It is wonderful to see so many SOTA stations on the air. The majority seem to be CW stations. I wonder if a microphone could be tacken as well for some SSB contacts please.
In reply to 2E0HJD:
No Mick ONE BIG LAUGH
In reply to G0VWP:
Best is they post they are going to use SSB but never hear or see them posted on ssb
In reply to G4JZF:
I assume this conversation is about HF. If so, then it may not be a case of them not being QRV, but one of them being too QRP and so inaudible. Having tried 7MHz CW and SSB, I have given up SSB until I can find time to modify and test a cheap CB amplifier. Even after receiving 579 on the key, calls up in the SSB section have proved to be a complete waste of time using the 817 barefoot.
I am one of those who has, in the past (not so much these days as I now know the likelihood of success) has alerted for HF SSB. I have indeed done HF SSB as promised and called lots and lots of times, but usually without response. As the others say, it is very difficult on SSB with QRP. But it isn’t that the alert hasn’t materialised; it has (usually).
It should be pointed out that many of those who alert for and do CW only, have a CW only rig (such as the KX1). So they don’t have a microphone with them, nor would one be any good to them.
Why are there never any moans that SSB-only activators don’t do some CW on their summits? (Out of interest).
after one year of CW-only activations i started this year with ssb.now ssb is a regular mode on my activations . i found new nice friends with this mode on the bands…
- cw is very much easier in qrp
- at the beginning i used my 817 without speech-comp. and i found it not easy
- then i build my own rig with abt. 15wtts es speech-comp , and its results in better reports
- if i see alerts on the cluster from stations who tries ssb with a buddipole or a short mobile-vertical on 40m in the evening hours … mmmhhhhh think i dosen´t works
- to do ssb you need a good antenna, and then you can do ssb with qrp.
try the morning hours on the 40m-band or midday up 7110 to … if the bc-qrm is not there
- the bands 20m and up are better for ssb if conditions allows
- build a linked dipole , use fullsize or extended dipols for ssb with a good symetric-tuner with wireman feeder or homebrewed feeders
- my antenna tests are finished and at example , for ssb i use the linked-dipole,the 2 x 26m dipole or a 60m longwire…i don´t will try shorter antennas. in cw only a longwire with 10m and a counterpoise is enough to work many chasers.
- for ssb and cw activations on more bands you need much more time my last activations are in operating time-range from 90 to 120mins…
- another reason for not so much activitiy is this summer , i think , are the many thunderstorms . ( ok, i like thunderstorm since i finished my 10ghz-rainscatter portable-rig last month ;-))
,and i use the rainy days to work at my CW-keying/operation and to better my highspeed-listening…so i think cw is a lifetime learning and you need time for this mode
i hope to work many of you again in cw or ssb…
cu from the summits, vy 73 Klaus
P.S. Yes, i know, my english is not the best ;-))
In reply to M1EYP:
It feels a little odd to see 7 megs referred to as HF, is it just my age that I still think of it as LF, or is it that so many of us came by the “B” route and really think of both HF and LF as the DC bands and don’t differentiate between them? I still think of 20m as the lowest HF band, and people still do well on that band with QRP when coronal holes permit.
This year I have worked a fair number of overseas activations on 40m SSB with my FT817, but life is difficult working those who still have to stay below 7100 because of the crowded conditions. This prolongued deep sunspot minimum doesn’t help, either, with even 5 megs being dicey whilst 80m still gets D layer absorption. Roll on cycle 24!!!
I must admit that CW is not on for me, but I have to respect those who can send readable CW from a mountain top!
“Why are there never any moans that SSB-only activators don’t do some CW on their summits? (Out of interest).” Well, one possible answer is that when I started chasing CW was almost unheard of, and many of those activators and chasers that didn’t do CW then don’t do it now! Meanwhile, those who chase CW have a plethora of activations to work while the rest of us seem to be out in the cold for much of the time. But come on, do you really want more of us die-hard SSB-ers working CW and bulking up the pile-ups?
PS Klaus, your English is infinitely better than my German, and it is completely understandable, too!
In reply to G8ADD:
I have tried several times to master using the microphone, without success. I went along to my local club and tried for several months to learn the Phonetic alphabet. I talked to myself into a tape recorder to try and master the speech thing buts it’s very difficult with so many nouns, verbs and words to master. I even tried interactive language programs that run on the pc. No thanks I will stick with my simple cw that the whole world understands.
In reply to G0AOD:
Post by G0AOD on 15th August 2007 at 11:43
It is wonderful to see so many SOTA stations on the air. The majority seem to be CW stations. I wonder if a microphone could be taken as well for some SSB contacts please.
If i was you G0AOD, I wound’nt go down that road,
we tried ages ago and got nowhere. If you look at the photo’s on Flickr.com, you get stations who do only CW but on the photo’S yep; you got it a microphone attached, Only so they can call their best mate just down the road, You will get stations using CW activating then Chasing on SSB. You will get stations only using HF band’s activating and then chase on 144mhz, you cant get them to change, i’ve always said that about leopards,
Not sure if any one else has noticed but where have all the chasers gone, Sorry over to CW.
