I find that the QSO culture has improved.

There is a lot written here about the misbehaviour of some chasers… and yes - that still exists.
Call signs have also been mentioned…

But there are also some, about whose behaviour we had complained not so long ago, who have developed very positively.

In general, I like the development in the QSO culture very much!

I find it nice to be greeted with GM or GA and to be called by name… also in CW. It costs almost no time!

When I started with SOTA almost 5 years ago, this was not represented in this form.

I think it’s nice and it’s fun!

Thanks a lot - Armin


GE Armin,

I agree with your sentiment. I strive to greet chasers warmly because I appreciate their efforts to work me, and after so many contacts we become old friends!

I also greet activators when I am chasing but try to be conscious of their QSO style if they are running fast in a pileup.

TNX es vy 73 de Jonathan “JB”


Spot on Armin . I think it’s a lovely feeling when the activator calls you by name, for then it does make us feel like old friends. When in CW I apologise for not always using the activators name, sometimes it’s because I don’t see it on the reflector and other times it’s because there’s such a pileup and the other chasers sometimes don’t give you chance to complete your QSO but yes it does seem to have improved…
On a few occasions I have said QRA pls but have never had a rely back to it , but then I understand the activator wanting to get through the pileup as quickly as possible.
Best 73 Allen


Nice summit 2 summit the other day from VK5/SE-010 to FL/VO-167 a long haul QSO on 20m and yes once the other callers realised I was having trouble with the F/ DL6GCA call they stood by nicely for us to complete the contact. So good work everyone thanks for making it possible for the portable qrp ops make a first time S2S QSO.
Ian vk5cz …



I’m glad for you that you can feel that way.

In the years before you started with SOTA, i.e. before the big hype about SOTA in general and about s2s QSO in particular, it was even more comfortable as a SOTA activator.
During this time it would have been unthinkable, for example, that an activator would have answered the cq call of a colleague - on an absolutely clear frequency - only with /p, repeated just /p several times, and this also as an answer to "qrz de mycall? " - this on an absolutely clear frequency, a bit bizarre to listen to.

What I particularly like about SOTA is when my cq call is occasionally answered by a “SOTA outsider”. This then happens textbook-style, with all the details.

But sometimes these are also cw operators with a lot of experience, like yesterday Jim, SV8ANW, in Oktania (Evia Island), who called me on 15m, together with a JH station but with an exceptionally strong signal.
His station was: FTDX10 (85 watts), 2x38m! doublet and a nice to listen to bug key.
By the way, a look at the extensive QRZ entry from SV8ANW is worthwhile.

Then I appreciated that JH1MXV called me again after the somewhat longer QSO.
That’s really fun, thanks!

73, Heinz


In reply to DL6GCA

I only really operate whilst doing SOTA activations, and often my mobile phone doesn’t work well on the hills. I don’t have the luxury of retrieving a name from SOTAwatch, so it’s not often I can attach a name to a call sign. Eventually my brain has wired a link between your call sign and your name (only recently!), after exposure on this reflector. I do like to drop in a name on CW when my brain works quickly enough!

73, Colin


Hello Colin

There we are close together…

I also have a very bad memory for names… and unfortunately I don’t have an app on my iPhone that helps me.

But with time - and increasing contacts - it’s getting better and better.

73 Armin


When I’m activating I try to remember chaser’s names. When chasing, being referred to by name brings a smile to my face. Quite frankly I don’t care whether it’s memory or an app that’s producing the information. Such pleasantries are part of what attracted me to SOTA in the first place.


Hi Armin,

Could be true, but there are issues that remain: chaser tuning exactly on activator freq.
There are new issues coming up, for me as a chaser it is annoying when another chaser uses a double good bye.
To explain:
Chaser gives rst tells 73 tu gl
Activator 73 …
Chaser again 73 gl
Means a lot of chasers hear qso is over and start giving their calls but former chaser goes in 2nd good bye and causes qrm espeically when he is a QRO man.


Possibly because not that many people would understand what it means, perhaps OP? or NAME? would work better!

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Agree 100% with that, it has happened to me many times when I’ve been on a summit and it can be most annoying.

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Coming at this specifically from an SSB operators perspective (I can’t comment on CW as I’m not a CW op) I do generally find SOTA pile-ups to be extremely well behaved but we all have our pet peeves which annoy us.

100% agree. That is extremely annoying both for the activator & other chasers. There have been times when I’ve had to ask for several repeats when people have been tuning up over the pileup. I wish people wouldn’t do that!

While I can see why that would annoy people (and I agree that it is bad practice) it wouldn’t be such a big a problem if chasers waited until the activator calls QRZ. Chasers jumping the gun is one of my other pet hates, although I suspect that opinions will probably be fairly divided on this!

As a chaser I always wait until I hear QRZ, CQ, or something to that effect before keying up. I see it as good manners to wait for the activator to invite new calls before keying up but a lot of chasers jump in as soon as they hear 73. This usually results in me waiting quite a long time before busting the pileup.

