I apologise beforehand if this ruffles feathers but has SSB died on the SOTA scene except for the few hard core.

Looking at the spots in the last 72 hours there was 84 spots. 6 x FM . 10 SSB and the rest CW. With some SSB gone before you can turn the beam or tune up.

With all respect to the activators with all the effort taken to walk up the summits to operate and safety being the most important thing with conditions etc, would it not be possible for a bit of SSB activity as most people now use multimode equipment these days when time allows if not rushing off too soon.

You often hear comments regarding the SOTA becoming a private club but for myself it is just a bit of fun to collect WAB squares and other awards along the way.

There must be a lot of SSB operators out there with similar views; I here people say well use FM which is fine but in this area its all cooking or fishing on most popular channels.

From East of the Great M5 M6 East West Divide .

Many thanks for looking .


In reply to G0TRB:
I can`t promise any WAB squares Roger, but there will be plenty of DM/BW summits to be had on HF SSB between 25 June & 2 July, please call in if you hear me.
Steve G1INK.

In reply to G0TRB:

I can sympathise with your viewpoint, as one of the people that have so far failed to get up to speed on code! When I started chasing CW activations were few and far between, now it seems that if you prefer to talk you are almost an outcast! But what can you do, you cannot force people to carry and use a mike, can you?

If the purpose of the league tables in the database are to enable you to measure your achievements against those of your fellows, perhaps the time has come for seperate phone and cw tables so that your position is not obscured by the way the cw enthusiasts are surging ahead, and for the sheepskins and trophies to be enscribed phone/cw/mixed mode? This might give a much-needed boost to phone operation.



Brian G8ADD

In reply to G0TRB:

There are two solutions to this problem…

  1. Get more fone activators on the summits.
  2. If you can’t beat em join em, learn cw.

Having said that, I do sympathise with you Roger.


In reply to G0TRB & G1INK(i) :slight_smile:

Hello people,

I admit G0TRB law. I’m very happy if one or the other CW station even with SSB work.
There are many OM’s CW which unfortunately do not understand.
Klaus DF2GN is very exemplary.
He makes CW but also on a 40m SSB round.

Thanks to Klaus. About Klaus, I was able to collect many points. But other OMs as DJ3AX but even takes the microphone in hand. Thank you Lutz.

Vieleicht may be one or the other CW - OM this.

Very interesting I find that there are stations in the CW 'ssb pse "call gates and the assets are not implemented. Is not that a question HAM-Spirit?

Greetings from the Erzgebirge (DM / SX).
DG0JMB, Joerg

In reply to G0TRB:

I’m also a ssb chaser finding contacts a little more difficult to come by (stuck at 961 points) but I am in the process of learning morse, with the bit of free time I have at the moment, so as to not miss out too much.

I’m travelling to the South of France next week via the lumpy bits of Germany and Switzerland hopefully activating one or two summits on the way. All my activations will be ssb so if anyone hears me please spot.

I’ll Also be doing my usual mobile chasing when and where possible, unfortunately no hf for me while travelling through Italy or staying in France, even though they are signed to the CEPT agreement I can’t operate with my old class B call because they still retain the morse requirement for visiting amateurs :o(

Carolyn (G6WRW)

In reply to G0TRB:

To all,

On my few activations, I have always mixed cw and fone, although fone mainly on 2m or 60m.
However, I will take your views on board and operate on 40m-ssb after 40m-cw in the future, unless on a joint activation, such as in Germany where G1INK will do the ssb and I will do the cw.



Brian, the facility you propose aready exists. It is only two clicks to turn the Activator or Chaser Rolls of Honour into (for instance) an SSB only table.

On all my main scoring activations, I always have Jimmy M3EYP with me. He can’t do CW, so it guarantees that there will be a voice mode involved.

The fact that so many SOTA activations are on CW is simply that it is such an efficient and effective mode that particularly suits low-power portable work from remote locations. So it will always be there; it’s not going to go away. Some people do both CW and fone, but some only do CW because they don’t like fone. Some people only do fone because the don’t like CW. Each to their own.

But … if you can’t beat 'em, join 'em!


