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Hi all,

I floated the idea last week of a europe-wide weekday CW net on 80m for those interested in improving their morse for SOTA purposes and have received a number of positive responses from interested individuals. The sort of arrangement I have in mind is that the ‘net’ be held from 2100-2200 local time (currently 2000-2100 UTC) Monday to Thursday on or just below 3558 KHz.

The aim of the net is to try to tempt as many as possible onto the air using CW and I envisage a range of morse speeds being used, predominantly in the range 10-15 wpm - so don’t be shy! More experienced operators please feel free to call in but please remember the idea is to give everyone the chance of a QSO at a speed they can copy.

I don’t envisage the net being a formal one at this stage - people should just put out a few CQs and listen for responses. I also see no objection to a number of separate frequencies being employed if people want to do their own thing. If the idea proves popular then a more formal approach might be appropriate on occasion.

I note that 3560 is a widely recognised QRP centre of activity and that GQRP members and others are often to be found on or around this frequency from approx 1800 local time onwards. A voluntary power restriction to say 10W might thus be in order.

If anyone, particularly the more experienced operators, have any suggestions as to how to how organise such a net please let me know, either on this site or via email.

73 for now

I’ll be be listening out on 3.558 this monday.


In reply to M0RCP: Just the thing I need. One thought - might be an idea if operators pause from time to time for others to call in, or perhaps put a QRZ? out occasionaly. Hope to be there, if for nothing else than to practice receiving ‘off air’ - a lot different from listening to computer generated morse.

More power to your arm (sorry, wrist)

73s, Dave, G6DTN (on HF)

In reply to M0RCP:

What a superb idea Rick! :slight_smile:

With present HF conditions, the choice of frequency & time is a good one for UK & Western European operators.

I have a little more information for those wishing to improve, or develop their Morse skills.

The GB2CW slow Morse transmissions that many here, including myself, used while practising for the 12wpm & the later introduced 5wpm novice Morse test have been brought back into use, to cater for those who appreciate the benefits of CW & those who wish to improve or develop their Morse skills. The schedule for the UK based GB2CW transmissions is available via the RSGB website http://www.rsgb.org/

The HF 80m transmissions are generally on 3.550MHz during the week, with some VHF transmissions also,at around 19:30utc I believe. (Please check as I am not certain)

I really struggle with QRM on 3.550MHz in the evenings so I cannot normally receive GB2CW transmissions without much difficulty, but hopefully 3.558MHz +/-QRM should be relatively clear.

I will be listening for your call Rick, on Monday 20th April at 20:00utc on 3.558MHz CW & if conditions are good I will run 10 Watts or less. Given our locations you may well find more distant stations much stronger than me at that time, but I am more than happy to give this a go :slight_smile:

I know this idea is still at a very early stage but maybe a name for the regular net, if it develops would be an idea? A General CQ could be answered by anyone, which could lead to many faster stations calling in without realising that sub 15wpm is required. Maybe “CQ SOTANET” or something similar would differentiate your call from that of a general CQ?

Maybe you have already thought of this sort of “problem”, it wouldn’t surprise me, you are always well prepared :wink:

Best of luck Rick, & I am looking forward to working you & many others using CW on Monday :slight_smile:


Mark G0VOF

Great idea Rick. I will try to be on when I can, as a bit of conversation practice will do me good. It is amazing how SOTA has stimulated a rejuvenation in CW interest for some, while inspired others to learn it from scratch, in a way that other things (not even the carrot of an A licence a few years ago) didn’t. It seems only sensible to have a regular net running for all those people looking to learn or improve their CW, with the primary objective of SOTA participating in mind.

I suggest you use this thread to remind people of your intended net on those days.


In reply to M0RCP:
I also will make it on the air as when i can, as its a SOTA net can the spot facility be used so i know who is on and where? Sean M0GIA

In reply to M0RCP:
Hi Rick

Nice idea…

Bear in mind that 3.558 is the “Fists” calling freq. It could be busy… or on the plus side, at least you will have folks listening to it who enjoy a CW QSO! It might be wise to slide down to 3.557 occasionally. CUSN

73 Marc G0AZS (Fists #14011)

Some good ideas mentioned above. Just wondering whether anyone else managed any QSOs? The band certainly appeared busy tonight but conditions were difficult here. I managed 3: G6DTN, DG7KA and RA3DUO (and a partial QSO with PA7N) but none were exactly armchair copy.

Will try again tomorrow night



In reply to M0RCP:
I called you a couple of times, but you couldn’t hear me. My 5w weren’t loud enough, I guess. Just had a quick one with DL0SP on 3558 and then switched to 30m.
73 Lars

In reply to M0RCP: Many thanks for my first A1A QSO last night. There were several groups active near 3558 and I think it would be helpful to call CQ SOTANET from time to time. I did stay on frequency in case it developed into a net. Will be there tonight.

73, Dave, G6DTN

I listened for a couple of hours, didn’t hear any SOTA stations. Stongest with me was DL0SP, a German club station. Signals were very weak.

