This past week I observed some horrible use of the DX cluster system by many operators. This past weekend in the US was a long weekend in celebration of Independence Day aka July 4th. There was a special event going on this weekend where each of the original 13 colonies (states) had a special event 1×1 call sign (eg K2A) and a certificate was available commemorating the special event. Folks were shooting for getting all 13 logged for a “clean sweep”.
Being in NJ I was hopeful I’d be able to log many/all of the stations. Heck I did a triple play earlier in the year so I did all the stations on RTTY, CW and SSB. Well that certainly wasn’t going to be the case. Most of the stations I saw were on SSB on 20m and being as close as I am to those states, 20m SSB isn’t the best band to make the contact. I saw some special event stations on 40m and none on 80m before I stopped looking.
What was really disappointing was the conduct of many operators trying to make contact with the stations. The first disappointment was how they would put out their call sign when the special event station called CQ/QRZ. Once or twice is fine but I heard stations putting out their call 6 times or more. The special event station was already in the middle of the contact with the station he came back to and these stations are still putting out their call sign on top of the contact. I’m pretty sure one of the basic rules in amateur radio is “listen!”
The second extremely disappointing observation was the use of the DX Cluster for whining/complaining/begging. It was worse then when K5D was running their Desecheo DXpedition! There were operators spotting on the cluster requesting certain states to switch bands. There were operators spotting on the cluster asking why certain stations (states) weren’t on the air when they wanted them to be and how those states were screwing everyone. There were spots to the cluster asking which actual operators were responsible for the special event stations. These weren’t announcements to the cluster but actual spots.
It was certainly a disappointment to see such poor behavior from many operators. Here’s a small screenshot from DXWatch.com searching on K2C, one of the stations in the event, leading up to the end of the event. These are all spots, none of which had anything to do with the actual station being spotted. I’m sure I’d fine the same thing for many of the other special event stations. I have no idea if the spotter was the actual station listed in the cluster so don’t yell at me if it’s your call and you didn’t do the spotting.
Here’s for K2J:
Disappointing to say the least!