Trying to work out where the DX is listening is the real "black art" of
getting a contact!
I think it boils down to two seperate scenarios:
First is those that have big beams and the power to go with them.
For them, they can pretty much Tx wherever, and stand a good chance of
getting through. Sooner or later, they will succeed.
Second are those, including me, who have 100 watts to wires or small beams.
This is somewhat harder, and takes a little more work to achieve the
I usually spend some time just listening, often just listening for the first
day or so, just to see if I can see a pattern to their working. I check the
spread of the pile, and see who is successful, and try and deduce what is
A huge pile of similar-powered stations all within a few kc's is just going
to be a noise at the DX end, so I often try to move away from that pile, and
I try to monitor my RX frequency to make sure it is clear of audible
Of course, this doesn't always work if you can't hear the pile! Then, it is
just a gamble.
Now, whether you move around or stay on one QRG and keep trying is the key
If you have listened enough, you will know whether they go and pick those at
the edges of the pile or not.
Most will, just to keep things lively.
Some will have a distinct pattern, for example RX up 10, then moving down in
frequency, back up to 10, then going down again, etc. Some go up, then down,
and it all depends on their RTTY op, but if you spend time listening, then
you will know and can make an informed decision as to whether to move or
Personally, I always try not to move, unless my TX frequency becomes too
Watch the cluster when they get spotted with something like WORKED UP 3.4!
You will almost always see a huge pile suddenly appear on that exact QRG.
And unless they are working multiple stations on one single frequency, this
spells failure for most.
Tail-ending a call in RTTY is not so easy, as there are all sorts of factors
which mean your call probably won't get heard. It really does require some
excellent keyboard skills, plus quick reactions!
And it does NOT work when you have TX5C TX5C TX5C DE AA1XX AA1XX AA1XX as a
buffer, as I witnessed today!
I've seen some DX stations that will never work more than one on a given
frequency, and always move after a QSO.
I have listened to the pile of TX5C (and the same was true of VP6DX), and
when they say UP, they do not mean up about 300Hz! Why do folk think that UP
starts just at the edge of the DX signal?
It will also depend on how good a RTTY op they have at the DX end too! Most
good RTTY ops will recognise partial calls, and will work them to everyones
For me, I favour keeping just out of the pile, on as clear a frequency as I
can, at the limit of their sweep, and stick there. I may "adjust" this
behaviour, depending on specific circumstances, but in general, it works for
The one thing that does seem to be getting worse are those stations that
call and call when the DX is trying to work a specific call. With VP6DX, I
saw them spend some minutes just getting confirmation from one callsign, and
in the end, they suggested that an SP and IK QRX and let him work the
station he was calling.
I also tinker with the CALL buffer, sometimes sending my call twice, with no
DE, and sometimes leaving the DE in.
If they are slow in picking out calls, then I usually send my call three
times, but this is a difficult one to work out.
Sending the DE will usually get your call in the clear, without the errors
induced by the missing bits.
If they are working quickly, I will often send the buffer just before they
go back to RX, so that THEY do not hear the DE, and hopefully get GU0SUP or
enough of a partial to work out who it is.
Whatever you do, listening is ALWAYS the best option before you start to
join the pile!
And no, I have not yet worked TX5C! But I am hoping to before the week is
out. Sadly, I am not confident about that, but that's life.
73 all, and GL with the pile!
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