To many activators doing CW, so all the locals who used to chase don’t sit in the shack any more,
A friend of mine commented on that, a long time ago we had at least 20 / 30 chasers on 145mhz waiting for you, on his last activation 8 stations,Worked him, well down he said, Also he only just heard a station qualifie a summit all because its hard work these days, ;-(
so where have they all gone,
also I’ve noticed that some activators are not out as much as before, Yep me for one, Im now doing other things at weekend, but when in the shack will listen for any call.
Just a comment from me !!!
In reply to G0AOD:
I brought this up a week or three ago and i got a load of ear ache and said in jest.
If you can master a key, paddle and can use a home phone or a mobile am sure you can master a mic honest its not hard.
My ears are burning already.
Supper Doooopper Dooooper Dooooper sack sloth.
In reply to 2E0NHM:
heres one i found early on,
Post by M1EYP on 10th July 2007 at 08:28
I was calling on 7.032MHz CW between 0540 and 0555 UTC, with no takers. I then operated on 2m FM from 0555 to 0625 UTC with four stations worked in rag chew mode. My working frequency was 145.475MHz.
Weather was fine and I was definitely there!
In reply to G8ADD: I’m just beginning with ssb on HF (as G6DTN) - starting on local 1-pointers - doesn’t matter so much if an activation fails compared with being on a 10-pointer. I’m limited to the ‘bottom’ 100k of the 40M band because I refuse to pay my nearest dealer £40 to remove a few solder bridges (5 minutes work, including time for the soldering iron to warm up?) and I havn’t the courage to do it myself.
I keep having a go at CW, but practice lapses in the summer with a lot to do outdoors. Perhaps this coming winter my receiving will improve to the point where I can identify the activators (HI).
Doing CW from summits? Well, I usually take a straight key but only for emergency use (like wanting one more QSO in poor conditions). Would it be readable? I’ve no idea, and I doubt whether I’d be able to read an invitation to go QRT anyway.
How many other ssb-ers with pretences to cw carry a key?
Would it be readable? I’ve no idea, and I doubt whether I’d be able to read an invitation to go QRT anyway.
Just go for it Dave. It was only when I “just went for it” that I started to see some proper improvement in my CW. It still isn’t brilliant. I don’t really read everything that is sent; just enough to fill out the log, so I’m just bumbling along really.
How many other ssb-ers with pretences to cw carry a key?
Well I would describe myself more of an FM-er with pretence to CW! I wouldn’t carry a key (as such), but a paddle. The MPP817 (Mini Palm Paddle) is highly recommended.
Mick is right. People aren’t going to change under duress. This is a hobby, so people will naturally do what they want to do with their free time, rather than what other people want them to do. EXCEPT: Should it ever come to the stage where, with the claimed reduction of people actively chasing SOTA, that activators cannot get four contacts on their first choice of band/mode, they will start having to consider different bands/modes! At present, that concept is actually working the other way, towards the CW. That’s the main reason I do it. I found learning CW a lot easier than fighting for a frequency on 40m/getting a 5MHz NoV/widebanding the 817/getting an 857/getting an amplifier etc. Others will/have found that one of those other options is best for them. For me, the CW option appealed, and for me it works - I now get my four contacts easily from summits where I would have otherwise struggled.
Steve SGB - I don’t understand what point you are making in quoting my old post that says I did some 40m CW and then some 2m FM. That is what I do on virtually every activation these days. Sometimes I make more QSOs on CW, sometimes more on FM. Very rarely any SSB though, except for RSGB 144MHz contest night, or when Jimmy has a go after I finish on 40 CW.
In reply to M0SGB:
I have watched this thread with interest since it began and have to agree with a lot of the comments.
Let me make it very clear that although cw is my preferred mode for several reasons which I won’t go into here because that’s not the real issue here, also I do sympathise with the many chasers who won’t or can’t master the cw, whatever their reasons.
I like to think that I am fair on my own activations and offer bands/modes to try and be fair to all chasers.
I don’t think you are spotting the REAL problem here though.
It shouldn’t make any difference if the number of cw ops trebles, that alone wouldn’t stop you from chasing the fone activations as normal.
Pointing the finger at the cw ops won’t ever help your cause.
Your real problem is that the number of fone activations has fallen dramatically over the past few months, especially in the UK and that’s where you should be pointing the finger of blame. Try and encourage more people to get out activating on fone, or get out there yourselves if you are able bodied.
There is without doubt a dramatic fall in the number of 2m chasers in the UK also. I worked Alan on Whernside earlier in the week and considering his huge signal on 2 fm I was his fourth contact and if I,m not mistaken only 2 other contacts were made after me.
When I joined the sota programme at the end of January this year, you would have the pile up from Hell from Whernside on 2m fm, not the case any more.
Another example, is Simon M1AAV who struggled to qualify Grayrig Forest, I was his qualifying contact and I could hear the relief in his voice as we exchanged reports.
