Tuning on the activator frequency before chasing!

I’ve chased Fabio IK2LEY/P about 20 minutes ago and given that no other activators are currently spotted, I remained on Fabio’s frequency listening to him dealing with the pile up.
Just 10 minutes ago, a strong tunning signal on the frequency on top of everyone and immediately after the tuning, a callsing (F8DGV) was sent with the same signal strength and pitch tone, which was immediately picked up by Fabio and they completed the QSO.
I see this callsign is not on QRZ.com and I wonder if someone know this ham and can kindly explain to him/her that tuning right on the frequency is one of the worst practices in our hobby and doing it a few Kc up or down from Fabio’s frequency (7.034) would have equally allowed him/her getting his/her station ready to chase Fabio without disturbing everyone listening on that busy frequency.
I write this here just in case this ham reads the SOTA Reflector or in the hope that someone knowing him/her can forward this comment to him/her.
In case the moderator feels this type of message is not appropriate, feel free to delete it.
Thank you.



Hi Guru
F8DGV isn’t on https://amatpres.anfr.fr/annuaire.do Is not a valid callsign !
and on REF nomenclature La Nomenclature Française
This 2 sites are the only available source !
A pirate or wrong CW copy (I don’t think so)?
73 Éric

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Thank you for the information, Éric.
I may have made a mistake when copied the callsign but I don’t think so. However, I’ll check later today on Fabio’s IK2LEY’s activator log. The QSO was at 10h17 or 10h18z.
In case it’s a pirate, I’m afraid it’s going to be fully useless giving him/her advises or recommendations about good practices on the bands…


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Occasionally I have an allied problem on phone. I hear a weak call from an activator, I have my headphones on with the audio well up to make sure I have the call correct, and suddenly while the station is still calling there is a loud beep that temporarily deafens me, and when the call ends a very strong station replies to him. I guess it is a brief transmission to check the autotuner, but it is a painful breach of good manners. To make it worse I think it is a well-known chaser with an old callsign. I’ll say no more, but if I ever meet him…:smiling_imp:

Tuning on frequency
Calling over a QSO without listening
Giving their call sign several times
Even worse: giving their call sign several times though it is a 2x3 callsign
To be continued…

One thing for sure, Guru. Well experienced operators will nodd their heads while the poor operators who should listen to your words sadly won’t change anything about their behaviour.

Take care

Some one tuned up on my frequency last week when I was activating G/LD-035 - whether it was one of the activators or not I don’t know.

If operators used resonant antennas and solid state transceivers they wouldn’t need to tune up!

73 Phil

The exception is 80m, a dipole won’t give an SWR of 2:1 or less over the whole band.

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I would imagine tuning this puppy up on your frequency would give you some grief.

(That’s a Bird43 showing full scale with a 25kW slug)

Hola Guru. Entiendo que estas cosas vuelvan loco a más de uno (yo directamente me enfurezco!) pero a mi parecer no es buena consejera el ¨escrache¨.
Creo que no hay necesidad de publicar el callsign del supuesto ¨infractor¨, simplemente porque estamos hablando de un ¨supuesto¨.
Saludos cordiales!

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This comes up from time to time on SOTA threads often as an argument as to why you don’t need an ATU. It’s only true for practical antennas like dipoles if you operate in a narrow range of frequency, e.g. on 30m band. If you look at the VSWR plot for my portable 80m half-wave dipole, you would want to tune up at each end of the band if you run QRP as I do.

To put some numbers to it, a typical 80m dipole has a bandwidth of about 170 kHz between the 2:1 points. This is a variable depending on the diameter of the wire (inter alia) but to cover the whole band the “wire” would have to have a diameter of nearly a metre! Still, a tube output stage with a pi tank will cover the whole band without trouble…:wink:

It’s not an issue for activating.

It is on 80m if you want to do both CW and phone, particularly if you want to try the DX window or the WAB frequency as well as CW.

Independently of whether we use a resonant antenna or not and we thus we need to use an antenna tunner, what it’s clear is we should never jump onto the spotted frequency of a SOTA activator we want to chase and tune up on top of everyone at that very moment. This is the subject in this thread.
However, let me inform you of some of my findings after a quick investigation this morning:

1- I believed I had chased Fabio on 7.034, but I didn’t, as he logged EA2CP instead. EA2CP and I were in skip yesterday on 40m so we were unable to hear each other and he may have gone on top of me after Fabio came initially back to EA2IF. I’ll delete my QSO with Fabio on 40m. Its great that I chased him again on 30m because I’m in the log this time.

2- The tuning on the frequency station I copied as F8DGV is not in Fabio’s log, but he logged F8DGF instead at about that same time. F8DGV doesn’t apparently exist as a valid licenced ham according to the info provided by Éric F5JKK and the info at QRZ.com.

3- F8DGF does exist and does participate in the SOTA program. Despite the fact that he recorded several SOTA chases in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008, but he has not loaded a single chase to the database since August 2008, I have him in my log as he chased me on 3 of my SOTA activations in 2018 (1) and 2019 (2), so it looks like he is still an active chaser in these days. I may have made a mistake when copied the DGV suffix or a mistake was made by himself when he first sent it, which is when I copied it, not paying further attention during his QSO with Fabio.

Best 73,


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A sweeping statement, Andy, with no explanation

You can see from the VSWR plot (I linked to) for my portable 80m dipole made from thin lightweight SOTAbeams wire that it has a bandwidth of 250kHz and has a VSWR of 2.6 at 3.800kHz. That means 20% reflected power compared to virtually zero at the resonant frequency.

More of a practical issue for me is my reluctance in winter weather to take and erect my 10m pole and quad-band linked dipole for ‘nearly resonant’ operation. When it’s howling a gale, I’ll rather throw up my tri-band EFHW and let my KX2’s ATU tune up on a band it wasn’t designed for.

When I go activating, I do not need to operate on all bands, all frequencies and all modes. I need to operate in some parts of some bands. I don’t flit from calling CQ SOTA on 20m SSB ( above 14.270 ) to trying to chase someone on 630m or 24GHz. A few bands covered adequately enable successful activations.

That’s a strawman argument, in fact, it’s absurd [so much so I suspect it’s a FMF wind-up]

Brian made a perfectly reasonable case that one might want to activate on 80m CW and SSB, or in my case, use a compromise antenna.

You might activate in a way that means your antenna is always resonant and don’t need to tune up. But you didn’t qualify your original emphatic statement so expect someone to challenge it.