The chaser confirmation asterisk "*"

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am thinking of disabling the confirmation marker as it is no longer serving its purpose.

We have an expanding group of chasers who are changing their chaser logs to match what an activator has logged rather than what was in the QSO. This often occurs when an activator uses a special event or club callsign but enters their own callsign as the callsign used in the activator log.

  • The chaser hears XX1XX and logs that call.
  • The activator uses XX1XX on air but logs their own callsign YY1YY as the callsign sent.
  • The chaser does not get a confirmation mark and checks the activator log.
  • The chaser sees a different call logged and changes their log from XX1XX to YY1YY.
  • The chaser gets a confirmation mark and is happy.
  • The database manager finds the database contains imaginary QSOs and is sad.

Well, it’s simple. Next time I find someone changing their chase log to match an incorrect activation log is the time I turn off confirmation for everyone. It’s easy to check. I have every transaction log from January 2013, every edit, every amendment, every peek into an activator’s log followed by an edit to the chaser’s log.


If you misuse the facility to get a “better” looking log then there is no point in offering the facility. In fact it’s almost Kafkaesque in that the lack of a confirmation marker in these cases means the chaser was correct, so they change to incorrect data to get a marker which confirms they have entered the same nonsense data as the activator.

For the record, the MT do not use the confirmation mark in checking awards.


Hi Andy,

I disagree. The asterisk continues to do what it was intended to do. Please do not remove it because you have found some people using it for purposes that seem to run against the spirit of SOTA.

Having pointed out this mistake by chasers you have done what is needed. The asterisk is valued by chasers and you would be disadvantaging many many more than those you are trying to “sort out”.

It’s not as if the chasers are deliberately cheating. They have found a discrepancy and have blamed themselves - “Darn must have written down Bill’s Club Call instead of his call”. We mostly think the activator is always right.

Just my view Andy, others may differ.



Once or twice I’d grant you Ron. But to do it 25+ times says one chaser is changing the log retrospectively when the marker is missing. i.e. they are “correcting” the correct data to make it wrong.

Have seen this system, never really taken note of it as a lot of the system is based on trust.
Am more into spotting the stupid mistakes i make at times or on where a activator has been in touch sorry no contact, there for gets removed or odd times small mistake on activators behalf or whats been put up on spotter that needs correcting.

So if marker not there i not worry about it for to busy chasing the summits.

Now hopefully on the US/Euro Sota Saturday provided WX is good as on M/C and not car will be operating with the MK call and logging so with MK call used as its down in me data base and no effects me point scoring as far as i know.

I bet Andy see’s some rum going on when he go’s through the data base.

Now surely you should not log your log under different call used on air as in my case MK3FEH/P will be logged as MK3FEH/p and not M3FEH/p for that day on the summit. So surely if you used PP1PPP you should log that as PP1PPP as that was the call USED on air.

Lastly if you require my MK call when am out chasing, do ask can be done no problem Dec 31st looms up a bit too fast now. That will be last day of the MK3FEH call Jan 1st its back to humble M3FEH :cry:

Right bring on those Sota’s please

karl MK3FEH

Hi Andy,

What you have described is possibly due to the activator not recognising that he should have logged it in SOTADATA as the actual call used, because he thinks he has to log it under his own callsign to get the points.

So the answer to that is to educate activators to understand how sota works - ie. the operator gets the points, whatever callsign is used on air - and trust that they understand they should never change the log to misrepresent what actually happened on air. First because the log doesn’t represent reality and second because there is no need to do it.

As an example, I have contacts recorded as vk1da, ax1da, vk2uh, ax2uh, vi100act and vk100anzac. I made the contacts so I get the credit in SOTA. The log is correct as that’s the callsign used on air.

Having written all that, I rarely use the asterisk, so I’m glad someone does.

73 Andrew VK1DA VK2UH and AX1DA and AX2UH and sometimes other callsigns.

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I was going to comment anyway but Ron puts it much better than I would have.

The way I see it is that a Chaser facility is being threatened because a few Activators upload bad logs.

