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A disappointing afternoon


#1

I always looked upon the SOTA community as well mannered and decent ham oparators. What a disappointment to hear the crowd on Saturday, trying to work Dino, I1YDT/P on 7032! No respect to anybody else, using ultra high power (the sledgehammer), endless calling (why not adjust to the activator’s speed?!) and, most upsetting, calling “idiot” followed by an endless row of dots.
Poor Dino kept his nerve and tried to serve everyone. But I had enough of SOTA chasing that afternoon! See you again from some quiet summit, 73, Hans PA0HRM


#2

In reply to PA0HRM:
Totally agree with you Hans. Dino was given a very bad time of it. We have always had the well known ‘alligators’ some of whom are experienced at SOTA and high up on the chaser tables but this was a very disgraceful example of SOTA. It is time to name and shame the bad operators since appealing to their better nature is non-productive. Bad operating includes not just excessive calling when the activator is working another station, but calling when they ask for a partial call and using excessive speed. Good operating does not require a degree. Good CW can sound superb when sent at QRS speed.

73
David/G4CMQ


#3

In reply to PA0HRM:

The MT are aware of some operators whose methods are very aggressive and ill-mannered, some on CW and some on SSB. However, we cannot hear everything and we are often too busy working for SOTA to spend time on the air.

I suggest that any complaints are sent directly to me, and if there are sufficient complaints about any particular operators the MT will discuss what action they might take. In extreme cases I suppose we could remove some of these “gentlemen” from the database.

73

Brian G8ADD


#4

In reply to G8ADD:
I only work SSB, and i all my ham-activities are SOTA. I have tried to learn CW, and will get on the air with CW.
The only problem, are for a new CW-operators to work these pile-ups. Its hard work with SSB, with 40 qso’s starting to be the norm, but with these chasers, i think i have to work SSB for a white. And rather than activate summits with CW, i have to to the activations with SSB, and find somone to rag-chew with on the CW, for the training.

I have beenq thinking about ignoring people that dosent behave, but that won’t work. Cause they are sending qro, and jamming others signal.
To finish the pile-up under one hour, i have to work the stations that are calling, and calling, first. I dont like it, but thats the way it is…


#5

In reply to LA5XTA:

If you are a new CW-operator and feel reluctant to tackle a big pile-up I recommend to start on a higher band. If you call on 18 or 21 MHz in the afternoon you will not raise a big pile-up. I had some very relaxing CW-QSOs recently, many with full exchanges of name, QTH, etc and some small talk on these bands. Once you feel secure you might then want to step into the 10MHz and 7MHz pile-ups. Nowadays I think we see bigger pile-ups on 10 than on 7MHz.

If you can arrange with your job an option might be to start activating on a day during the week or late in the evening. This will further reduce number of callers.

You will soon realize that there are always the same chasers. I feel that 90% of my SOTA QSOs are always with the same bunch of hard-core chasers. Once you are familiar with their callsigns you will find it much easier to pick them out of a pile-up.

Please go and give CW a try, you will not regret!

73 Heinz


#6

In reply to LA5XTA:

I totally agree with Heinz, OE5EEP, concerning SOTA-activities in cw.
My situation is the same as yours. I made much cw during the 1980s, but did`nt almost nothing in the last 20 years. So nowadays my fingers and ears (especially in pile-ups) have to be trained again.

By the way:
We had SOTA-contact on 21. Oct. 2012 at 08:08 utc.
I found my callsign with DE5FSM instead of OE5FSM in your activator-log. A handwritten O can be read as D lateron. :slight_smile: May I ask you to correct it. Mni tnx in advance!!! It is the same problem with U ans V.

Cul on SOTA!

73, Franz
OE5FSM


#7

In reply to all:

Hi folks,
here is my conclusion of monitoring the SOTA-frequencies (CW and SSB)
over the last couple of years.

You cannot change the habits (nature) of a “black sheep”; but you can make his life more difficult.

We need to reduce the"pile-up´s" in Europe.
Pile-up´s getting more worse since reversebeacon.net came into SOTA.

Most of the “black sheep´s” do not use their receivers, they just using
the internet.

So please:

  • do not spot anymore SOTA until he/she is in trubble in getting the 4 qso´s
  • do not spot any SOTA at the dx-summit
  • stop reversebeacon.net

Many tnx es vy73
Fritz HB9CSA, DL4FDM


#8

You are correct Fritz that we cannot change this behaviour. However, I disagree that chasers not spotting is the answer. The answer, as always, is in how the activator manages his/her pile-up.

