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Splits?


#1

Hi All

Now that we having a growing number of associations and chasers… and especially many “within range” on 40m in Europe, I was wondering what people think about the prospect of split freq. operation?

For example (on a weekend) there seem to be many activators who can rustle up over a 100 QSO’s that obviously take time to work. As speed is of the essence on a summit, I wonder if, for example on 40m CW, you might have an activator working on 7.032 and listening 7.033 - 7.034.

The reason I ask is that (having seen if from the activating and chasing end). an activator may struggle with the pile up calling them… and chasers may also struggle when a QRP activator is working simplex but with stations calling over them when working another chaser… as I have heard recently.

So what do you all think? Will it ever happen? Is it a good or bad thing? Is it something just for those really “rare” or new summits?

I look forward to the discussion.

73 Marc G0AZS …currently K1UG/6


#2

In reply to G0AZS:
Hi Marc

With the growing popularity of SOTA, especially at weekends, it is now common for in excess of 30 chasers to be calling at the same time. This will increase as more countries join the organisation.

The largest bottleneck appears on 40m CW due to the fact that this is the optimum frequency for European contacts. Last weekend there were regularly 3 SOTA stations active simultaneously between 7031 and 7033 KHz. Unfortunately 40m is the narrowest HF band and I think split operation would cause great confusion, with chasers calling the wrong activator.

The problem is the blind adherence to 7032 KHz. There is another 30 KHz below which is often quite free. It is convenient for chasers to have a spot on which to listen, but this could be overcome by activators posting a different spot on the alerts page, such as 7022 KHz. Norby LX1NO and Dan DH8DX regularly do this during contests by use of the Spotlite tip-off, with excellent results.

Another way to thin the callers out is for the activator to ask for stations by country, such as “Pse HB only” F only etc. This only needs to be done for a short time until the callers become manageable.

73
Roy G4SSH


#3

In reply to G0AZS:

Hi Marc

As speed is of the essence on a summit

Not always the case, some ops are quite happy to settle down on a summit for half a day.

You raise a valid point, but I am with Roy 100% on this issue.

As an activator and chaser I have experienced the pile ups from both ends of the spectrum and for me, it’s beating the pile up and making that contact, or pulling that next callsign out of the pile up which gives me the greatest sense of achievement and pleasure.

73 Mike GW0DSP


#4

In reply to G4SSH:

Hi Roy and Marc,

Unfortunately 40m is the narrowest HF band and I think split
operation would cause great confusion, with chasers calling the wrong
activator.

I agree with you Roy

The problem is the blind adherence to 7032 KHz. There is another 30
KHz below which is often quite free.

Yes but I often use this segment because it is a QRP one… even during contests…

Another way to thin the callers out is for the activator to ask for
stations by country, such as “Pse HB only” F only etc. This
only needs to be done for a short time until the callers become
manageable.

It would be fine with discipline… but nowadays, I think it would be very difficult. And think that some activators are trying to get many points a day, doing four QSOs and down. This is why chasers hurry up on a /P station making such piles up!
Looking yesterday spots, we can see how to win a lot of activator points in a day. Is it right, is it wrong ? I will not answer here.
Well, we, activators, could try to expand SOTA QRGs down to 7022, waiting for better conditions in the future.
Next week, I will try it if spolite works.

Best 73, and many thanks for the QSOs and spots Roy

Alain F6ENO


#5

Hi All

Yes I tend to agree with you Roy regarding the potential confusion when multiple activators are running.

Perhaps, as seems to be the consensus developing here, we should just try and ensure that activators do not “bunch” too much around 7.032 for example. If you don’t have a narrow filter it does get difficult.

Anyway… interesting discussion.

73 Marc G0AZS … currently K1UG/6


#6

It occurs to me the maybe split frequency working might be a solution for 40m SSB. Stations/countries who have access to the section above 7.100 could TX there and listen below 7.100. It might at times be easier as the chasing stations are likely to have 100 watts plus so they would have more chance of getting through the 40m zoo than the QRP activator and the QRP TX would be in the quieter part of the band and should stand a better chance of being heard.
As of course the section above 7.100 is excluded to some this method would give the chance for those stations without access to make a contact that would otherwise be very difficult or impossible.
I realise there are times when no one can compete with the broadcast stations that still haunt this part of the band but what do people think?
Maybe on CW operation above 7.100 and then moving down to 7.032ish could cut the pile ups by up to a half also?

Regards Steve GW7AAV


#7

In reply to GW7AAV:

I honestly can’t see any reason for change, maybe with the exception of using 30m-cw on contest days.

As stated by Marc, 100+ Qso rates are becoming common nowadays, with Dan DH8DX in cw, Steve G1INK in SSB and Klaus DF2GN in cw/ssb mixed mode/band.

If /P ops are managing such QSO rates, where’s the problem?

One good point Marc makes, a cw narrow filter is becoming a must now.

