My end of active chasing

4 years just passed since I started my involvement with SOTA and now I just decided to definitively
end up with active “chasing”. I have always liked a QRP work and
I have hiked a lot in the mountains so SOTA seemed especially suitable for
me. Unfortunately, it was not easy to accept some “silly” SOTA
regulations, but I clenched my teeth. Time showed that not only the
regulations but also the management method of SOTA did not prove honest to the end.

I came to the conclusion that QRP should also be enough power
for chasing. Besides, I did mainly use low power anyway. I was not
mistaken with this assumption for some time. I needed less than half a year to be in
number 1 as a chaser in SP, but the World highest ranks cannot be overtaken because
they have been doing this much longer and I’m playing in SOTA for 4 years though I managed to
win in the yearly classifications. I am working from many different
locations but mainly from home and here I have the noise level on
average s7-8 to this distortion from dozens of my neighbours’ devices so
the problem is not my 5W but the reception of often weak SOTA
stations. QRP is enough but with propagation and location it will not
win (my G5RV is located literally in the attic …)

For at least 2 years, the propagation has been getting worse and the
signals strength keeps falling down and while my noises do not (I think they are even growing). It
is also becoming harder and harder to do so, as you start
using more and more power, so you override my signal easily … Dead zones on
the bands can be strangely long. The distribution of activity is also
such that near me there are more activations so you have can get more points, the
stations are often unobtainable to me though, because of too close distance to my location …
Stations EA, G or F also have an easier job, which they probably do
not even realize; they have a small part of these problems as we
experience here! Fish in the Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea and Sahara
sands do not produce QRM! We here have QRM on all sides and the most
from the R, UA, I, DL; and kilowatts are also frequent strong military-nature disruptions
from the East, as well.

The attitude of some activators to hunters does not help in chasing;
without going into details; they go to the easy way forgetting that
SOTA is mutual cooperation of 2 groups … Unfortunately, SOTA regulations promote this behavior!
Yes, I remember what the English say: “Activator is a king” but
England is a monarchy but I do not feel “subject” and I am also an
activator from time to time!

I came to the conclusion that there is less and less satisfaction from
SOTA chasing ranking and you have to devote a lot of time to it (too
much). Unfortunately, this cannot be planned as well as SOTA activations or
work in contests. My family also tolerates it with increasing
difficulty, so I will keep chasing until the end of the year, I will
complete my logs with my paper logs (my bureaucracy is not my strength
at all) in the hope of crossing 100k line with my QRP.

I do not break with it completely, I will just not chase for points, for
example, I will not be tying my dog to a tree during a walk and
running back home (on the 3rd floor) to chase a station; similarly
if you are driving a car (or a bicycle!) I will not stop in the forest
to set the antenna … instead I will deal with something less stressful,
e.g. activations or I will return to the VHF contests or the work
"Meteor scatter".
I also have tried building 1- and 2-transistors transceivers on which
I would like to activate SOTA or GMA. Once, on 1 transistor at 7.032, I
heard a dozen or so hunters calling an activator! This will certainly
be a big challenge for colleagues with great powers and good ears, but
unfortunately it also requires better propagation which has been
difficult lately …

I would like to thank all activators for over 20,000. QSOs.
Especially Jan OK2PDT with whom I had most my contacts, who also recently became too close
to hear him / and many colleagues who proved to have big ear for my weak
QRP signal.

By the way, I wish all belivers Merry Christmas and for all the other
a good New Year and hope that it does not meet what results from the
logic of recent events in the world.

y 73 de Mariusz SP9AMH


Dear Mariusz:
I would like to sent my sincere thanks and respect to you for all your efforts! I am very new to SOTA and CW, and your willingness to send QRS was always much appreciated!
All the best and a Merry Christmas
Martin, DK3IT


Thank you for all the QSO’s. Often, you have secured the points for me when the bands were in poor shape. SP to EI always seems to be reliable. Your chaser achievement is just fantastic. Very sorry that you won’t be one of the ‘old reliables’ anymore!

Have a great Christmas and I hope to work you on your less frequent SOTA outings in the future

73 John EI3KA

SOTA is for fun. If it stops being fun then you should stop doing it. I think we all understand that. The rise of local noise from unfiltered domestic electronics, and of regional noise from OTH radar has made urban chasing more difficult for us, and the effects of the current sunspot minimum do not help, and this will make chasing less fun if we allow it to.. SOTA is not designed to be competitive, it is goal orientated. You decide what your goal is and work towards it. If your chosen goal is to be number one in the world then you are going to have to work hard as those you have chosen to compete with may have been participating for longer than you have. More realistically you can aim at a given score - after Shack Sloth at 1,000 points a participant could aim for the Supersloth at 10,000 points or the hypersloth at 100,000 points, or you could work towards the upper levels of the Mountain Hunter Award. In my case my goal is to work all the listed summits for as many Associations as possible, on phone, a goal difficult enough to keep me going for the rest of my days! I don’t allow noise, propagation or QRM to bother me, its there for us all, and I don’t let those chasers with super stations bother me, their goals are probably not mine! So a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year to you, Mariusz, enjoy your more relaxed approach to SOTA - you were number one in the world for 2015 and 2016, an achievement that cannot be taken from you, and which earned you a lot of respect.


