My end of active chasing

Hi Mariusz,

I am really sorry to hear of your decision, but I fully understand what you are saying. Maybe you will keep the key plugged into your rig and listen out for SOTA activators sometimes. I know that I will miss your callsign in my logs.

Many thanks for all of the contacts that we have made, often on more than one band during an activation. My best wishes for your future activities in amateur radio, whatever you do. Maybe we can try meteor scatter sometime. :slight_smile:

73, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and all of your family.

Gerald G4OIG

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Dear Mariusz,
I have several times being chased by you and it’s always been a joy when I could hear you and complete the QSO with your QRP signal. Thanks for all your calls and QSOs.
If you really stop chasing for ever, I will miss you very much.
From the reading of your post, I have the feel that you’ve got fed up of so much time and effort devoted to SOTA chasing and it’s something totally understandable after having reached the numbers you’ve got.
Working QRP is hard and it’s hard to be overtaken by everybody in a pile-up and have the chance to chase an activator only at the very end if you are lucky and you can be copied.
I can feel the frustration in your Soul and I think you really need to take a break and have a good rest.
Do have a pause, and I hope/wish you’ll come back one day not too late with a different approach and a new goal when you feel yourself ready to have fun again with SOTA chasing.

Just for your information, let me tell you about the way I do SOTA chasing.
With work, wife, 3 kids, a partly disabled 81 years old mother and a dog, plus a recent QTH change, I have very little time for my hobby and all I want is chasing some activator whenever possible. I don’t care for the points. If I hear an activator, I call him for a QSO because I know how much the activator will appreciate that. If I see he’s not on Sotawatch, I rise a Spot for him, no matter if he/she requested it or not. I know it’s very helpful for the activator and highly appreciated most of the times if not always. Many days I don’t chase a single activator. Some days I chase 1. If I’m lucky, I may chase 2 or 3 if I’m very lucky. If I chase more than that, I’m in heaven :wink:
If I chase one activator and it’s a DX, I feel happy and if I do chase such DX on QRP with my wire endfed in the appartment balcony, then I start dancing and jumping in joy like a little boy.
Those are my challenges and believe me, I do enjoy SOTA chasing as much as activating, which I’m not unfortunately doing at all over the last 4 months.

Before finishing off, let me tell you that if you come over some time, I’ll be pleased to show you how “easy” it is when most of the Central European activators work in the early morning on 40m adding dozens of Central European chasers to their logs, while we, EA and CT in the Iberian peninsula, far away about 1500-2000 Km from those areas and living in the West of Europe, where the Sun rises 1 or 2 hours later than in Central Europe, can hear absolutely nothing because propagation conditions are not yet set. By the time conditions start to build up, they have worked all chaser on 40m and switch to 20m where we still can’t copy them and they finally go QRT with their logs fully populated, their batteries empty and their bodies cold from long being in the summit since the early morning. And we didn’t even have a chance to call them.
30m is often the good band for us but that’s not an option for the phone-only activators and some times, not even the CW operators visit 30m.
But you wrote it: activator is king and he/she does what he/she can/wants during an activation. All we can do is chase them when possible and say thank you for the activation and the fun.
So, do not believe your life is too hard and other’s is easier.
We all have our own difficulties and nobody else can seize, judge or underestimate them.

Regarding the urban noise, that’s something we all suffer one way or other.
Since I moved to the appartment where I’m living in now, I have been changing several things on the endfed wire antenna configuration, the grounding the elevation, the distance away of the building, the slope… and also the rig’s power supply. All these changes have given me very good results, but I’ve been changing several things over the nearly 6 months I’ve been living in this appartment.
Don’t give up. If you don’t change anything, nothing will change. That’s for sure.

Well, I wish you a good rest and I’ll be looking forward to hearing you soon again on the bands.



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Hi Mariusz:

First of all: many, many tnx for the many times of chasing me!

