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working split on DXpeditions



F. Costa wrote:

My HF experience teach me working by numbers, even working split, is the most anoying system (only surpassed by list/net system). Maybe on satellite will not be as bad as HF (the pile up will never be so big), but even so, as me is concern, I think the best system is Split with a rx window 5 to 10 up (more if needed, but never more than 15kHz wide). It's the only system that guaranties a fair chance for everybody, and awards the ability (not the EIRP) of the Dx chaser.

Wayne replies:

There is one major problem when a DX station works split-frequency on AO40.  The station calling the DX station never knows when LEILA is notching his uplink.  Even if I am calling with low power, another station on or near my frequency could use high power and activate the 10 kHz wide LEILA notch.

Working "by the numbers" on HF is usually more favorable to a low-power station than working "up 5 to 10" (especially for North America, where the numbers neatly divide the stations into different "propagation groups").  And working "by the numbers" can be a method for the DX station to specifically call the locations that are about to lose the window.  For example, a DX station in Africa could call for W6/W7/VE7 during the short window with that area.

A DX station could also call for specific continents to spread out the pileup.  As you know, this is very common on HF to give preference to a region  that has the shortest propagation window or most difficult path.

But I think that the technique of the DX operator doesn't really matter very much with the existing population of DXers on AO40.  Has a DX operation ever contacted more than 200 unique callsigns on AO40?  Regardless of the technique used, it doesn't take long to get 200 stations in the log.  Technique will matter much more if/when we have 1000 satellite DXers.

For now, the most important technique issue is to target the "maximum DX" stations when AO40 is at low elevation.  When operating from the Caribbean, call "CQ Pacific" during the short window with Japan and Australia.  When operating from Africa, call "CQ North America West Coast" during the short window with the west coast of North America.  When operating from a Pacific island, call "CQ Europe" to make the JA's stand by during the short window with Europe.

Of course you are entitled to use any technique you want on your next satellite DXpedition.  I will try to work you no matter what technique you use.  :-)

Wayne Estes W9AE
Mundelein, IL, USA


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