In reply to G0TRB:

Hi Roger,

As you know, I don’t currently use CW, and have never had a CW QSO
although I passed the test in 1985 at Portishead. I have always had
that problem with breaking through the great divide between listening
to CW and just hearing the letters and figures. However, I have noticed
lately that having spent a bit more time listening to CW, I do have more
periods of ‘lucidity’ when I can actually follow more of a QSO before
coming to the inevitable ‘brick wall’, so I am going to persevere with it.
After all, the thought of all those extra points is a great incentive.
Stick with it mate, and hope to catch you soon.

vy 73

Dave G0ELJ

In reply to G0TRB:

Well Roger, as you know, there’s plenty of SSB from the MD-OIG team. Paul has recently expanded his operations onto 80m SSB to compliment 60m. On 2m and 70cms I use SSB more or less exclusively, with the occasional foray onto CW. I resist using FM on a summit since it can tie me up with contacts with people who neither understand SOTA or portable operation - particularly annoying when they don’t have a clue what it is like to operate in horizontal driving sleet and keep waffling on! I don’t know how those that operate 2m FM cope.

The problem band for SSB is 40m where a bit of power is needed. I will be willing to give this a go once I can get a small linear sorted, but like many others, I have found the 817 barefoot just isn’t enough.

73, Gerald

Interesting thread…

Yesterday on Wendover Woods I used both modes but had very few SSB QSO’s (32 CW and 3 SSB). It may just be that there were more CW op.s listening but I would be the first to point out that CW is way better when conditions are marginal or when the station is limited in power and or antenna.

I was actually quite surprised to make more CW QSO’s on 60m than SSB yesterday. CW on 60m is normally like rocking horse poop.

I have some sympathy with the thread as I was a very reluctant CW operator for many years but I persevered having come back to amateur radio and it really does work better at times… and it’s fun!

However I shall continue to try and use both modes where possible.

73 Marc G0AZS

In reply to G0ELJ:

Dave, that sounds like an exact description of my problem, I never got past 10 wpm and gave up after the B licenses first came out, now I struggle to reach 8 wpm and hit the fatigue barrier very quickly. Its not a matter of “learning CW” as so many seem to put it, because I was pleased to find when I started working on my morse code again after 40 years that I could still remember it perfectly (tho’ I will admit to being a bit shaky on punctuation and prosigns!) No, it is the rapid onset of fatigue that changes “barely with it” to “struggling to remember a few letters ago” to “totally lost it”!

Gerald, this point about the 817 puzzles me, because I worked 40-odd countries on 7 megs SSB with a barefoot 817 and a G5RV at 20 feet tuned with a little homebrew Z-match. This can’t have been a better set-up than your average portable station, and tho’ I now use the 857 it runs at 30 watts which is likely to sound little over an S point stronger for the activator and I get good reports from Europe. Mind you, its nice having the DSP (once you find the best way to run it) but I miss the 817!


Brian G8ADD

In reply to G0AZS:

I was working yesterday so I am unable to comment on conditions but there are a few answers in the spots…

Wed 10:55 G0AZS/P on G/CE-005 7.032 cw
Marc QSY here for last calls (Posted by GW0DSP)
Wed 10:45 G0AZS/P on G/CE-005 3.557 cw
*qrv_here (Posted by G0AZS)
Wed 10:41 G0AZS/P on G/CE-005 14.057 cw
*qrv_here (Posted by G0AZS)
Wed 10:34 G0AZS/P on G/CE-005 10.118 cw
now QSY’ing here (Posted by GM0AXY)
Wed 10:31 G0AZS/P on G/CE-005 7.097 ssb
now here (Posted by GM0AXY)
Wed 10:06 G0AZS/P on G/CE-005 7.032 cw
moving here now (Posted by GM0AXY)
Wed 09:56 G0AZS/P on G/CE-005 5.291 cw
*qrv_here (Posted by G0AZS)

Note - There was no spot for 5mHz SSB and most of us monitor 5.3985.

Note - The time from being Spotted on 7.097 SSB to the time you were spotted on 10.118 cw is 3 minutes. Given that the minimum time for the spots page to update is one minute and that you needed some time to retune and switch back to the key, that gave the SSB guys one and a half minutes to get to the radio and tune up before you had gone.

Personally I have self spotted on 40m and then called for 10 minutes before the calls started coming in, so some persistence is required. If you are relying on someone finding you and spotting then even more persistence is necessary.

Hopefully I will get you next time Marc, good luck with the activations.

