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New Shack Sloth


#1

Further to my bit in the newsletter, I have now reached the magic 1000 chaser points with my QSO with Andre EA/F5UKL. And as you will have seen, Andre is also celebrating as this is his 100th Activation.

All my QSOs are CW QRP, 5W, with my K2.

I must say that pileups seem to have got gradually worse, even during the past 6 weeks I have been actively chasing. Calling Andre this morning was a case in point. I gave up on 40m as it was such chaos, but got him relatively easily on 30m - even though he had to persist to get my call and at the end folks started calling before we had finished. Not sure what we can do about this behaviour, seems a sign of the times.

73 Dave G3YMC


#2

Congratlations Dave on achieveing the Shack Sloth.

Jimmy M3EYP


#3

In reply to G3YMC:

Congratulations on the excellent achievement Dave running the low power. “QRP CW” would be a most worthy endorsement if you are planning on getting a trophy.

73, Gerald G4OIG


#4

In reply to G3YMC:
Well done Dave. FB progress in so short a period of time.
I’m overhauling your old FT-101ZD which was the mainstay of my campaign to reach shack sloth status on 'phone earlier this year a much slower process than by cw it seems]. The dear old radio stopped transmitting just before JOTA so I’m replacing all the key capacitors before resuming fault finding. I hope the spare valves won’t be required…
You can go to G/SE-001 Walbury Hill for a celebratory activation perhaps.

73
David M0YDH


#5

In reply to G3YMC:

To collect 1000 chaser points in a year using a single mode is an excellent achievement. To do it in 8 months using QRP is remarkable.

Congratulations Dave

Roy G4SSH


#6

In reply to G3YMC:

Congratulations Dave. You’ve not had the pleasure of my CW yet! :slight_smile: I have you marked out as a new UK chaser to work so I must have a bash on 40m rather than 30m this weekend.

I must say that pileups seem to have got gradually worse

Now I think you’ve been licensed some 40+ years so I’m guessing you’re competent at CW unlike beginners like me! So if you think it’s bad, spare a thought for people in my position greeted with so many callers it just sounds like a continuous tone. Even with a 300Hz filter. Although last week on 30m, chasers were spreading out a little and I was able to pick out calls much easier with the RIT. It may be I’m getting better but I don’t practice enough to believe that really.

The worst thing about the pileups is on the last few activations I’ve done, I have had to go QRT before finishing the pileup. It really hurts me to have to do something like that but it’s dictated by conditions, either a long walk out or running out of daylight. I can only apologise and seek the understanding of the chasers who missed yet another occasionally activated GM peak.

Enjoy your chasing and I hope to work you soon.

Andy
MM0FMF


#7

In reply to G4SSH:
In fact my 1000 points started in 2002, right at the start of SOTA. The current activity started 12th September when I was on 203 points, so 800 chaser points in less than 8 weeks.

What amazes me about SOTA is that with 5W I can call stations right down in the noise and they come straight back. In normal DX chasing I call stations much stronger till I am blue in my face…

David M0YDH (congrats on the M0 by the way) fine on my old FT101ZD, was wondering how you were getting on with it. Presumably you are not planning to drag that up a summit for an activation!

73 Dave G3YMC


#8

In reply to G3YMC:

What amazes me about SOTA is that with 5W I can call stations right down in the
noise and they come straight back. In normal DX chasing I call stations much
stronger till I am blue in my face…

It’s the complete lack of RF noise on the summits Dave. You really have to experience it to believe it. At this time of the year when 60m is good for NVIS etc. I can hear the beacons (all 3 of them) as they drop down to the lowest power level. I think the lowest power levels are below the 100uW level and you can clearly hear it. Of course it’s not loud but the only QRM is wind noise normally! As a result, signals which are best described as feeble are clearly workable whereas in a normal domestic environment those signals would be 2 or 3 S points below the local noise level.

Andy
MM0FMF


#9

In reply to MM0FMF:

spare a thought for people in my position greeted with so many callers
it just sounds like a continuous tone. Even with a 300Hz filter.

Try a Rockmite sometime. That has almost no filtering at all. Handing a pile-up is about practise as much as filters.

73

Richard
G3CWI


#10

Congratulations Dave, that really is a superb achievement!

I will echo Andy’s comments about the lack of noise on summits, that really is a reason in itself to get out more.

Best 73,

Mark G0VOF


#11

In reply to G3CWI:
Hi Richard,
It was interesting to note Jozsef, HA6OY/P working split in 80m CW yesterday evening. Certainly made it easy to work him. Sign of things to come, as SOTA gets more popular.
73, Frank


#12

Working down the 40m CW pile-ups on my 817 was great fun in GI last week. Spookily conveniently, I was finding that it was taking exactly the same amount of time to clear 7.032 of 40 chasers as it took Jimmy to get 4 QSOs on 2m FM!

