By N7NG, Wayne A. Mills
While there aren’t many major DX operations taking place at the moment, plans are being made, and it won’t be long until serious DXing picks up steam again. In the interim, many of us continue thinking and working on ways to smooth the behavioral waters for DXers and DXpeditioners alike.
As usual, we operate on a principle put forth most recently by Dima, RA9USU in N6PSE’s April 27th 2015 blog: [the] “Pile-up is the reflection of the operator on the DX side.” Clearly, Dima feels that the DX-side operator is in the best position to control the pileup, to keep it from degenerating into chaos. The DX-side operator is almost by definition positioned to use a variety of tools to accomplish his goals. This in turn suggests that it is important for DX-side operators to learn and subsequently concentrate on the very best operating procedures. For some ops it is a natural process. For others, study, practice and reminders are required. Reminders – cheat sheets – because it can be difficult to keep all of the necessary concepts in mind while shoveling through a huge pile of usually raucous DXers.
Of course the “mirror” concept isn’t at all new. It was put forward long ago (1991) by OH2BH in his book “Where Do We Go Next,” and reiterated by N7NG in “DXpeditioning Basics” (1994 and 2013). It has been promoted as well as by many other DXpedition operating specialists. Operators following this principle assume that their own techniques will make or break the success of the operation. It is entirely within the province of the DXpedition operator to control virtually any situation including DQRM. The tools are available. If an operator succumbs to the feeling that the pileup is at fault, everything is lost. To move further in this direction, OH2BH and N7NG are currently preparing a detailed paper discussing the essentials for successfully working “Europeans” in DXpedition situations. The ideas are applicable to all DXers, but they are critically important for those working huge DXpedition pileups of Europeans.
The first task – and most important – in this case is to maintain a positive attitude. Assuming that there are relatively few “DX Criminals” out there is a good starting point. It is important to feel confident that any situation can be handled. The assumption of “DXer innocence” is the best way to maintain a positive attitude.
Next the operator must make a serious effort to understand the nature of the languages and temperaments of “The Europeans.” We realize that language is always an issue when working any non-native-English speaking DXers. But because of the necessary immersion in huge pileups exhibiting many languages, accents and styles, it is usually a much greater challenge to work Europe under these conditions.
Finally, it is essential to understand that there is absolutely NO single “European” DXer type. Americans and Japanese are relatively homogeneous compared to European ham groups. The European cultures vary greatly from north to south and from east to west. At least a basic understanding of DXers in Europe – their language and temperament — is necessary in order to realize that a lack of cooperation is not the primary reason for poor results. Experience supports this thesis. A persistently positive attitude will help tremendously in the pursuit of the ideal pileup.