When these lads have climbed a summit, we should be grateful and be “ready to pounce”, I am as keen as ever to chase every activator I can here but this isn’t the case with a lot of chasers any more, there is too much apathy.
Sota is evolving as it spreads internationally and we have seen lots of changes in activation bands/modes.
It’s maybe time that the management team started to listen to peoples opinions on the reflector before things get any worse, especially at local level.
Basically, for want of a better phrase, you are farting against thunder, leave the cw issue out of the equation and concentrate on the real problem.
This is my own honest opinion as I see things and I don’t want to get involved in any arguments.
There is a problem, That’s obvious, what’s the answer? You tell me.
73 to all
In reply to M0DFA:
“How many other ssb-ers with pretences to cw carry a key?”
Everyone who operates phone with an FT817/857 has a key with them all the time, the up/down buttons on the MH 31 mike can be set to do dots and dashes! Mind you, I tried it and suspect that I would collect a lot of “QLFs” if I used it in anger!
I can identify the activators and chasers but fatigue sets in so very fast that I doubt I could make a contact unless he came back immediately, so I keep putting off and putting off that first in anger use of an exWD key that I have had for forty years…chicken, aren’t I!
If your rig only does 7 to 7.1 perhaps it can be opened with software, what rig is it? The recent ones do 7 to 7.2 but the software won’t work on them.
In reply to M0SGB:
If i was you G0AOD, I wound’nt go down that road, we tried ages ago and got nowhere.
Steve, we indeed discuss it and the general concensus was that things had changed, perhaps more so recently than previously. That’s life, I’m afraid. The change will suit some, it won’t others. I assume from your comment alluding to the fact that we “got nowhere”, that you feel that you have lost out in some way.
you get stations who do only CW but on the photo’S yep; you got it a microphone attached
Yes, guilty as charged. I have the mic connected when operating HF CW - just can’t be bothered to unplug it after finishing my 144MHz SSB session…
You will get stations using CW activating then Chasing on SSB. You will get stations only using HF band’s activating and then chase on 144mhz, you cant get them to change, i’ve always said that about leopards,
SOTA offers many options - obviously the options people choose appear not to suit you.
Not sure if any one else has noticed but where have all the chasers gone, Sorry over to CW. To many activators doing CW, so all the locals who used to chase don’t sit in the shack any more, A friend of mine commented on that, a long time ago we had at least 20 / 30 chasers on 145mhz waiting for you, on his last activation 8 stations,Worked him, well down he said, Also he only just heard a station qualifie a summit all because its hard work these days, ;-(
Can’t say I’m struggling on 2m SSB. There is a decent sized group of extremely dedicated chasers looking to work activators using 2m SSB and FM, recently joined by such as Barry M3PXW, who incidentally worked me on all 4 of the DC summits that I activated a couple of weeks back. I assume you were doing “other things” that weekend Steve. It is indeed a long time since you’ve figured in my log book.
The current situation won’t last forever - change is inevitable! If people don’t like the current SSB/FM to CW balance, HF to VHF balance or whatever, then GET OUT THERE AND DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!!! Don’t let’s have another moany session.
a long time ago we had at least 20 / 30 chasers on 145mhz waiting for you
That is still the case, in fact more so than a long time ago!
2002 was a stuggle to get 4. 2003 was easier, but you were still doing well if you got into double figures.
My record for a 2m FM/SSB (no CW) activation is 71 contacts. That was … April 2007. My statistics don’t support your hypothesis Steve.
In reply to G8ADD:
I use an 817 - late issue (serial 5D970181 if that means anything) and will only Tx 7.0 - 7.1 - but I suspect it would be a hardware job. I prefer a headset/boom mic to a hand mic. I used to use one when I worked for BT and like having both hands free - one hand to hold the log down (or in pocket to keep warm). Agree about the fatigue - my concentration tails off very rapidly at 15wpm from the computer, and elbow aches worse sending than after a day in the garden (perhaps a bit more right arm exercise is needed, HI).
Can anyone suggest a format for initial SOTA CQ calls?
Perhaps there could be a place for SOTA QRS day, with QSD reports banned.
Regards, Dave, M0DFA/G6DTN
In reply to M0DFA:
You will find many of the regular SOTA CW ops will QRS to your speed. It is not in their interest to do anything else. I use a hand key with a reasonable gap on a summit - it helps with sending a bit slower and I make fewer mistakes when shivering (for example The Cheviot, wind chill minus 10 deg C).
SOTA CW QSOs need not be complicated - all an activator really needs is the other op’s callsign and the incoming report. As for CQ calls, I always use CQ SOTA as it attracts the regular chasers and actively disuades the rag chewer who wants to tell you everything you don’t need to know about his station.
Stick with it. It may be a challenge, but that’s most of the fun.
P.S. Take a multiband dipole - if it’s chaos on 7MHz, try 10MHz or even 14MHz.
Dave - I call “CQ CQ CQ SOTA DE M1EYP/P M1EYP/P M1EYP/P SOTA G/SP-015 K” - if that helps.