From an activators point of view, I generally ignore stations that start shouting their callsign before I call QRZ. If I haven’t called QRZ there’s a reason for it & I’m not ready for the next call. Most likely it’s because I’m still writing down details from the last contact or I need time to turn the page & start a fresh page in my log (bearing in mind that this can take a few seconds when the wind is trying to tear it out of my hands).

My final pet peeve is when chasers either don’t give full callsigns (these chasers generally get bumped down the queue as it just causes confusion) or they give their callsign more than once.

This is problematic because usually I’ve already decided who I’m going to reply to before someone has a chance to give their callsign a second time & I’m left with two options:-

  • Wait for them to stop transmitting (and hope that no one else decides to copy them).

  • Try to key over the top of their QRO signal with my 5-10 watts and probably get drowned out so that the person that I’m trying to reply to won’t hear me anyway.

With all of that being said (and wanting to focus on the positives rather than the negatives) I find SOTA pileups to be the most civilised on the bands.


I understand your point James, but I see this as our job as activators to manage the pile-up. The chasers often can not hear both sides of the QSO and can be left guessing. There is not a consistent pattern of calling QRZ by all activators and it can be frustrating, as a chaser, hearing other stations being called in while you politely wait.

I have taken to expressly stating how I would like chasers to call in on busy activations, with something like ‘There are lots of stations that are calling in, thank you, I will try to work everyone. I will call QRZ when I am ready to take the next station, please wait until you hear QRZ before calling’. Some may find this irritating but I suspect that most chasers are happy to know the rules of the game. Other chasers will join the pile up after the initial message but the pattern has been set.

If we respond to a station calling before we have called QRZ we are sending a message to the chasers that this is how we want to manage the pile up.

I don’t get it right all of the time, but I try to reflect on what I could have done differently, rather than getting frustrated at the chasers, who are my friends, trying to help me to activate the summit.

I really enjoy SOTA QSOs and find almost all chasers and activators to be friendly, supportive and gracious. I look forward to the pile up when I walk up a hill, or as Gerald said.


My 2p worth …

(HF SSB) My pet peeve is people calling who clearly can’t hear me - I invite them to go ahead but no response.

However one very positive point is when an S2S is calling, QRO chasers either say so, or hold back when requested to do so. Thanks Don @G0RQL for doing so today




Completely agree with all of your points Kevin, especially the two quotes below:-

Absolutely. This was my point about ignoring stations that call before I say QRZ.

There are occasions when I have let this slide which (as you rightly pointed out) sends out totally the wrong message.

I think most people do pick up on the hint after a few minutes of only picking chasers from the pile-up who have waited for the QRZ.

Exactly my sentiments. I enjoy the activation & talking to some familiar callsigns more than I enjoy the hike.

I don’t think I get frustrated at people (at least I hope I don’t sound frustrated on the air?). As you said, were all friends.

I think “frustrated” is probably the wrong word.

I see it as dropping a gentle hint & trying to promote what I consider to be good manners.

I do that by rewarding the people who wait to be invited to call in with a shorter wait, while the people who don’t might have to wait slightly longer!

You do also make an extremely good point that not all activators are consistent with calling QRZ. As you said, it’s the activators role to manage the pile-up how they see fit & we all handle it slightly differently. From a chasers point of view this does muddy the water as the boundaries move with different activators.


You are one of the nicest SOTA stations to call into James. I was not referring to you specifically and certainly didn’t intend to imply that you personal express or convey any signs of frustration. I have learnt a great deal from your activations and YouTube videos and am not about to start telling you how to do it.

My point is that it is up to us as activators to change our behavior to obtain the results that we want.


Thanks Kevin, I really appreciate that.


Me too.

not always, on several occasions the QROs have prevented me from completing the S2S qso, of course the QROs will not be in my log until the end of the pileup.
But what bothers me the most is when I call DL? and it answers me XX YY or ZZ, they will not be in my log until the end of the pileup.
73 José


I think this topic has rather drifted from the original point. We already have plenty of threads highlighting poor operating or operating against one’s tastes. The topic was to highlight the good operating behaviour. Let’s stay positive and highlight the good stuff!

I’ll start by saying how impressed I was by the EG*GURU stations, there were lots of callers and yet I still got through with my tiny QRP signal and managed to work all of the calls.

73, Colin



We all know that things often don’t go well.

Some of it is physically explainable and therefore forgivable.
Much is psychology…

In the last few months I have often let the frequency of activators run and listened. Sometimes because I heard the activator too weak and hoped for better conditions for my QSO… sometimes just to listen.

Again and again, very beautiful moments come about:

  • QRO stations defend the frequency for the activator
  • QRO stations hold back for S2S stations
  • QRO stations inform in their QSO about S2S stations
  • QRO stations contact each other again shortly after their QSO to point out an S2S station.

I have the impression that it is working a bit better than it already was. There is no such thing as a perfect community - and neither is the SOTA community!

73 Armin