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When is a S2S not a S2S?


#1

A question for the panel…

Q: When is a Summit-To-Summit not a Summit-To-Summit?
A: when the activator doesn’t realise it?!

Yesterday, whilst on G/SC-007 I made contact with G0VTX/P who was out walking with his XYL and was (and I quote) “on the summit of Dunkery Beacon, by the trig point”, but when asked “I don’t do SOTA”

So, can you Chase someone who doesn’t know they are being Chased (does that make me a Stalker?) but is just out for a walk?

And does this count as a legitimate S2S?

Andrew
M6ADB

PS: Thanks to 2E0UHF for the Spot - although I didn’t get to work you…


#2

In reply to M6ADB:

This sounds like a perfectly valid chase and S2S to me. Much the same thing can happen in things like the backpackers contests, where backpackers are on SOTA summits and operating under valid SOTA conditions but know nothing about SOTA!

It is not inconceivable that the station you worked will now look into SOTA and claim his first activation!

73

Brian G8ADD


#3

In reply to M6ADB:

Andrew,

I agree with Brian’s view. G0VTX was clearly within the activation zone and operating equipment that falls within the rules for a SOTA operation and hence it was a valid S2S. Under such circumstances, I feel it is the responsibility of the activator to make sure that the operation at the other end is “SOTA compliant”. I would not consider a contact with a station operating from generator power (as may be the case in a contest - Cyrn y Brain springs to mind) or within a vehicle on a drive-on summit to be a valid S2S.

73, Gerald G4OIG


#4

In reply to M6ADB:
Got to admit I claimed a summit to summit in the first backpackers this year, when the person on the ‘other’ summit didn’t know the SOTA reference…but did know about SOTA… in my case the other station was on Broad Law in the Borders, so there was no dispute that it was a Marylin.

However I’m sure I read somewhere that the ‘exchange’ for a valid SOTA contact was signal strength and SOTA ref. If so, then I’ll remove my claim!

It’s interesting that there’ve been a few threads recently regarding claims and rules. I’m inclined to think by breaking rules, or downright cheating, the only person you’re really cheating is yourself!

73s Rob


#5

In reply to M6ADB:

Andrew, can I suggest dropping just 12.5kHz from the calling channel is fraught with problems for anyone chasing you using older radios. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with using 145.4875, but you do need to be aware of the possible issues such a frequency choice can bring for others.

Most sets have been able to do 12.5kHz steps for the last 30 years. But there are a significant number of sets fitted with filters for 25kHz spacing and having the deviation also set for 25kHz spacing. Most modern radios have selectable deviation and filter settings, narrow for 12.5Khz and wider for 25kHz.

If someone operates just 12.5kHz down or up from the calling channel on 2m i.e. 145.4875 or 145.5125 then everyone attempting to copy them on a radio with 25kHz filtering will hear significant interference from everyone calling on 145.500. If an activator is weak with these chasers, they will effectively not be workable.

12.5kHz channels some distance from the calling channel are less of a problem due to the fact there is likely to be less traffic on the neighbouring 25kHz channels. i.e. 145.4125 is a better choice if you must use 12.5kHz channels as there will not be a continual stream of users on 145.400 and 145.425 in the same way as 145.500 is used.

In an ideal world, we’d all have 12.5kHz spaced radios and nobody would be using 1979 vintage FT290s or TS700s etc. But we’re not and there is a lot of older equipment in daily use and we’re taking about radio amateurs here. A race whose wallets are shut tighter than a seal’s whatsit in a North Sea gale. So it’s not going to be upgraded anytime soon! Hell we’ve got guys in Edinburgh still using AM on 2m to a 1950s bandplan with no intention of ever getting with the program even if they do wipe out the ISS for everyone listening in a wide area. :frowning:

Andy
MM0FMF


#6

In reply to G1TPO:

I’m inclined to think by breaking rules, or
downright cheating, the only person you’re really cheating is
yourself!

Absolutely… the only person I’m competing against when doing anything with my radio is myself.

And any of the “award” schemes (be it SOTA, IOTA, WAB, WFF or anything else) are purely consequential.

Hence, before I claimed my 2 points for chasing G/SC-001 I wanted to be sure I was OK to do so… no-one would have been any the wiser if I’d have just claimed the S2S. Apart from me (and G0VTX) but I’m the one that matters…


#7

In reply to G1TPO:

However I’m sure I read somewhere that the ‘exchange’ for a valid SOTA
contact was signal strength and SOTA ref. If so, then I’ll remove my
claim!

I don’t think this actually appears in the official rules. Naturally the summit has to be clearly identified and in the case of working a non-participant on a valid summit it is necessary to satisfy yourself that they are within the AZ, which you did.

73

Brian G8ADD


#8

In reply to MM0FMF:

Andrew, can I suggest dropping just 12.5kHz from the calling channel
is fraught with problems for anyone chasing you using older radios.

