VP8SGI 20m CW pileup seen and heard on FLEX-6700

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Testing prototype of updated Force 12 6BA 6-band Yagi and FLEX-6700 running SSDR v1.6.17 in the VP8SGI pileup on 20m CW Jan 30 2016 at about 0100z, antenna on the VP8 side is a Force 12 C-3S. High-resolution panfall really helps identify where DX is listening in a monster pileup like this!
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William Hein

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Posted 4 years ago

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wg c

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You is right my man!  The ability to see where the action is becomes quite an advantage.  Even with a lousy, piece of junk vertical (my big "man's" antenna came down for a move") this feature is a HUGE advantage.  Without these features I'd never work anybody.  

73, Bill
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Barry N1EU

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I'm with you Walt.

Maybe the panadapter will help find a hole in the pileup for you to call in but I find the caller with my ears not my panadapter.

73, Barry N1EU
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I agree this pileup on sgi is very tame. I was using a legacy radio when trying to work them and it is quite clear some ops do not know etiquette nor how to recognize their own call.

So to determine where the dx is listening on my flex while they are operating split I will use two techniques simultaneously. I will listen on both slice A and B and eliminate the possibilities and I will look for dx operator trends. Rarely do the rare ones listen on a single freq and you already know this., but if they are not busy they probably will. Even if they do not, it is easy to determine where they  presently are but the big unknown is where will they be next. Trend analysis and a little luck are important but you should be able to increase the odds substantially.

Now if all ops responded only to their call then this could all be done visually except for honest mistakes.
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Funny.... I do the exact opposite

Far too many frequencies and caller cacophony to listen to on SSB 

I use the panadapter exclusively to SEE who is calling and when and where they respond Then I quickly pounce the TX slice on the response frequency...

Usually takes 1 or 2 tries for a Q.

Of course it helps to have ERP in excess of 10KW to bust the pileup

For those who are math challenged ..

Effective Radiated Power (ERP) = Power x Antenna Gain.
So 1.5KW power = 9dB Antenna Gain = about 12KW ERP.

Gotta love SteppIR MonstIR + SPE 2K-FA

The 6700 display helps too...
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Al / NN4ZZ

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Hi Walt,
If you are working CW and using CW Skimmer, do you use the "call list"  feature?  I usually use it in the big pileups to help find where the DX is working.  It's not foolproof since CWS doesn't always pick up all of the callers.   But the list is ordered so it's easier to find a call than on the waterfall display. 

  • Turn on (view)  the "call list" in CWS
  • Look for the OP he just worked in the call list to see his freq

This example is not from VP8 but the K1N DXpedition

Regards, Al / NN4ZZ  
al (at) nn4zz (dot) com
6700 - HW.................... V
SSDR / DAX / CAT...... V
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Walt - KZ1F

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Yes, it it was largely gibberish
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William Hein

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I have made ten QSOs so far with VP8SGI and most have been within a few calls. I'm running 600W and a prototype Force 12 6BA (2 el on each band 40 - 10), so nice station but hardly Big Gun.

My typical CW pileup procedure:

(1) Slice A goes on the DX frequency with the audio mix 80% to the left ear, 250 or 100-Hz filter

(2) Slice B goes on the pileup frequency with the audio mix 80% to the right ear, 400 or 800-Hz filter, this way the audio in my headphones has a stereo effect in my brain that mirrors what I am seeing on the screen

(3) Panfall "pulled out" to show individual callers to the extent possible and listen for a few cycles before transmitting, get a feel for the DX stations calling pattern

(4) Watch which signals pop up in the pile after DX goes back to someone

(5) Click on one, if it's not the station called, ignore that spot in the pile and move to the next "candidate"

(6) Repeat until you find the caller being worked

(7) Slide up or down about a few tens of Hz - don't zero beat (lots of other guys will zero beat and cover each other up, you want to be at a different tone than the dogpile but still within the DX station's rx cw filter passband)

(8) Alternative plan - If the DX station is moving his rx VFO a certain measure each QSO, find the first open space that direction and camp there

GL in the pileups
Bill AA7XT
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Walt - KZ1F

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what I do, which works incredibly well, like a contact within a min or two is camp somewhere in the clear. Pan IS good for that. It's from boy scouts, "if you are lost in the woods, stay put, they will find you faster if you aren't a moving target". I think the whole cw skimmer is wishful thinking. Plus, you have to be outstandingly good to hear everyone they call. When it's a challenge to understand your own call in the noise or a partial or incorrect partial, this is what they call in flight school "being behind the plane".
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Rob Fissel

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I'm a hybrid, Walt. I'll camp in the clear, while using the waterfall to visually figure out how the OP is moving through the band. I can quickly pick up on OP VFO patterns this way. See where he's going, and preemptivly camp up or down of where he's working so that I can snag him next when he spins the VFO. Also, CW skimmer's got a great feature that will pop up 599 in red text when it detects it. Certainly not fail proof, but another useful tool to have in the bag. 
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Walt - KZ1F

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I had this conversation with Al yesterday. My prior comments about 'gibberish' were 100% accurate when I was trying to run cw sweeper on the 15" laptop. Just for grins and chuckles I installed it yesterday on my replacement for my Linux development system. It took perhaps an hour to 'figure it out' but, yes works really well. So now I have to agree more fully with Burt, 'hunting in a zoo' and 'shooting fish in a barrel'. Where did that phrase even come from? Shooting fish in a barrel is WAY harder than hunting in a zoo (optical distortion).

What a tad humorous is not only seeing the guy just worked but all the cwskimmerfolks converging on his frequency. Ponder this, it makes the entire thing rather meaningless, which I believe was Burt's point.
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Ken - NM9P

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"...seeing the guy just worked but all the cwskimmerfolks converging on his frequency..."

It kind of reminds me of sock-hop scene in "Grease" where all of the kids ran to the various TV cameras whenever the red light came on.

I still have a few bugs to work out with my CW Skimmer setup....I must not be dancing right.

Ken - NM9P
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Ken - NM9P

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I got K5P seven times using much the same techniques, but without Skimmer.  
I got the South Sandwich one time - my schedule didn't help.
I haven't got VP8SGI yet...schedule problems again...
I will be in the home office off and on today...perhaps I will get lucky.

Ken - NM9P