Monday, 24 November 2014

Clear operating procedure

The following extract is from the profile of Alexey HC2AO

“I don't like to specify JA only or EU only but there may be times when I will stop the pileup and address a specific geographic area. Please respect that and give a chance to the hard-to-get guys in zones 17,18,22, 23, 29, 37 especially on 80 and 160. You CAN call at any time if you are in AFRICA, PACIFIC, ASIA (excluding JA since I'll call JA specifically), OCEANIA.  North American HAMs please be patient on low bands 160 through 40 at EU, AS sunset-sunrise time frame.”

I am very pleased to see that some rare entities understand the problem that DXers outside of North America, Europe and Japan have. Calls are often made to selective geographic areas normally: NA, EU and JA. Where does it leave the poor DXers in Africa, Oceana, Pacific and Asia?

To address this issue they (e.g. Alexey) find it prudent to include the clause above within their operating procedure:

Give that man a “Bells” !

Sunday, 16 November 2014

AFRICA-DX contest

A small group of amateurs from around the world have been in discussion for a while looking into the feasibility of starting a brand new international HF contest.

The AFRICA-DX all band all mode 24 hour contest

The objective of this all mode contest is to stimulate contesting from Africa. All participating stations worldwide may work any country during the contest period, QSO’s with amateurs from Africa is encouraged as reflected in the higher points being awarded in the scoring mechanism. 

African DXCC entities are defined as those valid per the ARRL DXCC AF Listing published at the time of the contest.

Please note the use of the term Africa and not South Africa. We strongly encourage all African stations to take part in this event. The rules are in no way biased in favour of any one single group or country within Africa. We would like nothing better than seeing a bunch of African stations active during this 24 hour event.

This will contest will be beneficial to all concerned. The station worldwide will benefit from increased activity from Africa on all bands and modes, this will bolster their much needed empty DXCC band / mode slots. On the other hand, the Africans will benefit due to the fact that the world outside of Africa will be turning there beams towards Africa for a change and this will be a great opportunity to be at the centre of activity, with its associated benefits, pileups and hopefully finding new entities towards their own DXCC status.

Rules can be downloaded here:

I think with a bit of luck that this may in time become a popular annual event, I sure hope others feel the same.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Compulsive box ticking disorder

In view of the many discussions regarding the pros and cons of using the leader board facility on ClubLog;

I think the leader board is a great facility and would prefer to see it being used at all times, but I do see the argument against using it. There are simply far too many that suffer from compulsive-box-ticking-disorder (CBTD).

Maybe ClubLog should consider having an alternative leader board facility?

Have a tick-box for each and every band the expedition plans to operate on and place a tick regardless of the operating mode. Then have a tick-box for each of the following modes: CW, PH and DIG.

Assuming the expedition will be operating on 160m through 6m on all modes, then there will be only 13  tick-boxes (10 bands + 3 modes).

A further refinement to the above proposal might be to have a numeric value visible in the tick-boxes to indicate the number of QSOs. The objective should be to have only a 1 indicated in each band tick-box, a value of 2 or more should be frowned upon as being selfish and having little regard for the needs of others.

The above idea might satisfy most DX chasers?

We all love seeing how we fare against our peers and that is why we love the leader board, but there is simply no merit in working the station on each band in each and every mode.

The main objective should be to green out the band tick-boxes and to work the entity in each of the 3 modes.

Alternative ClubLog Leaderboard

Monday, 10 November 2014

Disgusting manners / radio procedures

I fully aware that the title of this rant is strongly worded, but I believe it is high time that we question our operating procedures especially when it comes to chasing DX.

In just about each and every pile-up lately I saw the following behaviour:

The DX station hears a partial call and then responds along the line of “W1A?”, that seemingly is the green light for each and every station from the North pole to the South pole to send their call, over and over ad nauseam. 

Even worse than the previous example. The DX station replies to a station “W1AW 599" and  the callers continue calling. Are they: deaf, stupid, both deaf and stupid or just simply rude?
Do we now have we so little regard for others? What has happened to good manners and ham spirit? Have we degenerated into a bunch of unruly mongrels?
IMHO the DX stations should work these out of turn callers (get them of their backs), but they must not enter them into the log. Eventually the message will get through. 

Play by the rules or suffer the consequences