How’s that for compatibility? SOTA popularity is great for the activator - maybe not so much for the chaser?

Tom M1EYP


#13

In reply to G3RMD:
Thanks for all the congratulations! My next goal is to continue till I have over 1203 points when I can claim the fastest ‘1000 chaser points for QRP’, which at the present rate will be in around a couple of weeks time.

Working split would certainly help with the pileups, though I am not sure how it would work on 40m or whether we should encourage it. We have adopted around 7032 to keep it away from the 7030 QRP channel, but I sense some of the QRP operators are a bit unhappy about us being there (there seemed to be some friction last week when Richard was running his Rockmite on 7030). Going split, with possibly up to 3 activators around at a time) may make matters worse - and bearing in mind also that many of the current chasers are not normal DXers so unfamiliar with split working.

But something needs to be done to control the ‘zoo’.

73 Dave G3YMC


#14

In reply to G3YMC:

My next goal is to continue till I
have over 1203 points when I can claim the fastest ‘1000 chaser points
for QRP’,

Hi Dave

There are no records for a QRP SS so you may (or may not) be the fastest. You can certainly make the claim though!

Working split would certainly help with the pileups, though I am not
sure how it would work on 40m or whether we should encourage it. We
have adopted around 7032 to keep it away from the 7030 QRP channel,
but I sense some of the QRP operators are a bit unhappy about us being
there (there seemed to be some friction last week when Richard was
running his Rockmite on 7030).

“Going split” or even QSYing is not an option with a Rockmite. It was quite funny to be told that 7.030 was the “QRP” frequency when I was running 500mW (and a good number of the chasers run QRP too).

73

Richard
G3CWI


#15

In reply to G3CWI:

“Going split” or even QSYing is not an option with a Rockmite. It was quite funny
to be told that 7.030 was the “QRP” frequency when I was running 500mW (and a good
number of the chasers run QRP too).

Heh! If a RockMite isn’t QRP then I don’t know what is. :wink:

I guess (says the M6* callsign holder who’s not been on air for long, and has to run QRP on account of that M6*) the catch is that chasers aren’t necessarily going to be QRP stations. Same happens on SSB, pile-ups and all. Time I figured out what “working split” means, and I must get back to learning morse…


#16

In reply to M6LEP:

Hi Rick,

“Working Split” simply means the the activator would transmit on one frequency but listen for chasers on another frequency. For example, the activator would transmit on 7.032KHz but listen for chasers on 7.033KHz. This has the advantage of keeping the activators frequency relativley clear so chasers can hear him.

You hear this more often during DX working where a DX station at the far end of a big pile up, will call “CQ DX listening up 5 to 10”. This means he is listening for callers between 5 & 10 Khz up from his transmit frequency.

Good luck with the Morse.

73,

Mark G0VOF


#17

In reply to M6LEP:

has to run QRP on account of that M6

M6 power levels are not really QRP. 10W of digital modes or CW is rather QRO in some peoples minds! :wink:

Andy
MM0FMF


#18

In reply to MM0FMF:

M6 power levels are not really QRP. 10W of digital modes or CW is
rather QRO in some peoples minds! :wink:

True, and a 50W PSK31 station is a bit like a (cough) 1.5kW I/R/U/* SSB station. There I was, stuck in an FT-817 SSB mindset… :wink:

Really must get back to trying to learn morse…

Edit: …and thanks, the explanations of “working split” mostly confirmed my guesses. :slight_smile:


#19

In reply to M6LEP:

a 50W PSK31 station

I don’t think there are any 100W solid state transceivers on sale now or in the last 30 years that have a PA with the required linearity to run 50W of PSK31. Most go nasty around 25-30W. Just one of the disadvantages of PSK compared to constant envelope modulations schemes like MFSK or MSK et al. (MFSK-16, Olivia, GMSK-250). In some ways it’s a shame that PSK31 got so popular as so many people have so much difficulty setting it up and thus splattering across many times the bandwidth needed. The concept of less is more is alien to them. If only the other modes had come first, the digital sections of the bands would be so much cleaner.

Really must get back to trying to learn morse…

http://lcwo.net

Andy
MM0FMF


#20

In reply to MM0FMF:

linearity to run 50W of PSK31. Most go nasty around 25-30W.

The signal I saw which boasted the 50W figure was the only one I could see on the waterfall, with harmonics and general splatter obliterating at least 3kHz. Not a pretty sight.

disadvantages of PSK compared to constant envelope modulations schemes

I’ve heard others say likewise. Clearly time I went looking to see what they look like. I’m pretty sure the software understands them.

http://lcwo.net

I’m there, but it’s being a bit of a struggle at present, though the new(-ish) morse machine option is helping. I think I’ll get there… eventually.