In the last few days the conditions have been excellent at times… I’ve been to the summits here and heard a lot of interesting DX activators at their summits. Unfortunately I never got them.
Surely an S2S for these DX activators would also be a great thing… but how is that supposed to work if I have to compete with 5 - 10 watts in an endfed with 100 watts or even more, which is radiated by a beam…?
… the only chance for an S2S remains if the DX activators switch to the QRG of an EU activator that they can hear in order to call it…
I agree, conditions are generally much better nowadays. Last week, on a small local summit, I got many US chasers on 10m and 15m with my 10W CW to a EFHW sloper. That would have been very unusual before the new solar cycle got going.
You are probably using ‘hunt & pounce’ mode to get those S2S stations, which I find hard work and time consuming, which is why I tend to self-spot and hope they come to me.
If, during a pile-up - for which, in any case, I’m very grateful - I can pick out part of another activator’s callsign or even a “/P” from all the QRO callers, I send that, e.g. “HB9C?”. Generally, I find chasers very accommodating and they back off to let the QRP-ish station go ahead.
That might be because 30m is usually my first band and operators are more polite there than on other bands.
That’s exactly what I try for several minutes before giving up:
/P or S2S … mostly in CW - but I’ve also tried it in SSB.
If I hear the activator with 549 and listen to how he gives the EU chasers reports from 579… then I simply won’t be heard there in the pile up. That’s no ill will on the part of the activator… because I’m simply 20 dB too weak… and that’s in the pile up!! - where he is already overwhelmed with calls.
If I have the chance to hear someone like you struggling to get that DX S2S, I sometimes send /P to give some help.
Else, I do my own QSO and then I announce the activator that there is a /P station calling for a S2S. It works every now and then.
I have several suggestions some may be more paletable than others.
1.More ERP, full dipole at 10m, driven with 50W.
2.Tail end the invitation to call back.
3. Wait until the pilup has a lull or goes silent.
4. In cw, call slightly off qrg, perhaps 200 to 700Hz so you stand out.
Was listernng to a US POTA activator yesterday (SSB mind).He periodically paused working the pileup and asked for QRP only, and then DX only. Seemed a very effective operating procedure to allow weker / remoter stations through the local pileup.
It certainly is frustrating to hear DX activators and not be able to work them. Too much competition and/or not enough tx signal. But I accept my QRP limitations.
Yes, operating challenges increase as the solar flux goes up. For instance:
-I am not the only station in the pileup sending S2S so I have to keep trying
-Less experienced CW operators might not be able to pick out the S2S or /P unless it is the only signal being heard (total respect to ALL who are active on CW!)
-Activator technique can make a big difference in who gets through (operator skill, cw speed, headphones or speaker, pileup spatial awareness, QSB, QRM/QRN)
-Chasers sending their calls too many times, and s l o w l y for any number of reasons, mostly not hearing the activator well (apologies to the LA station on 15 SSB to whom I did this)
Recently I was sending S2S to a W4 activator who, three times in a row, sent S2S?, then worked the DX station who called over me. Aargh! Maybe I was mistaken that he was sending S2S each time. We did make a QSO later, either on that QRG or another.
I love hearing the saavy operator who picks out the S2S, works a loud station to keep things going, then sends S2S?. Nice! Los Tres Amigos in NM come to mind.
One afternoon I managed two S2S with stations in Japan. Woo-hoo! Several others I called and called to no avail. Even 10 watts didn’t get their attention. Sigh. Just not enough SFI that day.
Calling CQ is an excellent suggestion for S2S. If my signal is reaching DX stations they will try to find me. Moving to the higher bands, 12 and 10 especially, opens up possibilities. The noise floor is often lower.
One thing I have learned is to avoid assuming I will not be hear because their signal is less than S-something. That mind set gets in the way. Assume one is loud. Feel loud. It may help, hi!
If I had gone out again to my local summit perhaps you would not have been subjected to this meandering missive. Seeing LU, PY and ZS spots after waking up too late was hard to reconcile, but there is no guarantee we would have heard each other.
CU on the air! 73, David N6AN
P.S There seems to be an assumption that weak activators need to hear slower CW . I suggest that activators might need to send slower at times (me included) yet the chasers send faster.
Yes, indeed One can send “DX only” or “S2S only”, the same concept.
DXpedition stations usually send “up” or “2 up” or “NA only” when operating split, or any other information they want to convey to the pileup.
73, David N6AN
In the end you have to accept that a fisherman does not expect to catch all the fish! If it wasn’t difficult it would not be as much fun, success would be less satisfying. Many times I have spent perhaps half an hour calling an activation only for the station to go QRT or have a shift of propagation take him below the noise, its all part of the game.
Hi Armin, thanks for today’s QSO.
A few days ago I heard a colleague calling CQ over and over again, sounding like a joke. I even posted it on the cluster: CQ MACHINE.
There must be space between calls.
Yesterday I activated SSB PY2/SE-003 and made 61 QSOs, 38 contacts with Europe, 3 with Argentina.
Always calmly and with space between calls.
I believe that S2S between continents is possible, and we will even be ready to activate a Summit here on November 4th.
When I’m on a hill, it’s 100% search and pounce. That often allows me to be first in line when another activator posts a spot. Americans can confirm they go to a new spot and hear me just finishing an exchange. Early bird gets the worm… or most of it.
Yes EL, I hear you about 20 times per day from my home QTH
I have a pretty good record of getting the ‘hole shot’, but if I hear someone send S2S then I will NOT send anything. I wish other chasers would do the same… I hear chasers blasting over the S2S when I’m pretty sure they can hear it too. Being and activator AND chaser makes you better at both activities, and gives you more respect for the S2S. I have lost out on S2S lots of times because the chasers wouldn’t be quiet and I either had to QRT due to WX or else band CONDX changes and I could no longer hear the other activator.
Usually if I don’t get the ‘hole shot’ then I wait until all the big guns and S2S are done before making my call…