Friday, October 15, 2010

P5? Nope, PJ

Now that the PJ operations have been underway for a while, you'd think that the pileups would have started to die down a bit. In some cases they have, but I was kind of surprised to see how big some of them remained. I guess it varies depending on band, propagation, and where you're located, but this morning I saw PJ2T spotted on 17m CW and I figured I'd give him a call. He nice and loud, but he had a huge pileup. This is what my bandscope looked like.

By way of explanation, what you're seeing is that I was tuned to 18.07201 MHz, which was where PJ2T was transmitting. I was set to call him split on 18.073Mhz. The big pile of green and light blue on the scale represents the other stations that are calling him. The scope was configured so that each white vertical line represents 10KHz of space. What you can see is that the callers for PJ2T were spread out over around 20Khz of space. Those of you who are DXers will appreciate how big that is, but normally for a "routine" DX operation you might see callers spread out to 2, 3, or maybe 5KHz. It's only when a really "rare one" comes on that you typically see something like this. (Hence my reference to P5, North Korea, in the subject.) Oh, and keep in mind that these are only the callers that my radio can hear. Imagine what it must sound like on his end? I do want to say that the operator is doing a terrific job.

As a reminder, I've been collecting web sites and other internet presence information for the PJ DX operations on a special page here.


  1. I've been really surprised at how difficult it's been to get through. You look at it and you think, ah, this is a chipshot, easy-peasy. But when the pileups are this large (great illustration with the bandscope, by the way), you start to understand why it's taking much longer than just a couple of calls. Also, you start realizing that a vertical might be hindering your chances on, say, 40 meters from NC, because they fall too close to you at the time you're trying to work them. As a result, it's taken a fair effort to get through sometimes. But, like you say, the ops have been outstanding and persistence has paid off.
    73 Ed

  2. If you don't have a big amp and a very large beam antenna you don't even have to try. It's crazy. But I don't mind, there will be other DXpeditions in the future. In the mean time there is a lot of other fun on the bands...73, Bas

  3. I think location also helps a lot. I'm on the US east coast, so these islands aren't very difficult, at least when there isn't a monster pileup. I've got over 30 contacts with the different stations on different bands and modes, though I've heard some of the big guns talking about how they've got well over 100. As you said Bas, there will be plenty of other dxpeditions, and all of those entities will be active in contests.

  4. That bandscope looks rough... I think challange makes it fun. My blog is Ham Operator: KE5UTN

    I like your blog. What template did you us? I didn't have the option of having topic headings across the top, nor did I find an option to have 2 columns in the sidebar. That is awsome.

    Nice site here!

  5. Daniel, the template I use is based on "Awesome, Inc". I know that there's at least one other blog that looks exactly like mine, and while imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, you probably at least don't want to use the same background image. You can just drag stuff around in most of them I think, but honestly I don't remember exactly how I did that.

  6. Bill W9VA1:01 PM

    Hello David - I was the operator on the other side of the pile-up. Your band-scope shot is amazing. I have operated from some pretty rare places but experienced nothing like the first days at PJ2T. Having a station as well equipped as PJ2T is almost a disadvantage - too many people hear you. Operating from an "All Time New One" is a DX'ers dream - but the pile-ups are a nightmare. 73 Bill W9VA @ PJ2T

  7. Murray, K3BEQ11:45 AM

    After all is said and done the operators at the PJ's were outstanding; real pros. Am I the only one that heard a distinct "absence" of jamming or harassment on the PJ transmitting frequencies other than a welcome "UP UP" to those, in their excitement, who forgot to split? 73, Murray K3BEQ

  8. I absolutely agree about the job that all the ops are doing. As Bill, W9VA said here (and as I've heard elsewhere), the pileups are immense and non-stop. I don't think I've heard any jamming either, but I have heard plenty of people tuning up on the DX frequency. (Maybe someone can explain to me why you'd do that? You're not even going to call them there.)Do we need a course called "How to turn your VFO knob so that you don't QRM the DX when tuning?"