In one of my recent articles in DKARS magazine I wrote about keeping up to date with the active DXpeditions, rare DX, and working these stations. Working a DX station is not always an easy task as many others will be calling simultaneous with you. Pile ups are often very large and you don’t know where to start calling. Yes, at least up most of the time but what is a good strategy?
It’s not always as easy as it seems but using common sence will get you through, or at least help a lot. If you are in the ballgame of hunting these rare ones you will get the ins and outs sooner or later. Most transceiver have 2 receivers these days or a bandscope so you can quite easily hear and/or see where the crowd is calling and find a more or less clear spot in between. I say in between because when a DX station says 5 to 10 up you will find most calling at the edges of this width. Go in between and your chance will increase. Or do something more unexpected, go 12 up or 4 up as the DX will now and then check where his pile up ends. Listening to the second receiver will help but this is practiced by many others as you can see the crowd moving along with each QSO. The only unknown factor with this is if he moves up or down for the follow up. Some DX stations go back and forth, start at the beginning again after reaching the end of the pile up or,…will make contacts on random frequencies. In the last case there is only one thing to do. Stay put and wait that he will find you even if it will take hours. Changing your TX QRG will in this case get you busy but makes no sence,it will get you frustrated! In CW the speed of these DX stations is often between 25 and 32 wpm and sending the same speed will get him into some kind of flow. However, I have worked DX while deliberate sending at very slow speed. I guess you stand out of the crowd and he will hear you because it sounds different. Some years ago I came across a technique I did not hear before. Tell the crowd you will listen up but work stations down your QRG….that doesn’t make sence …agree? I truly cannot imagine using this technic if you are on a deserted island and want to work as many stations as you can. Few will find out but it will last very short as soon enough some will spot you and mention that you are listening down! Anyway, I worked FP/XXXXX 2 KHz down from his QRG on 20 meters in RTTY while he kept saying to call up!
After I made the QSO the panic spots were plenty…. “ ïs he really down”?
So, think out of the box and you will succeed!