Sota watch

GM0AXY/P on GM/WS-001 14.285 ssb
*test only - please ignore (Posted by GM0AXY

Just saw this one the Sota watch 2 page

oh oh I thought another one on air till I read further down seeing test only:-)

Just heard some one few minutes later calling for said above station on the freq
Please read the thing in Full.

Sat here laughing, sorry was funny when heard.


There’s probably even a couple of stations out there that have had a phantom QSO with it and put it in their chaser lies Karl!


It puzzles me why people leave their test spots in place. Once they have verified that the test succeeded it is a few seconds work to delete the spot.


Not all spots can be deleted Brian.

This is where filtering of spots can help…

There is a few stations that will then pester you with emails asking why its not in your log …

Phantom QSO’s are still a big problem with the program. It would useful if the database could generate a sudo random unique ID before the activation which the activator could give out with the signal report on the summit. Lets say an eight bit hexadecimal number which then has to be entered into the database upon uploading the log that is only known to the activator. That allows for 256 activation’s for every 24 hours. If you have a good enough copy to hear the alpha numeric you should be able to copy the signal report thereafter. Just an idea.


Great idea when dealing with a pileup on a 150 contact activation !

Yes, I agree with you Jonathan. This has always been a problem and it is unlikely to go away.

Running QRP on SSB into a pile up of between 10 and 20 stations it is sometimes difficult to be heard - with some chasers seemingly relying on ESP to make a contact with the activator. With a multi-op activation like the one I have just returned from this creates a further problem. Despite giving my callsign repeatedly I lost count of the many people who were calling me Dave, who was EA6/G3TQQ/P and who was sharing the radio. Chasers are relying on spots rather too much and either not hearing or not listening closely enough to the voice at other end of the link. My callsign was EA6/G4OBK/P and name Phil, so check your logs against what we put in please.

This should not have been much of a problem on CW, however with the closely lettered callsigns of Nick EA6/G4OOE/P and Phil EA6/G4OBK/P once our logs are in it will still be worth checking that you have the all important asterisk in your logs or your contact would be invalid. ON most summits we took seperate bands, however on two or three summits we were around 300m distance apart and we were able to operate on 20m CW both at the same time, which shortened the time we needed to spend on the summit before moving on to the next one. This is truly one of the joys of QRP SOTA! (Off topic I know but worth mentioning).

73 Phil

‘Lets say an eight bit hexadecimal number which then has to be entered into the database upon uploading the log that is only known to the activator.’

Almost certainly someone would post a Spot on SotaWatch with the said hexadecimal number !

73 Andrew G4AFI

Just a concept Steve, its easy to mock - but harder still to suggest an improvement !

Actually come to think it I have never had a pileup larger then ~50, 150 would be rare and difficult to manage in many situations and seems somewhat exaggerated.

If you can pass over a report or summit ref, two hexadecimal characters is easy in comparison. I fail to see your point even with speed as you would hear the character set perfectly well as you would the summit ref and hence there would be no need for the activator to give it out repeatably unless asked.


But sometimes, especially when the sky is broken, even the signal report can require several attempts to get across - sometimes without success.
I don’t have a solution to the ESP problem either so your suggestion, although probably unworkable, remains the only one on the table

Barry GM4TOE

Some SW code could eliminate this as it does with “$£$%”$% language … Its the same as repeating another chasers report - etiquette.

How do you expect me to remember this number - I have difficulty remembering my mobile phone number and/or the summit reference and don’t say write it down, I would probably lose/mislay the note - it is age related of course :confused:

Not mocking at all, just speaking as an activator with 1131 activations & over 41.5k qso`s logged. Just questioning the need for such a concept in the first place.

Well put another way do you endorse phantom QSO’s, or do you simply not care ?

Given how upset people get about miss-information with SOTA generally, I would imagine they take logging seriously !

I am just trying to suggest an improvement, motivated by an email from an individual who questioned a few phantom contact’s and repeatably didn’t seem to understand my point.

If you are into contesting you will have heard of the two hour long RSGB ROPOCO Contest, tailored to suit UK stations only on the 80m band. ROPOCO stands for Rotating Post Codes.

This is a great contest where you pass on the postcode given to you on your last contact. The winner has to have the cleanest error free log, and several often have. You find out who are the better operators when you see the results! The contest always used to be a CW event, I think the RSGB now organise an SSB ROPOCO event also.

I don’t know how something like this arrangement could be built into SOTA though. I think it be better left as is, and it is unfair to ask the MT to scrutinise such an enormous database for erroneous QSOs, unless there is a volunteer out there to act as database scrutineer (with the agreement of the MT of course! :smile:

73 Phil

One of the things I have learnt is there is a reason some of the top chasers are top chasers. It’s not down to being able to spend considerable time chasing though the more time you have then the better your score will be, it’s not down to having good antennas and equipment but again you need to be able to hear the activator and be heard by the activator. It’s not down to be a slick op who can bust the pileup on the 1st call.

The secret is listening. Listen to what the activator sends, listen to how (s)he handles a pileup, listen to whether the activator is struggling due to QSB or QRM. Once they have a mental picture of how the activation is running and based on what they remember of how each activator works, they then know how and when to call.

I could name several chasers that have taught me how to activate better by how they have chased me. It’s all to do with listening before you transmit.


This is fundamentally the problem, their operating R/T procedure is rarely the issue. Determination to work the activator and not being able to hear them properly is just a hopeless case which some refuse to determine for themselves. I have on occasion given 3 or 4 minutes to these situations; sometimes its successful - but often not !

Its so easy to tell - the handover periods are guessed - reports not confirmed when asked for several times.


You are bang on the money there Jonathan. As an activator if I feel I am being conned into completing a phantom QSO due to the timing being out on the handover I will ask a simple question, such as RST IMI in CW or in SSB/FM MY REPORT AGAIN PLEASE. I ask the question 3 times giving the chaser plenty of opportunity to complete the QSO. If I get no response after three attempts I don’t log the QSO and call QRZ?.

Last week in EA6 I had two people working me in SSB at the same time a handful of times - only one of them was logged on each occasion. I also heard this happen to Dave G3TQQ when I was monitoring his QSOs. The other stations convinced themselves that saying “73 good luck” was enough to put a QSO into the logbook, more fool them. So look for the asterisk, I know exactly who I worked…

I will be entering the first of my 417 EA6 QSOs later today into the database, after I have watched the Tour de Yorkshire cycle race pass through my town.

73 Phil G4OBK

[quote=“G2HFR, post:6, topic:10801”]Just an idea.[/quote]Not much use if, say, you find yourself near a summit with time for a quick activation but don’t have the immediate Net access necessary to pick up your code. Besides, the cross-checking of chaser and activator logs already provides a way of addressing the phantom QSO problem. Sure, there are a few holes (like activators who’ve not uploaded their logs) but it should catch the persistent offenders…

73, Rick M0LEP