Fair point… except the first QSY was called by my chaser, and the rest just followed on each other’s tails… I only got back to S20 1/2 hour later

But point taken :slight_smile:

Andrew
M6ADB


#9

In reply to G1TPO:

However I’m sure I read somewhere that the ‘exchange’ for a valid SOTA contact
was signal strength and SOTA ref. If so, then I’ll remove my claim!

Nope, only callsign and report exchange is required by the chaser though the SOTA ref. is nice exchange too! (SOTA general rules 3.8.2)

Andy
MM0FMF


#10

In reply to MM0FMF:

I’ve had some problems with these dinosaurs, Andy, particularly when operating SSTV above 144.500. Frankly, I think it is very annoying. The narrow channel spacing has been about for three decades, now. If people want to keep using older rigs then good luck to them, but it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to get them converted…a good ham of the older generation should be able to tackle it as a DIY job. Insisting on riding penny-farthing radios around the bands and demanding special consideration from everybody else is nothing but idleness and we should not pander to them.

As for the ISS wreckers in Edingurgh, I would class this as deliberate QRM on an international scale and report them to Ofcom. Enough complaints and even Ofcommight take action!

73

Brian G8ADD


#11

In reply to G8ADD:

I’ve had some problems with these dinosaurs, Andy, particularly when
operating SSTV above 144.500. Frankly, I think it is very annoying.
The narrow channel spacing has been about for three decades, now. If
people want to keep using older rigs then good luck to them, but it
doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to get them converted…a good ham of
the older generation should be able to tackle it as a DIY job.
Insisting on riding penny-farthing radios around the bands and
demanding special consideration from everybody else is nothing but
idleness and we should not pander to them.

I’m afraid I cannot agree with Brian on this issue.

(1) I do not know ANYONE who uses the “half-channels” on 2m or 70 cm, except for the few (unnecessary) repeaters that have been set up on “half-channels” in recent years.

(2) In my experience, there is absolutely no need for 12.5 kHz channel spacing on 2m or 70 cm. Activity levels are such that there are rarely more than two or three 25 kHz channels occupied, even in the most densely populated areas.

(3) I think 12.5 kHz spacing was embraced by the manufacturers because it was a convenient excuse to declare that a whole generation of perfectly good radios had become “obsolete” and needed to be replaced with new ones.

(4) I am not a dinosaur. All my radios have the capability of 12.5 kHz channel spacing, or less. However, I have not programmed any “half-channels” into the memories because there is just no activity on these channels.

As for the ISS wreckers in Edinburgh, I would class this as deliberate
QRM on an international scale and report them to Ofcom. Enough
complaints and even Ofcom might take action!

Ofcom has no interest in policing band plans. It could equally well be argued that the ISS is causing deliberate QRM if it opens up on a frequency that is already occupied. It has no priority over any other licensed amateur station.

73,

Walt (G3NYY)


#12

In reply to G3NYY:

Hi, Walt. If you lived in Birmingham you would find a lot of empty space in the S-channels, and a lot of crowding between 144.5 and 144.6 where several SSTV nets try and co-exist.

Whatever the past politics, 12.5 kHz is the bandplan.

The ISS is travelling too high and too fast to accommodate QRMing dinosaurs, sorry but in its special circumstance it has absolute priority over ragchewing AMers!

73

Brian G8ADD


#13

In reply to MM0FMF:

Thanks for clarifying Andy…I must have dreamt it!! I’ll keep Broad Law

73 Rob


#14

In reply to G8ADD:

Hi, Walt. If you lived in Birmingham you would find a lot of empty
space in the S-channels, and a lot of crowding between 144.5 and 144.6
where several SSTV nets try and co-exist.

I frequently sit on the top of Broadway Hill, where I can hear the whole of the West Midlands and all points north as far as Nottingham and Derby. As you say, the S channels are often deserted and CQ calls on 145.500 yield nothing. This tends to strengthen my view that there is no need for “half-channels”. In fact I would not hesitate to use the wasted space between the S channels and between the repeater outputs for other modes, such as CW, WSPR or PSK.

As for SSTV, there is absolutely no need for an SSTV signal to occupy more than 2.5 kHz bandwidth. It fits perfectly within a standard SSB filter. I use it this way on the HF bands myself. NBFM (so-called) is an inappropriate and wasteful vehicle for the transmission of SSTV.

Whatever the past politics, 12.5 kHz is the bandplan.

When I started on 2m, there were no “channels” and none were needed. All modes managed to co-exist happily within the 2 MHz available on 2m. Channelisation was the product of a CB-like mentality in the mid-1970s and it resulted in the waste of at least 50% of the spectrum between 145 and 146 MHz.

The ISS is travelling too high and too fast to accommodate QRMing
dinosaurs, sorry but in its special circumstance it has absolute
priority over ragchewing AMers!

Where is this stipulated? I was not aware that any user of an amateur band has “absolute priority” over anyone else. In fact, fundamentally, it’s debatable whether an amateur band is a proper place for the ISS anyway.