I’ll miss you Mariusz. Thanks for all the contacts.

73, Hans PB2T

I say hang in their Mariusz - don’t let the SOTA rule your life. You’ll miss a lot of points yes, but you will also have fun working what you can when you can. I say don’t let go.

SOTA shouldn’t rule your life. In my case I do as much as I can, when I can, both chaser and activator as you have done. These days I combine activating with the adventure of travelling and holidays, but of course we all know this is expensive and a drain on spare cash. I expect in time I will lose interest and try out a part of the ham radio hobby I haven’t yet done, but for now we carry on with the fantastic programme which SOTA has grown into.

Thank you for the 134 X NN/G4OBK/P QSOs since 2014 and the 7 X SP9AMH/P QSOs with you as the activator Mariusz.

73 Phil G4OBK

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Thanks for all your contacts Mariusz. I’m not an active chaser myself, but get out when I can. I’m always happy to talk to anyone during an activation (chaser or not), so hope we work again in the future - whenever your other commitments allow.

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Thanks for all your chasing Mariusz, particularly when I was activating. I will be sorry to see you go.

All the best.



Dr Mariusz

TNX fer all QSOs.
Now I undestand why ur signals were often so weak.
Nevertheless I was able to QSO you 15 times in 2 years time. :slight_smile:

Hope to keep listen to you on the bands!

CU AGN ES VY 73 de Pedro, CT1DBS

Hi Mariusz,

I will miss you being there when I activate. There are a group of ultra-reliable chasers that I look forward to hearing from a summit and you are certainly one of those.

I know what you mean about problems hearing stations that are too close because of the skip distance on the band in use. It annoys me sometimes as well. I can have days here where I can hear none of the activators, just the chasers from all around Europe calling them.

As for the attitude of some activators and some chasers - well that’s unfortunately the case in many hobbies. No one is perfect and some are less perfect than others!

100,000 chaser points - CRIKEY! that’s the sign of a very determined chaser.

I hope you do get on still from time to time - I know it will be a pleasure to hear you if you do.

73 Ed DD5LP.

I agree with you. QRP should be enough power for activating AND chasing.

73, Barry N1EU

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Should be. If you operate from Europe or the US east coast. And if you use CW or digital.

Things are a bit different on the US west coast.


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Hello Mariusz
Why give up so easily, you use qrp fine, surely this is a challenge for you, I hear you calling quite a few times, but as you say there is always stronger stations calling, Sota is not a competition but something that we each individually do as a HOBBY, we get there when we get there, I am always of the opinion that what i do not work today I can always work tomorrow, why give up something you enjoy doing simply because you feel you cannot compete with others, this is not what it is all about, carry on young man and simply enjoy.
Merry Xmas

I wonder? If the activator is a certain signal strength to you with his QRP station, you should be the same strength to him with the same power.

What do you mean by this comment Mariusz?

MT agrees and then takes
MT shrinks SOTA instead of expanding
(I am talking about summits)
I am not satisfied with this logic
Bad challanges which spoiled the fun

I’m not sure I follow. The MT is apparently not being honest with the regulations, but summit removal is the MT applying the P150 rule properly, without favour to anyone. There seems to be a logic flaw there.

In any case, no one loses points when summits are removed (unless Andy fat-fingers something :wink: )

I can’t comment on the challenges as they predate my time on the MT but I am not sure I like being called ‘not honest’. It suggests changes being made are being done for some evil purpose, which, given we’re talking about an award scheme for climbing mountains or chasing them is probably people taking things a bit too seriously.

No one on the MT has an evil purpose that I can see; just a slightly masochistic bent for volunteering to be part of the MT :slight_smile:


Thanks Mariusz for the many chases (377) and s2s QSO (5) on the bands of 80-12m (including 60m), excellent job!

73 all the best,
Heinz HB9BCB

I have the right to my assessment and I do not want to discuss it because my English is too poor.

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Let us be clear about this. The parameters that define a summit are clearly stated in the General Rules, which can be accessed from the website. These parameters have been in the General Rules since the beginning of SOTA. What has changed is the data that the SOTA summit team work from when checking summits, our data sources have improved, this has led to some summits being found to be incorrect and they have been removed. Often other summits have been added which had previously been thought to have too low a prominence. That is progress, the data improves and the summit lists get updated. Mistakes and omissions get corrected, it is all set out in the rules and the MT are as bound by the rules as the chasers and activators are. I hear nobody complaining when, for instance, the number of summits available to the Italian Association expands from hundreds to thousands - well, I hear complaints that favourite summits are not included, but we can always show the data that led to their exclusion. Mariusz, you say that you are not satisfied with this logic, but to the best of my knowledge you have not questioned it before. The MT will always answer questions and complaints, giving reasons for changes, all you have ever had to do is ask us. We, too, love the mountains and ham radio, that is why we do this.