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7032 - a SOTA-only frequency?


Listening to the action on 7032 early on Sunday evening (sadly, much of it was inaudible here) I happened to hear a station repeatedly telling another “QSY THIS FREQ SOTA ONLY”.

I do realise how frustrating it can be to have a strong station come up alongside a much weaker SOTA station, but it must be realised that neither SOTA, nor any other group, has an exclusive frequency allocation on any band. Of course a polite “PSE QSY FREQ IN USE” type message is quite acceptable when appropriate, but, especially in difficult and variable conditions, it should be remembered that some stations will start calling on what genuinely appears to be a clear frequency at their end, only to discover that they are in fact interfering with a pre-existing QSO.

We have already had some instances of deliberate QRM to SOTA activities by some mal-adjusted characters, but these are thankfully few. However, if we get a reputation as the “7032 police”, we are likely to attract more attention of this kind. Please encourage your fellow chasers to be thoughtful and polite when attempting to keep a frequency clear for SOTA activity.

73 de Les, G3VQO


In reply to G3VQO:

Hear Hear. Well said Les.

73 Mike GW0DSP


In reply to G3VQO:

Totally agree Les, when I hear this kind of behaviour it makes me feel ashamed to be a member of SOTA.

Unfortunately this is becoming quite common on 7.032 CW, especiually if there is a SOTA station due to become active around this spot.

One thoughtless comment such as this can undo months of positive PR for SOTA.



In reply to G3VQO:

A well made point, Les. Even I, as a phone-only operator know that the CW activity is centred on 7032, but there is a big difference between having an expectation of finding a specialist activity on a given channel, and having an exclusive right to that channel!


Brian G8ADD


In reply to G3VQO:
Hello Les

You are right about the “station with no call”. F2YT/P was on 7.032 and I worked him. The QRG was free of SOTA activation. What a shame on this guy.
Long live to SOTA spirit.

Andre - F5UKL


Hi Les, you are right, it was F2PI asking QRL? then CQ and I also heard this strange answer (was looking also for Alain F6ENO after 1 month without radio… job!)… 7.032 is a “recommended” freq for SOTA in order to chasers can find activators and the sum-contrary, but not an obligation : I regularly activate on 7.033 and others on 7.031… not a problem at all.
Hear you from the F/PO summits…
Chris F8DZY.


Exactly Les, there are no owned frequencies and we have to operate cooperatively with other users. This Sunday I was having no luck on 60m, FE was occupied by 2 stations and calling elsewhere on 60m was unproductive. When the 1st 2 stations closed another non-SOTA portable station (G4RSW/P?) appeared. When I got his attention and asked if I could call CQ SOTA on FE and then QSY once I’d found some chasers he was only to happy to oblige. I thought that was an excellent example of cooperative operating on a scare resource with 60m being channelised and G4RSW/P deserves some recognition for showing the proper ham spirit.



In reply to MM0FMF:

A good point about 60m Andy. FE has become the preferred frequency for SOTA operation and when occupied I also have found it difficult to get a response elsewhere, even though there really are practically only 3 alternatives. Unfortunately FE for me at home is very difficult with S9 noise most of the time, whereas FK and particularly FL are much clearer. I suspect others may be similarly afflicted. For this reason I tend not to chase on the band unless I notice a spot for FK or FL or conditions are particularly good with high signal strengths.

Question for the activators - is it worth trying a move to FK or FL after working the hoards on FE in order to pick up anyone unable to use that channel? Just a thought.

73, Gerald


In reply to G4OIG:

I, too, have problems with FE, which is often occupied by an S9 burbling noise. With the sometimes high level of activity on 60, I would have thought it would make good sense to designate FE as a calling channel and automatically QSY. I wonder if the same approach would work with 7032?


