How many bands?

While I am happy to work an activation on one band,is it a benefit for activator for me to follow them on bands as best I can ?..Phil

Generally, I figure chasing an activator on one band is sufficient. At present, the 12 metres challenge does introduce a case where working an activator on that band is worthwhile, even if you’ve already worked them on another band, but it’s an exception…

Of course, if you can hear the activator calling CQ on a band and getting no responses, then spotting them might be a help…

73, Rick M0LEP

In reply to VE1WT:

Hi Phil,

I do like to chase an activator on as many bands as I can for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, I like to see how well my modest station works across various parts of the spectrum & gauge any differences in RF paths / propagation across as wide frequency range as possible.

Secondly, Certain activators like to use certain bands they may have an affinity with, & sometimes they may wish to make the qualifying 4 contacts using their favourite band alone. Sometimes this is very challenging,(especially on VHF/UHF) so I will call the activator again & give them a QSO on that band as well.

As a caveat to the above, I try to avoid calling an activator I’ve already worked if he/she has a pile-up on a second band. If I don’t work them in the first couple of calls I think it makes more sense to wait until the end of the activation to give those who have not already chased the activator the opportunity to chase the summit.

It used to be the case that there would be no real benefit to either chaser or activator for doing this, but as we now have the 12m challenge, I believe working an activator you have already worked on one band (eg 30m) will benefit both parties if you work again on 12m.

Thanks & 73,

Mark G0VOF

In reply to VE1WT:


As a chaser I find that, in general, it is sufficient for a chaser to work an activator on one band only, to claim the points and assist the activator to qualify the summit. However, there are occasions when it is an advantage to make at least one more contact

When the first contact was doubtful.
When the chaser is collecting points for one particular band, such as 10 or 18 MHz
On 12m in order to gain points for the challenge.
When the activator is testing an antenna or requests multiple contacts.

If the chaser wants to make a second contact on a different band then as a matter of courtesy they should wait until any pile-up has ended before making the second contact.

Activators may have a different reply.


Even though there is no points advantage (besides the 12m challenge), as an activator, I do like to get contacts on multiple bands. It provides a snapshot of how well propagation is working on different bands during that activation. I like to work as many bands as possible to give chasers an opportunity to get a summit in the log. I often get reports such as ‘much better signal on this band’ or ‘I have chased you up and down the bands and this is the first time I have heard you.’ This information is very beneficial to me. I do log contacts on different bands, so that information gets tucked away into my own database.

I also appreciate when chasers will come back on the same band, to tell me that my signal is building. I don’t log those contacts, but it usually has a positive effect. Those reports almost always come when I am getting tired of calling CQ with no response and it gives me an incentive to stick around for a little longer.

pat - KI4SVM
My motto is “I may be 33 most places, but I am 59 somewhere!”

In reply to KI4SVM:

I totally agree with Pat: Multiple QSO always welcome!
Nice to know conditions on a different band.

73 de Hans PA3FYG

In reply to PA3FYG:
Thanks Hans for yours and other replies…Seems I am not far off the suggestions…Best 73 de Phil

On my activations, I positively encourage chasers to work me on every different band/mode combination I use, if they wish to do so.


In reply to M1EYP:

I quite agree, always nice when chasers try multiple bands/modes. Not to mention the regulars who assist in QSY’s, spotting etc. All adds to the wonderful sense of camaraderie that pervades SOTA.

On joint activations with Gerald 'OIG some chasers have worked the same summit half a dozen or more times! Every contact welcomed and appreciated. And logged of course!

73 de Paul G4MD

If the activator ask I will run around from band to band One time for the points and move on and not cause a unwanted pileup knocking others out of a chance to work the activator . Beside I dont like filling my SOTA log up with 0 ? in the point area. If they ask I do if they dont I wont. I move on to try to make another SoTA Contact as I cant get points setting listen to a bunch call over top or each other.
73 de Dow (W4DOW)
Chaser in W4V

In reply to G4SSH:

There may other reasons to work a mountain activator on more than one band. Aside from the SOTA reference the chaser may also be interested in the district, locator (in particular on VHF/UHF/SHF), WAB square etc. of the activation site or in the DOK or other club memberships of the activator. Even if it was not the original intention of the activation, it may offer an opportunity to plug a few holes in other collections …

73, Jan-Martin