How to chase S2S's as an Activator.

I’ve noticed that far more activators on summits succeed in calling me up when I’m also activating to get a S2S than I do. Is there a strategy or procedure to chase S2Ss that that I’m missing?

When operating CW my normal procedure is :-

1: Call CQ and work through those chasing me. Then after this dies down and there appears to be no more chasers , I look at my phone if I have a signal and see if there are any spots for other activators and then try to chase them.

This appears not to work very well as I may well have missed someone calling by a few minutes or even less whilst I was working home based chasers.

2 : If I have a network coverage on my phone whilst calling CQ I have tried the option of keeping my eye on the spots and if there’s one on the same band as me pausing and try and work the other summit - but then I risk having to start calling CQ again and loosing chasers. I also may end up loosing my original frequency I was spotted on…

So is there a better way for chasing S2Ss in CW?



Hi David

You could try and get the attention of the activator that you are chasing by sending /P a couple of times or S2S. Both these have worked for me in the past.



Exactly, that’s the risk.
I don’t do that unless I have almost exhausted all pileups in different bands and modes and my log is full of QSOs. I’ve done it today once to chase David @G0EVV, but I had already 138 QSOs in my log by then, so the risk of loosing chasers was little and if I had lost my frequency, which I didn’t, I wouldn’t have minded much.
I do chase a lot from my base station, so I concentrate in making QSOs with all my chasers when I’m activating. They are my priority during my activations. If my pileup dies out and I still have time and I’m in the mood, I look out SOTAwatch and go try chasing some activators. While I’m having chasers in my pileup, I just work them and I don’t care about where other activators are.
Today I worked 9 S2S and I only went to look for and chase to 3 of them i.e. @G4OOE on 40m CW, @HB9CBR on 30m CW and the already mentionned G0EVV, who is the only one for whom I left my CQing frequency, as I was on 14.064 and he was on 14.0625. Too close as to not go down and chase him… The other 6 S2S called me while I was working my pileup.


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I’m not sure, but recognise your experience, which I’ve lived. All I can say is that it seems to get easier after 18 years.

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Hi David,

The above way is good but you have to remember that all chasers preferring to the activator on another summit will pretend they can’t hear you - they will pretend like that because many of them have just done QSO with you on the same band, so you have to outsmart those “deaf” chasers who only care about their points and may be than the other activator hear you. Sometimes it is better to eat a sandwich and wait for the chasers to saturate, then there is no pile up and you have more chances.

73, Jarek

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I survey the current spots before calling CQ. If there are active spots i go and chase them first.

Periodically I will also check the spots. As I’m using VK Portalog to log my contacts, it is only a swipe right to look at the current spots. And I will usually swipe another page to the right to see the latest Parks spots.

In addition to actively looking at the latest spots, the logger also pops up all new spots.

Each operator has their preferences, so what works for me may not suit others.

73 Andrew VK1DA/VK2UH


I always check Alerts before I go out myself and I can often see there if anyone else is out on SOTA the same time as Me, then I know to keep watch. But some times I miss out as well or I just set up my 80m antenna to find a potential S2S Spot on another band etc. That happened last activation I saw ZL1BYZ Spot on 17m but I had my 80m antenna setup oh what the hell kx3 tune up and he gave me 559 so got the S2S anyhow.Lucky for me most Ops look for me if I don’t find them first, all part of the fun.
Ian vk5cz …


This. When I do an activation, before I send my spot I review current spots and even listen on a couple of popular frequencies before I send it (my spot). Seems to work pretty well for S2S.

73, Jim KK0U


Hi David,

This is my approach as well. Assuming I have an Internet connection, once I have set up I try to get any S2S first. Then I do my activation, enjoying S2S calls if they call in. After finishing my activation I again look for any S2S before packing up the station.

73 Andrew, G4AFI

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I use a few tactics:

  1. Before I self-spot/fire up my activation, I check for other activations.
  2. Between band changes, I check for S2S opportunities.
  3. When my own rate slows up, I will take a look and may QSY for an S2S attempt before returning to calling CQ. However, if I have a steady rate of callers, that’s always my focus until I hear no more callers for a few minutes.
  4. Before I go QRT, I will again check for S2S.

Of course, if spotting info isn’t available, I just check the usual watering holes for signals.

I suppose if I was really organized, I would have a list of alerts with me. while not perfect, it would provide a ballpark idea of how many other activations are occurring, where and when.

73 Paula k9ir


After I complete setting up on the summit and before I spot myself, I first check the spots and chase S2S. After awhile of that, I go ahead and do my normal activation. Then before I leave the summit, I’ll check and look for S2S opportunities one more time before final QRT.

73,Joe KE9AJ


Thanks everyone. Its been helpful with your replies. I was out the last couple of days and like you suggested, basically making time/space to ‘chase’ S2S;s seems to have worked for me.

Thank you!


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I do pretty much as stated, but I turn the preamp on, NB off, volume up and hope to hear. Generally speaking if I can hear them I try to make the contact.


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