Thursday, August 11, 2011

All bands and modes

I wonder what some of you think about the practice of working DXpeditions on multiple bands and modes. Since I’ve only been mostly active again over the past 2 or 3 years, I haven’t been around enough to judge for myself whether or not this is a trend that’s taken off recently or has it existed all along? I’m sure people have tried to work DXpeditions or rare DX as much as they can, but was the interest of trying to work them on all bands and modes such a popular pursuit as it appears to be now?

I’ve read some banter that indicates that some believe that the popularity of Club Log has caused this chase to explode because anyone can type in anyone else’s callsign and see how many times they’ve worked someone and on what bands and modes. In addition, there’s always a running tab of the top stations to work a popular DXpedition, further filtered by region, country, or call district. Also, as John, AE5X, pointed out in his blog recently, you can even see which operator you worked.

Do you think this is a good thing? Some seem to feel that this activity diminishes the likelihood of Mr. Average DX’er or Mr. QRP being able to work the DX, or, at the least, makes it much harder. Presumably this is due to the increased competition from heavyweight DX’ers to nab as many different QSO’s as they can. Maybe, but I don’t have a good feel for how much more congestion this might add. How many people pursue this aspect? A lot? Just a few? I don’t know.

I can see some merit to the argument, especially for DXpeditions that are short on time, those that aren’t on the air very long. On the other hand, should people who enjoy working them as much as possible be targeted as poor operators or “pig” operators? I certainly wouldn’t go that far. They have as much right as anyone to work the DX. Just like you and me.

And, again, I’m not referring to the stations who repeatedly call on the same bands to let the DX know they’re ‘59’ again tonight, just like last night and the night before that. Those fellers ought to be strung up somewhere. I’m talking about the people who do it fair and square and play by the rules. Get their QSO and move on and don’t cause QRM. I wonder, if I had a station capable of working rare or semi-rare DX all over the spectrum, would I find it fun to try and make 18 or 19 different QSO’s with the same station? Hard to say, but I’m sure the temptation would be there. For the time being that’s not a concern because I usually find time to only make one or two QSO’s. I’m happy with one (especially if it shows up in the online log), the rest are a bonus.

Those who manage to work a DXpedition on, say, 19 different slots, where in the world do they find the time? Especially if they work full-time, how on earth is this possible when 10 meters might only be open for a short time in the middle of the day? I understand that there’s easy explanations that could account for some of the contacts…they run home for lunch and get on the radio. They take the afternoon off. They set their alarm to wake up at 3 am in the morning. That’s not unusual at all for hard-core, dedicated DX’ers. But to get them on ALL bands and modes? That’s pretty fantastic. And if you look closely, it’s generally the same stations that appear at the top of these ‘most worked’ lists.

At any rate, I’m curious what others think of this practice and whether or not it is making life more difficult for average or budding DX’ers, or if it’s just another topic that’s making the rounds on eHam?


Laurent said...

Hello Ed

I see no point in making QSOs that worth nothing, DXCC-wise.

If i've already worked the DXpedition on 20/CW and 40/SSB, working them again in 40/CW or 20/SSB what's the point ? I don't need these QSOs ! They are just a waste of time that may harm my fellow DXers in preventing them to make an useful contact.

On the contrary, i see nothing bad in contacting the DXpedition on all bands avaliable, if the DXer likes it or chases the DXCC challenge.

PE4BAS, Bas said...

Well Ed, everyone have to decide for their own. If I had time I would certainly give it a try. But I ask myself the same question as you did. Were do those guys get the time from to work rare DXpeditions on 10/12m when it's seldom open at all. Incredible ! I don't think I live long enough to work all DXCC on any band. But there are few out there who worked and confirmed everything so then they go for the DXCC challenge and try to work everything on all modes, I don't know if those stations cause extra QRM for those who really need a DXCC as those stations are most of the time excellent ops. 73, Bas

Ed N4EMG said...

Hi guys, and thanks for the comments. I guess I should've made mention of the DXCC Challenge award being a strong contributing factor, in addition to Club Log. I don't necessarily see anything wrong with this angle of chasing DX either, I agree that most of the callsigns you see at the top of the list are very accomplished and fine DX'ers. There are a couple in that group who tend to cause QRM from their constant calling, which I feel is poor manners, but certainly the majority are to be admired.

I guess it's like fishing, some prefer to fish in the ocean, some in lakes, others prefer small streams and rivers. There's room for all to enjoy the hobby if folks display good sense.

I just wonder if the increased pressure, much like in fishing, causes a backlash to those running low power or just starting out?


John AE5X said...

Ed, check out this thread on eHam - some interesting comments from those who've been in the game a long time:,76918.0.html

John AE5X