Monday, May 15, 2017

My AMSAT Etiquette - Rule 2

Rule 2: I let the DX have the bird

The Things you find Google Image Searching a Term
When operating, if I hear a rare station, a rover, a portable operator, or anything that is generally uncommon, I will typically let them have the bird and make as many contacts as they can. This is generally the same idea behind letting a DX keep an HF frequency, except on the Satellite there is a finite amount of time they will be able to make contacts, and it's important to give them as much time as possible. Even more so, since FM repeater birds typically are considered 'easier' to work, and require less equipment for the operator, these are more commonly used by rovers or portable operators who may not be full time AMSAT ops, or may have only a small amount of gear to work with. 

In the SOTA world we have a saying - 'The Activator is King' - I think that applies in the Satellite world too.. the DX is king. If someone is somewhere rare, I can wait for another pass to say hi to theguy a few grids away who I hear all the time - ESPECIALLY if I'm on a single channel FM bird. If I'm on a linear bird, and I just *have* to ragchew with someone, I'll spin my dial way off of center, reduce my power to minimum (to make sure the DX has as much of the transponder's power as they can) and then talk to my buddy there.

When I try to think of an exception or a caveat to this rule, and I'm coming up blank. What do you think? Any exceptions or reasons you shouldn't let a rare DX have the bird? 


  1. What if I have some really interesting weather to talk about? For instance, say it is raining in DM14 and I need to let all the other SoCal ops know about it. Could this qualify as a corner case?

    On a serious note, the only thing I can think of that takes priority over rare DX is an emergency.

    1. Yup, an emergency would qualify. I'll give that as an example.