Chasers SLOW Down (Part 1)

I use CW 99% of the time and can head copy at pretty good speeds but I’m all for encouraging new or nervous CW activators. So I find it really strange that when you find an Activator who’s txing along at 12/15 wpm and sometimes struggling to copy even at that speed that there are a lot of Chasers in the pileup who insist on calling at 25 wpm or more over and over again when it’s obvious the activator cannot copy this speed and all they do is prolong qsos and the pileup. Chasers will you think about blending with the Activator and sloooowwww down when its needed.




It’s only men who do this Declan. I thought it was well known that if you always send very much faster than than the person you are calling is sending then they would be impressed by your skills and also know you have a massive Schwanzstucker.


Maybe we should name and shame these “macho QRQ merchants” Declan, but the MT wouldn’t like it I guess…

73 Phil G4OBK


True. It would be against the AUP (Acceptable Use Policy) and I would be obliged to put on my Moderator helmet (the one with the spike on top!) Well-meaning third party interventions probably wouldn’t help anyway. As always it falls on the shoulder of the activator, if he can’t get the chaser to slow down but can get the callsign then a polite PEM might do the trick for future calls. All he can do at the time is try to battle on.


People using the TX memory on their contest rig?


Worryingly this a Contest inspired trait that is appearing some times on Sota. However, it may be that some ops find it difficult to slow down to 10wpm when sending iambically. At home I have an Iambic key and SK in parallel all the time.
As can be seen from the long list of Spots, Sota is still rising in popularity. We should therefore expect more and more pressure on QSO’s. Do we need to re-think our operating strategy.
See my comment 2 weeks ago about calling multiple times into the pilup. This works well when a station is working split but not so when we use one QRG.




I always try to go down to the speed of the activator when I am chasing but I frequently hear the “speed merchants” have no regard for the activator.

Victor GI4ONL


I continue to be a “warlock’s apprentice” in the cw operation :grinning:, maybe I was lucky, but the SOTA hunters are beautiful CW operators, they help and have enormous patience…


Fair enough Brian, although If I was writing up an activation report on my blog there would be nothing to stop me naming them, or would I be sanctioned by the MT for that as well? I usually paste the blogged reports into SOTAWatch after writing them, so if I did that I would remove the offenders callsigns. The thing is, I can copy much faster that my usual sending speed of 24-25 WPM as many of us can, so it’s not an issue for me and others such as Declan @EI6FR who started this thread. I’m usually chasing for part of the day, most days, I hear it regularly, and it is the same few operators every time. The method doesn’t work, it slows down the activators rate, it causes unnecessary QRM, it’s common sense not to do it, but they still persist!

I think the best way to deal with these “expert fast senders” may be to ignore their calls and not put them in the log. If they continued to call at excessive speed and the activator was familiar enough with their radio, they could always operate split as suggested by David @G0EVV.

73 Phil G4OBK


I may - just may - forget to read that report. There is a difference in my mind between writing “XXXXXX was sending too fast and slowed down the activation” and “that blithering idiot XXXXX kept sending far too &$£*!?* fast and made a right ******* mess of the &&&&& activation”. Factual as against vituperative will be aceptable, hinting at frustration rather than screaming it out. We are all bright enough to read between the lines! I find it odd, though, I have never made a CW contact in my life and even I know that you should always slow down to the speed of the station you are calling, its ham manners 101! O tempora o mores!


Thank you Brian - I had a good laugh at your response! :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

73 Phil


Groundhog Day? Think we’ve been here before a few times, which confirms my suspicions that the ‘won’t-slow-down’ chasers probably don’t visit this reflector, or don’t read topics with “slow down” in the title or don’t care.

So, sorry to bore those who read my comment last time we discussed this. A retired pro CW operator on this reflector (can’t remember who) said it’s better [i.e. more efficient] to send the info (e.g. callsign) once rather than 2 or 3 times at a higher speed.

If a chaser is too lazy to reply manually (using the paddles) to a QRS activator (instead of using TX memory) and insert nice gaps between characters, he [and it probably is a He] is being rude.


It does happen the other way round too. Not so long ago I came across an activator clipping along, presumably sent from a memory keyer, at a leisurely 20WPM, so I went back to him at that speed.

OK, let’s try 17WPM.

Hmmm. I eventually completed the QSO at about 12WPM.

Whichever way round it is plain wrong and it’s bad operating. If you can’t copy 20WPM then don’t send that fast and if you hear someone going at, say, 12WPM then that’s the speed you call him at. Simples!

And yes, it is hard sending that slowly using an Iambic paddle!


If only the could all be like you @G4OBK



Apologies to anyone who’s never seen the Fast Show…


I must confess I don’t get stressed about this. Almost all chasers respond at my slow speed but for those who don’t I send QRS, sometimes more than once and we usually complete eventually. If they don’t slow down I just ignore them.

The other way round is an activator sending quickly where I don’t expect them to slow down for me, it’s nice if they do but I know with some rigs it isn’t an easy thing to do. For example, it takes quite a bit of button pushing and knob twiddling to change the wpm on a QCX. But if you have seen the spot you know their callsign and summit reference so all you need to understand is the RST and as you don’t actually need this to log the QSO it doesn’t matter if you get it wrong, just log 599. :slight_smile:


Gets the popcorn and settles down to watch :grin:


Please note:
I am NOT proposing operating split on Sota at this time. That technique is above our pay grade. Many Sota ops are insufficiently conversent with split to make it viable and it requires too much bandwidth. It was tried a few years ago, it was not a success.
Just stick to 21wpm or below and keep cool.


Just out of interest, is there a protocol, q code, for operating split in CW without prior arrangement? Just curious as I’ve never been involved in it other than ssb.

1 Like

If only these high-speed cw operators could turn on their brains.

They are obviously enthusiastic about cw… (and not without reason) and should be happy about every expansion of the cw community.

But what are they doing?..they spoil this wonderful mode for the potential cw - offspring… and screw it up for themselves!

…how stupid!

73 Armin