I normally operate 20 and 40m CW and 2m FM. For HF RBNHole automatically spots me. I don’t have much trouble getting a few contacts on 2m but it would be great if the chasers would put a spot up for me. I often don’t have mobile coverage on the summit or it’s cold and tricky to operate the phone with gloves. Maybe I need to get in the habit of asking the first chaser to spot me. What’s considered normal procedure here? It must be the same issue on HF SSB.
I usually ask a chaser if I cannot get a spot on for any reason. Unfortunately, we lost Roy G4SSH who was a regular spotter. However, many of the current chasers like Phil G4OBK willingly spot without being asked.
73 and Compliments of the season to all.
Many years ago when I started in SOTA it was an unwritten rule that the first chaser would spot you if necessary. There are still chasers out there that do this and I’m always grateful for this if I’m unable to do so or too cold to fiddle with the phone😁. When in Chaser mode I ask the Activator if he/she requires a spot if nothing is showing on Sotawatch. As an Activator you can always ask a chaser to spot you.
Hope this helps.
73 Allan GW4VPX
Yes Nick, always try and spot when needed to help other chasers. I wouldn’t want to be accused of denying other chasers of a QSO after I have had mine… some chasers never seem to spot, you get used to hearing the same callsigns when you are at it every day. You know who you are!
Have to admit I sometimes hang back until after my own QSO, but set up the mask so that as soon as I get the TU/73 the spot goes out. Roy G4SSH was brilliant at spotting everything he heard, still missed by all…
My third activation (and the first to score me points) was Snowdon in 2017. I think it was probably you that offered to spot me and I was grateful for that being very new to SOTA.
I suggest adding this as a ‘Best Practice’ on the SOTA.org page. Joining In or Guidelines section perhaps.
Asking can sometimes get the response “I do not know how to do that” I then say thank you and hope the next person can spot me.
Do you have access to APRS? Sending a msg thru APRS to spot or even to let people know you are getting close can have chasers lined up waiting for you.
So all, please learn how to do this on your devices - to be able to offer this courtesy.
Tnx from the activators in need.
It is certainly good practice to ask a chaser to spot you. How else will it happen? (other than RBN/RBNHole for CW but that’s not always reliable if conditions are not right and there are limited RBN listeners). The purpose of Sotawatch is to allow chasers to spot activators, to help the activator make contacts with other chasers. When I know I have not been able to self-spot (which is rare) I always ask chasers to spot me.
I have been logging my chaser contacts at home lately using VK Port-a-log set into QTHR mode. It has a neat feature on the “send spot” page that allows for posting a spot based on the last logged contact. (Edit: where there is no existing spot). So after logging the contact, you can just swipe to the left, select “last contact”, see that the activator details are correct, add any comments required and then select the “Send to Sotawatch” button. Next, a message is displayed “Spot received at sotawatch”, then swipe to the right to view recent spots. Voilà, un spot.
At one time people would spot stations themselves much more frequently than happens now. I believe we have a couple of reasons for this.
It gets handled automatically either by the activator self-spotting or something magic like RBNhole doing it for CW activations so I don’t need to do it. Voice activity still needs spotting.
Reluctance to spot in case they get moaned at by others for spotting when there are already other spots they may have missed. I would suggest chasers check if there is a spot for the station they can hear and if nothing is immediately visible then just spot. We have designed the system to compress repeated spots and that massively reduces the effect of too many spots.
To paraphrase Oscar WIlde " There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about."
There is only thing worse in the world of SOTA than being spotted too many times and that is not being spotted at all.
I’ve had people say they don’t know how to generate a SOTA spot. When I’ve checked their call later I’ve found that 95% of the time they have no chaser entry in the database.
So, it seems pretty clear that the QSO was with someone who does NOT participate in SOTA, that they were just a random Ham who happened to hear the CQ.
It’s not sensible to expect someone like that to learn how to spot.
I’ve just looked at my last 4 activations. Out of a total of 116 QSOs, only 75 show up when I click Show Who Chased Me. On 2m FM (the band where it is an issue for me) it is only 14 out of 32 that are logged. Since I hear the same callsigns I think there are plenty of SOTA chasers that never log calls in the database so I guess they are also less likely to spot me.
Whenever I chase an activator from my base station, where I have a laptop in front of me all the time, and I don’t see this activator spotted, I immediately do it. If a spot already exists, I don’t, with the occasional exceptions when I want to write a short message for the activator on the comment box. In those cases I do create a redundant spot, but it’s for a very specific purpose.
As a general non-written rule, any chaser working a non spotted activator should spot the activator or ask him/her if he/she wants to be spotted, as there may be some rare cases when the activator doesn’t want a spot, i.e. jumping from one freq to other to work S2S.
Where is this at?
At the very top of the screen where you see the activator log.
Yeah not seeing that … on sotadata? Mind showing a screenshot?
Got it at the same time you were posting. That’s interesting, to be able to see things that way.
That option has certainly be interestingly used recently. Showing a regular ‘chaser’ alleged to have worked activators on bands and modes that were not possible. The less said at the moment the better, however this feature will show who says they worked you and you can check your logs for who ACTUALLY worked you… I do hope the number is less, not more than in our cases.