Newbie Question on Activations with more than one

Okay, don’t flame me for a dumb question… Three of us are planning on doing our first activation on Saturday. How are group activations normally done? I know each person has to make at least four contacts, so are multiple antennas and radios normally used simultaneously, or if that is not possible, does each person make four contacts before passing the radio and mike to another person for their four contacts, etc.?

Either way. Some groups will take it in turns on the one shared station as you describe. Others will have individuals on their own stations, each on a different band to each other.


In reply to AE9Q:
There is no common technique for joint activations:
OE5RTP/OE5IRO or OE5HFM/OE5MOM normally share one radio and pass the microphone for every single QSO.
ON4UP and ON9CBQ set up two stations and one is working 40m and the other one 20m.
Many others decide to share one radio and change operator after a few minutes.

You can do as you like. From my experience every technique has advantages and disadvantages:

  1. Passing microphone for every contact
  • All activators are sure to manage the 4 contacts even in difficult scenarios as VHF only.
  • On HF some chasers do not realize they should QSO with several operators/callsigns. So they vanish after the first QSO.
  1. Changing operator after a few minutes
  • Easier than 1) in case of pileups.
  • Some chasers miss the change of operator and log the wrong callsign. Especially those who rely only on SOTAWatch and do not listen too much on HF. So giving the new operators callsign frequently is recommended. If you intend to self spot consider spotting the callsign change also.
  1. Simultaneous use of different stations/bands
  • Largest number to total QSOs.
  • Easy to understand for chasers.
  • Consider mutual interferences of several stations working from one site. Two stations working on the same or even resonant band in vincinity blocks the receiver while the other transmitter is on air.

73 de Michael, DB7MM

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In reply to DB7MM:

OE5RTP/OE5IRO or OE5HFM/OE5MOM normally share one radio and pass the
microphone for every single QSO.

I hate it when people do this, it’s very confusing for the chasers, especially on HF if conditions are not good.

I’ve heard it done when there was a pile-up and it slows everything down. There is no need for it if there are obviously lots of chasers. If there are very few chasers it’s not so bad but the activators need to give their callsign on every over not just on each QSO otherwise it gets confusing.

Colin G8TMV

It’s the activator’s choice. Whatever way he/she/they prefer.


In reply to G8TMV:

Hi Colin,

When Dave G4ASA and myself recently shared a mic during a joint activation, we were looking for the VK chasers from G/TW-004/5. Trying to get across to Chasers there are two activators on the summit can be quite tricky, especially with the weaker stations.

Therefore, on our alerts, I added “joint with G4ASA” and on my self spots, “Joint with G4ASA, please work both calls” One of the VK chasers then posted a spot reminding VK, there were two operators…This worked a treat. A “please standby for another operator” followed at the end of each QSO, before handing the mic to Dave. I don’t think he missed a single contact.

Maybe something joint activations might find useful.

73 Mike

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On our recent activations, together with Jana, DG5WU, we activated always with two separate setups.
This allows us to work in a short time frame several bands using different modes, e.g. on 2m, 30m, 20m, 17m, 12m with FM SSB and CW. Thus increasing the likelihood for chasers to make a QSO and to get SOTA points.
Of course it is very appreciated that chasers call both of us, even if they don’t get additional points for the second contact.
Certainly, the activation zone needs to be large enough to set up two (HF)antennas.

73 Stephan, DM1LE

As a Chaser I am happy to work all operators on a Summit that share a radio so that they can all get the required 4 contacts, but if they continue to work every caller then I find it annoying especially when I am one of a large pile-up of chasers all trying to get a contact.

Stewart G0LGS

In reply to DM1LE:

Certainly, the activation zone needs to be large enough to set up two (HF)antennas.

Try 6 activators on a summit Stephan - space may not be the only issue! However, I am often surprised how few issues arise when operating HF, especially when just operating with low power, such as from FT-817’s.

I agree 100% with your comments which reflect what Paul G4MD and I do. Our split is 60m SSB in combination with 80m SSB and/or 40m SSB and 2m SSB in combination with 30m CW, with 17m CW added whenever possible. Usually I don’t have sufficient time to work all the bands I would like to, but that is down to activating unique summits a long way from home.

73, Gerald G4OIG