Before going "on air" every serious 11mt DXer should know these basic rules:
QSO Procedures: Listen before calling (always be a good SWLer first!); check that no one is using the frequency. Also, check nearby frequencies for any station close to you, as you may cause interference to them or they to you. If you don't have a radio with a frequency read-out, it's always handy to have a frequency-chart nearby as many foreign stations might ask you to QSY to another frequency, not a channel.
An example of the calling procedure: "CQ, CQ, CQ, DX. This is 20 Alfa Tango XXX .... calling from Norway-Scandinavia. Going QSY on Frequency XX.xxx". Repeat your callsign 2 or 3 times. If a station has received your call, he will answer with your callsign and then his.
Whistling before calling CQ is not recommended, as most good operators will not return to your call.
Do your SWLing: It may occur that you hear a station talking to a station that you would like to talk to, or it may be a station that you have had a contact with in the past and would like to talk to again. The procedure is as follows: Wait, until there is a break in the QSO (when the passage is finished), then quickly say "QSK". Wait for his acknowledgment. Never QSK too many times as some stations do not like it when other stations QSK into their QSOs, plus it could be he cannot hear you, so just call QSK 1 to3 times. If he hears you, his reply will be: "XXRomeo Sierra November... this is XXATxxx.... I do copy you. Please QRX; I will get back to you as soon as possible."
When confirming transmissions the usual procedure is just by saying "Roger" or "Is that a Roger?", but there is also another way of doing this and it is becoming a standard nowadays. It is the QSL in the general "Q-code". This does not just mean sending cards. This can be used the same way as the word "Roger". For instance: "My working conditions are a Yaesu 757, and my antenna is a 4 elements beam going towards you, QSL!". If he has copied all of your transmission he will come back first with: "QSL Romeo Sierra November...... nice working conditions."
There are just guidelines to those who are just starting out on DXing. They do not need to be copied word by word. You may even come up with your own method, but it is best to keep to these guidelines.
Busy Frequency: When you're having a QSO with another station, and there are other operators who constantly break in and call CQ over the operator you're talking with, it might get quite frustrating, at times. Sometimes, you might even feel anger, because when you ask a station to standby, the other party keeps on calling. Most of the times it occurs due to language problems. A second party operator may simply not understand you. Therefore, try to ask friendly to standby, in his own language, and you'll see your wishes come true.
English: "This frequency is busy/occupied, thanks" German: "Diese frequenz ist besetzt, danke scön" Norwegian: "Denne frekvensen er opptatt, takk" French: "Cette frequence è occupè, merci" Italian: "La frequenza è occupata, grazie" Swedish: "Den her frekvensen er upptagen, tack" Spanish: "Esta frequencia està ocupada, gracias"
Abbreviations and Codes: When DXing, communicating is a lot easier by using abbreviations and particular codes. A person who is not used to radio-codes will not understand a word: Especially beginners will have a hard time getting familiar with the code. This guide will show you the most common abbreviations and codes available, and perhaps there are a few you didn't know about before reading this. Lets just read on and learn ....
Most common codes: 73s "Best wishes" -- 51 "Greetings" -- 88 "Love and kisses"
On QSL cards, don't write: "Best 73s", because "73s" already means "Best wishes". It would be unnecessary to write it twice. You can, however, write "VY 73s", which means: "Very best wishes".
10-4 "O.K." (From the American 10-code. Used by a few European stations) Roger, O.K. "Received, Roger"
Most Common Q-Codes:
QSL=Confirmation (QSL card confirms a contact) QRM=Atmospheric interference (noises like splatters, lightening, rain, etc.) QRN=Electrical interference (noises like el.switch on/off, motorcar engine, electric razor, etc.) QSB=Fading signals (when a signal fade up and down) QSK=May I join the conversation ? (Break into a conversation) QSO=Conversation (2-way, SSB/CW/RTTY/AMTOR etc.) QSY=Change frequency (go from one frequency to another) QTH=Geographical position; QRT=Stop of transmission (end of QSO) QRX=Please standby; QRZ=Callsign (name of station or "Who is calling me?") QTR=Time (GMT) QRG=Frequency
On QSL Cards:
TNX=Thanks; TKS=Thanks; PSE=Please; HPE CUAGN="Hope To See You Again"; PWR=Power (watts) WX=Weather conditions; VY=Very; DE=From;
Common Expressions: Working Conditions=Radio equipment; Transceiver=Radio transmitter; (or: TX/RX); Beam=Directional antenna (horizontal/vertical); Propagation=Ionospheric conditions (known as "skip");