Multiple Activators, Same Summit... Thoughts?

Today, KK1W and I activated Cascade Mountain, W2/GA-010. He operated CW as KK1W and I operated SSB as K1MAZ/2. Cell service was a bit spotty for me, but I was able to get spots out occasionally. I made a Q on 20m and was told I was being clobbered so after a couple failed attempts (and spots, my apologizies) to find a clear frequency, I moved to 40m. I called CQ for ten minutes while trying to get a spot out. It succeeded and I heard one station but he couldn’t hear me. I then called for an an additional 10 minutes but got nothing so I moved to 17m. I got a spot out and made a Q almost instantly but the next ten minutes yielded nothing. I then hopped back on 20, got found and spotted and made 3 more Qs to get me over my threshold but then nothing for ten more minutes. Meanwhile, Jim had racked up 25+ CW Qs on three bands. Now, I know my setup works because I have had great results with it before (and the people I worked gave me good reports).

My question is, if you’ve gotten your points for the day, do you guys generally work both/all the operators on a summit if you can or do you just take the points and run? I know a couple people worked both of us for which I’m tankful, but what does everyone think? Not sure if my antenna did act like a wet noodle today but I figured I’d ask everyone their thoughts.

Nick K1MAZ (currently /2)

In reply to K1MAZ:

Most chasers will call every activators but most chasers may not copy your SSB sigs. I found very hard to contact SSB activators with my modest setup.

In reply to K1MAZ:

Work everything you can hear, log everything you worked and let the database figure out points and awards!

Seriously, I’d work every activator I could hear for their benefit.


In reply to K1MAZ:

Hi Nick -

I do a lot of ‘co-activations’ and find that the majority of chasers, when they can, will work both activators. Like you, one of us might do SSB and the other CW, often on different bands so those differences spreads the wealth around a bit to encourage different chasers. And Jean-Pierre-VA2SG has a good point as well - not as many folks can hear you on SSB, with power and antenna otherwise held constant.

It may help to encourage working both of you in your alert comment.


In reply to K1MAZ:
It depends a bit on the state of the pile-up. If there are lots of chasers after the summit then (mostly, 12 Metre Challenge excepted) one contact’s enough. If there’s no pile-up then I’ll work the activators I can hear, if they can hear me too…

I can imagine, especially when HF is being flattened (as certainly seemed to be happening at times today), that there are occasions when CW will be geting through but SSB won’t.

73, Rick M0LEP

In reply to K1MAZ:
Nick, I was the one that told you about being clobbered when you came up on 14.337. The County Hunter’s net is on 14.336 every day, 24 hours a day and you might say own that frequency and about 5 KC plus or minus. Anyone coming up near that frequency will generally warrant someone from that net covering up a QRP station or they will come up on your frequency and ask you to move as you’re bothering their net. They won’t cut you any slack. SSB is more difficult to copy when running QRP so avoid being close to 14.336 if possible when you activate a summit. Some days the band is crowded so you just have to look around and hope for a clear frequency and get it spotted somehow. There seems to be a number of SSB nets above 14.340 but depending on time of day you can find a clear frequency up there. Otherwise try down below 14.290.

Look forward to working you again. I never did hear KK1W so I was really glad to work you.

Gary A. - W0MNA

I heard you call a few times Gary and you were decent copy. You didn’t come back to me either time so QSB probably took out my QRP signal. QSB was rapid and deep that afternoon. Thanks for all the chaser contacts from you and Martha, always a pleasure to work you both.

I checked my RBN numbers and they were not very good on 20m. Worked a lot of EU on 15 and 40 was quite good within the usual footprint for the time of day.

Nick and I compared notes after the activation. Cascade is a large summit, our stations were actually out of sight from each other and we had very little inter-station interference. Nick was running about 75W, I was at 10. There’s no doubt CW gives an activator a leg up when running a marginal setup on top of a hill.

In reply to K1MAZ:
My Question is? If you only had Three contacts wouldnt you want a chaser out there to contact you even if he had worked the other station ??
I Think you would.
Dow W4DOW #1 Chaser in W4V

In reply to MM0FMF:

Seriously, I’d work every activator I could hear for their benefit.

There’s another incentive to working both stations on the hill…Barry was talking in 2013 about adding another award based on number of activators worked.

Elliott, K6EL
Greedy Dude

In reply to K1MAZ:
I know how frustrating it is to make it all the way to a summit and not log enough contacts to earn the points - I make it a habit to try and contact everyone on the hill when I’m chasing doing my part to minimize disappointment!! I also agree that it is much more difficult to copy very weak SSB signals - CW can be copied just above the noise!!

In reply to WB0USI:

In this case, (been on a summit struggling for 4 contacts) you can scan the band and find a big station and make a quick QSO with him.

In reply to K1MAZ:
If I were an activator, after making 4 QSOs, and having the summit validated, why might I make more QSOs? Is it just more paperwork uploading the log? More time under bad weather?

That would be also the chaser case, wouldn’t be?

I think that we are here not only to validate or chase summits. At last, we will not earn anything but our joy, and the others’.

Sometimes we are chasers, sometimes activators. And of course, we must “work” together.

73 de Mikel (tomorrow activator & chaser)