Congrats to Patrick, ON4BCA, on achieving Shack Sloth operating QRP

Dear all

Since I’ve been frequently recognizing the merits of our Swiss SOTA Mountain Goats, I think it’s time to consider and acknowledge also the activities of our many shack sloths. And there are really many: e.g. EA2DT, DJ5AV or DL1FU – these “generals” have collected more than 200,000 points so far! They are reliable partners on a summit for us activatiors to collect at least the minimum number of contacts needed for a proper activation.

Sometimes even a Shack Sloth merit proves much dedication for “only” 1,000 points. Let’s take Patrick, ON4BCA, from Belgium, scoring 1,205 points at present. His situation only allows a small QRP station in his city, transmitting QRP into a whip antenna on the flat roof. Three counterpoises of 8 meters each and a tuner let him operate from 40 to 6 m. The electronic noise from the surroundings is free of charge.

These operators with low power and simple antennas need special perseverance for their SOTA activity since they have to compete with much stronger signals and better equipment. They call 10, 20, 30 minutes or even longer to be heard at the summit finally. I can imagine this very well since even chasers with more power have to call me several times from time to time to really hit my ears. And I can hear a QRP signal often only then when the stronger callers have left the frequency or are busy elsewhere unless they can time their calls with proficiency. As an activator at QRP level I have at least the special privilege to call in “Summit to summit!” to be heard quickly! But some days ago, I had tried to call one of my SOTA fellows on his Flora & Fauna activation and had given up after 15 minutes sitting out in the cold, covered by much stronger signals at the target. Calling “Summit to summit!” didn’t help in that particular case, hi. So I had an imagination how QRP can feel from the other side.

So congrats to our exemplary Patrick and the many other fellows with simple equipment at home. Enjoy your dedication to QRP and your success!

Vy 73 de Markus, HB9DIZ

ON4BCA antenna.


Congrats Patrick and thank you for the QSOs.
I have also been chasing on QRP some times in the past and it’s something highly rewarding, although it requires time and patience, which is “rara avis” nowadays.
I’ll be looking forward to logging you many more times in the future.



Congratulations Patrick ON4BCA on your achievement. Well done.

73 de Geoff vk3sq


congrats Patrick also from my side; always a pleasure to hear your QRP signal in CW!

73 kurt HB9AFI


Hallo Patrick

Congratulations on this hard-earned success.

I can judge your performance well, because from Mon to Fri I am active myself qrp with an IC 703. My antenna is a wire from the balcony into a tree. And all around are houses that are at least 10m higher than the antenna.
On weekends I have 100 W but the antenna is a hidden wire along the ridge of the roof… almost worse.
In the end, that was the trigger to become active in SOTA.

@ Markus: Thank you for the thread.

When I am active on the summit, I especially listen for /p calls. But it is the same with qrp calls. I think it makes sense for qrp stations to also call “qrp” in ssb or to give “qrp” in cw. I would give them the same preference as a /p station (which I hope is an s2s - but not necessarily the case :wink:).

73 Armin


Thank you Markus for this encouraging and nice article in the reflector.
Thank you all for the encouraging comments.
I would like to use the opportunity to say that without the high level of SOTA professionalism of the activators my achievement would be nearly impossible. It is evidence of the good ears of the activators who are able to hear my weak signal in the QRM and QRN.
Everytime I complete a SOTA QSO I keep in mind the endurance of the activators to reach a summit even in averse weather conditions and set up their /P station.
I wish also to say a special thank you to Bruno HB9CBR, who with patience helped me in the very beginning of my SOTA chaser existence to learn how to operate as a chaser.
Last but not least a big thank you to the HB9SOTA group to wellcome me in their group.
Patrick ON4BCA


Chapeau bas Patrick & thank you for many QSOs.

73, Jarek


Hallo Patrick
Congratulations to your chaser mountain goat in QRP. Here is the picture of his radioshack!
73 de HB9BIN, Jürg


Congrats Patric, this is really good result. See you on the bands.
73 Marek

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Congratulations Patrick!
73 Fabio

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