SOTA - Are You Contacting the Germans?

Evening All

After an activation of GW/SW-011 (Sugarloaf) Today i was asked by a member of the public if i was trying to contact the germans and asking them to come and bomb our country

to which ofcourse my reply was that i was a Radio Amateur acctivating the Summit in the Summits on the Air Reward Program to which the reply i got was oh that looks like some very expensive sophisticated equipment and she walked away

So We are Contacting The Germans Now are we ??? hihi

Matt M3WDS

In reply to M3WDS:

I can 1+ that… During my Saturday activation of W2/GC-001 one of the hikers coming through asked if I was planning a terrorist attack…

I sigh’ed and said actually im talking to my brother in Philadelphia…

“Wouldnt a cellphone have been easier…”

some people will never get it lol

In reply to M3WDS:
I invariably get “Are you talking to space aliens?”. Standard response is "Yes I am. Do you mind if I take your picture?"

In reply to M3WDS:

While on a roadtrip to Kentucky a few years ago I stopped at a gas station to work a satellite pass with my arrow beam.

A group in a pickup truck that met many negative Kentucky stereotypes asked in a serious way if I was contacting Bin Laden. I explained what I was doing and asked why they thought I was calling Bin Laden…they said because I was at a gas station with that antenna.


“How are we doing in the test match?”
"The things that some people will do to get Channel 5"
“Are you working for the KGB?”

…and some other rather unsavoury xenophobic stuff.

The only original, witty and mildly intelligent joke was by a girl who was about 11 years old:

“Are you fishing for contacts?” (my aerial was mounted on a fishing pole).


Unspectacular but absolutely number 1 in DL: “What do you measure?”

Jörg DL1DLF (urgently searching headphones)

In reply to M1EYP:

So far…

" are you looking for satellites ?"
" ah, a weatherman"

my standard reply

" I’m a propagationologist"


I just say a number slowly.

Them: "Are you trying to get Sky for free?"
Me: "1 4 2"
Them: "142?"
Me: "That’s the 142nd time I’ve been asked that."

Actually they only ask “funny” questions if they hear a voice. Whenever Joe Q. Public hears Morse they are normally fascinated and ask sensible questions. Something which I find strange as you’d expect it to be the other way round when confronted by something they don’t understand.


In reply to M3WDS:
I sometimes get…
“Is there an event on”


them: What is it. Fishing?
me: No. We are testing a new government monitoring station.

Seriously though guys did we not some time ago talk about having a printed info card to hand out to interested passers by.

In reply to G6LKB:

Seriously though guys did we not some time ago talk about having a
printed info card to hand out to interested passers by.

We had a leaflet available for download for several years.



In reply to MM0FMF:
Ive had a few comments

“Where are you fishing up here” - me with sotapole in hand.

I asked a guy along a route how long to get to the trig point, and he asked if i was working for OS, i explained what i was up to, and ended up listening to a long speil about the digital television switch over…

The other one i had was up Ben Nevis, trying to work GM7PKT and getting pestered by a tourist asking if i was mountain rescue and contacting the rescue helicopter.

Generally though people seem to be quite keen on listening in and asking how far away the person on the other end is.



In reply to MM6ADR:
“Where are you fishing up here” - me with sotapole in hand.
I get that one too…
And Andy, I’ve noticed the same here. The sound of CW also seems to attract other hams from a long way off. Several times a Japanese tourist has rushed over to introduce himself, with his home call sign.

In reply to DL1DLF:

Unspectacular but absolutely number 1 in DL: “What do you

The same in OK :slight_smile:

The best so far was “are you a birdwatcher recording bird voices?” (when operating RTTY at OK/PL-055)

Marek OK9HAG

I have been asked “Are you a spy?” several times to which I usually reply “Yes I am with MI5, we think that chap over there is working for the KGB.”

I got a lot of questions for the fishing pole hanged on my rucksack.
Some people wonder where I’m going on fishing, some of them think that I wear the hunter rifle.
I explain that the pole is not for fishing, and I’m not a hunter.
If they continue to ask, I say that the pole is antenna, and I’m making experimental tests on the summit.
I’m thinking also to say that the pole is special handle for catching snakes and I already have few in my rucksack. I’m sure that everyone will leave me alone - hi.

Vlado, Z35M

In reply to GW7AAV:

I have been asked “Are you a spy?”

My No. 1 happened last weekend. I have been on a small hill with my car to make some mobile QSOs. There was no village on the hill, only one house abt. 100 meters away. Suddenly a woman, abt. 65 yrs old, came out of this house and went to my car. She looked through the window and didn’t say any word, just standing there and looking.

I opened the window: “Can I help you?”

She answered: “I know, you are a private detective and you are watching me… since some weeks they come and watch me… every weekend … with different cars, but always big antennas on the car… why are you watching me? … Who is your client, who told you to watch me?”

Well, I told her, what I was doing there and I showed her my notebook with the logbook and my amateur license. Then I told her that many OMs use this hill because working conditions are much better there.

I think she believed me and now she is happy again.

73, DO3QQ, Peter

In Finnish Lapland the people seem to be interested to know if you have a valid fishing license. The fishing is not premitted every where all around the year. Then there are also some (men) who have seen the cw in army or are otherwise familiar with the hobby. For the others it is in some WW2 movies. Anyway better to learn the code now. When the martians attac it will be already too late :slight_smile:

73, Jaakko OH7BF/F5VGL

In reply to DO3QQ:
VERY GOOD ! this story !
Last WE during SOTA DAY, I just arrived on the summit 1960 mtr, And a jogger arrived while i was transmitted !
he told me : Do you phone ? I reply : “Yes I Phone all over the europe but without antenna relay” !
He did not understand and go away !

last year i took my buddipole up a small hill and did a sota activation. a very interested guy asked me if i was hunting for bears. after i told him what i was doing he said to me, that he saw a documentary on tv recently where they put small transmitters onto wild animals and then looked for them again after some time. and then he added … but they did not use such big antennas.

In reply to M3WDS:

My n°1 was last summer, when a young boy (abt 8 years old) with his father asked me "why do you carry a broom ?"
Of course, my reply was: “I have to clean the mountain…”

Alain F6ENO