At 07:12 PM 2/21/2008, you wrote:
>There are an awful
>lot of casual DXers, as I brought up in the eHam thread, who work
>full-time jobs and strong family obligations, who really only get 2
>or 3 hours a night between supper and bedtime to play radio.

I can't argue with that!

However, there are a lot of 'em in Europe too. (Wait screw 'em... we
wouldn't want to spoon feed anyone ;-) )

You say it tongue-in-cheek; I say it with mostly a straight fact. I'm very "survival-of-the-fittest" in regards to how I see Life, The Universe and Everything. Without straying off target too far, suffice to say I do, very much, believe that you deserve to get the results commensurate to the effort you put into any task, and the results should be by your own actions and knowledge of the world and the situation around you. This is one of the big things that draws me into DXing, to be honest.

Probably took me an hour or two total just dipping in and out of the
shack.... one call, two call, five call kind of stuff... and the
casual NA DXer will have all of that to look forward to this coming
Saturday and Sunday I'm sure!

Oh, for sure. Everyone who wants Ducie Island and has access to a radio and the desire to turn it on and call them will get a Q this weekend, almost guaranteed.

Do the casual NA DXers have an easy time on FORTY meters?  No,
probably not, but many if not all not all of my higher band contacts
on *Saturday* were completed after sunset in all of EU... mostly
shutting down those bands there.  I don't even think the EU's have
been able to hear VP6DX much on the higher bands... but your prop
charts may prove me right or wrong on that.

I'm looking at prop for OH, SP and EA.

OH doesn't have much at all above 20, and even there, just a few hours, period. 1400-1530 on 20, maybe the same on 17 with lower reliability and not much beyond that. Slight chance on 15 and nothing on 10 or 12 to speak of.

SP has even less short-path and about 2 hours long-path on 20, and not much else.

EA, on the other hand, has a very good shot on all bands, including 10m, and not too much different on 15 and above than W1/W2/W3.

Grab a copy of W6EL Prop (freeware) and plug in VP6/D into Terminal A and a variety of others in Terminal B. It's an interesting way to compare. You can run batch comparisons, too, though I've never done that.

I think EU only on 40m all evening here makes it possible for the
casual EU DXer to wake up early and work VP6DX on a reliable band ...
something that the US casual DXer will still have a chance to in their
morning on 40m as well, I would suppose, though I haven't listened for
them at that time.

Yup, if your schedule (or in most cases, your family's schedule) allows you to be up hamming at Dawn - and up to about an hour and a half after dawn on 40, you should get them easily.

40m is a huge band for the EUs at the expense of NA guys, I won't deny
that.  However, I think VP6DX is just using the propagation there as
an opportunity to make up for the other bands!

OK. maybe I'll just go with the flow. I'll change my mind. Next time Glorioso, Tromelin, Heard, Amsterdam/St.Paul or Crozet come up, I'll get all huffity when I have to fight an EU wall louder than ANY wall the EU guys would have had to fight through for Ducie on 40. I'll bet you one nickel we won't have a clear shot on 40, ever.

"If it's a 3 week DXpedition to Bhutan (I missed the first one - here's hoping another one starts up soon), I'd be insulted to be spoon-fed"

Isn't a 3 week DXpedition to Bhutan spoon-feeding in its own right, as is VP6DX and any other DXpedition that isn't some dude with an IC-706 and a dipole?

Interesting point, actually. I missed out Marion Island a couple of years ago (couldn't hear them), but got Bouvet like that a few weeks back. Sure takes DXing to a more challenging level, that's for sure! I like bagging a few new ones like that, but honestly, I DO welcome the big operations, since I also compete for the DXCC challenge.

But to the issue at hand, all I really want from any big operation is "Anyone, Anywhere." Let the propagation do what it will, let the best stations and the best operators reap the rewards from their hard work, knowledge and expensive hardware. I'd have positively hated that concept as a n00b in 2001; I love it now that I'm a modest station, a journeyman's knowledge of propagation and technique and have a love of competition.

Anyone know of a table of # of hams per continent so we can normalize
the VP6DX stats table to reflect per capita QSOs?  Would be
interesting in discussing the original question.

All their stats on online. This, I think, is the one you're interested in. I don't know from statistical analysis, so have at it:

To me, how an operation chooses to handle the 40m CW band slot when there's a simultaneous opening to the United States and Europe tells me just how well they've planned operationally. On 40, you really DO have to play traffic cop; it's a question of who gets the longer "green," or if they find a way to keep all traffic flowing smoothly. Not too many have it figured out, either, surprisingly. That band-slot, in fact, was the ONLY real short-coming of Peter 1 in 2006. 40 SSB was actually pretty easy, as was 80 CW and 80 SSB (never heard them on topband, alas). But 40CW was a mess every night. I'm still surprised I made it in (second-last night, too!).



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