Amateur Radio in America's Paradise


PSK and DXing

Posted by R P Davis on April 13, 2013 at 5:50 PM

USVI isn't all that active on the HF digimodes. I work PSK sometimes and, more rarely, RTTY. I often get swamped with signals. That's okay, especially on RTTY, because RTTY ops are usually sane. It's the PSK people who drive me nuts.

I call them "macro-jockies".


Here's how it usually goes astray:


I call "CQ DX PSE NO MACROS". A call comes up on my waterfall. I click the call, send "[CALL] DE WP2XX - UR 599 BTU". That's short and sweet, right? It's a fairly bog-standard DX response - I'm not looking for more than a signal report and maybe your name in return. In fact, I've specifically asked you not to give me 103kb of macro information. But it never fails - someone will dump their macro:

"Hello ROBERT (they pull the info from QRZ.com or something)!

Thank you for returning my call.

Your signal report is 599 599.

My name is Irving Irving.

My QTH is Snodgrass, AX Snodgrass, AX

My LOC is HY73af HY73af

Rig is Yaewood FS-7288 running 25w to a 2-element beam up 46 feet.

Software is ...blah blah blah blither blerg."


By this time I'm sitting there muttering at the radio, "Are you blind? Or are you naturally stupid? Maybe you have to practice? For the love of all that's right and true, just stop sending!"


Then, if I haven't spun off frequency and gone to find someone who wants to actually work DX instead of crushing me with boredom, I send "TNX OM 73 ES GUD DX - [CALL] DE WP2XX 73 QRZ?"


And always - ALWAYS - the guy will return with:


"Thanks ROBERT for PSK-31 QSO number 1,512 on 15 meters.

God bless you and your family.

I wish you all the best in all of your endeavors this year and always.

Hope to work you again soon...blah blah blah blither blerg."


By the time I get to that point I'm beyond incandescence, making incoherent spluttering noises and fantasizing about whether or not RG-58 is strong enough to make a hangin' noose.


Why? Because this idiot has failed to listen to my instructions and is hogging the frequency, preventing anyone else from making a QSO. Because he didn't listen.

What's worse is that many of the callsigns I see doing this crap are the same calls my log software tells me I've worked on CW or SSB; I remember them because then they gave me a "599 tu 73" and got out of the way. But on PSK? Nope! Give me your whole life story, because on PSK working DX is somehow different. (If it is different and I'm way off-base here, someone forgot to send me the memo.)


If I send you your call and "UR 599 TNX QSO" and you dump your brag file on me, assume you are not in my log. That's my rule now.


That's PSK-31, mind. On faster PSK modes, I don't mind so much, because it doesn't take so long to suffer through someone's brag file.


Another caveat: If I answer someone else's CQ, they control the QSO. Which is as it should be. If I call a general CQ, I don't mind having a ragchew. I enjoy having a ragchew, especially on PSK. But most of the time I just want to make a pile o' Qs, to give that band/mode combo to as many amateurs as I can in my limited time. Why, if I call CQ in a specific way, with specific instructions, why do PSK-31 ops never listen?


I once had it explained to me that ops don't bother to change their macros or set up new ones. To which I reply, "Bullcrap! Just do it already! You've got 12 freakin' F-keys. Make up a macro with '599 TU 73' and label it 'DX EXCH' or something. Stop ruining other people's fun!"

TL;DR: Make a short PSK macro especially for DXing and do the same things DXing on PSK as you'd do DXing on CW or phone.  If you don't listen to my instructions, you won't be in my log.




Categories: DXing

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Reply kp2bh / jimmy
2:10 PM on June 5, 2013 
Hi nice to hear that you are active on the digital mode.
iam also very active in rtty,psk,jt65. DX and contest are my principal ones.
hope to meet you . 73's de jimmy / KP2BH /KP2DX
frederiksted st Croix.
Reply R P Davis
2:37 PM on June 5, 2013 
kp2bh / jimmy says...
Hi nice to hear that you are active on the digital mode.
iam also very active in rtty,psk,jt65. DX and contest are my principal ones.
hope to meet you . 73's de jimmy / KP2BH /KP2DX
frederiksted st Croix.

Hello, Jimmy!

Glad to know there's another digital-active ham on the island. It appears we may be the only ones! I know people tend to pile up on me when I hit the air. :)