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Making Contacts / On the Air - Have a question about getting on the air or how to make a contact? Just want to brag about your latest DX contact or contest score? This is the forum for you.

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Old 01-13-2018, 8:27 AM
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Default 6o6o Somalia: A Frustrating Endeavor

I've never had difficulty hearing African entities, 6o6o is the exception. My personal policy is never to allow this hobby to interfere with my meaningful (to me) activities, but I have put in more time than I like in an attempt to work them. After I got home from work yesterday, I had a bite to eat and went for a listen. I heard them on 20 using my modest beam. Unfortunately for me, they were working the west coast. After about 30 minutes, the op went QRT. Previously, I've only heard them at a whisper level and not enough to reliably call them. According to Clublog, North America accounts for 10% of their contacts. I appreciate what they're doing and I'm happy for those in the log. I normally don't get too discouraged if I don't have the time to work a particular DXpedition, but with only about three days left, I don't feel very confident about a contact and I am saddened that I will likely miss this one. Best of luck to any of you who are actively chasing them.
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Old Today, 2:11 PM
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I just came across your Post, Chris- too late for active comment on your frustrating DX attempt, but maybe not for a epilogue. What can anyone say but, well- 'that's DX'ing".....
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No, you can't say that--that's isn't right-- it shouldn't be that way and you have my sympathy. Chasing the DX can really get under your skin, No?
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I have no familiarity with that Somalia DX operation, nor even an idea what and how they were conducting it. But I know all too well the disappointment you felt. I have been DX many times, and know that if you are, and going to operate as a Rare One, that you have some ethics to up hold. Many 'DX-peditions" don't realize how it makes some one like you feel when you can't get thru, are apparently being ignored, and so on. So often those hams are just one big ego trip- plus they are marginal operators at best. I hate it when I hear some LID saying;
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......."Again!"..."Again!....QRZ" when you know they aren't even trying to get a callsgn.
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99% of the time they just didn't hear you-- but is that an excuse?.... for me; Hardly. They were just picking the low hanging fruit and not listening for all the less-than 59 Plus Plus signals. Not excusable behavior.
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As a DX'r I am sure you are up on all the techniques to try and be heard- using split frequencies, calling offsets, brief callsign, straight phonetics-- etc. You know this stuff. I'm going to tell what its like from the other side, however.
There are some DX operators that know what they are doing, and plenty of those that don't. You learn instinctively what 'pile ups' are worth enduring and which ones send you outside for a long hike.... 'those clowns aren't even half-trying'...
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Some pile-ups you just aren't ever going to break, and its not your fault.
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One of my best experiences of being 'chased' passionately was on an extended stay on Utrik Atoll in the Marshall Islands. I had a KX6 callsign, and avoid'd anything that approach'd causing a pile-up; talking mostly to friends back in the states using our government station equipment **
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But one afternoon I thought, "I'm going to get into this DX'ing really seriously."
Utrik was a very rare one, especially for the IOTA collectors ---and I knew I'd be jump'd on in a heart beat. I dial'd our 2kw station into 20 meters, 14.150 Mhz- (that frequency choice sticks with me to this day-- I never operate down that low in the Hunting Grounds) -- and called CQ. The response was breath taking !! I couldn't make out a single callsign.. there was a pileup that spread +/- 25Khz on either side of me... I worked maybe a dozen stations and then got out of there fast.
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"That was a lot of fun----- Geeeez" (sarcasm supreme)
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But I wasn't deter'd. That evening I tried it again; this time on 40. The same thing happen'd , but this time I was very fortunate to have two high power'd Italian stations 'take over' my frequency for me (I wasn't going to do splits.) They calmed down the Mob, brought law and order --
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"Lauri will not work you if you don't act like Gentlemen!"
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and they started making lists for me-- taking only stations from certain areas, then certain status's (like QRP, "anyone under the age of 15," "young ladies like our Sweet Lauri"--- Ah !, those Italians !....etc.) Rotating all around and back and back again. It may have been slower, but I worked everyone that evening- their policing system work'd beautifully.
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When I got tired, we agreed to meet again the next evening.
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"Gentlemen, Miss Lauri will be back here tomorrow night- go get some sleep everyone ....."
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We did this for several evenings, and I don't think I left a single broken heart'd DX'r out there.
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When I got back to our base on Kwajalein, their waiting for me was a package filled with all sorts of Italian goodies- wines, salami's, hard candies- from those two kind hams-- and you know what?... they never ask'd me for a QSL card ( but of course they got them anyway, and a lot of island treats...... )
To this day I have never heard from them again, but they taught me how to operate as DX... To this day when I hear an out of control pile up, I wistfully remember my two Italian friends.
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I have operated as DX many time since, keeping those two, and their techniques always in the back of my mind
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So, a Moral--
......Its not your fault if you didn't make contact. May the next DX-pedition you work have some Italians riding Shot Gun....
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.......................................CF
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__________________________________________________ __________________
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**There is a technique here to flying-under the DX radar-- if you don't want to get mob'd- which is a constant PIA for any DX station. Not all of them want to exchange pointless contacts so others can carve another notch in their DX belt.... by doing things like using your callsign very very! sparingly and stick to the off the track frequencies-- like, for instance, 14.345 Mhz, and using lower sideband.

Last edited by Coyote-Frostbyte; Today at 2:37 PM.. Reason: ----------- wine
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