At 10:52 PM 3/16/2008, Charles Harpole wrote:
Many recent DXpeditions have, in my opinion, over-studied the data
to serve "under served areas", have propagation charts, and be extra
aware of their "important position" as the only (last?) hams to be
at that locale. One effect is the extensive use of DIRECTIONAL
CQs... usually "only EU" or "only NA."
This is one of my biggest gripes in DXing (well, that and "by the
numbers"). Human nature says that whenever you exclude a group of
people for whatever "good" reason you have, the excluded will
generally take offense and resentment will start to form, regardless
whether this is rational or not.
As such, there really is only one solution to this problem, and
that's to open it up to everyone, everywhere for as long as possible
(though I do think looking for the hardest parts of the world from
where the DX is operating on the low bands, at the grey-line, is
excellent operating practice). What this means, on the other hand, is
the DX station needs to be skilled enough to handle the onslaught of
callers from everywhere and have equipment and abilities to work the
pileup down efficiently.
The other problem with directional calls is CW - It's very difficult
on CW to convey a sense of where you want to hear from. It's easy to
send USA or NA, but that leaves out Central and South America - would
the DX want those too? Or does he really JUST want the US/Canada?
Ditto for calling for JA, but leaving out the rest of Asia, VK and
ZL, or EU but not Africa, the middle-East or western Asia, etc. It's
easier on SSB and RTTY, but still, the longer it takes to say
WHO/WHERE you're listening for, the bigger and more unruly the pileup will get.
It's easier for the pileup and the operator to send "XX1XXX QRZ UP"
than "XX1XXX QRZ EU AFRICA AND MIDDLE EAST ONLY" or whatever. Sure,
the wall will become louder on and near your QSX, but just work the
loudest ones. Eventually you'll either get tired and go for an 807,
or you'll run out of 59++ signals and you'll get to dig deeper to the
ones who are "only" 59, then the 57s, then the 55s, etc...at least
till you get spotted and get another round of 20-overs calling you
again. If you have a rock-solid wall of noise with nothing leaping
out at you, expand your QSX range to 5 or 7 kHz on SSB. Maybe even 10
if it's unusually bad. Work the edges, pick off the big guns.
Eventually, you'll settle down to a single QSX with luck, pick 'em
off with little effort. I sure can't speak for HS-land, but when I
was on C6 I found that to be the easiest way to make Q's...take all
callers. Though I DID take EU only for a couple of hours one night as
I wanted to boost my country count a little.
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