Doubling and Pile-ups
2012-10-31 13:11

Lately the problem of “Doubling” has increased on HamSphere. It can be annoying but there is a remedy. Doubling occurs when two stations using a two-way radio start talking at the same time and on the same frequency. This usually happens due to the confusion on how to use the Amateur Radio protocol.

A licensed Amateur Radio operator is taught the protocol prior to getting licensed, but as we also allow non licensed users, so called “Radio Enthusiast”, who may have less experience in two-way communications, the “doubling” has increased.

To reduce this phenomenon on HamSphere, as well as creating a better and smoother communication platform, we suggest that the Amateur Radio protocol should be used and it is in fact a very simple, but yet effective method of handing over the microphone to the next user:

At the end of each over (transmission) you say: “the call sign of the user who will speak next“ followed by “this is” and “your callsign” and “over”. That’s it!

Of course, if you make just quick transmissions, you can just end the transmission with “over”, but it is then extremely important that you use just that phrase. I also sometimes use the phrase “go ahead” to end my transmissions. The important thing is that there is no doubt of when your transmission is over and no doubt of whom you leaving the microphone to.

Doubling and DX “Pile up” traffic

For DX operation, when there is a rare station on HamSphere.
Here are some simple pointers:

• Keep it short. Name, QTH and Signal report only. Do not start talking about the weather and wind or other irrelevant things. Many people in line for QSO.
• When a DX addresses a station, DO NOT interrupt until they have at least exchanged Name, QTH and signal reports
• Call only using the two last digits of your callsign such as “Hotel Charlie” if your callsign were SM7NHC
• If HS user, just call using your suffix. Like 101, if your callsign is 110HS101

Some DX stations are used to work “pile ups”. They know how to handle the situation and they can control the calling stations. But as we have many beginners on the band, it can be difficult to get through a “pile up”.

On shortwave there are sometimes self appointed channel masters who distribute the “pile-up” calls to the DX in an orderly fashion. We have seen some activity like that on HamSphere already. So if you have DX Pileup experience, perhaps you can take over and instate yourself as a DX master who distribute and takes the calls in an orderly fashion.

The Amateur's Code

The Radio Amateur is:

CONSIDERATE never knowingly operating in such a way as to lessen the pleasure of others.

LOYAL offering loyalty, encouragement and support to other amateurs, local clubs and the American Radio Relay League, through which Amateur Radio in the United States is represented nationally and internationally.

PROGRESSIVE with knowledge abreast of science, a well built and efficient station, and operation beyond reproach.

FRIENDLY with slow and patient operation when requested, friendly advice and counsel to the beginner, kindly assistance, co-operation and consideration for the interests of others. These are the hallmarks of the amateur spirit.

BALANCED Radio is an avocation, never interfering with duties owed to family, job, school or community.

PATRIOTIC with station and skill always ready for service to country and community

The true Ham Radio spirit

* Always be polite regardless of the circumstances. If not, avoid transmitting.
* Set a good example especially for short wave listeners who may be thinking about becoming a ham.
* Be a good listener. It will help you better organize your thoughts before transmitting.
* Please refrain from breaking into an ongoing QSO unless you have something to share with the group.
* Break a QSO between overs by sending your call sign.
* Reply to a CQ, or call CQ yourself. It helps keep alive the magic of ham radio.
* Speak clearly and slowly, especially when giving your call sign to someone you have never worked before.
* Promote friendship and goodwill to DX contacts. Look for ways to get to know each other rather than simply exchanging signal reports and 73s!
* Try to keep track of everyone in the QSO. Hopefully someone has assumed the role of "traffic director" to make sure everyone has a chance to contribute to the discussion. If not, don't hesitate to .
* Make it clear at the end of each transmission which station is expected to transmit next.
* Operate on frequencies that are in whole KHz (e.g. 7.065 Khz). This alleviates ambiguity and makes it easier for everyone to be on the same frequency.
* Do not transmit before first determining that the frequency is clear.
* Try to keep a separation of at least 10 kHz.