  • You say: “end of active chasing”, ok, I would be happy to hear You with passive chasing
  •                 S2S with You would be very nice in the future
  •                 QRP gives one  very, very much more happines than QRO 
  •                Yes, there are  many rules, but they are part of the game

I always remind myself: Amateur Radio has to be fun. As soon as it stops to be fun,
all radios have a turn off switch.

vy 73 de Karl, OE5JKL

Hi Mariusz,

I think you can see the pattern developing here - you have lots of grateful friends who really enjoy you calling in during their activation.

As a fellow QRP operator I know there is real skill involved in chasing with low power, there are definitely techniques and strategies that have to be learned to be successful. I’ve always been impressed by your signal and operating and I’m always very pleased to get a fellow QRPer in the log.

My daily life and lack of shack makes it very difficult for me to spend time on the radio, but I still enjoy each QSO that I can manage.

I hope to work you again very soon, although it’s probably unlikely that I’ll be activating before the New Year.

Vy 73,


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You were my regular chaser on many summits… activating will not be the same without SP9AMH calling me. Still, I do hope that I will be hearing your call from time to time in the future.

by the way:
I never had an impression that your signal is weak! It was a surprise to me when I learned that you operate QRP only.

VY 73
Fric YU1WC


during my 80’s of activation in the last 15 months you have been my second most frequent chaser with 40 contacts. You’ve always listened with patience to my often weak signal especially on 80m. Even today you asked for a band change by spot, so that we can meet

Thank you for your tireless efforts. I’ll miss you on the band.

VY 73


Don’t stop I need your help, I cant beat this solar minimum alone.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours.


Hello Mariusz,

sorry to hear that you are stoping your SOTA chasing activities. I just had a look at my SOTA log and found 54 QSO’s with you, I want to thank you for every single one! Whenever I heard SP9 coming through the speaker I already knew the rest of the callsign :slight_smile:

Not sure what you exactly mean by your comment on the attitude of some activators … just want to tell you that I knew you were working QRP and on my activations I always try to “pick” the QRP and S2S-stations out of the pileup! Most of the time this is not very easy to acomplish on the activator side!

I also noticed you were spotting different activators on SOTAwatch with comments to change to another frequency. Whenever I have cellphone coverage on the summit I use it to look for other S2S-QSO’s but reading the comments is not my priority on SOTA activations. Changing to another band with my linked-dipole is sometimes hard work (depending on the topography on the summit) … and as an activator I have to look for other things besides SOTA as well: temperature, warm cloths, eat and drink, rain, thunder, other hikers falling over my antenna, enough time for the walk down, …

Last week I was on OE/OO-245 and we had about -10°C and well over 50cm of snow on the summit … after 6 QSO’s nobody answered to my CQ-call and I quickly started to put down my antenna after only 5-6 minutes of operating. I have never been so happy to end a SOTA activation like on that day! Sometimes SOTA is “very hard” for activators too :smile:

I really believe that “ACTIVATOR IS KING” is an important and essential statement for SOTA!!

So again thank you for every single QSO and (after some time off) hope to hear you again on the bands.

73 Martin, OE5REO


Hello Mariusz.
I can write you that it is always a great pleasure to hear your weak signal. I can read that we have about 130 meeting on the air.
All I can say is that I hope that we’ll meet again.
Have a nice season’s greetings with your family and see you next year.
Take care.
Best 73
André f5ukl

Hello Mariusz,
I realise how much i’ll miss you. >>> 312 QSO with you from summits in the last 3 years!
Great job.
I’m sure we will meet soon in 2018, best wishes and 73 from Gérald F6HBI

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Hi Martin!
I talked about colleagues who get 4-5 QSO in good conditions or take only radio with a rubber antenna on VHF but many chasers calling calling…
Activations can be difficult but it is pleasant if you are sensible.
Unfortunately, chaser is doomed to the good will of "the KING"
And this can be stressful …
Thanks for ALL QSO, 73!

