On 3G0ZC I was operating 99% on CW running large pile-ups , mainly from EU. Every CW operator has own style how to manage callers and it can be discovered if you listen carefully. It will give you more chances to break pile-up even if you are not big-gun.
What helps , what can speed-up rate and make CW operator much easier ?
More precisely the way you are sending RST back:
50% callers are repeating their call-sign even when DX sent it right!
It makes job more difficult because DX is thinking that he didn`t copy call correctly ....
No problem to repeat call-sign when you are sure it has mistake , do not send 599 then , just your call to clarified. DX will notice that , for sure will try.
The worst example is here:
DX: IT9RYH 5NN
IT9RYH: CFM IT9TYH 5NN 5NN 73 DE IT9TYH ....
So many times I was dealing with similar examples .....
I had great fun last night @ EI0PL. I was chasing 9Q0HQ on low bands. All night long. My plan was ... 30/40M ... as they always struggling with high noise level on low bands making QSOs very hard.
But last time when they were QRV from Benin as TY1AA I was very lucky to work them on 80M!
This time didn`t count for 80. I was watching their activity on low bands last few days and spots on 80 and 160 were sporadic.
Second thing I had to manage work them on old style IC-735 and "100 W" only on 7Mhz.
First QSO managed 30 minutes after midnight and it was 80M CW!
Great surprise and lovely signal for few good hours.
One hour later
2`nd QSO ... the hardest ... was ... TB! Yes I`ve managed to work them on 160M with high level of noise on my side with old but great rig ICOM IC-735. No AF beverage @EI0PL but JA RX antenna helped a bit to reduce high noise level. To be honest workable opening was for about 20 minutes ...
Around 3:00 AM ... they started 30M ... signal was low but strong enough and after few calls I`ve got EI9KC 5NN on reply. Later in the morning signal on 10Mhz was much stronger.
Last missing band was 40M!
I had to manage with 100W "only" but with great Moxon @EI0PL. I know what this antenna can do ... and did!
When they were spotted on 40M SSB I didn`t copy any signal on their QRG. It was at their SR. Slowly slowly signal became stronger and was readable. One call only ... and Japanese operator JA3USA logged me in their log for my last band with 9Q0HQ!
Two minutes after I was able to check in their real time on-line log all my QSO.
Hats off Italian DX-pedition Team. Thanks for great thrill! Enjoyed every single QSO!
Another time great Operators showed high skills on DX-pedition.