I like to work big pile-ups, so I like it when I am spotted on SOTAwatch and on DX clusters. I am impressed by the innovation to link to the RBN, and enjoy using it.

So for me:

  • please do spot me whenever you like on SOTAwatch
  • please do spot me on DX-Summit and other clusters
  • continue the interface with RBN.

Tom M1EYP


#9

In reply to M1EYP:
I’m with you, Tom! Frandy N1FJ


#10

Neglecting the problem may have sideeffetcs. The unspoken requirement now that each and every activator has to be a bulletproof pileup-handler may not sound too motivating. Does it mean: If you are not able to stand the pileup with a weak signal you must live with the fact that the pileup necessarily chases you off your frequency sooner or later?

The “If you cant stand the heat, so dont go in the kitchen”-attitude IMHO does not fit to SOTA-activating which may base on more motivations than only to have a big pileup one never gets elsewhere. Then I second the tip to decide for bands which allow only less traffic, like i.e. 20m from central EU, relaxing 25 qsos in one and half an hour - excluding a bigger number of chasers out of skip.

Pile ups can be fun and are most of the times for me, too. But why on earth should an activator not have the right to have a relaxed time on the hill if he wishes to have? We should make it easy for him in his desired mode so that potential activators don´t get frightened beforehand. And especially CW should be fun not something to fear!
73, Chris (DL8MBS)

@N1FJ: You have heard EU-SOTA-pileups, have you? If not, ask KU6J to send the short snippet from a modest one I mailed to him or ask me to do. There are even worldclass-contesters with louder signals than a SOTA-activator who look for ways to escape skimmer-pileups. What do you think why?


#11

In reply to DL8MBS:
I think when Tom talks about managing the pileup, I think he means like calling by numbers, areas, etc. and refusing to give QSOs to the lids. Right? It works. But of course it only works when the lids can actually hear the calling station, and many times they can’t even hear the station they’re trying to work.

In reply to G8ADD:

In extreme cases I suppose we could remove some of these “gentlemen” from the database.

Molto bene, Brian. :slight_smile: One would assume that the reason these “gentlemen” operate abusively is because they have some kind of 5-year-old-like show-off contest between themselves, so if you just start removing a couple of them from the database the shock and horror would spread, and they’d seek out different ways to display their relative “manliness” to each other.


#12

In reply to HB9CSA:

So please:

  • do not spot anymore SOTA until he/she is in trubble in getting the 4
    qso´s
  • do not spot any SOTA at the dx-summit
  • stop reversebeacon.net

Hi Fritz, just a reminder: anyone who prefers that RBNGate NOT spot them can send me their callsign and I will add them to the software’s Excluded Activators list. If someone prefers to not get spotted on some activations rather than all of them, they can include “RBNN” or “NoRBNGate” anywhere within the comment for their SOTAWatch alert (without the quotes, case-insensitive). No one has yet asked to be on the Excluded Activators list, but I’m happy to add anyone that prefers not to get spotted.

In reply to DL8MBS:

@N1FJ: You have heard EU-SOTA-pileups, have you? If not, ask KU6J to
send the short snippet from a modest one I mailed to him or ask me to
do. There are even worldclass-contesters with louder signals than a
SOTA-activator who look for ways to escape skimmer-pileups. What do
you think why?

Here is your audio snippet for anyone who wishes to listen to it:

It reminded me of my IOTA expedition to EU-067 (SV8 Santorini Island) but my pileups were usually larger. Working split made them easy enough to manage, especially when the band was open to JA (unquestionably the world’s most disciplined operators) and I thoroughly enjoyed being the chased-after instead of the chaser. To each his own.

73,

Eric KU6J

===========================================
Free SOTA Spot Monitor Software:
http://www.ku6j.com


#13

In reply to LA9XSA:

In reply to G8ADD:

In extreme cases I suppose we could remove some of these "gentlemen"
from the database.

Molto bene, Brian. :slight_smile: One would assume that the reason these
"gentlemen" operate abusively is because they have some kind of
5-year-old-like show-off contest between themselves, so if you just
start removing a couple of them from the database the shock and horror
would spread, and they’d seek out different ways to display their
relative “manliness” to each other.

