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Pirate Chaser

Just home from my local club. Found out that 2 of my 3 activations are now useless as ive worked this same “pirate” station on 2 of my activations. This person was using a full uk callsign although only has an intermediate license and a pending Ofcom investigation. And as i only had the 4 qso’s on the activations im a bit disappointed to say the least.

73

2M0ETR
Adrian

In reply to MM6ADR:

From your point of view when you had the contact you couldn’t know that the contact was suspect. You heard and exchanged callsigns and signal reports so the contact was valid technically. The person is ( soon to be was ? ) licensed to use 2m just not with that callsign. I’d leave the QSOs in place if it was me. Others may disagree.

Andy
MM0FMF

I tend to agree with you, Andy. Adrian wasn’t to know the station was a pirate.

This is one of the dangers though of working “only” the 4 stations to bag a summit. With the present succes of SOTA I presume it is not all that difficult to add a few more to that, just to be sure?

73, Peter

In reply to MM0FMF:
I agree Andy.
Perhaps the word ‘Knowingly’ should be added to the rules.

Roger G4OWG

In reply to MM6ADR:

Obviously, if you don’t know that the “other” is a pirate, you would keep the Qs as valid ones in the log.

If, like in your case, you find out later that the callsign wasn’t valid during the time you worked “him/her”, I would remove the Qs/activity from the log. Keeps a good conscience.

73 Norby

In reply to LX1NO:

It is not a matter of conscience Norby. Why should Adrian be penalised for the sins of another?

My view is that the logs should stand and the activations continue to be taken aa valid.

73, Gerald

In reply to G4OIG:

Reminds me of the “Madoff affair”: Based on something that was invalid/did not exist.

If you think that’s the way things should be, go ahead. I would definitely remove such callsigns although I would run the risk to make my activity invalid.

73 Norby

In reply to ON3WAB:

With the present succes of SOTA I presume it is not all that difficult to add a
few more to that, just to be sure?

But have you seen where Ben Wyvis is located? I think you’ll find it wasn’t a case of just working 4 and away but that working 4 on 2m FM in that reasonably sparsely populated part of the world deserves a bonus!

Northern GM-land != rest of the world :wink:

Andy
MM0FMF

In reply to LX1NO:

I’m inclined to agree with you, Norby, but it’s a matter of individual opinion.

There is another ambiguity in the rules which I have often wondered about.

The general rules for activators state:

“8. At least one QSO must be made from the Summit. In order for the activation to qualify for the points attributed to that Summit, a minimum of four QSOs must be made, each of which must be with a different station.”

In my book, “a different station” does not include a single fixed station operator using two or more callsigns in quick succession … for example a personal callsign, then a club callsign … or two different callsigns allocated to the same person. However, other people’s interpretation may differ.

73,
Walt (G3NYY)

In reply to G3NYY:

In my book, “a different station” does not include a single
fixed station operator using two or more callsigns in quick succession
… for example a personal callsign, then a club callsign … or two
different callsigns allocated to the same person. However, other
people’s interpretation may differ.

A can of worms that has never been closed Walt and one that pre-dates your involvement in SOTA. On your interpretation, there are some activators that should be required to delete, let’s say more than a handful of their activations. Enough said!

In respect of Adrian’s situation, the matter pivots on the fact that he did not know the illegal nature of the station when he made contact, he operated entirely in good faith and within the rules. Is he suddenly to be charged with the equivalent of handling stolen goods - I think not!

73, Gerald

In reply to MM0FMF:

But have you seen where Ben Wyvis is located? I think you’ll find it
wasn’t a case of just working 4 and away but that working 4 on 2m FM
in that reasonably sparsely populated part of the world deserves a
bonus!

Northern GM-land != rest of the world :wink:

Andy
MM0FMF

I didn’t realise Andy. Belgium is one big city really and we are often surprised how remote it can get in England.
So I suppose Scotland must be even more of an unspoilt canvas.
Peter

In reply to ON3WAB:

So I suppose Scotland must be even more of an unspoilt canvas.

Population density Scotland: ~170/sq. mile
Population density England: ~1000/sq. mile
(1 sq mile = 2.58998811 sq kilometers)

But those figures disguise the fact that approx 70% of the 5.2million population live in areas around Glasgow/Edinburgh.

Andy
MM0FMF

In reply to G3NYY:
Hi Walt.Although I do tend to agree with you regarding using more than one callsign.I have been guilty of doing it but only in cases where the activating station was looking like he was going to fail to qualify the summit.If you have driven 50 or 60 miles and scrambled up an hill and then struggled for the 4 contacts like me and several others on Kisdon you would then be greatfull for that last club call to make up the 4 contacts.all the bes 73 Geoff G6MZX

In reply to G6MZX:

Hi Walt.Although I do tend to agree with you regarding using more than
one callsign.I have been guilty of doing it but only in cases where
the activating station was looking like he was going to fail to
qualify the summit.If you have driven 50 or 60 miles and scrambled up
an hill and then struggled for the 4 contacts like me and several
others on Kisdon you would then be greatfull for that last club call
to make up the 4 contacts.all the bes 73 Geoff G6MZX

Personally, I would not claim such a contact for credit. However,
at the end of the day, it is for the Award adjudicators to decide. The Rules are ambiguous on this and other issues … perhaps intentionally so, as it’s “only a hobby”!

