[CQ-Contest] Pileups and calling freqs

Bob Shohet, KQ2M kq2m at kq2m.com
Mon Nov 26 14:10:08 EST 2018

I often pull out a callsign or part of a callsign by discerning the difference in the “beats” between loud guys calling on exactly the same frequency - the ever-present qsb makes that possible.  And there are usually differences in speed of the callers.  This technique works best when at least one station of the same signal strength is calling at a QRQ speed.   Of course now that it has become routine for at least one EU station to endlessly call regardless of who I ask for, the technique has become less effective, but still it is valuable.  

I always prefer to listen at the edges of a pileup, it’s become second nature for me.  The smarter ops routinely call that way knowing that the better ops usually listen on either side of their transmit freq.   And the qrp guys usually beat out the other loud stations because they are not trying to fight with the “big guys”, but rather, just to be heard.  So they use strategy as to how, when and where to call.  In my pileups (like this weekend), you either have to be really loud, super fast or a bit off freq. to get right through.  It is easiest to be off freq.   :-)   This works even better if you have polar flutter on your signal as a GOOD op will notice that THIS caller sounds different and that usually either means ground wave or a polar path signal.  Polar path always gets my attention as it usually means an interesting DX station, and frequently a new mult.


Bob, KQ2M

From: Bill kollenbaum via CQ-Contest 
Sent: Monday, November 26, 2018 1:34 PM
To: cq-contest at contesting.com 
Subject: [CQ-Contest] Pileups and calling freqs

After listening to howling pileups all weekend, I have a tip for some of the less experienced guys.
When 5, 10 or 15 guys are all calling on the same freq, especially with AGC on it sounds like one tone with QSB.  Unless you have a huge signal you sound like part of the single tone.  Do yourself a favor and go up or down a bit and call.  You would not believe how many of the lesser signals I responded to since I could hear them slightly up or down.  Since QRM is not as big an issue as back on the mainland I can run with the filters wider and have no problem with guys calling off freq.
I'm sure many of the big guns have the same issue.
Bill K4XS (KH7B, KH7XS)

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