The same procedure as...?

HNY to all!

At first thank you for all the nice friendship over the air and for all the QSO’s in the last Years, either as a chaser or an activator!
This year, I`m looking forward to think back to my first SOTA-Activation in August 2013 and hopefully to many activations from mountain’s, now ten years later.

Starting SOTA-chasing today in 2023 I became aware once again, how important a good standard operating procedure is, as an ongoing claim for myself, but also as an expectation to others. We all are not perfect, me too.
No details, because it’s not my scene to discipline someone, but while an activator gives not a trigger to chasers like “73”, “tu”, “qrz” or similar for pointing out, that he is ready for a new qso, there’s no reason to call over an ongoing qso!

Of course, I know about the difficulty with week signals from qrp-stations (I also use qrp at home…) with different receiving situations in other aereas/countries instead of mine and I also accept the goal from chasers to pick up the points. Acitivators will live on :grin:

In the implied QSO this afternoon, we had an exchange of the reports and for SOTA-Database, the qso was “done”. But my QSO-Partner would say any more to me, but chasers didn’t give us a chance…

I think, SOTA is more than exchanging a “599”?

Of course, activators sholud not have small-talk over minutes from a 10-Pointer, while many chaser are waiting. In this case I see the impatience!

If consideration to activators and other chasers takes more place, activators will get more motivation to hike and operate from mountains and chasers will get more motivation to get in a qso with them.
It’s not only the Reference, it’s also the operator on it, which makes it worth to do Ham-Radio from Mountains!

Please: I don’t dare someone for a long and hotheaded discussion here in the reflector!
Others are right, I am right too, live and let live.
But please, reflect on some minds above.

73 es looking forward to all nice qso´ s in the future!
Gerhard, DL4TO


Clear the pileup then stay to chat with the rest.

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I agree, it’s important the activator makes it clear when the current QSO is ending. For CW, I usually send “73 tu e e”

Regarding adding extra personal touches, it’s easy in voice mode to add brief comments on wx, equipment, condx, etc without the other party misunderstanding. But with CW I’ve almost never had the other party respond to those ‘extras’ leaving me to think, did they not understand?, was it taken out of context?, or did they just want to make the QSO quick?

So, nowadays I keep the exchange simple unless I know the other station well. So much is conveyed by the tone of voice that is lost with CW.


And yet the chasers still start sending before I’ve finished (I know this as I run full break in). I try to send my callsign regularly, but not after every QSO. So I might end 73 TU but on every third QSO send 73 TU G4TGJ/P but inevitably the cacophony starts before I’ve even started my callsign. I guess it’s my fault for not being consistent.


On the other hand, the saying “the activator is king” goes back to the beginning of SOTA. Being king means that if the activator wants to break the flow and have a chat with an old friend nobody has the right to complain. Similarly, if the activator wants to make just four contacts and close down, its his or her choice. There are times, such as when a storm is approaching, when it would even be a sensible choice. The activator made the effort to reach the summit and set up a station, it is up to him or her how to conduct the activation. As for unruly chasers, the activator has the right to not work them, perhaps this right ought to be exercised more often!


You speak to me from the soul. After over 12000 sota qso, I always take the time to greet a friend and exchange a few words.
That’s why I love Sota, because you get to know each other even if you’ll probably never see each other.
73 Chris


Listening to a recording of some of the CW QSOs I made on 2 January I was thrown by the use of “HNY” by some of the chasers. A Google search didn’t help, then I realised. HNY = Happy New Year. :slight_smile:

I’m finding the CW abbreviation hard enough to learn but ones used only once a year are a challenge!

This isn’t a complaint, more a reminder to myself to keep going at SOTA and to keep learning. :slight_smile:


A yet only a week before, the chasers kept sending “MX”…


I would have interpreted MX as the start of a special callsign!

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I think the trick is to end each CW QSO in exactly the same way every time during a pile-up. That way every chaser knows exactly when to start sending. I rarely have premature break-ins over my tail end. And I don’t bother resending my callsign until the pileup ends [the SOTA chasers know who I am].


Does nobody text or email you in December? :slight_smile:


Noted John - but if you had been operating in the days before and after New Year on CW or just listening at home if you have a receiver and aerial there, you would have heard HNY sent continually as a short greetings message by virtually all stations on the the air over the period.

The other thing is HNY sent in Morse is not usually sent as a prosign (Like SK or VA would be at the end of a message) but as three seperate characters as you found. This will now be embedded in your brain for future years activations around and about January 1st. You did a brilliant job on Kit Hill, it was a pleasure to work you yesterday, many thanks.

73 Phil G4OBK


I used to do this. Then I started actively seeking out S2S - I’d stumble upon a pile-up which was obviously SOTA as I recognised many of the chasers. But I’d have no idea who the activator was as they weren’t sending their callsign. I know I could send UR CALL? but with weak signals and QRM this might not work. I realised that I was guilty of not sending my callsign so now send it after every few QSOs (if I remember). And our licence requires us to identify regularly.


I don’t think guilt comes into it - it’s down to personal judgment within the AR licence conditions [I read them again after my post above - there’s no longer a maximum interval specified that I could find]. I doubt that I go 5 minutes without sending mine, and much more often outside of a pile-up.

Most of my pile-up callers (including S2S’s) will either have heard my callsign before the pile-up or read my spot. So, I’m trying to minimize the waiting time for them rather than accommodate the occasional S2S who stumbles across my frequency.

Dear Gerhard,

also a Happy New Year to you!

Regarding the topic you raised, I can only reiterate what I mentioned about the thread generated by Guru, EA2IF: The art of calling at the WRONG time. in our last discussion of this kind in A little bit of respect to activators.

The sketch Guru shared is so simple, easy to understand and full of truth. Life could be so easy… :wink:

I am looking forward to our next QSO and promise at least to try not to prematurely break into an ongoing one,

73 de Peter, DM7KN

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Easier said than done. Maybe you want to talk to someone while the pileup is still going on? You can’t tell a good friend “come back in 10 minutes”.

73 de Martin / HB9GVW

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You can ask…they might not come back though :slight_smile:

I sometimes have chasers (on VHF/UHF) who keep listening and come back for a chat when it goes quiet.

Oh, this is nice. Never had that on HF. But I think a little chat about weather or local working conditions (especially when talking S2S) doesn’t hurt anyone. The other chasers might also want to know.

I think we have to find a right balance between rag-chewing and just a simple “summit XYZ, 59, 73”.

73 de Martin / HB9GVW

HNY: “Why are they all calling me HoNeY?”