham.Net about working Monk Apollo for more slots or hanging back and let other guys have a chance. I have worked SV2ASP/A once on CW and once on SSB. That is enough. I am content to hang back and let other guys have a chance without my signals in the way.

My style and methods of chasing DX are evolving. I am trying to be more considerate and less “piggish”.

I always donate to support Dxpeditions but I can help too by looking at my approach and adhering to my new mode of just calling once per band. Maybe this will become a trend?

What do you think?

  1. John says:

    MY Dxing has evolved in a similar manner. In fact, only a few years ago did I realized I am a DXer! I’m on my 55th year as a ham.
    I suggest a couple DXing modifications for situations where the hopelessly driven Dxer might feel the need to “fill” a club Log sheet. The first move is to reduce transmitter power to less than 50 watts. Suddenly operator skill is the biggest advantage the Dxer will have. Better yet, reduce power to under 50 Watts and tune up that old multi-band CF dipole and give it a whirl. Another idea is to wait until the big piles are gone and work the dx when most who need them are satisfied. The only problem with is suggestion is that this might also be the only time a low power op with poor antennas has a chance to work the dx.

    73, John W3NA

  2. Floyd says:

    i agree with you 100% and the ONLY reason for 5 (or9) bands on RTTY are the SINGLE BAND, SINGLE MODE WAZ Awards… that I know of.. some folks love to see their names in lights … SAD for the little pistols (me sometimes) and the Leader Board should be trashed.. MY 2 C worth
    Floyd N5FG

    • n6pse says:

      Hi Floyd, yes and for those reasons, we will not be using the Club Log Leaderboard feature while at South Sandwich and South Georgia. Its fine for a DXpedition that is going to activate a semi-rare entity for 20 days where there is a better chance for everyone to make a ATNO contact but for an ultra rare place it does not help everyone get a contact.

  3. Mike KJ4Z says:

    I used to chase just one QSO per country. Until last year, about 15% of my QSOs since 1994 were ATNOs, an astonishing number (to me anyway). These days, I try to fill the card in such a way that each QSO counts towards DXCC without going over. I have no grudge against those who want all the greenies, but I just don’t see the point. I am content to let everybody chase DX the way they want, so long as they behave themselves and stay off the DX’s frequency!

  4. Robert H. Pusch WD8NVN says:

    well, I figure that a rare DXCC entity will not return in my life-time. I strive to work an All Time New One on as many bands and all three modes as possible; I participate in the DXCC Challenge. What bothers me, are the DXers who constantly rework the same country on different expeditions. I worked K1N as many times possible. The next time Navassa is on the air, rest assured, I will not attempt any QSO. I worked Monk Apollo in Mount Athos once, on 12 meter phone and that memorable QSO is enough. That defines my ham radio operating style.

  5. Gary Hinson says:

    I enjoy making QSOs, lots of em. Difficult DX QSOs, with lots of other callers in the game, on marginal paths with minimal power and QRM, are an extra challenge … and a bigger thrill if I make it. I’m listening to a barely-audible West African station on 20m long path as I write this, patiently waiting for my chance to jump in there and make a connection. Whether I have worked that particular DXCC country (or IOTA or SOTA or WFF or op or grid or county or …) before on that band, mode, time of day, path or whatever is not relevant at this moment: I’m enjoying the chase. I’m not denying anyone else their pleasures, and resent the implication that I am being inconsiderate by pursuing my hobby as I wish. I’m delighted for the other DXers surmounding their challenges and making their QSOs through the pileup right now, not least because they are keeping the DX station busy and on the band, hopefully long enough for the propagation to improve for a DX QSO between us … and that QSO, if it happens, will be as brief and efficient as it can be so that others can have their chance too.

    Does a fisherman stop fishing for a given species after he’s caught one? Does a golfer complete a given course only once? Don’t be ridiculous!

    73 Gary ZL2iFB

  6. Roger says:

    My method depends upon where the DX is. If it is somewhere in the Western Hemisphere then there are usually openings between the DX and W5 land that are exclusive to NA. So working the DX does not “rob” QSOs from guys in EU or AS who have difficult openings at only a few times / bands per 24 period. In that case I go ahead and try to work them on as many band/modes as I can. An example would be Navassa or Malpelo.

    But if the DXpedition is somewhere in the Indian Ocean or the South China sea [Amsterdam / Scarborough etc] then I have to be content only working them on a couple of band / modes even if it takes me all week to do it. I am not a big gun so if I work those difficult places even once that is good enough.

    If the DXpedition is to Iran and they are copying NA at S3 with a local noise level of S9 due to RF noise generators within a few hundred meters of their operating location then I can’t work them at all — even after diligently being there on every opening all week.

    So my goals have to adjust based upon the situation.

    73 Roger K5RKS Oklahoma City

  7. Tim N3QE says:

    I think Clublog could help, by not making the greenie boxes come out as “bands” and “modes” and not “band-modes”. My suggestion is perfectly aligned with DXCC.

    If an operator was, for some reason, RTTY-only, he’d be welcome to work them on RTTY on all bands. There are indeed, a handful of guys who are RTTY-only. Heck, there’s some who are SSTV-only.

    But I see no need for 27 greenies for 9 bands times 3 modes. (OK, 26 if you exclude 30M phone). 9 bands and 3 modes ought to be achievable in just 9 QSO’s, no more.

  8. steve says:

    HI Paul i’m a little gun congrats on your p5 contact now you know how alot of my contacts
    are, tri bander @ 30 feet 100 watts no warc bands wire for 40/80m. i live in a part of the
    world where the dxpedition give us a few mins to get a qso when they turn the antenna.
    k1n i made 1 qso they were never above s4 qso on 15m ssb. ti9 were barely readable not worked
    i have worked plenty of other examples. for the regular grass roots dx i try for a few slots the easy
    ones like vk9wa i worked in 12 or so slots the majority was when they were calling cq i didnt even
    bother on 40m ssb as that was a mess 40m cw worked with a few calls same for 80m cw 20m was
    b4 the band was open they were calling cq. 10m when the e clouds made them boom in 5/9 ++
    i chase slots when i can only 1 qso for a marathon if needed. 1 slot ssb and cw when the
    going is tough. not greedy i still have a lot ot work only 252 in the log and many would be easy but
    not always from this part of the world with limited power.
    i say work as many slots as you want but not when the pile up is huge like what vlad ua4whx
    made a point of. if your station is that good you have the power and the antenna @ 100ft why not let
    the little guy have a chance you might work him when he goes on a dxepditon cause he love the thrill of dx.
    i refuse now to spend hours and hours chasing a dxpedition. there are other thing in life and in dx while
    there is a huge pile up somewhere there are lots of crumbs to gather 🙂 with atno’s for me calling cq.
    73’s always a good read paul travel safe to vp8 land and listen for vk please
    one slot will make me very happy:)

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