December 22, 2012

DX Technique: Taking A Break = Opportunity For A Modest Station

Working DX with a modest station or QRP (5w of power or less) is an interesting and challenging endeavour.  DX'ers regularly experience having more powerful stations with 1500W amplifiers, impressive towers, and beam antennas punch through to the target station and block the lower-power stations.  To succeed, low-power stations must use skill - brains over brawn.

Here we share a useful technique to help log that DX station when operating with low-power.  This is the scenario, the DX station announces that he must take a break (i.e. take a phone call, dog needs to go out, bathroom visit, refill coffee cup, grab a snack, answer the door, ...) and will be return. 

This represents an opportunity for the savvy lower-power station since this announcement will cause the pile-up size to immediately diminish.  Time (and human nature) is on your side since the longer the DX station is off-the-air the fewer people will stay tuned to the frequency.  Why?
  • As soon as the station stops calling, many people will leave the frequency in search of DX stations that are on-the-air.
  • Reported spots for the DX will start to age off and no new spots will be posted.
  • People tuning up-and-down searching for DX will not stop on the frequency since there is no DX calling.
The savvy DX'er will wait and listen and be ready to pounce when the DX station returns from his break.  Patience, listening, and being ready is the key to success.  You want to be the first station (without interference from a pileup) to respond and be heard.

We have used this technique with success and it can help you too.

Good DX and 73, NJ2X

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© Michael W. Maher and NJ2X.COM, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Michael W. Maher and NJ2X.COM with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.