I think that this abusive behaviour is a reflection of how they fight the world in DX-pedition pile-ups. They may be losing their inhibitions in the thrill of the chase! I do not have the capability to monitor the CW pile-ups, but I often lurk somewhere within SSB pile-ups and I am keeping a list of callsigns of badly-behaved operators in my little black book. Any callsigns that are reported to me - and I invite such reports - will also go in that little black book. No action will be taken if I get one such report, because accidents will happen, but multiple reports will get more attention, and after discussion the MT may decide to take action against serial offenders in graduated steps: warning > temporary blockage of access to their database > complete removal from the database. It is up to all of us to watch our own behaviour and to protect SOTA.

I repeat, I invite reports of bad behaviour by PEM, via the contact section of the website.

73

Brian G8ADD


#14

In reply to KU6J:

The audio snippet was quite interesting Eric. As an activator I have been on the receiving end of considerably worse and from experience I would say that the hardest part of handling the pile up comes when you have just been spotted and everyone has locked onto you. Most chasers net fairly precisely and quite often all that can be copied is a continuous monotone. Under those circumstances I tend to delay making a response and usually one or two will just chip in their call after the main ensemble have finished. Unfortunately just sending QRZ results in a repeat of the wall of sound.

I sympathise with the view expressed by Erik LA5XTA. Handling a pile up is not easy, even for a relatively experienced activator. Tom is right in saying that the activator has to take control and those that have worked me in the past will probably recall occasions when I have taken to giving a lecture to the chasers on frequency, asking everyone to LISTEN. I usually work the pile up until there is no-one else to be worked and to do this within a reasonable period of time requires considerate operating from everyone.

As to whether the possibility of being removed from the database proves to be a sufficient deterrent, only time will tell. Of course that does not affect the non-SOTA ops who are attracted to “the bees around the honeypot”. Usually I work these people and then I am asked for my callsign - ah well, there’s no accounting for such folk.

73, Gerald G4OIG


#15

In reply to G4OIG:

As to whether the possibility of being removed from the database
proves to be a sufficient deterrent, only time will tell. Of course
that does not affect the non-SOTA ops who are attracted to “the bees
around the honeypot”. Usually I work these people and then I am asked
for my callsign - ah well, there’s no accounting for such folk.

73, Gerald G4OIG

There is, Gerald, the poor blighters probably thought from the racket that you were rare DX on an atoll somewhere! :slight_smile:

73

Brian G8ADD


#16

In reply to G8ADD:

Since I am only getting out every couple of months, my activations are rare and from VK, ZL, JA, etc., I am DX.
As for the atoll, well apart from Ailsa Craig, they are a bit thin on the ground in GM/SS. :slight_smile:

73, Gerald G4OIG


#17

As for the atoll - it only needs to completely focus on the frontend of your rig, forget every other detail of the surrounding and imagine the “continuous monotone” as described calls you on an atoll.

When the monotone is so mono that even using some frequency offset doesn´t help, my way to keep to the rhythm (=to SURVIVE with maintaining control) is to send “DL agn” or “G4 agn”. In a big pileup there is always someone with one of this prefixes. Even two or three of them then coming back can be sorted out - other than the monotone. But again: I don´t find some pileups too inviting for those with a normal operating style (a spot on DX-summit really adding to the intensity).

Btw: are there others who experienced the following: From a certain number of calls on opening the filter say from 200 to 400Hz helps, IMHO.
And with the audio-snippet : It was marked as being a modest pileup and the full snippet has some more intense moments but it still misses the real monotone :wink:
73, Chris


#18

There is, Gerald, the poor blighters probably thought from the racket that you were rare DX on an atoll somewhere! :slight_smile:

Haha, good point. Usually when I tune around the band I save pileups for last listening and try to work the less busy stations first.

I’m sure the DXCC desk would be happy to warn or disqualify the worst offenders too; it’s supposed to be a gentle(wo)man’s activity, not a CB shoot out.

What’s the thought on DX net assisted QSO’s in SOTA? If the activating station can’t manage the pileup on its own, would it be acceptable to have a net control station that manages the pileup? Of course a QSO isn’t valid unless the activator and chaser actually hear each other and exchange signal reports (and optionally summit reference), but the net control might inform the pileup about whose turn it is.


#19

In reply to LA9XSA:
I’m not sure if a control station would help but anyone is welcome to try it. You are right the stations must hear each other for the qso to be ok. I’ve found working cw split helps. But if the manners get bad I just stop calling. The pileup quietens down then and I can continue.

Andy
EA3/MM0FMF (again)

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