GM5WS on Ben Aigan & ensuing carnage - *Chasers please check your logs*

Chasers - please read this carefully if you worked me today

Today, I had booked slots to use the GM5WS special event callsign, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the first Amateur Transatlantic communication.

0900-1200 slot
GM5WS was QRV on Ben Aigan GM/ES-069 from 0921 to 0955 on 40 m SSB.

1200-1700 slot
GM5WS was QRV on Little Conval GM/ES-057 from 1230 to 1255 on 20 m SSB.
GM5WS was QRV on Meikle Conval GM/ES-051 from 1422 to 1443 on 15 m SSB.

If you worked GM5WS out with these times and on CW, it wasn’t me. It was another op who was using the callsign before and after me.
If you worked me between 1200 and 1500 on 40 m or 2 m FM. then you worked my normal call MM0EFI/p.

There are a lot of you will need to delete chaser logs.

As for the day, well it started well. Sub-zero on the way up Ben Aigan. I got lost due to the construction of new forest roads and had to head up through thick plantation for a bit! 40m was slow to start, but I worked 25 stations.

sunrise over Ben Aigan around 0930

I’m not sure if the forestry people actually want people in the forest there. There are no sign posts or way markers. The car park isn’t even signed from the road. Thankfully, I know the way in from rallying and mountain biking.

A short 15 minute drive took me down to The Dufftown Golf Club. I parked there and headed down the road for 200 m before turning up a farm track that eventually led to a col between Meikle Conval and Little Conval. I did Little Conval first and got 34 in the log, with 28 of them on 20 m SSB using GM5WS. Best ODX was 4Z4DX and R3GZ.

I was laughing with Peter 2M0SQL (on 2 m) about how he could keep the haar (sea mist) that was shrouding the Moray coast where he lives and in plain sight of me. Well, within half an hour I wasn’t laughing.

Snow capped Ben Rinnes GM/ES-021 from Little Conval - the first wisps of haar appearing

That means my descent and the ensuing climb to Meikle Conval were in mist. I didn’t have a great time there. The mist became damp and drizzly. It was very cold and I had five layers of clothing on. 15 m and 10 m were my chosen bands for this summit. The bands were open but I didn’t get many takers on 15 and none on 10. Someone spotted me when I was covertly working the Aberdeenshire lads on 40 m and I started receiving messages. So after finishing as GM5WS, I became MM0EFI/p and went onto 40 m. It was noisy with QRM, shouty chasers, whistles, tuning and QSB thrown in. Thanks to those who worked me, I appreciate your patience.

oh so happy on Meikle Conval

I logged 93 QSO’s over the day and was hoarse at the end of it, with calling “CQ Transatlantic Centenary” oh so many times!

Fraser MM0EFI


I found 40m to be pretty awful on Sunday. In fact I’ve not found it a very pleasant band on the last few activations - either overcrowded or just very ‘muddy’ signals, if you know what I mean.

On the other hand 20m was S0 noise but with 2 minute QSB that took folk from 55 to 33.

Thanks for the report - 93 QSO’s not to be sniffed at!


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Mark, I know it is dependent on conditions, but through the week it tends to work well inter-G in the mornings, can go very quiet early afternoon and then becomes a riot late afternoon! Weekends are a riot the whole time I think.

Like you, I experienced S0 noise on 20 m and a bit of QSB. 15 m was also S0 noise but signal reports were 5/9 each way, for the few who called me.

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I often find 40m to be a real struggle to get contacts so I have been using 30m and getting quite a pile-up, often including plenty of G stations. This is obviously on CW.


Another excellent effort Fraser and as an “Aberdeenshire lad” I am hugely grateful for the S2S this morning and the double Complete this afternoon. Your thoughtful patience was commendable. Even I abandoned 40m mid-morning and completed my activation on a much quieter 20m and 2m.
Ben Rinnes, adjacent to your three activations, looked like a mini Mount Fuji when seen from Bennachie GM/ES-061 this morning, before the mist descended……:cry:

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I spotted you a couple of times on DX watch when you were GM5WS

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Thank you, that’s much appreciated. I think that brought in a few additional QSO’s for sure.

I’m glad I’m not the only one who sometimes gets their callsigns messed up.

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…and thank you Mike for the Bennachie (Oxen Craig) Complete! Great SOTA teamwork up in the Shire.

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Rbn hole was the problem. When the other chap was hammering away on his key from his QTH in Orkney, rbnhole was spotting him on Ben Aigan - every time he changed band. This happened before and after my activation. I see now there are CW chases logged for Meikle Conval as well.

As of this morning, the following QSO’s are still to be deleted.

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You can tell RBNHole not to spot certain activations when you alert. That would stop this happening again. The magic according to the docs is to put either RBNN, NoRBNGate or NoRBNHole in the comments section of the alert.


That’s useful, thanks Andy. Of course, there are some well known chasers on there and I’d think it’s also well known that I don’t activate using CW. Never mind…

Anyway, the experience put me off using GM5WS again. If I do, I should do it using ft8, as those slots are all empty!


Frasers alerts were for SSB only, so I’m a bit mystified as to why the RBN hole posted the spots - rather than have SSB operators having to opt-out, wouldn’t it be simpler if the RBN hole only posted spots if the alert was defined as including cw?

Admittedly this is a bit of a corner case :slight_smile:


Anyhow a strange setup that the same callsign can be used by multiple operators at different locations on the same day.


The field for frequencies and modes is free form on the alert, it’s for humans to read. Having RBNHole not spot you because you messed up the frequencies/modes in your alert would be a Bad Thing™.

This kind of mix up only happens when you get non-standard situations such as this when lots of different people get to use the same callsign at around the same time. What it shows is that every single CW chaser that logged GM5WS never heard the CW station send a SOTA Ref! They saw it on SOTAwatch, heard it, worked, logged it without hearing anything SOTA about the QSO. :slight_smile:

It’s a bit like the /P that Simon GM4JXP had. By posting the info in the thread (/P disable on SMS) and RBN disable in here means that the info how to do it is in a thread which may be more easy to find in months to come. I’d normally say RTFM in the hope that people would RTFM and find lots more things they did not know. But having the fix found on the reflector is useful right now.

The people “loaning” the call GM5WS know who is using the call and when. They also know where the station was located. So they can meet any needs of the licencing body to trace who, where and when if there was a real problem. But yes, a bit unusual.


Agreed. Except i don’t do CW, so not my manual to read.

But becoming more common.



Yes of course, that makes sense. I’m sure it would catch me out if it did apply filters (no doubt when cold and out of mobile network coverage) :slight_smile:

Thanks for info. Who was on 30m CW at 0909?
However I deleted it

It was GM8OFQ Geoff, from his QTH in Hoy, Orkney isles. He had slots booked before and after me.

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To be sure you have “caught a SOTA fish” go to the QRZ.COM page for the callsign worked. Click on GM5WS Schedule (or whatever TCT callsign you worked). Select the Day Tab at the bottom of the spreadsheet and check who the operator is during the hour of operation you need to check.

This is not conclusive but it may help you confirm you have chased a proper summit and not someone from home. Most chasers should know that Fraser @MM0EFI is a very prolific activator who tends to alert his activity for example. The links above should work if you are logged into QRZ.COM.

73 Phil @G4OBK

PS I noticed Simon @GM4JXP is QRV with GM5WS this afternoon for example GM5WS Booking

PPS Further investigation of TCT callsign G6XX on Day 8 shows Paul @G4IPB allocated 20m and 10m SSB from 1200-1800z with the helpful comment to the right of the chart saying:

G4IPB G/NP-003 (Burnhope Seat)

Check it out Day 8