DX Windows, High power and Good Manners

DX Windows,  High power and Good Manners

There has been a debate going on the reflectors about high power and the abuse of the rules governing each country’s power regulations. The ZL limit has now been increased to 1000 watts and our signals have the ability to be easily heard on the other side of the planet

A well known and respected DXer had this to say;

“I hear what you are saying about high power and you probably are correct in your thinking. But I see very few of these super high power alpha male hams on the DXCC Honour Roll or see them actually emerge with an intact reputation after a lot of years of doing what they do. High power doth not maketh the complete amateur. In fact it does the opposite. Power corrupts. Witness the reputation of the Alpha male “DX window terrorist” Italian on 14,195 month after month. He runs super high power, has a great antenna system and drives the DXing fraternity mad by sitting on top of major DXpeditions and transmitting a string of foul abuse.

He revels in the publicity given to him on the DX Clusters which is why he continues to do it. He is the DX equivalent of a repeat offender drunk driver. He really doesn’t accomplish a lot except contribute to the profits of his electricity supplier and enrage the rest of the world’s DXers. We all know him. I am not talking about the odd amateur inNew Zealandthat runs a clean kilowatt amplifier and there are many that do. Doubling your power output only gives you 3 db on the other end over 500 Watts so it’s hardly worth worrying about. They have to live with their own reputations.

I actually am not worried about the high power terrorist wannabees. They create their own reputations somewhere between a bad smell and a loathsome creature that crawls out from under a kicked over rock. I can live with them as they are few and far between and do not represent anything sane in Amateur radio.

I do worry, however about the VKs and ZLs that show lack of courtesy by rag chewing in the “DX window” around 14,195 Khz. They simply call a CQ DX (which is the worst way to try and snag a rare DX station!) in the window and when answered by another VK, ZL or USA station and carry on a long irrelevant QSO totally unaware of what maybe under them. And of course they don’t have DX cluster on the screen in front of their noses. You would think that most hams around the world would know that the 20M and 80M DX windows are pretty special and DXpeditions generally use those two arenas.

I often hear a VK and a ZL carrying on 14,195 comparing signal reports, transmitter power etc while all the time a Rare DXpedition station was underneath them. They didn’t have a clue that at that particular time thousands of DXers were cursing the very existence of VKs and ZLs. Of course their excuse would be “I didn’t hear anybody” The answer to that is that just because you can’t hear them, doesn’t mean that they are not there and you are not interfering with hams in some other part of the world trying to work them. I am sure that if I confronted either of these gentlemen, their excuse would be “I called CQ and was answered by a VK and he is DX to me. “Yeh right”.

In this particular case it was mentioned to me in an email from a mate on another continent about the operating habits of a few VKs and ZLs in the 20M DX window. I have to agree. The same thing happens in the 80M DX window from 3780 – 3800 Khz. I care about our ZL reputation in the international DX community. In actual fact we rate extremely highly internationally and I would like to keep it that way.

If you call a CQ DX in any DX window and are answered by a “local” VK or ZL then move off the frequency and leave it for your fellow DXers. It’s easy to say “Down five” or Down ten” If you call and work a rare DX station, be aware that there are a lot of other guys that are listening to you waffle on about your family and dog while waiting to have a go at the DX station.  A bit of knowledge and common courtesy should prevail. It’s just good manners!

73, Lee ZL2AL

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