DX station listening “5 up”

TexTAC

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Any advice on reaching someone who is listening “5 up”? I tried getting my first QSO today with someone from Madeira Island off the coast of Africa who kept saying “5 up”. I set VFO-A to listen on the frequency I could hear him on and VFO-B 5 KHz up from that. He heard my callsign because he repeated it, but after that, he could not hear me and I could barely hear him. Not sure what I did wrong but maybe I hit a button that reversed VFO-A and VFO-B?

Since then, I learned the 991A has a split button that will auto set Tx 5 up from Rx if you hold it in for a second. I guess once that is set I should just leave the settings alone during the transmissions.
 

edweirdFL

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I think you have the general idea of how it works. If you have a bandscope and can watch 5 up, you can try and offset your reply a little (think 1 kHz or two more in a spot that is clear) to standout from others calling and you might also be able to tell how the station is working those calling, and try to place your call next in order.
 

TexTAC

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You got it right. One VFO on the frequency he is listening on. The 2nd VFO 5 KHz up is what you use to transmit.
That is what I don’t get. If I am transmitting 5K above the frequency he is listening on how will he hear me? Shouldn’t I transmit 5K above the frequency he is transmitting on (the frequency I hear him on)?
 

AK9R

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Are you leaving the radio in Split mode?

When in Split, the radio should listen on one frequency, let's say VFO A, but when you key up, it will transmit on VFO B. The radio does this automatically so you don't have to mess with switching VFOs.
 

TexTAC

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I made the mistake of swapping VFOs the first time I tried this because I got confused. Next time I will leave it on split mode. I realize now I only need to hear the DXer and not everyone else.
 

AK9R

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I realize now I only need to hear the DXer and not everyone else.
Some radios have the ability to temporarily switch to receiving the transmit VFO in Split mode so that you can hear what's going on there. In many cases on CW or RTTY and, sometimes, Phone, the DX station will listen to a small range of frequencies around the "up 5" frequency. This spreads the callers out a little which may make it easier for the DX station to hear the callers. As a result, it pays the DX hunter to try to figure out where the DX station is listening, so jumping over to your transmit frequency now and then may help you figure that out.
 

alcahuete

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That is what I don’t get. If I am transmitting 5K above the frequency he is listening on how will he hear me? Shouldn’t I transmit 5K above the frequency he is transmitting on (the frequency I hear him on)?
You're not. You guys are reverse of each other. He is transmitting on your receive frequency, you are transmitting on his receive frequency.

I'm transmitting on 14.225, for example, listening up 5. Tx is 14.225 for me, rx is 14.230. You are tx 14.230, rx 14.225.
 

AK9R

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I'm transmitting on 14.225, for example, listening up 5. Tx is 14.225 for me, rx is 14.230. You are tx 14.230, rx 14.225.
Yes.

DX station: Puts his radio in Split mode. Transmits on 14.220 and says "up 5". Listens on 14.225.

DX hunter (@TexTAC in this case): Listens to DX station on 14.220. Hears DX station say "up 5". Puts his radio into Split mode and transmits on 14.225 so DX station can hear him.

The split can go either direction. It sounds like the OP's radio automatically sets an "up 5" split, but you should be able to change that, if necessary.

@vagrant 's point is well-taken. Doesn't hurt to consult the Considerate Operator's Frequency Guide to make sure you aren't transmitting on, oh, let's say, the SSTV "watering hole". I got yelled at during an Indiana QSO Party a few years ago for doing that.

Also, pay attention to the band limits of your license. You don't want your transmit frequency, even when chasing the rarest of DX who is operating split, to end up outside the limits of your license or too close to a band edge.
 

TexTAC

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Thanks for all the advice. I hope I get another chance to try this again. I’ve only heard this one station state plus 5 so far. My radio has a a split button. The default is up 5 but you can change the default or change Tx/Rx on the fly. It also has a clarifier knob I need to learn more about. When in split mode, the clarifier knob changes the Tx frequency. When not in split mode, I am not really sure what is controls (maybe adjusts Rx frequency?).

A few nights ago, I overheard an hour long international argument between the UK (I think) and the US. Apparently both countries have nets on the same frequency at the same time but propagation was so good they interfered with each other that evening. Instead of combining nets, they argued, which I didn’t quite understand. I would have loved to make a UK contact.
 

AK9R

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I believe that Clarifier on a Yaesu is the same as RIT on Icoms and Kenwoods. It slightly adjusts your receive frequency, possibly in finer increments than you can do with the VFO knob. It's mostly useful in nets or roundtables where everybody thinks they are on the same frequency, but one guy is a little bit off. You can use the Clarifier when he is talking and then go back to the "normal" frequency when everyone else is talking. It's also useful in contesting when you are "running" stations meaning that you are calling CQ and taking calls from other stations. You want your CQ frequency to stay the same, but some of your callers may be a little off frequency.
 

TexTAC

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Well, I managed to screw this up again royally today. I was trying to reach a station in the “Islands On The Air” Contest in the UK that ended every transmission with “You’re up 5”. So I set up both VFOs correctly (transmit 5 up from him) and tried to reach him for thirty minutes. Then I realized he wasn’t saying “You’re up five” he was saying “Europe 5” which is the island group he was in. The station five up was another contestant that was probably mad as hell with me.
 

AK9R

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Just keep learning.

BTW, do you know about the DX Cluster? It's a crowd-sourced near real-time spotting network for stations on the air. Look for DX Watch, DX Heat, or DX Summit. They all have basically the same spots, but they present things differently. Usually if a DX station is listening "up 5", the spot will say so.
 
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