A real-time “TU 5NN” Detector

The next big accessory that Elecraft or any transceiver manufacturer could come out with that would sell like hot cakes would be a “TU 5NN” Detector or T5D for short.

In a CW pile-up with a large split of 15 kHz or more, it would ignore all those who keep calling after the DX replies to a specific station and would instead zero in on the responding station, allowing you the DXer to put your transmitting VFO on that freq.

With PT0S generating such huge pile-ups, and with wanna be DXers from Lidville calling and calling regardless of the circumstance, it would seem to be a worthy addition to the DXer’s arsenal.

Of course, with everyone eventually owning one, the purpose would be defeated. Also thwarting its effectiveness would be the non-T5D owners who would constantly send TU 5NN throughout the split range as a new form of jamming.

Oh well – it was a good idea for the 15 seconds I pondered it…

I worked PT0S on 80m very early in and believe I will have to be content with that as my only contact with them. Twenty minutes here and 15 minutes there on the other bands have resulted in little more than fantasies involving my sledge hammer and the rigs of inconsiderate/idiotic lids.



  7 comments for “A real-time “TU 5NN” Detector

  1. Paul Stoetzer N8HM
    November 16, 2012 at 10:30 am

    That probably wouldn’t too hard to do with an SDR.

    • November 16, 2012 at 12:39 pm

      Right – just a specialized version of CW Skimmer would probably do it.

  2. November 16, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    Panadaptors (such as Elecraft’s P3) show you the spread of signals in a pile, giving a clue about where the real action is as a result of those who LISTEN for other stations being worked in order to judge where to put their TX and make their calls. An experienced DXer’s ears are attuned to the “5NN” or “five-nine”, and the precise timing of a QSO where both sides are synchronised – while at the same time tuning-out the liddery, the idiot dQRMers and continuous callers, and of course listening to the DX with the other ear (or, better still, with both ears: the K3 lets me mix a small amount of audio from the receiver listening on my TX frequency in just one ear with normal audio from the receiver listening to the DX in both ears, giving a natural priority to the DX over the lids).

    I like the sound of your sledge hammer though John, but it would be better if the lids ‘accidentally’ got their heads in the way. They can always buy another rig but a new head is a bit more costly.

    Gary ZL2iFB

    • November 16, 2012 at 6:00 pm

      Gary, I’ve heard from several folks with panadapters who say their display looks the same whether the DX station responds to a specific caller or simply says “QRZ”.

      With every pile-up, I ponder how a panadapter would benefit me and the result is a mixed bag…with orderly pile-ups, it would help; with others, not so much.

      Regardless of pile-up behavior, I think a sub-rx would be of greater benefit and will soon be on my shopping list.

      And yes, my sledge hammer idea also extends beyond their rigs ;-)

  3. November 19, 2012 at 5:14 am

    Panadapters: I find my P3 useful on *most* pileups, but when the PT0S scale pileups happen, way less useful. Two reasons:

    (1) As pointed out, those ATNO DXpeditions always mean a huge number of people are calling no matter what the DX stations is doing so the display doesn’t help much.
    (2) The super wide splits often overlap “innocent bystander” signals that randomly look well timed to the DX station’s come back.

    With the megascale ones, I’ve found good old fashioned “find them before they are spotted” works for me (see sub RX comment below). I worked PT0S on 160, 20 and 15 CW that way early on by looking for them before they got on, with other DX peditions I “swish” the RX with one hand while doing othe shack work with the other. Trying to get them on 30, 40, 80 I have only found them after spotting and life is too short to sit through that for very long.

    Sub-RX – oh, the joy! I ordered with my K3 and the very first time I used it in a pileup I was hooked. When I use my TS-850 now I’m amazed at how blind I feel in split pileups! Also, very useful to leave the sub RX on the advertised DX frequency and then just tune around for normal operating on the main VFO – the first peep on the sub-RX, work ‘em before they are spotted!

    When I operated as KP2/K3TN earlier this year, it was amazing to see how many people actually did follow my RX frequency, figure out my pattern, etc. I began to realize why you see so many DX ops going to annoying random QSYs – way too many people have caught on!

    • November 19, 2012 at 6:14 am

      Congrats on your multiple contacts – I tried again last night on 40m to no avail. PT0S has by far the largest (and most unruly) pile-ups I’ve ever seen. Even South Sudan and Yemen had smaller and more orderly pile-ups, though also a larger number of ops that thinned the herd over a larger number of bands.

      A sub-rx is on my post-Christmas shopping list.

  4. alan
    May 12, 2013 at 7:15 am

    How about a device to detect stations that give correct signal reports. 60 pecent of the stations i work give me 5NN reports. I only run 25w into a short wire – so i’m not talking about dx staions here. Can people really be so lazy that they cant take just 5 seconds to look at a meter?

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