Quite a number of times, after having seen an alert announcing operation on a precise frequency in which I have some hope of copying the activator, I have tuned my rig and sat on the frequency remaining QRV for the activator to show up and start CQing, while doing other things in the shack. The patient waiting has payed off several times to me.
This strategy was made possible because there was an exact frequency announced in the alert finally respected by the activator who finally showed up on the previously alerted exact frequency.
Unfortunately, alerting on an exact frequency and finally activating on that very same frequency is not always possible for many activators, as there are times of the day in crowded areas and bands where it’s often very difficult, almost impossible to find a clear frequency.
This introduction was to illustrate how useful alerting on an exact frequency like 14.063 instead of just 14 is for the chasers and the activators too, of course.
Now I want to focus on spots. From my point of view, there’s no point in spotting vaguely without precising an exact frequency.
When I see a spot for an activator and the frequency information is as vague as 7-cw or 14-cw, I don’t even bother trying to find the activator because the signal will very probably be very weak and it will be impossible for me to find it. When a spot gives an exact frequency and I’m in the shack, I go there and sit on it QRV listening carefully for any weak signal coming through. Sometimes I don’t hear the activator, but I hear the other chasers working him/her and I wait. Waiting finally pays off several times. In this low part of the solar cycle period we are in now, I have often found that conditions change in a matter of some few minutes and an activator not copyable at all in a moment, becomes copyable, workable and finally chased after a few minutes of patient waiting.
Again, this waiting strategy and its final chasing is only possible when an exact frequency information is given on the spot raised in Sotawatch.
When signals are as extremely-weak+QSB-making-them-disappear as on many of the SOTA chases I currently do in these days, there’s almost no way of finding an activator’s extremely weak signal by just turning the tunning knob across the band.
I wonder why some of us are sometimes raising spots with a vague frequency information like 14-cw, 28-cw, 7-ssb?
Is it due to not wishing to be found by many chasers to avoid having to deal with a pile-up, while having preagreed a secret precise frequency with some few chaser mates in order to guarantee the minimum 4 QSOs to claim the activator points?
I’m curious about this.