Will keep listening.

Hope this idea takes off.

73 Colin

In reply to M0DFA:

Congratulations on your first CW QSO Dave. Will listen out for you this evening. With a bit of luck conditions will be better and that part of the band less crowded.

I’ve been trying to think of a better name for the net but so far haven’t been able to come up with anything much better than SOTANET which is a bit of a mouthful. How about we abbreviate it to SMN i.e. CQ SMN CQ SMN etc? CQ SN would be shorter but then we would confuse the Polish stations.

Also if 3558 is busy I will try 3556 as a first preference.

To MM0DWF: Did hear you and almost got your whole callsign correct. Will be listening out for you again tonight



In reply to M0RCP:

I’ve been trying to think of a better name

How about CQ SOTA…

Er, perhaps not! :wink:

CQ SMN is fine by me. All I need to do is get some kind of 80m antenna rigged at home.


In reply to M0RCP:
This is a great idea Rick.

Anything that raises interest and awareness of Morse and aims to bring it to a level where it’s useful has got to be good. 80 is a good band to do it on too.

It is heart warming to be even having this discussion years after they ‘dumped’ amateur radio’s best mode and asset as a ‘requirement.’ Wonderful that people want to use it without being ‘forced.’ Tom EYP is a shining example. If Tom can do it others can, even if its just chipping off some rust and getting your speed back up.

73, John YSS

In reply to M0RCP:

Hi Rick
I also support your idea. I use to walk my dogs from 19:30 - 20:30, but I will see what I can do about it to be qrv.

In reply to M0RCP: Sorry Rick. Conditions here near Shrewsbury were worse tonight than last night. When you first came on you were RST479 down to 459 in QSB with QRM about S3-4. By 20:15 you had disappeared completely and QRM had gone up to S8-9, with higher peaks. Will certainly try again tomorrow evening.

73s de Dave, G6DTN

I’m sorry I missed last night as something came up, but after watching Poirot this evening I listened around 3.558, which is also very noisy here.

I heard Rick call but made a complete mess of going back to him & suspect he may have lost me in the noise. For that reason I increased my power to 80 Watts & had 3 very enjoyable QSO’s with LA5SAA Mike, G4OIG Gerald, & finally managed a QSO with M0RCP Rick :slight_smile:

Great fun, very good practice & I will certainly join in again when I can.

Thanks all for a very enjoyable hour of CW :slight_smile:

Unfortunately I must go to bed now, but I’m looking forward to the next time.



In reply to M0DFA:
Situation on 3.560 - 3.551 seems to be extremely difficult. I have S9 QRM all over this area, while below 3.551 and above 3.560 the QRM is s3 in my QTH.
On 3.558 i worked Mark G0VOF tonight, he was 499. I heard G4OIG with 379. I called M0RCP who was 499 with his 40 watts, but Rick could not make out my callsign through the QRM.
I was using 100 watts.
I don’t know if the QRM is as bad every evening - but if so, 3.558-3.556 seems to be hopeless.
73 es cuagn with less QRM :slight_smile:

In reply to G0VOF:

Glad I managed to catch you eventually Mark - the problem was increasing levels of QRM at my end rather than anything you did. I managed 3 QSOs tonight Lars MM0DWF, Mark M3TZN and yourself, all with considerable difficulty. I also heard Mike LA5SAA and tried to get him to QSY down to 3548 but lost him in the noise.

Conditions on 3.558 seem poor at the moment hopefully they will pick up soon.

Will try again tomorrow.

73 to all

Hi Chaps,

Decided to join in this evening and see who was around. First off I heard Rick working Lars on 3.558 (both sides), then moved down to 3.551 to find Trev GW4IMC near Swansea calling CQ and we had a 20+ “rattle” for quarter of an hour. Afterwards I listened to Mark and Mike in QSO (again both sides) and worked Mark when the QSO finished. Excellent CW from you Mark which I could read in my head very easily. A complete contrast to the previous contact which was a “longhand scrawl and read afterwards” contact. Surprisingly everyone I heard was Q5 despite signals being up and down in QSB. The 40m horizontal loop seems to come into its own after dark - it’s S9 QRM here all day.

Hopefully work some more of you later in the week.

73, Gerald

P.S. I called CQ on 7.026 yesterday evening and was called by Aage LA1ENA. These SOTA types get everywhere!

Listened for an hour on a FT902DM, which I’ve borrowed for International SOTA weekend. (Its a real beast - it weighs more than my son!)

Only station I could hear with every setting peaked was LA5SAA. It was a very difficult copy and there was quite a bit of QSB. I heard ‘Mark’ mentioned in one QSO, so this must have been the contact with G0VOF.

I must say that the CW from LA5SAA was excellent - exactly what I can copy (when signal climbed out of QSB). I listened to some M0’s on 3.553, who were also conversing in slow CW.

73, lets hope condx are better tonight!