105 QSOs above the clouds: Activating Pico Bejenado (EA8/LP-003 - 10 pts)

I’ve written an activation report (with pictures & video) of Pico Bejenado on the island of La Palma. Some key facts…

Date: 15/01/15
Walking Time: 2.5 hours up
Band: 20m, 17m, 15m & 10m
QSOs: 105
Points: 10+3
Height: 1,853m


The following chasers @EA2LU, @2E0FEH, @EA2ECA, @G6WRW (now you can see why the contact was hard to complete!), @G4OBK @DJ5AV and @EA1IPN are caught live in action, as well as one alligator - I’ll let you decide who this is :wink:

James EA8/M0JCQ/P


Shame that then these people could be on the top of the chasers lists…
73 Mikel

Like that word COULD . :slight_smile:

James another very good video and thank you for sharing . And a chance to study ones own audio, interesting. even at signal one is quite strong audio for a 10w station, so something is working well for sure.

As for the gent in question is certainly one of many characters one regularly hears chasing the Sotas, but this one for some strange reason one finds amusing and yet not annoying, bless him.

So James where you planning next then :wink:



Hi James

Stunning location for a SOTA activation I must visit the islands again sometime to do some walking, all my previous trips involved getting wet.

I was really struggling receiving you due to all the people continually calling and did get a little frustrated and had a little rant. I was not convinced that the first contact was good and only when we made contact later on 10m to confirm did I log it.

Listening to your video a lot of stations that I could hear who were causing problems were calling on the off chance of a contact, they obviously could not hear you and you could not hear them.

I would not be surprised if there were quite a few phantom contacts logged by some chasers of your expedition.


In addition to the EA2 alligator (who is due an email of warning for his disruptive calling) you can also hear one of the self-appointed SOTA “police” calling “Listen, listen” to him. We can to some extent tame the alligators - in the extreme case where they won’t mend their ways they can be removed from the database - but the anonymous “police” are difficult to identify yet can be just as disruptive.

Nice set-up, by the way!


1 Like

Just listening to S57MS/p on 15m this dinner time and you think the certain gent calls to much,
QRM from 2k down from a Russian, call call call nigh on every two seconds. Thinks he’s trying to reach a caribbean station on split freq

One has recently learnt certain radios you can record your call and push of a button off it goes as many time you push that button. Perhaps a little more self control is required. Perhaps this little addition to the more modern radios has become a pain and causing more QRM. Perhaps future radios should do away with it.

But good thing about SOTA is the QRM not last long bit of patience and just wait for it to quieten down If one finds to many calling, just sit and wait let the bigger guns go through and then have a go oneself.

One has to admit one gets tad annoyed but won’t let it spoil me day but one tends to find a little excitement kicks in and self control has to kick in too.

Happy Sota-ing one and all


Yes most definitely Karl, your station is working well for you and shows that you don’t need an amp to be a competitive chaser, sure you were never 59, but perfectly readable either side of the worst of the pile ups. I think I read you were thinking about putting a beam up, that’ll make your 10w go even further!

I know what you mean, I think it might be the sheer desperation in his voice, certainly on the descent from this activation all I could hear was his call sign ringing in my ears :wink:

La Palma is by far my favourite Canary Island, it’s heaven for a hiker. Shame most Brits have never heard of it, the Germans all well in on the secret. It does get very wet, thankfully my activations remained dry, except for being stuck in a cloud on Deseadas (EA8/LP-002), but on the last day it rained very heavily, I got soaking wet and then sat on a ferry to Tenerife for 6 hours with wet jeans, not fun and not good for the cold I had!

Good question, me & @G0POT are planning to do the “favourite five” summits on Saturday the 21st of Feb: Corndon Hill (GW/MW-013), Stiperstones (G/WB-003), Long Mynd - Pole Bank (G/WB-005), Brown Clee Hill (G/WB-002) and Titterstone Clee Hill (G/WB-004)

XYL has mentioned walking in the Slovenian Alps as well which could offer some S5 action and I’ll be stopping by Munich several times this year, just a hop, skip & a jump from the alps. I’m so glad I bit the bullet and got my M0 done, the CEPT agreement rocks. Between that and the 60m NoV I don’t make use of the other privileges being a QRP guy :smile:


Yet he has over 40,000 activator points. I suspect that the activators work him to get rid of him!


I know I caved in after his incessant calling for some time, it was easier to get him out of the pileup quickly and work the patient chasers after, than have the constant QRM making contacts difficult - not the right thing to do though!

1 Like

Hi James, difficult one is it not?

From a chaser point of view when the usual suspects turn up I hope

  1. the activator tells the bleating call they will not be worked
  2. that the propagation changes so they are faded out
  3. the activator works them to get rid of them.

SWLing you did very well on 1) but can understand why eventually someone goes for 3) If the usual suspects are present I tend to wait until they are gone by some way or another :wink:

Poor old OK2PDT thought he was top man with a mere 6180 activator points!



The getting wet was due to SCUBA, I used to do a lot of diving. I swapped the going under for going up because of a problem with unpredictable motion sickness.



Great video James. That scenary really is breathtaking. Did I hear a helping voice is the background on a couple of occassions? Did you make your poor suffering YL do the hike as well and then had her spotting the calls for you?

73 Ed.

There was some other hikers who arrived at the summit during my activation but not my XYL. She’s still not recovered after I took her on one disastrous SOTA activation last year :wink:

Pretty much the same here Carolyn, used to be a diver but didn’t do any in the Canaries despite taking my mask and kit - too busy climbing the summits :wink:

Nice video James.
Looks like a super climb with great views.
Seems like the trails are well “way marked” too?
Are there topo maps easily available or some other source of detail?
Maybe put it on my bucket list (after EA8)

I thought you were being a bit generous with the signal reports until I noticed you had no Preamp turned on!

I’d never heard that particular (alligator) call on SSB before.
It lacks the rhythmic beauty that it has on CW :smile:
It’s one of those “best bent wire” type of rhythms that really causes your ears to prick up.

Looking forward to more activation reports.


It’s good in theory but I have learned it’s bad in practice. For a start many stations only speak Rubber Stamp QSO English and detailed instructions get lost in translation. If the caller is a good operator they wont continue to call over the others and there’s no need to tell them to wait.

If they are calling over others repeatedly if could be because they have seen the spot and can’t hear you properly or because they are borderline psychopathic and don’t accept they have to play fair. Giving a partial call or full call and asking them to wait will only result in them thinking you are working them. This happens every time I have tried it so I don’t do it anymore. You can only request a certain call to call again. For example “G6 only please” and you keep doing that till the QRM stops or you hear the enough of the G6 to work the contact.

If they ignore you and are a pain in the bum then you QSY a few kHZ and you don’t spot yourself but say “QSY 5 up” a few times and move. Stations who call because of the spots call on the wrong frequency and don’t cause trouble when you move. If they QRMer moves then they can hear fine and so you note the call. If they do it all the time then you tell Brian G8ADD and he emails them. Within a few minutes you will be spotted again and maybe the troublesome caller will come back. You can whittle down the pack in a few minutes however.

You can work troublesome stations to get rid, but that encourages their bad operation. Ultimately the activator has to stamp their authority on the pileup. Whilst I have moaned in the past, I can say that the vastly overwhelming majority of SOTA chasers are much better behaved than DX station chasers behave.


Well, not seen on the current activation report/video. But I heard James being quite firm with such stations and it worked. In fact I was surprised how robust he dealt with them. So I suppose just get on with circumstances and hope for the best…?
Night night

If it works for you then fine, but I find the above works best for me. In the end the activator has to call the shots.

40K activator points, thought he was a chaser ??