• [VE9KK] The art of working split to contact a DXpedition.

    From VE9KK via rec.radio.amateur.moderat@21:1/5 to All on Tue Oct 26 12:00:33 2021
    XPost: rec.radio.amateur.moderated, rec.radio.amateur.equipment

    VE9KK Blog

    The art of working split to contact a DXpedition.

    Posted: 26 Oct 2021 07:00 AM PDT http://ve3wdm.blogspot.com/2021/10/the-art-of-working-split-to-contact.html

    Contacting 7P8RU
    Yesterday afternoon while on 20m I noticed a large gathering around
    14.040. After a little investigating, I found it to be the 7P8RU
    DXpedition from Lesotho located in South Africa. The team were excellent CW operators and this made for a very organized pileup. As I listened to find
    out how they were working the pileup I found that as always operators
    trying to contact 7P8RU on their calling frequency. With most if not all DXpeditions they operate split, meaning they call CQ on one frequency and listen on another. Their listening frequency can vary from 1kHz to 5kHz
    I find it best to listen to the DX station and also those trying to contact
    the DX station. This is done to learn how the DX station is working "the pileup"..... those who are trying to make contact. Most if not always the
    DX station has a pattern on how they contact calling stations. Other times
    they indicate specific regions they only want to contact. It's best to
    listen first and find out the DX's rhythm, and also if they are working a region of the world that you are not in. This avoids you calling not
    getting answered and the DX station wondering why you're not listening to instructions. This just brings about frustrations at both ends.
    Now down to the nitty-gritty of making contact! Once you have listened and found out the DX rhythm and that he is working stations in your part of the world, it's time to jump in the fray. But wait, how does one listen to both
    the DXpedition and perspective contact stations, who are 1-4 kHz away? This
    is where rigs with 2 independent receivers come in very handy. The 2 independent receivers allows you to hear VFO A and VFO B at the same time
    or the DX and those who are trying to contact them. In my case I use headphones with VFO A in my left ear and VFO B in my right ear.
    They do say that a picture is worth a thousand words....and with
    DXpeditions this is also very true. It's great to hear both sides but
    adding a visual representation is fantastic! This is done with a radio
    that has a spectrum scope. Now you are able to hear and see each station
    the DX is working. As the DX either moves up or down the band, you can fit
    your signal in the pathway and toss out your call and see if you are heard.
    The Icom 7610 has all the above-mentioned bells and whistles, as do many
    other HF and SDR rigs. The picture above is a screenshot of my 7610 setup
    to work 7P8RU. I have turned on "Dual watch" this allows me to hear both
    VFO A (main) and B (sub) Split has been turned on, so I transmit on VFO B
    and not on top of 7P8RU on VFO A.
    On the spectrum scope, the red M is the main VFO A, and it is set on
    7P8RU's calling frequency. The crowd of signals to the right (between M and
    S) are those calling the DXpedition station. The green "S" is my sub VFO
    marker and tells me where my transmit signal will be.
    One nice thing about the scope, once 7P8RU has contacted a station, most
    times you can see this station visually answering the DX station. By
    watching this interaction you get an idea of how the DX station is working
    the pileup. The above picture shows the scope giving a band slice of 100
    kHz and you can see t FT8 to the far right and toward the bottom of the
    band other CW signals. When working the DXpedition I have the scope set to
    a narrow slice of the band, so I can get a better picture of the pileup and
    who is being worked by the DX.
    It's great fun to work these stations when you can hear them, and it gives
    you a good workout on learning your radio and what it can do. In my case
    7P8RU was contacted and is in the log!

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