Split operation

Today, Bernd EA8/DL2DXA/P was getting quite a pile up on 15m CW and so quite sensibly switched to split operation.

Sadly, there seems to be an awful lot of SOTA chasers who were either deaf to the repeated ‘UP’ calls or have no idea how to operate split.

If you hear someone sending “UP” at the end of every transmission, please stop and think before blindly transmitting your callsign over and over again, on top of the activator, making life difficult for everyone else!



FB and sorry, my 1st call was also not correct becaus my “XIT” was not set.
greetings Peter

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No problem at all Peter, I very much doubt there are any CW operators that haven’t accidentally done that at some time (I know I have!) - its the repeat offenders who keep sending their calls over and over again over several minutes that are the problem. I should have added that to my original post.

73 Jon


Jon, you’ve done it now! Andy @MM0FMF will be on shortly. Splitters!


It’s OK, he’s up a hill at the moment :grinning:

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It is understandable that split op was not understood, very few Sota stations use it.

I will be contravercial, with over 16,000 activator QSO’s in the log and say that for Sota it is not good practice.

Also I would not relish the additional task of spinning the dial every QSO with my rig in the rucksack, protection against the wind rain and sleet.

Keep it simple



I agree. And there’s a parallel with certain prosigns and Q codes. Once the use of a procedure (eg split operation for SOTA) or a Q-code goes into decline, there’s a positive feedback where even operators who know it stop using it because they know many others won’t understand or be confused.

I’ve not have any serious problems managing a CW pileup on a single frequency, probably due to the superior operating skills and patience of SOTA chasers.


I don’t work CW but I have no trouble working split on the rare occasions I need it on phone. However I notice that the spot that I saw for this station made no mention of split so there is some excuse for callers not catching on immediately and feeding the egos of the UP! brigade! :grinning:

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The issue with split Mode is that there is a lot of people who doesn’t know CW, only press two memory bottons: callsign and 5NN TU.


Not my experience, there are a lot of very good cw chasers on Sota.

The trick in managing the pack is to set the rules and stick with them.
Rule One, is: “Never leave the pilup”, Chasers then know they will eventually get through.


Following tradition and taking this thread off at a slight tangent…
Today on gw/nw-039 I had several little pile-ups on 10m CW, and all callers were very patient and well disciplined - thanks all.

So to my question: one of the contacts asked me a question, but I missed what it was in QSB (though I’m sure it wasn’t the usual “ref ?”)
Is there a prosign or commonly used short code for “sri pse rpt the question?”
We had completed exchange of callsigns, reports and QSLs, and as I hesitated, others started calling me. I sent “his call?” and everyone stood by, but there was no response.

How might I have handled this better…?

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Just had a shower after today’s trip up Trahenna…

I haven’t needed to go split for a long time. But I nearly did last week on Black Hill due to the phenomenal sized pileup on 30m. I like 30m, I think it’s my normal solar conditions favourite band. I’ve been QRV for SOTA on it since 2009 and never, ever in the last 15 years I had come across a pile up like last week.

Going split if enough people understood was UP 1 meant would probably have speed things up. But not if too many don’t listen and know what UP 1 means.

Hmmmm, Elecraft KX2 defect. There are only 3 CW memories. One is CQ SOTA MM0FMF/p another is CQ SOTA MS0TA/p and the third gets a call when I’m abroad such as CQ SOTA HB9/M0FMF/P. So there isn’t a memory left for UP 1. :frowning:


I would send his callsign + AGN? in such a case



I know it’s a hardship but you could use the paddles.

Interesting choice for the 3 memories. My choices are:
1: cq sota de g8cpz/p k [so I can finish a log entry in parallel]
2: rr tu 73 de g8cpz/p ee [coz I forget to send my callsign often enough]
3: sri qrt sri qrt qrt g8cpz/p sk [for emergency get away]

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Speaking as a very active HF CW DXer, I find that split operation is increasingly necessary, as much as anything else because of the appalling pileup behaviour of so many hams these days (continuous calling, calling out of turn, even in some cases calling when the DX is transmitting(!)). The result is that it can be impossible to make any progress when operating simplex because either the DX can’t hear the callers or the caller cannot hear when the DX goes back to him. The frequency is continually jammed by people that simply should not be calling.

I think by and large that SOTA pileups are better behaved and of course much smaller, so split operation really should be unnecessary in the vast majority of cases. That said I think that split operation, including knowing how to set up the radio, both as activator and as chaser, is a skill than anyone who operates on HF should aim to cultivate.


Personally for SOTA i prefer not to use split. Having QRO chasers on my frequency keeps non-SOTA ops off it. Asking chasers to move up 1kHz or more can leave the activator exposed, particularly with the increasing use of narrow CW filters where the chasers may be heard, but the QRP activator not and the activator’s frequency is assumed to be free.


There are certainly occasions when that happens, and have been for quite a while. Guru EA2IF (SK) came up with this in response: