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Goat versus sloth having ears like a bat

It is a rainy day here in Czech-Moravian Highland today so I tried to pay my attention to chasing instead of activating. Being an activator above all I thought that a role of chasers is easier, but it was very illuminative to hear some activators from the chaser’s point of view. The relative weakness of their low-powered signals in strong qrm conditions leads me to the conclusion that real chaser must have ears like a bat. I don’t think large ears, but ears that hear exceptionally well, as a bat’s ears do. Having ears like a bat sounds slightly better to me than striving for being the shack sloth - but take my philosophising in rain very easy…

73, Karel

In reply to OK2BWB:

A few chasers seem to have excellent imagination as well!



In reply to G3CWI:
Sometimes I think the spots page makes its a bit easy for chasers, knowing what you are listening for kind of helps your ears, which is why I think when you call out the signal some don’t qite get it right as the signal is never on the spots!

But then being a activator without spots could also be interesting…

Catch 22…

In reply to OK2BWB:

It helps a huge amount when you get to know the activator/chasers voice, especially when they only give 58 each time ;0)

73 Steve

In reply to G3CWI:

I did not think about it in this way.
I really like to chase weak radio signals (and in astrophotography weak light signals as well). It is mostly a nice riddle for me. Being an activator means to work with strong signals above all and chasing provides a nice reciprocal contrast to it.

73, Karel

In reply to OK2BWB:
Hi Karel,
I second your impression of shack sloth being rather pejorative name. While having about 4400 chaser points now, I will probably never apply for another certificate beyond the basic one. The bat sounds much more prestigious than the sloth.
… It keeps raining in Moravia …

73, Ruda OK2QA

In reply to OK2QA:

Being sat on a summit with no local QRM from electronic equipment listening to generally strong signals is far easier on the ears than sitting in a nice warm shack in a built up area trying to pull out something intelligible from QRP stations through s9 of local noise.

In my opinion, whilst activators deserve respect for activating under sometimes very diificult weather conditions, many chasers are equally worthy of respect for chasing under sometimes permantly very difficult RF conditions.

And that is before you even look at the planning restrictions on antennas that some chasers have to live with.

Yes, for me, it is definitely more difficult being a chaser if you only looked at the RF side of things.

But if it was too easy, we wouldn’t do either, would we :wink:

I enjoy both chasing, & occasionally activating, they are both good fun :slight_smile:


Mark G0VOF

…and don’t forget the anguish caused by ill-fitting slippers in the shack…

Tom M1EYP :wink:

In reply to G0VOF:

I agree with your comments Mark. During my 40+ years of amateur radio, I have always enjoyed portable operation. SOTA offered me the opportunity to continue that interest with the added bonus of a challenge and a means to keep reasonably fit.

For me chasing is not a particularly easy task. The home QTH sits on a south-east facing slope screened from the majority of the UK summits on VHF. On HF I have high levels of electrical noise across many of the lower frequency bands up to and including 40m so I tend to chase on 30m and above. As you say, planning restrictions are an issue and living in a supposed antenna-free zone, I am limited to wire antennas.

The funny thing is that being first and foremost an activator, I definitely prefer to operate from my back lawn rather than in the shack. There must be something seriously attractive in operating radio outdoors!

73, Gerald G4OIG

In reply to G4OIG and G0VOF:

Wholeheartedly agree. I would not (could not) be a chaser for all the Goretex in Keswick!!!


But don’t forget that for many of us, a significant part and sometimes the majority of our ‘chasing’ occurs when we are also activating!


In reply to M1EYP:
You are right Tom. All my chasing contacts but two have been S2S. Easy - no noise!

By the way; please pass on ‘Happy Birthday’ from me to Jimmy!!

73, John.

In reply to G4YSS:

I have been known to activate a local “pimple” as a chaser in order to work summits on VHF - worthwhile when the activator is someone such as Richard G4ERP or Frank G3RMD who run decent kit… and most importantly, can produce a decent erp. Unfortunately being so remote from the summits here, it is not worth the effort trying to work someone running a handheld or even an 817 barefoot to a vertical on FM. For that I’d need to be on my large local “pimple” (Northamptonshire doesn’t have any hills) and that’s a 17 mile trek each way… and then there’s no guarantee of success.

73, Gerald G4OIG