Amateur Extra: Identifying in a Pileup

From the realm of “Good Operating Practice” we get our question of the week from the Amateur Extra exam. [E2C11]

How should you generally identify your station when attempting to contact a DX station working a pileup or in a contest?

A. Send your full call sign once or twice

B. Send only the last two letters of your call sign until you make contact

C. Send your full call sign and grid square

D. Send the call sign of the DX station three times, the words this is, then your call sign three times

The answer is, A. Send your full call sign once or twice.  This is the accepted, and polite, practice.  Repeating the last two letters of your call over and over (B.) until you finally get an answer might finally get a response, but you’ll just be walking over everyone else’s traffic in the process.  Sending your call sign and grid square (C.) might be effective, but its extra information that the DX doesn’t need, unless its part of contest rules or you’re actually carrying on a conversation.  In a pileup, though, its usually not needed.

Similarly, D. Sending the DX’s call 3 times with yours three times is way too much, and you’ll probably never get in, or you’ll just confuse the rest of the pileup into thinking you’re the DX! Not good.  Remember, short and clear.  If you hear the DX calling someone else, just wait your turn and be patient.

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