Best regards Steve GW7AAV

In reply to GW7AAV:

Firstly, I do sympathise with the ssb only people as I said earlier and I will endeavour to operate on ssb in future activations, but a few facts…

Persistance or self spots are very rarely required on cw. A call on 7.032 or 10.118 will be answered and spotted every time.

Cw is and always will be the most power efficient mode, 9 times out of ten 5w and a 3ah SLAB will easily do 2 activations with good QSO rates on CW.

I have never heard a CW chaser moan about ssb only activators.

What happened to the old cliche, the activator is king? The activator can please himself re bands and mode and should not come “under fire” because he took the time and effort to learn the code and others choose not to.

If you can’t beat them, do something about it and join them, take the time to learn CW as many have or are doing, yourself included Steve, I have you in my log on 2m-cw.

There is no doubt about it, CW is becoming more popular in SOTA, so while there is little or no ssb available, mainly midweek, utilise that time to learn CW.

Finally, this thread could be upsetting to some of the regular ssb activators who do a sterling job. G4ERP, G3RMD, G4MD, G4OIG, G6WRW, G0VWP, G4YSS, G7KXV, GW4BVE, G1INK, GM7PKT, GM4TOE, GM4COX, MM0FMF, DG0JMB, DL3SBA, ON6DSL. These are the ones who spring to mind instantly but there are many more.


In reply to GW0DSP:

All good points, Mike, tho’ I do remember a few posts on the old reflector about the shortage of CW activations - how times have changed!

To add a very important plus point to CW, it is entirely possible to do an activation with an entirely home-brew set-up from the antenna via the atu to the rig: Tim Walford does some fine inexpensive kits for those who do not want to build “ugly” or knock up their own pcb’s. You see, I know all the arguments for CW, but my brain refuses to co-operate!

No, I think the only likely answer is to make awards endorsed for single modes available, with say CW or phone enscribed on the glassware - that way you can have more than one trophy as a chaser or as an activator…imagine a little row of them on the mantlepiece!


Brian G8ADD

In reply to GW7AAV:
Hi Steve

I can see how the spots seem to tell a story… but take them with a small pinch of salt. I refrained from self spotting everything (especially given one of the recent threads) although I did announce my intentions on each QRG I worked on… but as you say… sometimes spots from others take time to be posted.

e.g. your example of the move from 40m to 30m was done after I had been calling for some time on 40 ssb. Then Ken worked and spotted me and I continued to call to no avail.

I too was very surprised that my calls on 5.3895 ssb went unanswered… apart from Christine… and I even came back there for more calls before my final 40m stint. I just assumed people couldn’t hear me as normally many folks seem to monitor FE quite religiously. I thought the skip was just very long yesterday.

I’m just about to build a new portable radio for 40, 30 and 20m but I’m starting to feel quite guilty that it’s CW only. Sorry folks :frowning:

But I take your point… Next time I will call for longer.

73 Marc G0AZS

In reply to G0AZS:

I’m just about to build a new portable radio for 40, 30 and 20m but
I’m starting to feel quite guilty that it’s CW only. Sorry folks :frowning:

73 Marc G0AZS

Marc, under NO circumstances should you feel guilty that it’s CW only, it’s your cash, your pleasure, your time and your choice mate, I hope you enjoy it too.


In reply to G8ADD:

In reply to GW0DSP:

No, I think the only likely answer is to make awards endorsed for
single modes available, with say CW or phone enscribed on the
glassware - that way you can have more than one trophy as a chaser or
as an activator…imagine a little row of them on the mantlepiece!


Brian G8ADD

What’s the point Brian? If a chaser or activator is a ssb only op, he/she will earn their award by that means just as a cw only or mixed mode op would under the present system, I don’t see a real need for a seperate trophy for each mode.

As for seperating the modes/scores in the database tables, I’m with Tom 100% on that one, i.e. you can simply use the filters on the database to view the scores for each mode and or band, or even who did what for any given year, so why the need to change it?


The question is not has SSB died but why do so many European activators choose CW?

The important word there is choose.

The answer is, to me, because CW guarantees them the greatest chance to succeed in activating a summit.


In reply to MM0FMF:

The question is not has SSB died but why do so many European
activators choose CW?

The important word there is choose.

The answer is, to me, because CW guarantees them the greatest chance
to succeed in activating a summit.


That’s it in a nutshell Andy!