I think the time has come when we need to take a hard look at the popularity and the standard of operating SOTA on CW from the chasers side.
Listening to Bob F5HTR/P (who was a good signal into the UK today on 7032 KHz) between 1245z and 1320z revealed a lack of manners, understanding, patience and operting skill by many of the chasers calling Bob.
Walt G3NYY/P was attempting to make an S2S QSO with Bob to no avail. I spotted Bob at 1248z and gave up calling him due to the melee and sheer ignorance of the callers, long calls, sending over the top of Bob and sending over the chaser working Bob. I returned to the frequency at 1315z to find Walt G3NYY/P still trying to make his S2S QSO. I tried to assist, as did Roy G4SSH, to no avail. If chasers were using SOTAWatch they would have seen my comment that Walt was trying to make an S2S QSO which was placed as a comment on SOTAWatch twice, and has been left there to remind people of their selfish attitude.
In case some of you people who were operating in the fashion that you were do not know, the protocol which has come about by custom and practice in SOTA CW is that chasers should always give way to allow an S2S QSO to take place if they hear another /P station calling, before calling the activator themselves. Faced with the standard of operating that I heard today had I have been activating I would have resorted to working split frequency if that was possible. As we are using 7032 KHz on busy days like today, working split is not really practicable due to other activators who are likely to be operating on 7033 or 7034 KHz. There is insufficient space for an activator to work split, due to the likelihood of other SOTA /P stations working just above him him and then you are soon up to 7035 KHz. Unfortunately many DATA operators haven’t yet woken up to the fact that the CW section is now listed in the bandplan as running up to 7040 KHz with narrow band modes (i.e. datacomms) listed as having the use of 7040-7050 KHz, which is still being used for SSB.
Would anyone like to have a debate on the reflector about how the operating standards of many of the people chasing SOTA points in CW could be improved to the benefit of us all?
By the way, although I was the one who spotted Bob F5HTR/P when he came on at about 1245z I didn’t actually work him. On top of that I don’t think Walt G3NYY/P worked Bob properly either, thanks to people calling over his “QSO” so I hope those who did work Bob in the way that I have described, enjoyed their bit of excitment in working a 10 pointer at mine and Walt’s expense.
Shame on you and your standards of operating.
I have switched off now and am QRT from SOTA for the rest of the day in disgust. I thought I would never say this but gardening is more satisfying for me at present than chasing SOTA.
73 Phil G4OBK