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Activators please leave a break for S2S & QRP cont

Being a fairly active Activator of over 10 years one aspect of SOTA which I thoroughly enjoy is S2S contacts. It’s always a great buzz to work a fellow Activator from your Summit knowing that he/she has put as much effort or indeed more into their activation and that a S2S contact may possibly put ‘the-icing-on-the-activation’ for both Activators?

In the early days of SOTA, S2S’s were fairly rare outwith main 2M conurbations. Nowadays it’s just amazing to see the proliferation of activations on all bands and modes with the subsequent increase in Chasers and summit QSO’s. So S2S’s are less rare. Or are they?

As the saying goes ‘success-breads-success’ and this has certainly been the case with SOTA. Pile-ups are very common with in the main QRO stations chasing. The problem with this is you - as a potentially chilling down Activator, with a 817 running bare-foot, attempting to alert the other Activator that you are trying for a S2S - get nowhere in the ‘scrum’. So if you are really keen you will hang around awaiting the pile-up to reduce or not as the Activator themselves maybe cooling down or indeed heading off for another summit and have to go QRT. Missed opportunity for both!

Could I make the suggestion that we ACTIVATORS during pile-up runs take a break after say every ? contact/exchange to allow for potential S2S’s or other QRP operators to call. ( ? open to suggestions - every 10/20 would workout at about 10 mins - though of course depends on you operating rate? - but would say 10 mins is about right and would allow the awaiting Activator how long they have to wait to get a chance for a S2S and whether it’s worth it?). Remember it’s the Activator who is in control and I think it shows a good quality of operating skills when you take control - asking all stations to - "stand-by and now listening for other summits stations - ONLY!!, QRP and possibly Dx stations - emphasising ‘outside Europe’ (from a European perspective!)

This suggestion is made from many experiences of missed S2S’s both on CW & SSB attempting to break the pile-up - and it’s getting worse! So before it becomes even harder let’s improve our operating procedure and give your fellow Activator a chance by - taking-a-break - please!!

Food for thought?

73

Jack (;>J
GM4COX

In reply to GM4COX:

Sounds good, Jack. Mind you, the chasers often alert the activator to a S2S call - yesterday I heard a European activator being alerted to a S2S call by a well-known chaser in the USA! That’s the spirit of SOTA for you!

73

Brian G8ADD

In reply to G8ADD:
Yes I was there Brian. Presumably it was Barry N1EU alerting OK/OE5RT/P to the fact there was an Activator on-the-side trying to work him. As it turned out there were three George SV2NCH, Dave G4ASA and myself. Both George & Dave worked Peter & Ingebourg but not myself as Peter said they had to go QRT for their next summit. I think the fact that there were 3 S2S’s waiting confused him? Again good operating would have been an QRO operator alerting him to the fact that GM4COX/P was also waiting on the side - but it didn’t happen - pity!

Cheers

Jack (;>J

In reply to G8ADD & GM4COX:

Mind you, the chasers often alert the activator to a S2S call

How does the old saying go “you can take a horse to water but you can’t make it drink”. On a recent activation I called another activator for a S2S quiet a number of times without success. Another chaser broke in and told the other guy that there was a GW station calling him for a S2S “Oh that would be nice” he replied then instead of calling me in with “Go ahead the S2S he just said QRZ QRZ” and I got lost in the general melee again. So after a few more goes I packed up.

Peter
G1FOA

In reply to GM4COX:
Again good operating would have been an QRO operator alerting him to the fact

that GM4COX/P was also waiting on the side - but it didn’t happen -
pity!

I’d have done it myself, Jack, but I didn’t hear you! Chasers alerting an activator to an S2S call is in fact commonplace, I’ve often done it myself, but I thought it noteworthy that it was somebody as far away as Barry doing it.

No doubt the arrival of the new S2S award next year will encourage activators to make more effort to winkle out S2S calls!

73

Brian G8ADD

In reply to G8ADD:

No doubt the arrival of the new S2S award next year will encourage
activators to make more effort to winkle out S2S calls!

…and give them an alternative reason to re-visit summits even when they’re not going to score points for the actual activation. :wink:

73, Rick M0LEP

In reply to M0LEP:

I am a big fan of summit-to-summit contacts - but they are hard to complete when the Activators can’t hear each other under the Chasers. I’ve had some (only some) luck calling “QRZ QRP” or “QRZ /P” and someday I might even try “QRZ S2S” - most Chasers will stand down when I make these specific requests and it gives a chance for the small signals, like other Activators, to come through. I’d like this to become more common.

Best regards,
Etienne, K7ATN
W7 - Oregon

i agree pile ups are getting worse, but hey, that’s the fun of it too !!

About leaving gaps every xx qso/minutes…bad idea i think, what an op has to do is ask for what he wants. When i’m in Hungary i ask specific for ON stations, when i want it i ask for DX.

What really would help us all is that people started to listen before they start yelling their call, not even knowing what or who they are calling…i was in LX yesterday and had two bunnies like that…

Ask for what you want, run the pile up, don’t let the pile up run you … …

73
ON6UU

In reply to ON6UU:

i agree pile ups are getting worse

…or better depending upon your point of view!

73

Richard
G3CWI

In reply to ON6UU:
Hi Frank!

Maybe the way I ‘phrased’ my request ‘take-a-break’ didn’t come across too well. I didn’t mean have a break for a cup tea - hi! No you are spot-on the in way you operate calling for specific stations, Dx etc. No all I am trying to do is to make Activators think about controlling the pile-up more effectively for the benefit of potential S2S’s, QRP and Dx stations by asking Chasers to "standby… (say every 10 to 20 contacts - again based on your QSO rate) “now looking for…” “Nothing heard - QRZ?”

I know how easy it is to get carried away with trying to work and log Chasers as efficiently as possible and manage the ‘wall’ of callsigns hitting you but you might have a poor, old, cold and knackered Activator (thinking of myself again (;>) desperate to get off the summit but reluctant to give-up without the S2S.

Here’s to our first S2S?

73

Jack (;>J
GM4COX

In reply to ON6UU:
"…i was in LX yesterday and had two bunnies like that…"

Only Two?, I tried to work you on the summits yesterday but gave up when I repeatedly couldn’t hear you for numerous chasers calling over you & each other. It was the same with Rene but at least I did manage to catch him on one summit:)

But at least I was just a Chaser at home, if I had been trying to get an S2S contact with you I would not be happy.

73,
Colin
M0XSD.