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S2s exchange


Relatively new to CW compared to Walt - I only have 36 years experience of CW operation, and around 60K QSOs in that mode, but I’m with Brian on this one - dit dit from an activator or TU or 73 or VA/SK or QRZ is an invitation to me to make my call. Any of these common final responses to the previous QSO will do for me!

73 Phil


Yes of course, I’m being cheeky.

However, in the spirit of the conversation about chasers’ over-eagerness to call in, the point has a little validity. Really, chasers should wait for a CQ or QRZ, or at least a statement of callsign - before assuming it’s OK to start calling again. I understand why Brian might think that the “dit dit” is sufficient, but I equally understand why Walt, especially when considering this discussion, suggests that this is insufficient.

E70AA - I did cut Brian some slack - that was the purpose of my second sentence :wink:


I have limited pile-up experience in non-SOTA situations, but I rarely hear more than TU E E on the bands before the storm of callers restarts.


Oh cripes, you brass-pounders can be pretty annoying at times!:grinning: Since neither Tom or Walt were prepared to enlighten me I had to dive into the ocean of the web, there I found https://elmering.wordpress.com/2011/09/26/basic-cw-operating-procedures/ where the “dit dit” is said to be a final handshake. There’s nothing arcane about it, it just means the contact is over. Seems to me that is the right time to call, but who am I to say? I’m only a lowly microphone gripper!:wink:


Dit dit is the end of the ditty:

Shave and a haircut-
Two bits.

This is sent like the musical ending that has the same rhythm.

Dit Di Di dit dit. Dit dit.

In my memory this started to be used about 40 years ago but I only started to use cw in the 60s and I might be a Jonny come lately. But I used to hear two ops sharing the two lines of the ditty.

One sends the first line and the other sends the last two dots.

The two dots by themselves later became a final acknowledgment of the other’s final words.

But now I hear people acknowledging their own final words. 73 TU E E.
And to me that is quite wrong. The only op sending E E sends nothing else before it.

With steady misuse it has lost its meaning And now means any of:

  • goodbye
  • thanks again
  • RRR
  • another SK or full stop/terminator/period.

All of which have already been sent.

So it is a bit useless.

I try to end my contacts with 73 TU.

73 TU


That’s only going to work if the activator uses one of those conventions. It takes 2 to tango. Military comms uses rigid proformas to ensure clarity. Everyday ‘language’ evolves. Even the use of QRZ has been slightly altered from the original meaning.
EE (other networks are available)


Correct. As I learned from people who handle massive pileups, not the small yet exciting pileups you get on SOTA, the activator has to be in control. The activator has to keep the chasers controlled. Most of the time their all pretty well behaved but it’s easier for them if the activator sticks to his guns and has a good procedure that everyone listening can follow.

Which is why back in #18 I admitted it’s often my fault chasers have been somewhat less controlled and that I am trying to loose MY bad habits. I can fix me and maybe I can influence others. I can also send NIL to those who don’t get with the programme.


Reading this thread, there seems to be quite a bit of negativity about Chasers. Well, in my experience the comments made relate to very few people. Operating mainly CW on HF, I have found most Chasers are patient and helpful, even to the extent where my attention has been drawn to the fact that a I am being called by another Activator for an S2S. Over the years, the times when I have had to “throw my rattle out of the pram” have been very few and far between. Maybe it is different on SSB, but on those occasions when I have used the mode, I have not found it to be so.

So, as far as I am concerned, Chasers keep up the good work and many thanks for all the enjoyable contacts… dit dits and all!

Regards, Gerald G4OIG



73 de G3NYY
(SOC #364)


Clearly calling QRZ when you’re ready is a good point. I’ve been guilty of this when the pile up has been particularly large and you’re getting many calls while your last chaser is saying 73. I’ve then gone on to work these callers to keep everything moving smoothly, but this doesn’t do justice to the well behaved chasers waiting for a QRZ/CQ.

Equally I have also written up an “alligator” list of people who call incessantly over other chasers QSO’s and I’ll not work them. This was tough on EA8/LP-002 as one very badly behaved chaser kept incessantly calling for 40 minutes, then comes the dilemma; do you work them to get them out of the pile-up or stick to your guns?!

Thankfully this behaviour is not typical of SOTA chasers and are very gentlemanly. Especially ones like @G0RQL who give you a heads up if a S2S station is calling you :wink:

73 James M0JCQ


See my posting #32 in this thread.

73 de G3NYY


M0JCQ - answer: no, never. They must go to the back of the queue, even if it causes problems for you. Long term, it will make things easier for you.


Only if they know why they are at the back of the queue, otherwise they will just carry on with their bad habits!


Yes, they pick up really quickly Brian. They hate being ignored so behaviour changes are rapid.


When I am trying to work a weaker station like an S2S, and a strong station keeps throwing out their call sign, I will send the station’s suffix with an AS then send the call of the S2S station. If they keep plugging away I will send their whole call and PLS AS. It usually works. If it does not, I have done both ignore them and also work them to get them out of the way. I have sent emails to those stations explaining what AS means in a very polite way and suggesting perhaps they did not hear me send it. I enjoy all chasers, even those needing a little coaching.


I forgot the original topic; yes I exchange summit info on every S2S. I usually give the reference on first contact. If I know I have been spotted I wont send ref again unless I change bands or it is requested by the chaser.


In many countries nowadays, amateurs no longer need to add a /P to their callsign when operating away from home. Most European SOTA activators still do this so when I work someone signing /P on one of my activations I’m immediately aware it could be an S2S and will seek out the chaser’s reference. In the US many activators don’t add the /P loosing the hint to another activator.

The advantage of /P is you are alerted to the fact the station calling you is not at home so this could be an S2S. The disadvantage is the slowing down of sending your callsign. Everyone is free to pick the method that works best for them. There is no correct method.


This might be so on CW, Tom, but there are a number of habitual offenders on SSB that haven’t changed in years and probably never will! I could give you a list but it would be by PEM.


My experience as an activator is not limited to CW. I can imagine who your offenders are, but none cause me a problem on any mode these days.


Except a certain Dutch chaser on CW, who has never learned over 4 years of chasing.

Walt (G3NYY)