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7163 Group Etiquette- and procedure
By Norm, W4QN

I have now had time to read through the 25 or so exchanges made regarding the subject of QRP and DX operating practices.  I thought the comments cover a range of issues but I did not see any clear coalition of thought and some bordered on personalities and not what I think is or maybe the issue. I think first we have to examine the various activities and operating process of the 7163 group. I will try to summarize some of my observations, 

We have a pretty consistent group of regulars checking in -some very early and other bringing up the tail end.These include "DX", from JA, VK, YB (now less often it seems), a scattering of Caribbean and a few other areas. Same calls, same places. Occasionally a real somewhat RARE DX , like Wake Is. or some other South Pacific region checks in. Presenting a ATNO for many participants. We profess to be a DX group, but often there are extended "OT" off topic discussions between individuals and of little or no interest to others on the frequency. Boring to many, and maybe just 'robbing' limited DXing time for some. Poor operating practice, and one of the most prevalent is doubling, tripling and maybe more, all talking at the same time.  Listen more, wait for the opening,  I believe that the frequency of the preceding behavior has caused some DX to pass the group by. Jim does a superb job coordinating the operation when DX is in the hopper and the group is 'queued' up to work the station. But there are operating practices that I think could be improved. There is a notable lack of knowledge or just poor skill sets with many of the group participants in regard to working DX efficiently and effectively.  Some maybe a result of "station" factors, but not all for sure.The above are my observations, some may agree or disagree and I am sure some can add their issues as well, and I encourage them to do so as my purpose here is to be constructive and improve the group activity..

My view is we need to work on improving the knowledge and skill set of some of the beginners.  Their lack of knowledge of the process of working DX under marginal conditions is an opportunity to guide them to be more concise and effective by eliminating extraneous words/conversation, and learning how to effectively send their calls and reports.  In my mind it is the poor execution of these factors that are the reasons for most multiple try's, report and call 'coaching'' that is often prevalent and I think contributes to some frustration of the group at times.. What are some things we should/could try to overcome the shortcomings of procedure and maybe help others to be better operators and DXers?

- multiple conversations, Double, triples - this has been discussed in the past, we need to continue to reinforce the need by constructively commenting on any abuse.

- Our "list" taking is often very well executed, but maybe we should consider doing it on a different frequency, and two "call collectors" be there to cover propagation variables.

- I think the "call collectors" need to play a role of ordering the sequence of the 'callers' based on how well that station is hearing the DX.  It also is a place to make sure that the caller knows the DX Call.  How many times have we heard the question expressed about what is the DX's call.  

- There should be a limit in tries, we should not play the game of report "roulette" with the "your one off, or what ever hint is being used as a 'prompt'.  If you cant make out the call and report, then " no contact, and to the end of the line".  Keep it crisp and concise.  This is the MC's task to control these issues.

The above may not address the many points made regarding the  "QRP", Antenna vs. the bigger stations that seemed to be the crux of 25 emails, But I do think that my comments have merit and deserve some consideration from the group.

Finally and addressing more the disparity in stations.  We do need to give consideration to those "needing" the DX, whether an ATNO or just a band-mode fill.  I would prioritize them in the "LIST" , but also with a factor that would 'order' them based on likely hood of success.  Remember the object should be to maximize the 'through put' while we have the DX station and propagation.  The rank order criteria and list implementation probably needs more discussion.

DXing is a competitive radio sport, and one of the scores is the number of stations worked, another is your success rate in the "pile-up", These factors prompt in some cases large expenditure for antennas, towers and radios and become the "Big Guns" of DXing.  However it does not mean that a "Little Pistol" can not achieve significant accomplishments as a DXer.  It often takes a lot of Patience, operating skill, knowledge of propagation, best bands to stalk, and Listen, Listen, Listen to the DX operators method and practice.  Then develop a "strategy" based on these factors and get him in the log.