73,
Walt (G3NYY)


#15

I’m, pretty sure my Chaser log includes a number of entries this year where I have worked a non-SOTA person on a SOTA hill, even some where I was the only person they worked.

Several of the local summits (CE-001/WB-009/WB-019/WB-021) no doubt appear a number of times.

Some of the Backpacker entrants know what the reference is and will give it if asked, some know a little (‘Yes its a SOTA Hill, but I don’t know the reference’) and one or two I have even told them the reference so theyt could give it if asked.


#16

In reply to G3NYY:

As for SSTV, there is absolutely no need for an SSTV signal to occupy
more than 2.5 kHz bandwidth. It fits perfectly within a standard SSB
filter. I use it this way on the HF bands myself. NBFM (so-called)
is an inappropriate and wasteful vehicle for the transmission of SSTV.

All the nets that I know of in that part of the band, which is officially all-mode, use NBFM for the talkback, in fact the ratio of talk time to picture time is something like 10 to 1, and Hampal or Easypal are the dominant modes. At least some of the net participants have no other mode available, so willy-nilly, it has to be FM. The band plan specifies a maximum -6 dB bandwidth of 20 kHz implying 25 kHz channels for FM, but with such heavy use this would be antisocial and 12.5 kHz channels would seem to be good practice.

Whatever the past politics, 12.5 kHz is the bandplan.

When I started on 2m, there were no “channels” and none were
needed. All modes managed to co-exist happily within the 2 MHz
available on 2m. Channelisation was the product of a CB-like mentality
in the mid-1970s and it resulted in the waste of at least 50% of the
spectrum between 145 and 146 MHz.

Indeed, when I started on 70 cms and a few years later was let loose on 2 metres, it was the age of the geographical band plan and we were all crystal controlled except for a very few with VXOs and eventually a few mixer VFOs. Channelisation was not something that sat well with me, but it had nothing to do with CB and a lot to do with the availability of used cheaply available crystal controlled mobile radios, and later channelised rigs using more advanced technologies. Repeaters and FM channelisation was driven by the explosion in V/UHF mobile operation. I didn’t like it so I graduated to a Liner-2 on SSB, which if I remember correctly was based on rubber crystals, anyway! However, again if my memory isn’t faulty, it was SSB introduced the concept of the “calling channel” within the SSB enclave.

Since occupancy is so low, both on FM and SSB, I think the concept of wasted space is a little irrelevant. Quite possibly even repeaters have had their day, too! Without SOTA it would be possible to argue that V/UHF sees so little activity that the government would be justified in assigning the bands to uses that they would find more profitable!

Cassandra, shove over, luv!

73

Brian G8ADD


#17

In reply to MM0FMF:

In reply to G1TPO:

However I’m sure I read somewhere that the ‘exchange’ for a valid
SOTA contact
was signal strength and SOTA ref. If so, then I’ll remove my
claim!

Nope, only callsign and report exchange is required by the chaser
though the SOTA ref. is nice exchange too! (SOTA general rules 3.8.2)

Andy
MM0FMF

That is interesting, the Activator side of the rules (SOTA general rules 3.7.1) don’t mention ‘report exchange’ (at least I can’t find it) however the Chaser side requires a two-way report (SOTA general rules 3.8.2). I hope my using a handheld without an S-Meter doesn’t stop Chasers claiming points from me, although I would still give a Readability report and an estimate of Signal Strength based on quieting (since it is FM only).

73,
Colin.


#18

In reply to 2E0XSD:

I would think that as long as the columns of the activation or chaser log on the website can be filled in then the contact is valid.

73

Brian G8ADD


#19

In reply to 2E0XSD:

That is interesting, the Activator side of the rules (SOTA general
rules 3.7.1) don’t mention ‘report exchange’ (at least I can’t find
it) however the Chaser side requires a two-way report (SOTA general
rules 3.8.2).

I’d have thought it was perfectly clear that if you define the essential information needed for a chaser contact then you have also defined the essential information an activator must give. Especially when the word EXCHANGE is used!

No?

:wink:

Andy
MM0FMF


#20

In reply to MM0FMF:

No?

What it says to me is that if the exchange is not completed correctly the activator can count the contact but the chaser may not. It’s hard to tell whether this is actually the intention behind the different wording in the two sections. I tend to assume that it was a deliberate decision intended to reduce the burden on activators.

Personally I would take the view that if an ordinary conversation has clearly taken place the contact should count regardless, and the formal “exchange” rule only apply in marginal condtions where there might be doubt that communication was properly established. But that’s not what the rules say.

As an activator, I will always give somebody a report, but if they don’t give me one it’s their problem. I’ll usually ask once if they appear to have forgotten, but don’t press the point if they’re reluctant.

The rules don’t say what form the report should take, so if somebody says something like “a bit noisy” or “end-stopping” that’s fine by me.