Use of multiple callsigns

If you are on the summit struggling for your four.
Someone offers you another of their personal/club callsigns,would you accept?

Is this ethical ?

Sorry if subject has been discussed in the past…


In reply to GM7GAX:
Just had a re-read of the rules and in 3.7.1 point 8 states “At least one QSO must be made from the Summit to qualify as an activation. In order for the activation to qualify for the points attributed to that Summit, a minimum of four QSOs must be made, each of which must be with a different station.”

Now how do you define “each of which must be with a different station”?
1 qso per Callsign?

1 qso per Amateur regardless of number callsigns held?

What about multiple amateurs using the same rig at the same location?


In reply to 2M0ETR:

Now how do you define “each of which must be with a different station”?

In the UK the station is the callsign not the equipment/location/person operating the equipment. Work 4 different callsigns and you have worked 4 different stations and you can claim the points.

Whether you feel it is ethical or not is a personal issue but the SOTA rules allow it.


In reply to MM0FMF:
Yes fair enough Andy thats true.


In reply to 2M0ETR:

It seems to be generally accepted that each different call sign counts as a different ‘station’ for the purposes of SOTA. I can’t remember where I read it (please correct me if I’m wrong) but I understand that for the purposes of the license the call sign is the station. In the old days (when we were legally required to keep a log) one was required to announce ones call sign when one ‘opened’ the station, at intervals subsequently, and when one ‘closed’ it down.

Ultimately such matters become philosophical questions. For example what if the same radio is used by four different individuals in four separate locations? Would this be the same station? Does a QSO with someone who does not speak English and does not understand what SOTA is count?

While I am generally prepared to enter multiple call signs received from a single amateur at the same location into my log (since some parties want to log the summit for a club call as well as under their own) personally I prefer not to rely on such duplicates to justify an activation and always try to get four QSOs with stations with different physical locations and different individuals.

So far I think I have been fortunate in always having managed to do this, though I admit there have been occasions when it was close.

If however someone on a tricky summit, in poor weather conditions and with the light failing adopts a more relaxed approach to qualifying a summit then I’d be unlikely to complain.

That’s my take on the matter. In my book what really matters is being there on the hill having made the effort to get up there and to be prepared to hang around long enough for others to have a reasonable chance to work you.

73 Rick

In reply to GM7GAX:

Sorry if subject has been discussed in the past…

It certainly has!

My view on this is that there is no problem whatsoever with different people using the same physical equipment. After all, each can claim the chaser points, and there are many pairs of chasers who routinely operate together.

Multiple callsigns from the same person seem slightly more dubious, though there seems little doubt that the rules allow it. It is obviously open to abuse. These days one person could easily have access to 4 callsigns: foundation, intermediate, full and club. Getting all 4 from the same person seems not in the spirit to me.

That being said, if struggling I would (and have) taken a second callsign from a chaser already worked. It certainly isn’t very satisfying to have to rely on it, and it is surprising how often it turns out that more contacts roll in as soon as the “contingency” contact has been made to qualify! Personally I think it is ethical to take extra contacts from the same person provided that you don’t set out with the deliberate intention of qualifying that way.

It would be awkward to forbid. Usually you will know, or reasonably guess, that two callsigns are the same person, but it would be hard for an activator to be absolutely certain that they weren’t, especially on CW or data modes. So I think the rules should stay as they are, and common sense applied to determining what is “in the spirit”.

In reply to GM7GAX:
Been there, done that…
We have some regular ‘chasers’ in the North East, who can use:- husband, wife, and club callsign all from the same location… i.e. three ‘stations’. They know who they are and I’m always happy to work them, but it is a bit of a dilema.

I’ve always been able to qualify a local summit with them and at least three additional stations, so my consience is clear, but I must admit if I was struggling, I’d take the three calls…even though I personally think it’s not really ethical.

Having recently failed to qualify a summit in the Borders…and thinking about the ethical implications, yes if they’d called in, I’d have taken them!!

NB I was on Cacra hill next to the Ettrick Valley (SS something or other)… got one QSO on 2m, then nothing… found out later that my feeder (or PL259) was faulty. OHHH!

Rob (G1TPO)

I look at it this way; If I had driven over 400 miles, paid over £1,000 for to rent a house for a week, lugged all my gear for an hour and a half to the top of some Northern Scottish Peak and sat there for a hour before getting a single contact I would be pretty peeved that A. I had been unlucky with the propagation B. That I could not get a self spot on because of no phone coverage and B. That I did not bring enough battery power to sit there another hour. If then in the last few minutes of my operating some local comes on and offers me four calls I will be disappointed but relieved. Ethics don’t come in to it. By the way I am always a little disappointed if I don’t get more than 30 contacts.

The last two weeks in August I will drive over 400 miles and I have paid over £2,000 for my accommodation to go and activate some Northern Scottish summits. So far I have never failed to qualify but it has come close a few times. With all the time, cost and effort involved with planning and organising a trip like this I cannot be bothered with petty ethics. I choose to follow the rules as they are written, if they are changed so be it, but if people want to make up their own personal goals that is fine by me just so long as they don’t conflict with the written rules.

I think as a chaser the question is “is someone struggling for their four?” if the answer is yes then offer them the chance of a second contact. If they have their four it is not an issue anyway.

The only thing I could see as unacceptable would be where someone took a friend with multiple calls and left them in a car at the summit base and activated working only that person with just a hand portable. That to me is not in the spirit either as an activator or a chaser.

Regards Steve GW7AAV

PS: In my house at the weekend there were four amateurs. Between us we hold seven calls. I hold a club call and Caroline and Adam have both their Foundation and Intermediate calls. If you are struggling for contacts when I work you just ask, if we are here we are glad to help fill up your log for you. We can even work you on different radios and or frequencies if you are bothered.

Many thanks to all who took the time and effort to reply.
A mixed bag there but generally acceptable by the rules.


Thanks all the ‘chasers’ who offered me multiple callsigns today on Ben Donich, the humour was appreciated.