I am planning a trip to the big island of Hawaii at the end of May and am planning on at least 2 SOTA activations while I am there. I would like to do both voice and CW. This would be my first CW activation. I am newer to CW. It has been pretty much my primary mode of operation for the past 3 months since I completed CW OPS academy Level 1 in early February. I have almost 200 CW QSOs logged so far, all have been chasing SOTA, Parks, SES, DX and state qso parties. My problem lies with copying call signs. The randomness of it really throws me off, if I hear a CQ on the air I usually cannot pick up the callsign easily, which is really frustrating because with simple exchanges my copy skills are keen. I am also an avid chaser and since learning the code I have almost tripled my chaser points. What helps me there is seeing the activation on SOTAwatch and then going to the frequency, in this case I know what to listen for callsign wise. So there for it really helps.
I have been practicing using callsign copy programs on LCWO.net and it seems to be helping but I have to have the sign repeated a number of times. My concern is if I take this out in the field and ask a chaser for multiple repeats if they are going to get frustrated with me and bail on me, or if I am going to get email telling me I have no business on the air yet.
I really want to do this! I think it would be a blast to work a CW SOTA activation from Hawaii. What tips do you have for me? I was thinking, I would call CQ at between 13-15 WPM and send my RST at 17wpm. Is that a dumb idea? Should I keep it all the same?
I was thinking I would program my radio with my CQ, which I was thinking would be CQ SOTA CQ de K0EAP K0EAP K0EAP SOTA. Is that good? to long? Better way to call CQ?
Another question is when I finish a contact (if I get any) should I just send a QRZ? Or should I send a K0EAP SOTA K? What scripts do you guys follow?
What advice do you have for me? I have done a few SOTA and Park activations so I know how to handle a voice pileup, I have never dealt with a CW pileup and have no idea what I would do if I had one.
I have seen operators posting messages on the SOTA alerts that this is their first CW activation and to QRS. Or just to go slow with them so I would definitely do that prior to the activation.
I LOVE using CW and I love the SOTA program, which is ultimately why I learned Morse. Using the two together during my own activation is definitely a goal of mine!
Any tips would be greatly appreciated.