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Disturbing Trend in DX Pileups

DX pileups have always been the “testing ground” for the work you’ve put into upgrading your station.  “The DX Pileup” is that crazy place you roll your sleeves up and “give’r hell”, trying to best your fellow Amateur Radio operators along the way.  Some pileups take technique, some brute force, some pure dumb luck.  Pileups are fun!

Or are they?

I was listening to Krish (VU4K) in Andaman & Nicobar working on 15 meters today, when over and over he asked Europe to please standby for 5 minutes as he was listening for North America 5-15 UP.  It struck me as odd that he asked several times, yet was still asking EU to standby on every single over.  Why?  I went up and listened.  There had to be a thousand EU stations still calling!  I suspect from VU4K‘s vantage point, he couldn’t hear the weaker North America calling with EU stations covering them up.  What part of “North America Only” doesn’t a competent Ham understand?  Krish got frustrated not being able to hear through Europe, so he shut it down.  Done, over with, QRT.  He gave ample warning that if EU didn’t standby for 5 minutes while he listened for North America, he was going to go QRT.  And he did.

I’ve also heard (too many times to count) a DX station going by numbers.  They’ll be calling “number sixes, sixes only” and there will be several 1’s, 8’s, 0’s, etc. that continue to call every time.

It is hard to top the two issues above, but here’s the icing on the cake.  Most DXpeditions and rare DX stations now operate “split”.  Meaning they are listening for you and me on a frequency (or set of frequencies) OTHER than their transmit frequency.   An example; the DX station says, “UP 5 to 10 for North America”.  That means the DX station is listening up 5 to 10 kHz (from his transmit frequency) for North American stations.  That does not mean, “every Italian call simplex” now does it?

So if you total up that some Hams don’t know what continent they’re on, with some Hams that can’t count, with some Hams that do not know how to operate split – this is PAST disturbing to the rest of the Ham community!

How is it that these three sad situations happen in every pileup anymore?  How is it possible that Hams do this, AND do it regularly?

I do not know the answer.  I do know several times I’ve sent a quick e-mail to the offending Ham, only to receive a nasty, cuss filled rant back.  LOL!  Here’s one I received yesterday:

“What The Hell Are You Guys Doing?  You Keep transmitting over the TX6G on 14.252!  He can’t be more anymore clear – HE IS LISTENING UP 5 to 10! Please learn how to operate your radio SPLIT.  N0UN”

And his reply?

“F*** YOU!”

hahahahaha!  I have a funny feeling I must have hurt his feelings or somethin’!  LOL!

But with the bad replies, I also do receive some good ones too.  Maybe my e-mail made them more aware of what they were doing?  Here’s two “good” reply’s to that same e-mail I sent to several Hams:

“I sincerely apologize for any interference that I may have caused I was on 21.255 talking to ZL7AAA expedition station.  73’s.  XXXX, XXXXX” (name and call removed)

“Hi Wayne,  sorry I did not hear that the DX station was working split!  Working with only 100w with a ground mounted vertical.    Nice QRZ page hope to work you some day – take care.   73, XXXX, XXXXX”  (name and call removed)

And the best of that last series of e-mails?:

“What The Hell Are You Guys Doing?  You Keep transmitting over the TX6G on 14.252!  He can’t be more anymore clear – HE IS LISTENING UP 5 to 10! Please learn how to operate your radio SPLIT.  N0UN”

Offender reply:

“I had split engaged.  So please be sure it was me.  Oh, and since I worked him, I guess I was doing it right.   Did you happen to have your dual watch engaged?”

And my counter-reply:

“XXXXXX you were the WORST offender of all!  You must have called 30 times ON HIS TX frequency.  Of course you didn’t hear the WHOLE WORLD screaming at you because since you had split engaged (backwards), you couldn’t hear any of the cops.  And they were screaming, loudly.

Trust me, and I’ll see if I recorded it, you were doing it for quite some time.  Not seconds or a onsy, twosy, even a 20sy.  Several times over several minutes.  There would even be a break, and then you came back and would do it some more.

If you finally did work TX6G, in was in spite of yourself.


A lot of folks today take the position that it is what it is, just live with it.  But in my opinion if you do nothing then the offending behavior becomes the norm.  There are no consequences if nobody does a thing.  I’ll continue to write quick e-mails in the hopes a few will actually figure out what their issue was, and fix it.  Trust me when I tell you this, I WOULD NOT BE OFFENDED if I received an e-mail if/when I’m out of line.  Why would I be offended?  Obviously I offended you with some poor practice ahead of your e-mail, right?  I would expect nothing less.

Good DX, see you in the pileups!

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3 Responses

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  1. Charles R. Tropp says

    Hi Wayne,
    I enjoyed your post and I’m glad your site it back up. I only work CW with 100W but I encounter the same problems. It took me a long time to figure out where the DX is listening and call there, but I imagine many ops find it easier to use brute force and/or trust in blind luck. There is quite a bit of QRM on the DX transmit frequency caused not only by those who are unaware of split operation but by all those DX cops. I have often given thought of sending a copy of the DX Code of Conduct to offending ops without further comment. You have emboldened me!

    73, Charles N2SO

  2. Phil Asophical says

    I 100% agree and if people don’t speak out as you are it will continue.

  3. Bob Foxworth says

    Charles mentioned DX “cops”. What is truly amazing about cops is (1) they don’t even have enough sense to move 50-100 Hz off of the DX freq, rather are dead zerobeat, and (2) they have such poor sense of timing that they bleat “UP UP” _while the DX is transmitting_. These idiots have cost me having to ask repeats, if not losing contacts. They maybe think they are “helping” the DX station but actually make it worse esp. when sending “UP” eight times in a row, thereby covering up complete exchanges from the DX itself. Can’t these cops figure out any part of this?. And of course the cop is s8 while the DX is s3. And of course then the DX op thinks _I_ am a lid because I could not hear him answer me (because of the s-8 zerobeat cop) and has to call me again.

    Bob F

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