Brian G8ADD


In reply to G3VQO:
Hi Les
I too heard the ‘incident’.
It was very unfortunate that Paul F2YT was the recipient of a distinct (and loud) message saying “SOTA frequency only”, and then (even worse) “F2YT ur lid and idiot”.
I was very disappointed that such a well known, active and respected amateur received this abuse - Paul has activated a great many castles for the French castles award, quite apart from many other activations.
He was also a very gracious and kind host to a group of us who operated as F0RV at his QTH back in 1975 - quite an experience, but another story …

73 de Cris


In reply to GM4FAM:

I must admit that I did not hear the second, more abusive, comment. I will, however, concur with your sentiments regarding Paul F2YT, the unfortunate recipient of these unwelcome remarks. Paul is a true gentleman, and has always been of great assistance to me whenever I have been activating or chasing French châteaux and moulins.

73 de Les, G3VQO


Incredible stuff this! The bandplans, which are a “gentlemen’s agreement” and no more, don’t make any mention of SOTA in any case. I have found a polite request is always greeted by helpfulness by other amateurs - eg on 2m FM, I have, in years gone by, broken into a strong local QSO and said that there was a SOTA station underneath them on frequency, would they mind if I took a minute to work it? Always the response was “No problem, we’ll QSY with our net and leave the frequency to the SOTA station”. That’s pretty decent stuff, and they don’t have to do that, so it is sad to hear of (presumably) a SOTA chaser being so rude - and uninformed about bandplans and licensing conditions.

Things must have deteriorated sharply. Last August, I was camping in Essex, nowhere near any SOTA summits. I found that 7.032MHz was clear and put out some CQ calls as M1EYP/P. Quite naturally, I was called by many EU stations, most if not all thinking I was probably on a SOTA summit! And in all honesty, I kind of knew and hoped that calling CQ de M1EYP/P on 7.032MHz would generate some interest for that very reason! It did, I worked several stations, mostly known SOTA chasers, and often had to answer the question “PSE UR SOTA?”. But the answer “NO SOTA, HR CAMP SITE ESSEX” was greeted only with good natured humour, and no hostility.

No doubt the person making the unpleasant remarks to Paul, also failed to identify themselves with a callsign. And if they don’t send a callsign, they are a pirate, and we ignore them, right?



In reply to M1EYP:

Quite correct Tom. Unfortunately Paul F2YT has become a target for this particular individual. The weekend before last Paul was calling CQ from a rare French Region on 7032 KHz when this person told him to QSY HR SOTA FREQ and gave so much deliberate QRM that Paul was finally forced to QSY. A most unpleasant incident which reflects badly on SOTA.



In reply to G4SSH:

This is a sad story indeed. I worked Paul, not knowing that he was Non SOTA at the time and enjoyed the QSO too, with a good and gentlemanly op.

It sounds that maybe some of you may have recognised the fist of the ignorant person involved, if so, name them and shame them, this sort of behaviour needs stopping right now.




In reply to G4OIG:

Question for the activators - is it worth trying a move to FK or FL
after working the hoards on FE in order to pick up anyone unable to
use that channel? Just a thought.

I think that would be a good thing. I too struggle with hearing on FE. On a couple of occasions recently I’ve called activators and asked them to QSY briefly so that I could hear them; so far with 100% success. The problem is knowing when to do it - sometimes it is hard to hear enough of what is going on to time it right.

If an activator does QSY after working the pile up, it would be a good idea to ask one of the “big guns” to announce it. By the very nature of the problem, the chasers may not hear the activator say it, and a spot may take too long to propagate.


In reply to M1MAJ:

As a regular 60m activator I’m happy to accomodate chasers in any way I can. There’s little point me carting the gear up a hill if there are stations left unworked. As Martyn says all it needs is for a couple of chasers with big signals (you know who you are) to do a bit of net control if asked to. My only problem would be remembering to ask someone to check for any other stations as even though I’m coming up to my 100th activation, the excitment of being chased by a bit of a pileup still gets me all excited!

However, I don’t want things to formalised with net check in procedures etc. Perhaps it would be good for those with noise problems to ask for some QSY assistance once the initial frenzy (ha!) starts to die down a bit.



In reply to MM0FMF:

I also often activate on 60m, and am equally happy to QSY if required. Indeed I’d be happy to call on another channel entirely, but experience has shown that very few people actually listen anywhere else. I have on several occasions called for 10 minutes or more on other channels without result, only to be greeted by a mini-pile-up when returning to FE! Might try alerting for an alternative channel next time…

73 de Paul G4MD