Other SOTA sites: SOTAwatch | SOTA Home | Database | Video | Photos | Shop | Mapping | FAQs | Facebook | Contact SOTA

Call upon chasers when 2 activators are on one summit


I was part of the mass activation of Ailsa Craig some years ago. We were, and I am going from memory, 8 operators (MM3EYP, MM6EYP, MM1BJP, GM4OBK, GM4COX, GM4YMM, GM4GUF and myself GM0AXY); apologies if I missed anyone.
We all operated simultaneously on VHF as well as various HF bands and modes, using our own rigs within the activation zone. I think we all qualified the Summit Activation. There will have been some chasers who worked several of us, maybe even on different bands and modes. The chasers all could only claim 1 Point.
This activation was organised by the main Activator of The Cloud as it happens, M1EYP and ably supported by Jimmy, M6EYP, now M0GHY!
That was a MASS Activation!
What if someone had managed to turn up later in the day, at the next high tide, and also managed to get the obligatory 4 QSO’s? If that had happened I think it should stand as a separate and qualified activation and the points be available for both activator and chasers.
Just a thought!


Hi Ken,

Please note that my calling back then was M3EYP and my dad’s callsign is M1EYP. 2 others operators in the Ailsa Craig GM/SS-246 trip were Nick G0HIK and Geoff G6MZX.

Again my calling back then was M3EYP, not M6EYP and if was actually me who organised this with help from my dad.

Jimmy M0HGY


Thanks for the corrections, Jimmy.
As I said, I was going from memory ! Blame my increasing age, hi!

The underlying argument about what constitutes a multiple activation and what should be considered as a separate activation still holds, hi!
73 and regards M1EYP


I too try to work all the activators on each summit. I have been on one activation with another SOTA activator and we both made our required QSO’s. When I am chasing I always try to work both. Some times it is hard to get the SSB contacts and easier for the CW contacts.


Are old versions of the manuals archived in a revision control system? The reason I ask is that I have a recollection that in the very earliest days of SOTA, the rule for chaser points was very similar to that being discussed now, i.e. chasers could claim a point for each independent expedition. I think it was deliberately changed to “once per day” in some rule revision. The change log in the rule document itself is a bit vague, so it might be useful to be able to consult the actual text as it was.

Obviously I don’t know why it was changed, but I could hazard a guess. We are all encouraged to submit accurate logs of our contacts and let the database work out the score. But how could the “once per expedition” rule be implemented? How can the database code possibly know whether two activations of the same summit were independent expeditions or not? Without further information, it can’t. I might guess that allowing chasers to claim a point for each activating callsign was felt to be too generous, so it was changed to once per day.

I also recall that this changed happened before it had been carefully thought through what “day” meant. Early rules had references to local time, which again would be a database nightmare. Eventually it was decided to use UTC everywhere, leading to the anomaly that in some parts of the world chasers can claim twice in a period of daylight, or perhaps be denied a claim because they worked the summit “yesterday”.

My own experience is that Caroline and I don’t seem to have a problem with reluctant chasers. We normally operate different bands, and many chasers seem keen to work both of us if they can (often making a point of comparing the signals). If we are for some reason stuck with a joint activation on one band, we will normally both work the first 4. The vast majority of chasers seem perfectly happy with this. Often they are are locals who aren’t bothered about the points anyway, but say they always try to answer SOTA stations.

Despite having a few anomalies, I don’t think the rule needs changing.

Martyn M1MAJ


I say leave it as is. I have activated solely SSB and only had problems on 2 summits. Bad coax on one and being QRP with a substandard antenna on a contest day on the other. I can not recall a chaser yet who was not willing to hold for the other operator. By the same token I try to stay on the summit long enough to give every chaser a chance to contact me. The points are nice but not the reason I’m doing this.



After all don’t forget that activation is a risk generally. It’s nice, in one part, to have doubts for qualifying a summit! An activator should take under consideration the transmitting conditions of the day! Strategy can help in difficult situations. It means proper time and proper band-mode. Not qualifying isn’t a failure! So many years it never happened to me not to qualify a summit! Activation of a summit is training first of all! Health and nature is the first reward for the activator! Good luck to all activators!!! Hear you soon from a summit!

