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RTTY Procedure Guide

Dec 11th 2012, 23:26


Joined: May 14th 2011, 20:53
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Total Posts: 0
I regularly see fragmented RTTY transmissions on the 20M band (e.g. stations sending out what appear to be lists of call signs adjacent to each other on my waterfall) and can't figure out what is going on.

Are these pile-ups? Contests? Something else?

Unfortunately the RTTY Contesting article in January 2013 QST was almost entirely a list of contests and the suggested information resource ( seems to be mostly an advertisement for Writelog For Windows.

Can anyone suggest some helpful references?
Dec 13th 2012, 14:41


Super Moderator

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
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Total Posts: 0

They are probably pile ups on rare DX stations--every DX station has a different idea on what he needs to do to maximize the number of different calls in his log--so you need to listen carefully to figure out what the DX is doing.

The usual way of handling a pileup is to operate split so that stations calling don't jam the DX station. Thus, a DX station will say up 1 to 2, meaning you should call up 1 to 2 kHz up.

Typically, I'll call with just my call W1VT W1VT W1VT

The exchange is equally short QSL 599 599 W1VT

You may need to wait to see the call of a really rare DX station. Many DX-peditions work SSB/CW first and then go to RTTY as the pileups start to thin out.

Zack Lau W1VT
ARRL Senior Lab Engineer

Dec 19th 2012, 08:55


Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
The resource listed in the article is a very good one, but if you are just looking for a a reference on using RTTY in general, hopefully its not too late to ask Santa for a copy of "Get on the Air with HF Digital" by Steve Ford.

And I'm not just saying that because this is an ARRL forum!

Good Luck!

de Scott N0IU
Assistant Director for the ARRL Midwest Division
Jan 16th 2013, 13:53


Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
If you are seeing a single station transmitting a list of call signs with a serial number, you were most likely seeing a QTC exchange in the WAE RTTY contest.

This is a recent addition in. In addition to the normal exchange of call and serial, you may exchange up to 10 QTCs with another station. The QTC is the call and the serial number from previous QSOs.

David, w2dz

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