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I also have never understood why an activator using a club call then uploads a log with his own/a different call. The database asks the question “Enter the callsign you used for this activation”


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If only that was the issue. Bad activator logs can be beaten into shape by the software. The issue is chasers working a valid QSO and logging the details they exchanged AND THEN changing the log to the wrong details because they don’t have confidence in what they logged. It’s obvious that the changes occur because people want confirmation marks not accurate logs.

We all know whether a QSO was good or not. To retrospectively change the log because the activator is logging incorrectly when you know you did not work that call is simply wrong. If we have a facility that encourages people to retrospectively change their log then there is something else wrong. Either we change the facility or change the actions of the chasers misusing the facility. I can do one of those with ease, the other is a lot harder.

If the system appears to reward that action, what else would you expect?

OCD types can easily create an Excel file to record the unconfirmed entries, adding a column to explain the reason for there being no asterisk. I’m about to update mine… :wink:

“Appears” is the crucial point. Altering a perfectly good log is a dishonest action driven by the fear that lack of a confirmation asterisk will lead to the loss of the points. It won’t, we are told, but that doesn’t change the fear and anxiety that the lack of the confirmation asterisk causes. Note that this is not the fault of the asterisk system, if there was no asterisk an anxious chaser will compare the logs manually, see that the activator log shows a different callsign, and still change his log.

People make these SOTA contacts so that they can gain the points, the chaser logs are changed to protect those points. The big question is why did the activator change his log in the first case? Didn’t he know that this would affect the chaser logs? What we need, though I cannot visualise how it would work, is a system that penalises the activator who falsifies his log in this way. If he can’t get away with it, he won’t do it - or only do it once!:wink:

Hi Andy,
Same as Ron VK3AFW, I do not agree.
I use this feature a lot to check my S2S chaser log.
When i dont have the star, i just want to understand why…
As you know, when on summit, freezing and shaking, like yesterday (temp was -10c), the log is not perfect because you cannot read what you wrote. Sometimes chasers email to say i dont have the star, and after looking at my paper log, i realise i made a typo.
By the way, do you have the ability to correct those activators call, so i can get my star! hi hi
08/09/2016 EA6HB9ELD/P the / is missing after EA6
16/07/2015 OKDL8RL/P the / is missing after OK
GĂ©rald F6HBI

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The page of DL8RL on is unfortunately flagged as silent key.

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Gérald, there is a big difference between checking the two logs, finding a typo and fixing it and what some chasers are doing. In the first case if I had typed MM0FFM for my call and you spotted that and mailed me to fix the log then we are correcting an error and making the logs better. When I change my log you would get your star. But if you heard me on the air sending MM0FMF and I logged it as GM3HAM (my contest group’s call) and you changed your log to GM3HAM when you know I sent the MM0FMF then your change makes my error worse. You would get a star and we would both have logged the wrong information. It is the second action that is very wrong that some chasers are doing.

Hopefully, this thread will raise the awareness amongst chasers that they should log what they exchanged not what the activator later logs.


I don’t think we have enough of those “types” in this hobby…

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I agree, in fact I keep a detailed list of those who are and those who aren’t.


Oh I definitely qualify Jonathan. One of the family sayings is that visitors to our house should keep moving around, as if they stand still I will file them away! It has stood me in good stead in business over the past 25 years of self-employment and was invaluable when I took up genealogy around 1990. My forté now is itineraries for activations, initially encouraged by Richard G4ERP as a means establishing what is practical in a day - important when I live so far from the summits and cannot just pop out for a while…

No comment! :wink:

Indeed you do. You caused my head to asplode when you started to organise an S2S event and then said that you don’t actually log S2S contacts specifically as S2S contacts.

Does…not…compute…ka-boom…head asplodes. :head_bandage:

How do you do that? Still by uploading twice?

Elliott, K6EL

Surely this database distortion can be easily sorted without affecting the majority. You know who these people are and you can extract their complete incorrect log as a csv, Simply suspend them from the database. Send them their csv log with direction to fix, delete what is there and is wrong, and tell them that when they have corrected the csv to what it should be, they may be unsuspended and may upload the complete corrected csv. They will not do it again.

As well it maybe the activators who do not understand the “call sign used” option should be educated.