73 de SV2OXS, Christos.


Me Again Dog with Bone
Some of you seem to miss the point of the chasers not being allowed to score the second activator,causing them to give up the chase for the reason of rule 3
With effect from 01-Jan-2004, only one QSO with a given Summit on any one day
(defined as 00:00 to 23:59 UTC) counts for points.
Some of you say it’s all about exercise and fun etc for sure but to a point. In my case Hugh and I travel up to 800 km round trip spend money on fuel and accommodation to take part just for a weekend of 4 summits. Now for us to travel out and not both qualify with a limited amount of committed chasers and from now on failing band conditions would be gut wrenching. I think this rule could hold back activators progress to mountain goat and what difference does it make if the loyal chasers add a bit to their scores as well. Been good so far but I think the chasers working tag team activators need a fair go [that’s an Aussie word] fair go.
Ian vk5cz …


The rule is as it is. Chasers already have it fairly easy in that they can score a summit once a day.

It’s in chasers’ interests to ensure activators are encouraged. Over here in Europe there’s no shortage of chasers (usually) so if a summit gets activated by more than one activator in a day there’re still likely plenty of chasers who missed the first one, and will be happy to catch the next…

In those parts of the world where chasers are scarcer, it’s also quite likely in chasers’ interests to make the odd zero-point QSO, if only to encourage the activators. However, it can get complicated (and, speaking from experience on both ends of the game, tedious) if an activating group tries to ensure every activator talks to every chaser. I’d probably save that sort of trouble only for summit-to-summit contacts…


This is not a matter of ease. This is ensuring that the activators have an eager and committed corps of chasers available to ease the qualification of summits! If chasers could only work a summit for points once a year I rather think that life would be more difficult for activators since chasers would concentrate more on uniques. The question is whether the current rule can make life difficult for the second and subsequent guys on the summit in any day, it is irrelevant that removing the one chase per day rule will enable chasers to score more points as you cannot compare chaser and activator scores. To try and do so would be like saying one cup of tea is as strong as another one is sweet!

I have already manned up and admitted that if it is a choice between working a subsequent activation for no points, or chasing another activation that will score points, I will do the latter, though if there isn’t another chase beckoning then I am happy to make a zero points chase. There is bound to be some bias in favour of scoring points on the part of chasers, the question is whether that bias is sufficient to make life difficult for subsequent activators. If we can answer yes, then there are grounds for reconsidering that rule - and since the rule was a later addition to the GR it is not one of the core rules that cannot be altered.


Yes, it’s all about getting that balance right.

…and that comes down to how many chasers there are active at the time.

Over here in Europe there’s usually plenty of chasers. In the Southern hemisphere I expect there are rather more occasions when the chaser pool runs a little drier. That’s when it’s most in the interests of the chasers to make those zero-point chases…

That said, with joint activations, one useful option is to add variety. Don’t all try to qualify the summit on the same single band and mode. Spread out a bit. I’ve certainly even had solo activations where the same chaser has caught me on more than one band or mode, presumably for completeness one way or another. If it gives a chaser additional incentive to call again, who cares. Changing band or mode has certainly saved me from a pointless activation more than once.


Without willing to drift off the subject of the thread, let me say that I sometimes contact the same activator on different bands if conditions permit, just to give him/her an idea of how propagation conditions are and also because I appreciate that for the very same reason when I’m activating.



One possible issue with changing the rule and letting a chaser get points for each and every activator per day in a summit is when running one of the challenges like the ones we had in the past, e.g. the 10 & 6 meters challenge.
Let’s imagine that the rule has been changed and we have a new challenge running.
Let’s imagine that the challenge is about to end. It will finish tomorrow and we have 2 TOP chaser participants with the same score. The last day will be critical for those 2 TOP chasers. Only one of them is a popular person, not the other, and several members of his/her radioclub organise a multiple activation to a local summit just to give his/her friend as many points as they can allowing him/her to open a significant distance with his competitor.
That would be legal according to the new rules, should the change have happened.
Would that be fair?
I think it’s something to take into consideration before taking a decision.