Have you ever caused a pile-up?

Who do I answer?When that rare DX station appears, we’ve all had the experience of trying to be heard in the ensuing pile-up. But have you ever caused a pile-up?

Of course, operators of DX stations are used to sorting out calls in pile-ups. But what if you’re a new operator who’s just called his first CQ and more than one station answers?  For the novice ham — like this one in a cartoon I drew for “W1FB’s Help for New Hams” — the effect can be overwhelming and seem like a pile-up.

If you’re a DX station on the receiving end of pile-up, how do you pick who to answer? And how would you advise a new operator to handle multiple answers to a CQ?



Constitutional QSL

W200DOC cartoon QSL by N2ESTSince the U.S. Constitution was signed by a majority of convention delegates on this day in 1787, I wanted to share a QSL I created in 1988 to commemorate the constitution’s bicentennial as law of the land. That year, the FCC allowed ham stations to replace the number in their calls with “200” if they wanted to celebrate the event. My friend Bill Ronay, KM4LS, commissioned me to illustrate this special QSL for the Atlanta Radio Club. Not only did I draw the cartoon (love that brick-size handi-talkie!), but I also hand-lettered everything, including the report form on the back.