It's getting hard to Chase

Seem’s to me it’s getting harder to chase qrp SOTA ops this year due to contest qrm. Been noticing this year a lot of contest activity pushing up regularly around the qrp frequencies, this used only be the case on the very large events like CQWW but it seems there are many weekends where there are 2 or 3 mid ranking contests on so maybe that accounts for the drift upwards. Not much to be done about it I guess.


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I’ve been chasing mostly on 30 metres (when I’ve been doing any at all), but, of course, when there’s a contest on more non-contest traffic moves there (and the other WARC bands), so you see some effect whatever.

Thankfully conditions on 17m are starting to improve, so that band may become available to SOTA again this summer.

I hate activating (when allowed) on a weekend because of the bad contesters - those who don’t attempt to listen before firing up their Kilowatt stations and calling CQ Contest on top of or within 3-5 kHz of your frequency (many of them are that wide - even with attenuators switched in on my receiver!).

As you say Declan - while chasing it’s just as bad. I’m pulling out all the stops on my receiver to hear a weak SOTA activator and just as I’m ready to call - whamo, a contest station calling CQ very close to or exactly on the frequency - no “is the frequency in use” check.

We can’t do a lot about it as (even in contests were specific parts of the bands are supposed to be left clear) the contest organisers are either unable to or unwilling to take action against the culprits when they are reported to them.

73 Ed.

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Ah I’m glad I’m not the only one to notice this. Ed I went into a station who was 5Khz away and told him he was wiping out Sota stations on other frequencies and he told me to go away.

Best 73

Hi Allen,
We have to be careful, that the problem is not our receiver being overloaded by the QRO stations signal of course (and some rigs are susceptible to this) but unfortunately there are stations who think they own the bands and contests do tend to attract these types. These are usually the “wanna-be” contesters. The behaviour of the experienced and larger contest stations is normally a lot better. i.e. not all contest stations have bad operators, the winning ones follow the contest code of conduct and through their skill avoid interfering and still make the most contacts.

73 Ed.

It seems to me that almost every weekend is a constest.
And it seems to me that there are hardly any rules (transmission power, clean signals,…) and certainly no recommendations (frequency usage)…it’s going on, like at some parts of the German Autobahn on Friday afternoons.
I’m glad that the “new” bands are available and I’m working there on such days.
Probably - nothing will change…

73 Armin

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let me share an experience happened 4 weeks ago (4th of April):
I brought my FT-817 and a dipole for 20 m and 40 m to one of my favorite mountains to do a bivouac with some shortwave activity there. I know that is not easy with only 5 W but I normally can log at least some stations.
I did not check before but there was the SP-DX contest at the same time. It was not possible for me to only log just one station. 20 m and 40 m was crowded with QRO stations on every piece of the band which is allowed for SSB operation.
After 30 min I tuned my 817 to the UKW frequency range, listend to some music and watched the stars :slight_smile:

73, Martin


Hi Declan
Definitely yes, it’s hard to chase !
As I chasing the new unique one, the score is going down from about 2 or 3 month, but can manage to work 2 or 3 new one every day !
Contest will be a real problem but if activators will try 30m or 60m or 80m in diurnal hours and also FT8, we can chase every days :wink: :+1:
NB : I chase new unique but work also other summits … Better when the rush going down, when dupe are working :100: :japanese_goblin: for the XX time
73 Éric

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Today is like fireworks at 14:37Z only 7 news unique :star_struck:
73 Éric

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Today is like fireworks at 14:37Z only 7 news unique

Good talking to you earlier Eric. Maybe Kraglak SP/SS-16 was one of those? I chose today the least activated summit in the SP/SP-SZ-SS regions :slight_smile: (BTW thanks for the extra spot!)

Does anyone know why the conditions on 40m were so bad today? Sure there was a contest going on but my frequency was semi-quiet, at least not worse that I’ve had sometimes in the past, and I didn’t make any contact after a spot and multiple CQs. 20m worked a lot better for me while it’s usually the opposite!


I have the same experience, I haven’t been able to do anything on 40m on account of it being crowded, no respect for QRP frequencies. Guys cooking 1kW+ finals with distorted signals and splatters left and right. I wonder what the contest was on sunday May 3rd but I actually thought the same: This is like during a WPX contest.