Too many times I’ve seen my callsign ending up incorrectly in the activator’s log on the SOTA database. For most of these contacts I’m 100% convinced though that my callsign was copied correctly. The problem here, I strongly suspect, is that handwritten logs are used and later on, once at home while adding the logs to the SOTA database, the activator can’t read his own handwriting anymore. Some activators might not even be aware of this. The I in the handwritten log is just added to the activator’s log, the activator not knowing anymore that it should be a J, as he did copy correctly over the air. Or an O while it should be a D, or an N while it should be a M.
During activations, callsigns are often written down in the log quickly and not seldomly under adverse conditions. So it’s understandable that one has trouble reading his own handwriting once at home after the activation. I know the problem because once at home after a SOTA or WWFF activation I sometimes also had that same problem with my own handwritten log.
I’ve seen my callsign ending up in activator’s logs on the SOTA database as PA7MDT, PA2MDJ, EA7MDJ, DA7MDJ, PA7NDJ, PA7MDI, PA0MDJ, PA7MOJ, PA7MDY, all for contacts that I’m 100% sure of that my callsign was copied correctly by the activator.
It’s not the end of the world, but still I’d like to make a plea to all the activators: please take some more time and rest to note down the callsign of the chaser in your handwritten log. This will avoid not being able to correctly read it once at home while adding the log to the SOTA database. Be sure to use the writing utensil that works best for you. I’ve found out that a pencil works better for me than for instance a ballpoint pen.
Thanks and 73 de Michael PA7MDJ