73,
Walt (G3NYY)

In reply to G3NYY:

Hi Walt

You raise some interesting points. My take on it is as follows:

In the spirit of the Radio Regulations, the individuality of a station is invested in it’s callsign. It is thus no more disingenuous to accept contacts with the same operator using different valid callsigns as unique than it is to accept contacts made with different operators using different callsigns but the same station equipment as such - another situation which often occurs.

Unfortunately, a corollary of this is that if the station on one side of a contact does not use a valid callsign, the contact is not a valid contact whether or not the other participant is aware of it at the time.

Apologies if this seems a bit harsh, particularly under the circumstances of Adrian’s activations. A possible work-round might be that SOTA general rule 3.8.1 states that the chaser must hold an appropriate transmitting licence, which apparently was the case, even if the appropriate callsign was not used!

73 de Paul G4MD

In reply to G3NYY:

I’ve had this situation arise in SB land a few times…a couple of our ‘regular’ chasers are husband and wife, and they also used to hold a club callsign…so three contacts from 1 QTH.

I’ve always accepted the contacts but done my best to get another 3 QSOs, to ‘confirm’ my activation…I haven’t checked, but I think I’ve always managed this!!

In reply to G3NYY:
Hi Walt, I will borrow your hobby horse, if I may.
There are two other grey areas, which are not within the spirit of SOTA, in my humble opinion.
SOTA is a simple activity (a bit like me), The idea is that, you pack your sac with a radio station, walking kit, food etc, and ascend a designated summit. Once there, you assemble the station, activate the hill and descend.
The individual can then claim points for said activation, and eventually, an award.
Grey area one, is where a team of two, or more, amateurs play ‘pass the mic’ using a single station. This then becomes a team activation and there are no awards for this mode of activation at present! The benefits of a ‘team activation’ are obvious. More ‘porters’ and aerial erectors etc.

Grey area two, is the ’ bring your own chasers’ activation. This ploy is used, when the contacts are sparse and a team member is despatched out of the activation zone to provide the vital contact that qualifies the hill.
SOTA activations need not be complicated. KIS.

I could ramble on, but the sun is coming out(I think), so I will desist.

73, Frank

In reply to G1TPO:

Husband and Wife, Father and Son as long as its two call signs I have no issue. An operator using more than one call sign, I only count as one contact.

I do my best to do one call sign per operator, them being at the same QTH is no problem to me

As for the orignal problem, MM6ADR was acting in good faith that it was a valid contact, and in my opinion should not loose the activation, but as it has been said, its a lesson learned to make sure you do you best to bag more contacts in an activation or if you just do four make sure that they are four operators that you know are safe contacts.

Calls from different radio amateurs using the same equipment are fine to count separately. After all, be they husband/wife or father/son, they are most probably both SOTA chasers wanting the contact each for themselves. So that cannot be a problem.

Same operator, same equipment, different callsign (eg club call or previous 2E0 call for example). Well, I would say that each distinct call represents a different station, so it should be allowed. It isn’t ideal, or indeed very satisfying, but at the end of the day, the decision can only rest with the activator, unless we are to enter an enormous database linking different licence class and club callsigns within the current database!

It is rarely an issue for me these days, with increasing interest in working SOTA stations, and my preference for HF CW. But for many years I tried to activate everything on 2m FM, and away from population centres, on weekdays, 3 or more years ago, this could be difficult.

On Shobdon G/WB-017 in 2006, Jimmy and I were stuck on 3 contacts. One of the strong locals we had already worked came back on and offered up his other callsign. It was 7pm at the end of a long multi-summit day, and I decided it was better to accept the summit qualification and get some food, rather than hang around calling for another.

On the Pennine Way in the same year, Jimmy and I were struggling on Great Shunner Fell G/NP-006. The weather was appalling, and so a handheld activation was in order. IIRC, our 4 contacts were with a station, the same chap using the club callsign registered to him, another station, and his licensed daughter! We were on the verge of abandoning the activation as unqualified anyway, so it was nice to least get the four QSOs, by hook or by crook!

To the original issue, at one end of the amateur radio contact, you can only take things in good faith. Unless you have good reason to question it anyway. I was called by a “ZL” on The Cloud last year. I was most suspicious and didn’t log it, but made a note. All investigations suggested that the call was false.

Tom M1EYP

In reply to LX1NO:

If, like in your case, you find out later that the callsign wasn’t
valid during the time you worked “him/her”, I would remove
the Qs/activity from the log. Keeps a good conscience.

I would keep the QSO in the log, but mark it as invalid or something. ADIF should have a field for this if it has not been implemented yet. In general you get only the information on the air available and I do not see that the extra police work is really part of this hobby. Or in other words ham QSOs do not have any reliable authentication mechanism - unless a QSL is considered to be one.

73, Jaakko OH7BF/F5VGL