SOTA chasers working contesters

As some will be aware, I often participate in contests while simultaneously activating a SOTA summit. In the NFD this weekend just gone, I was on The Cloud G/SP-015, and I was aware of at least three other stations activating a SOTA summit and actively engaging in the NFD event.

Obviously, quite a few SOTA chasers were not participating in the NFD. They gave a (real) report but no serial number. Some of these sent something like “SRI NO TEST” when asked for the “NR?” Wouldn’t it be quicker and easier just to send “001”?

Anyway, I made two visits to The Cloud G/SP-015, one Saturday late afternoon, and one Sunday morning, to compile an entry in the 6 hour QRP Renewables section. 105 QSOs made. Using the MW0SAW Excalibur antenna meant highly convenient and instant switching between the 40m, 20m, 15m and 10m bands without tuning, changing links and such.

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Yes also happens outside of SOTA, I was over in Norfolk on Saturday doing a session for G2N/P and had a station call me and explain they weren’t in the contest but wished us well - which was nice but thankfully I only had one of them! It felt like nearly every other station calling was from Russia so there’ll be a lot of discounted QSOs in the final scoring but probably quicker to work them than not.

Jonathan

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If they aren’t into contests they probably don’t realise that’s an option. If you aren’t sent a number, just log a zero. That would be even quicker.

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Yes, logging a zero is what I do in that situation. But I always ask “NR?” first. There were 3 stations over the weekend that assumed I was a non-contesting SOTA station, and did not send a serial number. When I asked for the number, it turned out they WERE doing the contest, and sent me a lofty serial number! So if I had have logged a zero, I would have lost the QSO in adjudication.

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I always give a number, though the contest means nothing to me. Good manners cost nothing!

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Very Well Done, Tom. Good Score. Thank you for speaking with me after the contest and explaining the procedure for those of us Chasers not taking part in the contest . Most useful information. 73 de Paul M0CQE.

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I’ve had quite a few instances when I’ve been called by contest stations while I’ve been activating, not least on 2m SSB. I always give a serial number to such stations starting at 001 and going up incrementally with each contact made. My attitude is that one day I might need to seek out and work contest stations to qualify a summit, so giving out valid contest information is the least I can do.

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Wouldn’t you also have to submit a log to the contest, at least a check log? Otherwise these numbers are totally worthless to the contester as otherwise there is no proof of an actual contact.
That’s what I did when I was activating and noticed that I had stepped into a field-day contest. For me, every activation is a field day, so I don’t really understand what the fuss is all about, but coming home I realized that you can only operate from one spot. As I had activated two summits this day (two field days in one day :slight_smile: ), I could only enter a check log, but this surely helped the contesters.

73 de Martin / HB9GVW

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I edited my original answer because I cited wrong contest rules…

Anyway, if you work contest stations without sending your log, make sure you work at least a handfull contest stations. These contacts will be appreciated by the contesters. Only If you work just one contest stations, the qso will probably be removed during log checking because your call is “unique” - it appears in the log of only one contester.

Generally, contacts with stations who do not submit their logs, do count as long as those calls appear in logs of several contesters.

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Can I switch this around a little and ask, what is the procedure if you are in a contest and work another contester that is also on a summit and operating within the rules of SOTA, but they have no interest in SOTA and do not know the summit ref. (even if I do).?

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If it’s a valid contact (exchange of signal reports and callsigns) and you are sure of their SOTA ref even if they do not know it then you can log it as a valid SOTA QSO.

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This is what I do, too - it’s the easiest and fastest solution.

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I am aware of an “anti-contest” sentiment within our hobby. I wonder if it is those with a fundamental dislike of contesting that insist on sending “SRI NO TEST” as opposed to the much easier “001” (etc)? Perhaps it is more likely that non-contesters assume that they can only send a serial number if they are actually participating in the contest?

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If I’m not participating I always tune around and see what serial numbers folks are up to. Then I respond with a fictional number about 10% higher than the biggest I have heard. I like to think this encourages the recipient to try harder.

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You’re a sick man but I do approve :wink:

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You are probably close there Tom, people do not know how contests work and don’t know what to send or they think they have to be taking part to give a number. Some think by giving a number they are forced to enter too.

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Not all contests have just a serial number in the exchange. A quick look at the contests this coming weekend show province code, shire, CQ zone, name, power, grid square and member number being required for many of the contests - not many were just serial number. So if you don’t know what to send it’s easier to say “SRI NO TEST”.

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When this happens to me on an activation (ie I run across a contest of which I was unaware and want to see if I can grab a few QSOs), I go on my smartphone to the WA7BNM 8 day contest calendar - and find what the eligibility and exchange is in seconds. Keeps everyone happy!

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I just don’t answer contest CQs when I’m chasing SOTA, but only if I’m taking part in the contest (which has happened in the last decade, once or maybe twice). Once, while activating, I gave out numbers to a few callers who were answering me as part of their contest activity, but they were more interested in my location (WAB, Locator, or similar).

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The check list is growing:

  1. Check your SOTA summit ref (not always straight forward judging by the number of corrections that appear on the reflector afterwards :wink:)
  2. Check your WAB square
  3. Check your locator ref
  4. Check for the day’s contest formats.

I’m going to need a bigger notepad :laughing:

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