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Anybody listening?

This SOTA activation has been spotted on 14.250:

I’m on the frequency for the last minutes and I’m only copying the Italian station IZ3WUW.
This station has given his callsign several times, but some regular SOTA chasers are apparently not copying Hans DL5RAZ and must be copying this Italian station not well enough or they didn’t listen carefully enough, because they made QSO with IZ3WUW while wrongly believing he was Hans DL5RAZ.
I heard these chasers calling Hans to the Italian operator and also saying good bye to him in German.
It was quite a mess…
One of the confused chasers I heard was Allen @2E0AGB but there were some others I can’t remember now.
My recommendation is for the chasers to check @DL5RAZ activator log before uploading his chase into the database.
73,

Guru

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From time to time when chasing and monitoring spotted frequencies on SSB I regularly hear a familiar Spanish operator’s voice saying “ANY SOTA?”.

You’re OK Guru - it isn’t you?!

Has anyone else heard this op saying “ANY SOTA?” rather than just listening on the frequency or is it just me who hears him say it?

73 Phil

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Oh yes, I’ve heard him, AND OTHERS, saying “ANY SOTA

73 Victor GI4ONL

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I remember having heard this question being asked on a spotted frequency, but I can’t remember now who he was.
I’ve also heard the same on CW when someone sent SOTA? often on top of the activator transmitting.
It’s a recurrent bad practise and chasers should be aware that sometimes conditions are such that they can’t copy the activator on the spotted frequency and their blind questioning only makes QRM to the activator as well as to other chasers.

73,

Guru

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I have had a similar experience as a beginner CW activator that I have been meaning to ask for some advice on.

I feel a few folks have had what I think of as ‘phantom QSOs’ with me. They appear to have heard me come back with their call sign and a report, and hence respond in kind with their report and a 73 or whatever.

But what is actually happening at my end is a slow grinding of gears as I try and work out a callsign, and maybe I have responded with two letters (two! One more like and sent wrong :joy:) and a ? And the two are quite different to theirs.

I understand it is my job as the activator to control the pile-up, and maybe they are confused by my stumbling. But it’s like asking someone who has just had the stabilisers removed from the bike to jump on a track bike and take control of a race in the velodrome at the front - it’ll be a while before I get those skills! Most people seem to get it’s a bit slow at my end while I work out the CW, stop the logbook blowing away, have half an eye on the curious pony that is inching towards my antenna when it thinks I’m not looking etc. and help me along.

I just wonder if there is anything I should do to help sort it?

(It is also likely btw that there are people who have stuck with the many repeats required on both ends and should be legitimately in my log and because of my mistake they are not. To them I apologise and can only promise to keep improving and giving them CW activations to chase!)

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Hi Tony,
I fear the problem you describe is quite common. I have many times noticed that while I’m making my QSO with one of my chasers, there are other chasers that seem to be under the LSD effects and they behave as I was making QSO with them, they send their report and farewell on top of my actual chaser or even on top of myself.
I’ve had this both on CW and SSB and quite often, too often.
The following day I go to my activator log, then click on Show Who Chased Me and there I find to all those LSD allucinees who have logged the phantom QSO with me.
It’s clear they don’t hear what it’s actually happening on the frequency. I can’t really understand why they do that, but I don’t consume LSD…
73,

Guru

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Somehow a strange elbow has crept in here.

Yesterday I also noticed that chasers were calling even though I hadn’t finished my CQ call. At first I thought that despite several “qrl?” calls I didn’t get that the frequency was busy. It’s possible that you can’t be heard with qrp.
But then I realised that it was the beginning of a pile-up - the chasers were pushing each other up.
Many can’t wait for the qso to end. If you then ask in the qso because details are still missing, it only takes longer.
In the pile up yesterday I also heard fragments of callsigns that I called later. The stations were no longer there… It can’t have been the qsb - they were strong enough. No patience?

I will ask for /p? more often in the future.

I have also considered noting and disregarding strong annoying stations. But that’s no solution either - they continue to annoy me. Does anyone have any tips?

73 Armin

1 Like

Hi Armin,
The only tip I can give is never give priority to the offenders just to get rid of them because they are very strong and cause big QRM. That is their strategy and we, activators, should never let that behaviour win or we would end up at their mercy.
73,

Guru

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:beers:

…that’s exactly what I’m trying to do. If I manage to listen to weaker stations, I always take them first.

73 Armin

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Hi Guru
Yes you’re quite right, I was confused as when I called out it was Hans speaking…I have heard that station a few times in the past week. Anyways I have deleted his entry so all is good now thanks.

1 Like

I have also considered noting and disregarding strong annoying stations. But that’s no solution either - they continue to annoy me. Does anyone have any tips?

I avoid 40m when the SOTA reference is within a WWFF reference.

Ahoi
Pom

Well apart from sticking with it, here’s my 2p worth.

  • Don’t operate too fast. But you may find sending faster characters with longer delays helps you get the character rhythm and aids your speed improvement. Good chasers will hear that and adjust their operating so you can copy them. It’s in their best interests to do that but there are some who think we will doubt they’re not well-endowed in the trouser department if they drop their speed to below 40wpm!

  • If the pile up is manic and people are trying to bully you then check a frequency a few kHz away is clear then send “QSY 3 UP” or “QSY 5 DOWN” a few times and move frequency. The competent chasers will hear and understand and the idiots will take more time to find where you went.

  • Never forget that chasers want the points and the chasers with the big scores have big score not just because they have more time to spend chasing but because they listen more than they TX. They will learn how activators work, they way each activator calls and handle the QSO and pileups and from that they know how and when to call you. So operate in a fixed pattern in how you QSY between bands and modes. Try to work on or near fixed freqs…I tend to use 14.06333 / 14.06388 / 10.11833 / 10.11888 / 7.03333 / 7.03388 etc. Become a creature of habit!