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Hello Mariusz,

SOTA should not be stressful. There are enough other things in the world carrying this attribute. With our hobby we should be relaxed. I know, as soon as there is somthing like a championship involved, everything can get a bit weird.
I always enjoyed hearing you on the bands and still hope you’ll continue, and as Mike (G0HIO) said, activators are always happy to get a call from a faithful chaser especially during the solar minimum.

Thank you for all contacts so far

73, Peter

Mariusz - it is the activator who “pushes the boat out” to climb the hill. I will adapt my activations to whatever suits the circumstances. Limited time, the need to move to the next summit to maximize the activator points gained that day, having a non-radio companion(s), the weather conditions and comfort on the summit etc

So it isn’t up to the chasers to dictate, moan or criticise about what an activator feels he/she wants to do, simple as that. If you continue do this publicly and it causes you to suffer stress, then it is perhaps best that you curtail your SOTA activity. It was wrong to criticise the management team, who work voluntarily and who support the P150 / P100 rule which some of us like and some of us don’t, but there has to be a fair and equitable system for establishing a list of summits that suits the low and the high countries and P100 / P150 seems to be the best way to me.

73 Phil G4OBK

PS EDIT I disagree with the chasers on CW and SSB who add /QRP to their calls when calling. Bad practice. Activators don’t do it so why should chasers do it?


Hi Mariusz,

It’s very interesting to hear the details of your chasing efforts. It takes a special kind of dedication to do what you’ve been doing and to achieve these kinds of results with adverse conditions, so I can see how you might feel frustrated. I really hope you can find a good balance or other radio activity to be able to have fun with but also dedicate yourself to and get satisfaction out of.

I am an inexperienced activator and my statistics are not impressive, but I want to mention an example that shows that you’re a good human being that cares about more than just points. I was activating HB/ZH-020, a simple 1 point summit, and having a difficult time. You not only took the trouble to chase me, but also came back later to tell me that my signal strength had improved. This was unrequested but very helpful, because I had been changing the antenna setup in the hopes of not failing to activate the summit. Thank you!

I hope we’ll keep seeing you around!

73, Petru

It can get frustrating at times as chasers pile in and its only small station like mine but you bid ya time and learn ways of overcoming it. I only been active Sota myself but with wire antennas and only 10w still knocked over 21K chaser points.

Hell times i wana chuck it in, but i don’t i strive on as conditions get even worse due to solar min.
It cant go our way all the time its swings and roundabouts and ride the ionosphere the best way we can,

But end of day it is fun and still enjoy the chase as much as ever than before.

Karl M3FEH the little old 10w,er from Kernow

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Hello Mariusz

SOTA is an award programme and activators and chasers can dip in and out of it as they desire. I think that you are taking “the activator is king” out of context. My understanding of it is that it just means that the activator has to make the decisions on what he or she does within their interests, capabilities and prevailing weather and radio conditions. I would like to thank you for all your contacts in the past and whatever you decide to do in the future I wish you well.

Nick G4OOE

Hello Mariusz,

We just had one QSO so far. With QRP on both ends as I know now. It is one QSO I’m very happy about because it was a day with very bad HF conditions, no 2m VHF contact at all and I was trying 40m and 20 m for over one hour with not one single QSO in the log.

Then suddenly a window opened up at 40 m and I managed 4 contacts. One of them was you.
Thanks for that!

I like to think: “SOTA, a game that needs more than one player”

73’s Joe


Hi Mariusz,

Thank you very much for all your chases over the years. I do hope I will still hear you in the future.

We do not remove summits because we like it! I think this plot shows that the story is one of massive expansion.

(Sourced from summitslist.csv)

Even more coming soon!


Thanks …many people miss the bigger picture.

Over 110,000 - that’s why I’m currently doing at least one activation every day - that way I’ll maybe get them all finished… :scream:

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