Patience when chasing

I have noticed in my brief time of activations, that many stations are EXACTLY on the same frequency, due to the posting of the signal. Many stations come through very strong, but after a while I hear that some give up. Too bad as I could easily pick you out, I just grab a part of a signal that I hear and go with that. Just because an activator does not respond to you in a couple of calls does not mean they do not hear you. Keep trying! You may just be in the mix of other stations!

Just a thought…

Kent, K9EZ



Being a small powered station this is the way for me.
Sometimes you just have to sit it out and wait for it to quieten down. Have often found this the case. But as an activator twice now, i too have kinda noticed this.
I have found now the busiest ones are the combos of sota and FF stations they do attract a lot of chasers and a while longer is required. Motto of day is “if i can hear it, i will call till such time they have gone” . Condition have been known to decline and improve during these periods of time. Even if the freq is quiet I do give odd call to see if there still there listening, many a time i have had a reply. Never give up so easly.


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With the poor band conditions we have had for some time now and the QSB
has been so bad. A lot of times a hear a station real good. the make my call and
QSB takes over and they fade out. I do not call anymore and add to the QRM if
I cant hear the station. I dont call anymore No need it has to work both ways.
They may hear me but if I dont hear then due to QSB and Signal Fade I Wait and if they come back up
in signal strength I will call again if they dont I Quit and hope to get them on another band.
I hear so many people calling over and over and the Activator replys to them and they call again
knowing all the time they are not hearing the station but they call anyway.
I would rather lose the points than cause unwanted QRM on the Freq.
Dow - W4DOW


The “Prisoner’s Dilemma”, an example of game theory, explains nicely what happens when chasers hear an activator.

Dow, you’ve already figured out that the altruistic chasing method gives rise to a better score long term. Very many of the top chasers take a similar view to you Dow.

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Not necessarily. Often the activator will be at fault by calling in a station while the pack is still calling, and in the hubbub the chaser cannot hear the Activator coming back to him. Many a time I have heard the chorus die away to find the activator giving a report to an unknown station. You have to factor in the effects of rapid QSB, too. Yes, there are alligators among the chasers, some of them quite notorious, but probably not as many as appears.


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Smart chasers, who aren’t running QRO, offset their tx freq from the spotted freq. by 50-100hz.

Barry N1EU


[quote=“N1EU, post:6, topic:11608”]offset their tx freq[/quote]Fine on CW (iff you move the right way) but doesn’t work so well in an SSB dog-pile… :wink:

Yes, it is the top of the slippery slope to “split” working!



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After all, the fact that the activator can hear the chaser above the pack doesn’t mean that the chaser can hear the activator when the chorus is performing!


[quote=“G8ADD, post:8, topic:11608”]“split” working![/quote]Might be a slope with CW, but it needs a reasonable jump (a fair bit more than 50-100Hz) for a split to be any use at all on SSB. Even on CW I’ve noticed some callers go the wrong way; you only realise they’ve done this if you can detect the rumble underneath the jumble…

Thinks we had good example of this one on 7160 just now with John GS0OOO/p on GM WS-002.

John works little differently, he collects a small list works them and starts again, so when list in use sit quiet till ya called LOL

G4WSB not get his report when John called my self, So made sure John passed on report again to G4WSB and confirmed job done on with the list. Am next and he called me back again to be swamped by half europe calling in. Just delt with it in gentle matter and carried on with john, job done.

Like way he does his list but conditions were like waves on sea shore up down like yo yo today making it little harder.

He,s popular today :slight_smile:

Go John 73s


[quote=“M0LEP, post:11, topic:11608”]
Might be a slope with CW, but it needs a reasonable jump (a fair bit more than 50-100Hz) for a split to be any use at all on SSB. Even on CW I’ve noticed some callers go the wrong way; you only realise they’ve done this if you can detect the rumble underneath the jumble…
[/quote]I’m not sure what is meant by “the wrong way”. Offsets sightly higher in frequency than zero beat (ZB), or slightly lower, are the only two directions I know about. Neither way is “wrong” so long as the offset is within the receive pass band.

Perhaps you meant “ineffective” rather than “wrong”; if so, I agree completely because the activator’s hearing - or personal preference - do play a large role in copying CW. Since good hunters learn the habits of their quarry, I would never continue calling at an offset slightly above zero beat (ZB) if a particular activator seems to responding more readily to chasers who offset below ZB.

[quote=“K9ZMD, post:13, topic:11608”]Offsets sightly higher in frequency than zero beat (ZB)[/quote]Generally, CW rigs (or at least the ones I’ve used) seem to put the sidetone so that the pitch of a particular signal rises as you tune up the band past it (at least by default). That means that anyone offsetting their signal a little below zero-beat will sound at a higher pitch on your rig than your own signal, and anyone tuning to a frequency above zero-beat will sound at a lower pitch than your signal. If your sidetone frequency is on the low side anyway (I use something around 400Hz), then folk who pitch themselves lower by tuning above your signal soon drop into the rumble zone. That’s my default “wrong” side. (“Wrong” is, of course, relative. If you flip the rig to go the other way then the folk who’ve pitched themselves below you will be on the “wrong” side…)

Throw in relatively narrow bnd-pass filters to make life tricker… :wink:

With the volume (both numbers and loudness) of chasers in a pile-up, often an activator will take the last station who calls - this becomes obvious very quickly and the end result is multiple calls or very late calls from several chasers, for the following calls.

Chasers - Please only one call not repeated calls.

Activators - Please try to pick out part of a call in the pile and go back and ask for the rest of the call and avoid picking up the last caller if possible.

Thanks, Ed.

The trick I try to pull when on the sharp end of a pile-up is to pick an early less-loud caller, but sometimes short-term memory or just an overload of callers means it’s tail-enders that get remembered. Irritating when it happens… :confounded: :wink:

Some of us have proved that a 500 Hz to 1 KHz split on CW works for SOTA in some situations when things are getting out of control. Listening to Victor yesterday as EA6/GI4ONL a certain G4 station was calling him repeatedly, when the G4 plainly could not hear Victor, and he was making things most difficult for GI4ONL to work the stations he was speciifically calling. This went on for minutes and several QSOs before the G4 got a valid QSO. If you can’t hear the station well enough to know he/she is coming back to you then you shouldn’t be calling him/her at that time - you should wait until you can hear him/her and then call.

73 Phil


100% agree Phil regarding don’t call if you can’t hear. This applies to SSB as well as CW. I’m not really in favour of working split though as it takes up more bandwidth and (especially with SSB) can cause interference to other in-progress QSOs nearby.

In the majority of cases the chaser will be running more power than the activator and hence probably can be heard by the activator but if the chaser cant hear his call being confirmed so that an exchange can take part, what’s the point?

I can remember in Australia, a few times we’d have chasers turn their power down to QRP levels and the contacts still took place, in fact it was often easier as both sides were balanced. It’s easy to increase power at a home QTH but not as easy to increase receive capabilities to balance the power.

73 Ed.

I couldn’t agree more Phil, I was very tempted to name and shame 2 stations the G4 you referred to and a very well known DL station who was sending me reports when I was clearly working someone else.
Anyway, despite the unwanted QRM I had a great time in EA6, but like all good things it had to end. We go home tomorrow, today MA-031 was a bonus summit to which I have no desire to return!

Victor EA6/GI4ONL