Should contest rules allow and act upon 599K QRM reports?

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

GB5TI cw pile-ups

During GB5TI we were mostly using the K3 in split mode (tx on B VFO, rx using A VFO) I initially set the radio for 1KHz split up. This served to get the rate back up as the pile-up could now hear me.

Notes to self:

1) Always use QSK when calling for split DX. During GB5TI I realised that some operators would keep sending their callsign until I sent anything then they stopped. If I waited they just kept sending with hardly any gap. If I got a complete call I could go back without hesitating after the last letter. If they weren't on QSK it invariably went quiet after I sent their call as we both doubled on his second time through his callsign. I wanted to try to set a single call rhythm but that's hard to do when people aren't using QSK.

2) During GB5TI I would occasionally forget to tune the A VFO about after working the last station in the pile. I couldn't believe the number of stations that weren't listening for the stations I was working to find my rx frequency. Instead they would be blindly calling 2KHz up or something and eventually I'd find them even although they were 59 and the last stations in the pile were 51. When you finish the pile the temptation is to reset to 1KHz up and call CQ again. At home, if I'm not the default 1KHz up and I hear the op calling CQ I'll now try tuning to 1KHz up +/- a few hundred hertz especially if only "up" is sent.

3) I found that opening the width control (DSP filter coupled with automatic roof filter selection at key points) right up to around 800Hz DSP with 1KHz roof filter (deselecting the 400Hz roof filter) was the best setting at the height of the pile-up. This way I could pick off the highs and the lows without taking my hands off the keyboard. It also meant that the pile-up spread out as stations jumped off the centre frequency to tail end the last station worked. This stops the pile-up guessing listening frequency patterns/tuning directions and a nice even spread emerges.

4) At the height of pile-ups, as I'm less than a little pistol, calling immediately is pointless as the strongest station invariably wins. Better to hold off a callsign length or two and then pop one in lower than the suspected listening frequency.

5) Always remember to disengage split after working the DX. On a number of occasions I heard stations I'd already worked randomly sending their callsigns on my listening frequency. After several attempts to re-work a specific Russian station I realised he had just forgotten to disengage split.

No comments: