To become proficient in split-mode operation, I guess one should (if possible) do some dx chasing first, and there get the first hand feeling when is suitable to operate split, how dx station does split operation, how chasers operate split. Or at least listen dx station pileups.
Firs of all, there was a debate here and general conclusion that average SOTA chasers are not used to split operating. This is why the “up” requests might go unanswered. It is up to you to decide if split operating during SOTA activation is necessary at all.
Technically, to initiate split operation, you should indicate split operation at the end of each transmittion:
… cq sota de dk3it up 1
… 599 dk3it up 1
… dk3it up 1
… you send “up 1” instead of “BK”. You can send just “up” instead of “up 1”, if you want to spread the pileup further. Experienced dx chasers will try 1 khz up first, and later they will find themselves where the dx station is listening exactly.
I have been using MTR-3B on all my activations, and found out that split operation is not necessary. All I need is consistent cw operation, at approx 22 wpm. The rhythm of the qsos (including the listening times) must be steady. I end all my transmissions with BK. Since my signal is weak, I repeat twice the call of the station I am answering to, to reduce the possibility of misunderstanding. MTR has break-in operation, so while transmitting I can hear if someone else is still calling me - in this case I assume that the station I am answering to is under qrm so I repeat their call several times. I answer first to any station I am hearing clearly - whether it is a strong chaser or a weaker chaser who somehow slipped through. And no matter how the pile-up looks big, in fact it thins out very quickly.
In extreme qrm or big pileup, I pick up partial calls and ask something like “OBK? OBK? BK”. Chasers do listen, and mostly only the one I am calling answers. If there is no answer I ask again, if there is no answer again I maybe say NIL and call short cq again. I rarely use RIT because I find it difficult to use on MTR… One of the errors I am constantly making is forgetting to sign my call regularly. Thanks to QSK, I can hear the occasional “?” even if I started my transmission, so I end the transmission signing my call to help the chasers.
I hope this was helpful!
73 Fric YU1WC