Well, despite the cold windy weather and still laying snow, I managed my 5 summit activation trip yesterday.
(full report to follow on my blog at dd5lp.com in a few days).
My main target was to activate the summits on 10m and with 6.5 (0.5 - was a failed one-way contact) 10m contacts I did indeed manage that. In order to get at least 4 contacts on the last 4 summits, I also used 20m and 40m.
Finding ANY frequency on 40m without background noise from a nearby frequency was almost impossible, so thanks for those chasers who somehow pulled me out of the noise (I was only running 5w or 2.5w on the last summit).
Here’s my complaint however - Trying to call another activator to give them and get an S2S contact is now almost impossible because of the crazy operation of some chasers in these pile-ups. I had other activators at S7 to S9+, so some would at least hear me if I had a chance. Of the four I tried to call, I managed to get through to one only. Without the “SOTA chaser QRM” I think I would have been able to work at least 3 of the 4 if not all of them.
Trying to pull stations out of a pile-up calling me is also not made better when I specifically ask for a station with particular letters in their call, that I have heard in the Melé and another station with a totally different call keeps calling. In some cases two or three stations keep calling. I know QSB is a problem especially with the activator running QRP, but going by most of the reports I was getting, my signal was loud enough to hear which station I was looking for. I try to catch part of call and then call that out, I do not wait for “tail end Charlie” and often I find that when I have gone back to a call I have heard, “tail end Charlie” or “the keep repeat calling - 'cos I’m more important idiot” is still trying to call me, making it impossible for me to know whether the selected station has come back to me or not and I have to call him (or her) again. This problem means that I take at least twice as long to work each station and I’m sure several chasers who I’d like to give a contact to simply give up. Unless there is a safety reason not to, I will always try to work all chasers. Those ignoring my call for a station with a particular set of letters in the call are spoiling it for the others.
By all means give your callsign twice but make only one call per QRZ please!
P.S. The reference to “tail end Charlie” refers to anyone waiting and calling at the end of a piile-up, not only people called Charles.