  • You are in charge. It’s hard to believe when you are new and panicking. If you send AN? |KN| and other stations come back without those letters in their call you must NEVER answer them or give them instructions as they will take that as you are entering into a QSO. Keep sending AN? |KN| etc. till you hear the AN? station or you send AN? NIL QRZ?.

  • Remember there are more good chasers with good manners and great skills than the few spoilers out there.

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My strategy is to “kill the wild uncivilized” first, so that the frequency can calm down as quickly as possible …
What I think to myself each time I do this unloved strategy and sometimes say quietly to myself, everyone can think up for themselves :wink:

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I do the same with the same feelings. Or I call for discipline like: “Patience please. One after the other”.

Hi Allen,
It’s impossible for me to know for certain what you were actually hearing at your side. On my side, I wasn’t copying at all the German SOTA activator and I was perfectly copying the Italian station and the regular SOTA chasers calling and making QSO with the Italian. I remember your QSO because I know who you are and also because I heard you saying Good bye in German (Auf Wiedersehen).
Some others were saying thank you Hans and the Italian operator, who spoke quite a rudimentary English, seemed to either aknowledge or not notice that he was repeatedly been called Hans by the chasers he was making QSO with.
Perhaps, all those chasers I heard indeed made QSO with the German SOTA activator and the problem is that I wasn’t copying him while the Italian operator was just doubling with the German SOTA activator…
As I said in my original post, it was quite a mess and I repeat that chasers should better check Hans DL5RAZ activator log to see if they are in the log.
If you have deleted your chase, Allen, I assume you have already checked DL5RAZ activator’s log and you didn’t find yourself there.
Well, I hope to copy you soon again on the bands, but hopefully with better luck! :wink:

73,

Guru

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No probs Guru I’m afraid it wasn’t me saying Auf Wiedersehen, I have never said that , but what I do say is Vielen Danke or Chus but never mind mate Yes I could hear Hans at this end but was with loads of qsb.
I am pleased that you brought it to my attention (the qso) as I then realized I had logged it by mistake. As for the checking an operators log, well I haven’t a clue how to do that mate . Don’t forget I’m old and senile lol. oh I saw you had spotted yesterday but the QSB was that bad I just thought it was better not to try to contact you , but it will happen in the future i’m sure so until then you stay safe. Best 73

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Hi Allen,
Perhaps it was Vielen Danke and not Auf Wiedersehen. All I remember now is I heard you saying something in German at the end of the QSO.
Regarding how to check the activator’s log, it’s very easy. Let me explain it to you:
You enter the SOTAdatabase and get logged on with your SSO credentials.
You go to View Results (3rd from the top of this first menu) and then Activator Roll of Honour (2nd from the top of the second menu):

Now you’ll have to select the association of the activator you are interested in. We don’t know whether Hans DL5RAZ is registered in DL or DM, so we better select ALL DL and click SHOW. This is what you will get:

You can now make a quick search by pushing the Ctrl+F keys and typing DL5RAZ in the text to be searched box. As you advance typing the callsigns matching what you are typing will be highlighted in a green background to you until you’ll get the full callsign you are looking for:

Now you clic on View at the rightmost column of that row and that will take you to the list of all activations logged by that activator, which, as far as I can see it’s only one in the last 12 months:

Now you click on Show log and you’ll be able to see the complete log:

If you now click on Show Who Chased Me, you’ll be able to see all the chaser QSOs logged for that callsign and for that summit that day:

Good luck Allen.
Don’t hesitate to ask me should you have any questions.
73,

Guru

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The software is designed for use by radio amateurs so it is not at all complex or difficult to use. :wink:

In the UK, amateur radio is characterised as a hobby of technical experiments and learning. There is no guide to how the database works, you are expected to experiment and learn from that, it’s how other people learned the functions. If you are logged in (the websites tell you in the top right of the screen) then you can only affect your own logs and you cannot update or delete anything without being prompted so you have to consent to changes.

Go and view the activator roll of honour, find DL5RAZ’s activations. How? That’s an exercise for you. Once you have found his activations you can find the specific activation and view the log. That shows you his log for the activation (you’re not in it). You can also see from that page, the chasers who have logged a chase of this activation.

It’s all very easy “point and click” operation like billions of other websites. The software wont let you change other people’s data and you are prompted when you are changing your data. You just need to try to see how it works.

EDIT: Ah Guru has shown you how. Now you wont have the fun of finding this out yourself and hence learning by reinforcement of success.

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Ah Thanks very much both of you. With me just being a chaser I didn’t think I could look at the Activators…Hey it’s clever stuff…The folks who wrote this software have done an excellent job.

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All useful tips thanks! I’m definitely in the faster character speed (20-25wpm) with longer Farnsworth spacing club (10-13wpm minus summit brain factor) as it’s the way I learned. If chasers get that, it’s much easier for me than if they wind down to a 10-13 wpm character speed which I struggle with.

Whilst possibly considered poor etiquette, another approach I find that calms things down a bit if it’s getting a bit much is to go quiet for a minute or two and then CQ again!

You are right that people want the points, in some ways I can’t think of a better place to start out than on a summit - as you say so many good chasers with good manners and great skills and oodles of patience helping you along!

It is a relief to hear that it is not just me. And I like Guru’s possible explanation. They seem to me to be in a rush, so I imagine there is a potent cocktail of illegal stimulants mixed with the hallucinogens. When it happens in future, I will picture them as high as a kite at the key. Soaring through the global ether, skipping from summit to summit breaking every pile-up for the chase first time before flying onto the next one. Having the time of their lives. And I’ll smile, and just carry on.

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