[CQ-Contest] Running by the numbers

kq2m at kq2m.com kq2m at kq2m.com
Mon Jul 5 09:17:13 EDT 2021

That article was really well written and informative Steve, thank you 
for posting it!

Each op naturally has their own style and strengths and weaknesses in 
running pileups - and the op should  realize and understand that the 
most effective techniques and strategies to be used should differ 
somewhat between running a pileup during a DX contest where there are 
many pileups of small size by many stations vs. running a pileup during 
a DXpedition when thousands of people are focusing their attention on 
working ONE station.

A good op should endeavor to employ all of their strengths and minimize 
all of their weaknesses while operating - experience with understanding 
and or speaking multiple languages can help, experience operating 
contests is helpful, knowledge of the radio(s) being used and how to 
filter stations and switch between frequencies is important, speed and 
accuracy of working stations by the op can build confidence and patience 
in the stations in the pileup and increase efficiency; likewise, the ops 
own attitude and mental flexibility is central to a good performance 
that benefits the greatest number of people.

Some ops are more patient and efficient than others; tone of voice and 
speed of speech can and should be altered depending on whether the op is 
trying to calm down the callers in a pileup vs speeding them up and 
moving them around.  Some ops are better are "learning on the fly" how 
to improve, others are not.  All things being equal you want a more 
resilient and adaptable op to work the more difficult pileups rather 
than giving them an inexperienced op with a rigid manner - this is 
especially true under conditions of physical and/or mental stress, lack 
of sleep, etc.

The same goes for hearing ability - we are not born with equal abilities 
to process and understand language and accents and we don't all have the 
same audio frequency processing range. This matters in larger and more 
challenging pileups when station are calling on top of each other and 
especially so during qrn, qsb and qrm when the ability and willingness 
to quickly get a piece of a callsign and efficiently turn that into a 
qso is critical to rate and pileup control.

In the end, regardless of what we are naturally born with, all of these 
mental and physical skills can be developed and hopefully mastered with 
dedication, persistence and a willingness to be flexible in operating  
style - matching the strategies employed to the conditions on the freq.  
A good op, inexperienced or not, will attempt to experiment and try 
different things while operating in an effort to improve efficiency.  
Energy and enthusiasm for working the calling stations; conveyed through 
the pace of speech and tone of voice is also an excellent way to manage 
an "enthusiastic" pileup and gain their cooperation.

Even if there is an inexperienced op who is overmatched by the 
challenges of running a particular pileup, if they maintain the right 
attitude and keep in mind the "bigger" picture of what to strive for as 
an operator, they will achieve better results and make far more people 
happy, than if they don't.


Bob, KQ2M

On 2021-07-04 13:55, Steve Dyer W1SRD via CQ-Contest wrote:
> Everyone has an opinion here, but Martti Laine put some good words
> down about pileup management several years ago.
> Worth a read or re-read.
> http://www.ncdxf.org/newsletters/2015-AUTUMN.pdf
> 73,
> Steve
>> There are better ways than by the numbers.
>> 73
>> Ria, N2RJ
>> Such as?  I've heard ideas from other people, but what are your 
>> suggestions?
>> 73,
>> Ken, AB1J
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: rjairam at gmail.com <rjairam at gmail.com>
>> To: Hans Brakob <kzerohb at gmail.com>
>> Cc: xaxaxaxa yayayaya <cqtestk4xs at aol.com>; cq-contest at contesting.com 
>> <cq-contest at contesting.com>
>> Sent: Sun, Jul 4, 2021 2:42 am
>> Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] Running by the numbers
>> I have not. I have operated from 9Y beaming Europe though. The W,
>> particularly W4 wall is real. And I did manage to work one Guam
>> station in that pile too by the way.
>> There are better ways than by the numbers.
>> Care to assume something else? :)
>> 73
>> Ria, N2RJ
>> On Sat, Jul 3, 2021 at 10:39 PM Hans Brakob <kzerohb at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> You’re never been on Guam beaming USA on 15m, over the top of 1.2 
>>> million JA “10 watters”, all needing their first KG6 in the log
>>> 73, de Hans, KØHB
>>> “Just a Boy and his Radio”™
>>> ________________________________
>>> From: CQ-Contest 
>>> <cq-contest-bounces+kzerohb=gmail.com at contesting.com> on behalf of 
>>> rjairam at gmail.com <rjairam at gmail.com>
>>> Sent: Saturday, July 3, 2021 3:02:14 PM
>>> To: xaxaxaxa yayayaya <cqtestk4xs at aol.com>
>>> Cc: cq-contest at contesting.com <cq-contest at contesting.com>
>>> Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] Running by the numbers
>>> As a rule I never do it. I've had some thick pileups like ARRL
>>> centennial and 13 colonies. I just never do it. I have other ways to
>>> thin the pile that to me are more effective.
>>> 73
>>> Ria, N2RJ
>>> On Sat, Jul 3, 2021 at 2:13 PM Bill kollenbaum via CQ-Contest
>>> <cq-contest at contesting.com> wrote:
>>>> I've been running by the numbers for years...when necessary.  I've 
>>>> done it  both in and out of contests.
>>>> from KH6 fluttery weak EU stations were an issue, as were big USA 
>>>> pileups.
>>>> Keys to success:
>>>> Only do it when your rate slows because you can't pull them out fast 
>>>> enough (especially in spotted pileups)
>>>> Stick to the number.  NEVER call someone with the wrong number.  
>>>> You'll be sorry you did.
>>>> Go quickly through the numbers...maybe two or three for each to 
>>>> avoid getting the natives restless.
>>>> End with zeroes or nines.  The guys get pissed if you stop at five 
>>>> or six etc.
>>>> Back around 2009 a few guys and I decided to a 1E  from my station 
>>>> in KH6 using high power.  The pileups were as big as I've ever had 
>>>> and we were forced to go by the numbers.  Dozens of modest FD 
>>>> stations all sounded like an S-5 buzz.  We did the numbers for hours 
>>>> with that one.  However, one of the inexperienced guys broke the 
>>>> cardinal rule and started taking anybody while doing it by the 
>>>> numbers and all hell broke loose.
>>>> Bill  K4XS/KH7XS/V31XX

More information about the CQ-Contest mailing list