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Tuning up over an activator

Earlier today I worked Rod, M0JLA, who was activating G/WB-013 on 60m. He put out a very long CQ to drum up support, and was rewarded with a mini pile-up. During the course of this CQ three different chasers tuned up on frequency, one was so strong that the tone almost blew my earphones off and left me with a burst of tinnitis. Guys, it is good manners to move to an adjacent clear channel to tune up, Heaven knows there are plenty of them available to UK amateurs, and the few seconds that you will use will not cost you a contact - it worked for me! Please be considerate.


Hi Brian I noticed whilst out yesterday just how impatient some people seem to get for that vital QSO. The longer the transmission, the more sounds of impatience evident. No suggestion that this was SOTA related, but just a sad observation on how little value some people seem to place on meaningful conversation rather than the all consuming 59 exchange :confused:

This is how you deal with tuners and those who call out of turn. Tom M1EYP told me to try it and I have found it works brilliantly as long as you can identify the transgressor.

There is no point moaning here, it wont have any effect. What you do if you can identify the station is email them when you get back an ask why they felt they were ENTITLED to tune up on someone else or ENTITLED to call out of turn or when someone else was being called/worked. Then sit back and wait for the reply.

When it comes it will be full of meek rubbish as they try to save face. Typical excuses given:

  • I couldn’t hear your well
  • There was some was some local noise
  • I was confused never heard that CW prosign before

They never say "I could hear you calling for EA4 only but I didn’t realise that meant I must wait as my call is MM… " or “Do you not know who I am? I am very important in amateur radio circles and don’t intend to wait for ordinary hams”, “I have a big amp and antenna array, why should I wait when I can blitz over the top?”.

You need to confront these people but privately. They’ll squirm because they know they’re in the wrong. But if you let them get away with such behaviour they will see that nobody calls them out and they will continue doing it. And there’s always the chance the emails may become public which will really hurt.

It works for me and I have a list of veritable who’s who in amateur radio who have apologised and never behaved badly on my frequency since.

And sometimes it’s just accidental. But we know when it’s deliberate and that’s when we should act.



I think this is okay if written politely. But how can you be certain you have identified the transgressor from a few seconds of tuning-up? Imagine your embarrassment and his/her justified anger if you got it wrong.

Yes, this is the problem. A tune-up tone is anonymous. I think I know who the worst offender was on the evidence of the strength of the tone and his subsequent call, but I am hesitant to call someone out on such flimsy evidence. This is why I started this topic, in the hope that the culprit would realise that I am talking about him and feel some shame - because, after all, 60m is the nice guys band!

Brian, I think it’s a vain hope.

Let’s use a Venn diagram to explain why. You are looking for the intersection of the tune over activator circle with the SOTA chaser circle and the SOTA reflector reader circle. Intersection: small.

73 Andy

I’d simply say Brian ADD was listening and told me it was them.

Ooh! For that I’ll put cold tea in your whisky!

Second thoughts - with your refined taste in whisky that would be a mortal sin! I use 60m, I’ve got to be a nice guy!

People who deliberately tune up over an activator should be executed. (after a fair trial, of course)

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Judge: “What evidence do you have it was this OM?”
Andy: “Brian said he clearly heard him tuning up.”
Judge: “Good enough for me, fetch the executioner…”


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And for my fee, I’ll have his station!

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Don’t modern radios have automatic notch filters?

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Not all. But the issue is many antique chasers don’t have automatic notch engagement features! :wink:


How tiresome. (sigh)

Yes, daddy, I have a notch filter. Yes, mommy, I engage it to deal with sustained tones. No, daddy, I do not leave it on all the time, it changes the sound quality. No mommy, ANF is not going to deal with a tone that is S9 even though the attenuator is permanently engaged to reduce the noise level to improve the DNR.

Now will Eric and Ernie please stop attempts at victim blaming?

Try ANF with CW - now there’s a challenge

Interestingly SOTABEAMS did develop one that works with CW. It recognises CW and only notches continuous tones.