73 Mike GW0DSP


#8

In reply to GW0DSP:
I agree Mike.
I see splits as just increasing bandwidth in, what after all, is the narrowest mode and even worse NETs as tying up QRG’s unnecessarily (sorry a ‘bete noir’ of mine).

Roger G4OWG


#9

In reply to GW0DSP:

As stated by Marc, 100+ Qso rates are becoming common nowadays, with Dan DH8DX > in cw, Steve G1INK in SSB and Klaus DF2GN in cw/ssb mixed mode/band.

I don’t know what power Dan is using but Steve and Klaus usually use a bit more power than your average 817 user. Most of the times I have activated I got ZERO contacts on 40m ssb. I almost always give it a try. For example on NW-051 I operated on 7.096 and 7.115; I was spotted and I got 1 contact in 30 minutes of calling so your examples are a bit none typical. It is hard work on 5watts and anything that might make it easier would be welcome.

Regards Steve GW7AAV


#10

In reply to G0AZS:

I don’t work CW myself, but I often listen in until the inevitable “brain-fade” sets in, so I am going to be very bold in offering an opinion! It seems to me that accurate netting is not as common as it used to be, and in effect many operators use splits measured in Hz rather than in kHz which makes it a little easier to sort out the stations in a pile-up…or is that just my training as a musician showing? Spreading out the activations from 7032 is indeed a good idea, and the use of audio frequency split is a relatively low bandwidth way forward…as long as the narrow filters aren’t too narrow!

OK, I’ve got my asbestos underpants on!

73

Brian G8ADD


#11

In reply to GW7AAV:

Then arrange a joint activation/lesson with inky or buy an 857:-)

You can borrow my rig and ant if you want:-)


#12

In reply to GW0DSP: Just waiting for one at the right price,; Somewhere between free and £250 :0D


#13

In reply to GW7AAV:

You best buy a solitaire game then to pass the time:-)


#14

In reply to G8ADD:

In reply to G0AZS:

It seems to me that accurate netting is not as

common as it used to be, and in effect many operators use splits
measured in Hz rather than in kHz which makes it a little easier to
sort out the stations in a pile-up…or is that just my training as a
musician showing?

OK, I’ve got my asbestos underpants on!

73

Brian G8ADD

What you quote is the case Brian so remove your asbestos underwear, hi.

Thankfully, not all stations are dead on 7.032, or use the same power, so we can pull one or two out of the pile up and keep working through them in that manner until they are all worked.

Your theory on musical training is a very interesting concept. I play guitar and learned the code and passed my cw test in just under 6 weeks, Tom M1EYP was a quick learner also and he plays bass.

Out of curiosity. are there any other cw ops out there with a musical background?

A good one for debate Brian

73 Mike GW0DSP


#15

In reply to GW0DSP:

“What you quote is the case Brian so remove your asbestos underwear, hi.”

No way, there’s a cold wind tonight!

I’m sorry, Mike, but perhaps I’m the exception that proves the rule! I learned morse very rapidly in 1962, when I played classical clarinet (I later graduated to jazz sax!), but never managed to get up to a decent speed for practical purposes, and even now I can copy fairly fast morse (low to mid teens) for a few minutes then for some reason it just all goes to pieces in my head! However, for the few minutes that I function well I can distinguish several stations sending together by small differences in tone, and listen to just one of them.

At least I’m still trying!

73

Brian G8ADD


#16

In reply to G8ADD:

In reply to GW0DSP:

At least I’m still trying!

Left yourself wide open there Brian:-)

Go back to your sax days (an instrument I love to listen to)…practice, practice, practice, that’s all there is to it.
Please feel free to call me on the key any time any speed, on or off summit, it would be lovely to log you in cw.

Just a point, I noticed that my cw speed has slowed down a little as I get a bit older, I wonder if this is normal? I asked for a QRS when on Tal-Y-Fan with INKy last week, no shame in that, mind you the op was really motoring!!There was a time when I was comfy at approaching 40wpm, not any more I’m afraid, nowhere near it. Just like you I lose concentration after 20 mins or so. It’s a lot easier for SOTA QSO though where we just do a contest style exchange and know roughly what’s coming, but it’s a completely different story when rag chewing.

It will be interesting to hear from any other musicians/cw ops though.

Any way, winter draws on:-)

73 Mike GW0DSP


#17

In reply to GW0DSP:

Out of curiosity. are there any other cw ops out there with a musical
background?

I play saxophone (and CW…); we can stand up an orchestra… !

Alain F6ENO


#18

In reply to F6ENO:

Bravo Alain

So, we have 2 saxophonists, a guitarist and a bass player.

A few more and we will have our Sota symphony orchestra:-)

Maybe we can play at F/shafen 2008 :slight_smile:

73 Mike


#19

In reply to GW0DSP:

Is there a drummer out there - we would at least have a combo!

73

Brian G8ADD


#20

In reply to GW0DSP:

Maybe we can play at F/shafen 2008 :slight_smile:

I was thinking about that this night… !!!
It would be funny… “SOTA orchestra”

73 Alain