What is SOTA coming to."another contest"

We all hear the grab and run now even taking another chasers report and the contest style operating
where you can’t finish the contact before they are calling over you.
We see the comments on SOTA watch" why not this or that band"or "he was only there 5mins"
Some lid this morning told me to stop talking as there are others waiting,just remember it is the activator that calls the time.
Shame you didn’t give me your call sign with the rude remark so I could publish it here. G0RQL.


To be fair, Don, the general level of liddery in SOTA is less than in most of ham radio, SOTA usually seems quite genial compared with the rare DX hunting community - all the more remarkable in that the availability of an activation is measure

Briand in minutes rather than the days and weeks of other award schemes, it must be the influence of the hills!

Back you up on this one this morning Don, was tuned in at time.

Some plonker whining Cause Don talking to long. Whilst talking to OE7HPI/p (Not hearing the said station)
But to me Don was double checking to whom was on freq and the Sota ref as the watch said different as well an I5 on freq saying he was on I/ER-330 calling CQ as well…

Mind you, Don did you hear the other station telling the whiner to shut his trap. Did make me laugh.

I regular hear Don and green with envy as he makes some great contacts to sometimes i can’t reach but not often not hear Don making the contacts when am in there myself. Probably the problem with said lid the green eyed monster :slight_smile:

Ya doing great job don Ignore the boring lids and do what we enjoy in Sota chasing


I deliberately try to make at least a little conversation in some of my SOTA contacts while activating and “wo-be-tied” anyone who tries to call in during such a conversation, they will be told once to wait and if they repeat they won’t get the contact.

When there are lots of people waiting, I will try to get through them as quickly as possible, but I won’t do this on all contacts.



Hi Don,

We always are awaiting your call, as already said in a previous posting, you are one of the louder stations from the UK and it is always a pleasure talking to you, even for a small amount of time. Next time I’ll double my time with you when I hear you on a hill. hihi.
We can all mis the bad behauvior on sota. It is for fun, a hobby. Most seem to forget that … …

That said, don’t care about it, people who are not showing respect are not worth getting the points, they are a shame to the hobby.

73 m8 cuagn sn !!


Well, the question arises if innate qualities of a person (e.g. abnormal ambition, egomania) are excusable or not?

@G0RQL do not care about those rude operators. I always enjoy having a short chat with you. There is always time for two or three overs. I feel anybody with a minimum of patience is able to work me as an activator. So I will take the time to have a short chat with the chasers who like to.

73 de Michael, DB7MM


Ditto Ditto Ditto Michael. Absolutely agree with you on this matter.


Hi Don,

I wouldn’t bother too much about the occasional rudeness you hear on the bands. Always a pleasure to get you in my log.

73 John EI3KA

[…] the contest style operating where you can’t finish the contact before they are calling over you.

And? You’re louder than them. :wink:


I have been SOTERING today (GW/NW042) and only twice did I encounter possible bad behavior. One was a CT callsign who called twice whilst I was trying to work a weak /p. I will give the op the benefit of the doubt because he would not hear the /p (I did work him 10 minutes later). The second was a DL who was intent in working Andy FMF whilst I was in QSO with him. Other than that the pack respected my desire to work /p and /m first, I was satisfied with conduct during the remaining 2hrs on air. I agree, Don puts out a formidable signal on 40 and 60m.

A long time ago an IOTA op said to me “never leave the pilup, that is bad manners, but you can progressively reduce power”. Good gentlemanly advice I suggest.

On a slightly different matter, everyone these days operates a synthesised rig accurate to perhaps 10Hz. So, when I announce I am operating on 14.063 cw, half of Europe descends upon me with their signals all but coherent. This makes it difficult for me to separate the calls through my cloth ears. This situation does not occur in a standard a QSO or in contests because the TX’s are not all so precisely on the same QRG. At busy times perhaps chasers should Xit up and down a 100Hz or so to assist the activator to split up the signals more easily. Thoughts?

David G0EVV

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As an IOTA operator I can really empathize! There are some folks, who, in their desire to work you, forget the basic courtesies and call over your QSO – and some who, in their frustration will even make unkind and inappropriate comments . . . . . . But when “it gets to me” I remember that the vast majority of hams out there are quietly listening and awaiting their turn.

Sometimes it gets to be more than I can tolerate, so I either announce that I will qrt in 5 minutes and count down the time and then go QRT – or if the over-calling and LID behaviour has been particularly egregious, I will announce that I have reached saturation with the poor operating, apologize to the courteous ham quietly awaiting their turn, bid all goodnight and then QRT. I don’t wait until I am angry and frustrated – the hobby is supposed to be fun! Once it stops being fun it is time to turn off the radio.

Thanks for sharing your frustration and if you want a REAL SOTA challenge, come on down to Rarotonga and activate one of our summits . . . . . 73. Andy E51AND

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Life is too short for QRP.

Excellent advice. A very well-known SOTA CW chaser with a G4 callsign invariably calls a couple of hundred Hz off frequency … and he is always amongst the first to be picked up by the activator!

Walt (G3NYY)

And a very distinctive CW call :grin:

I think I know the operator being discussed quite well!

On a slightly different tack as an activator, you know the chasers who hear the best and if the usually big signal stations are weak due to the propagation then you know they’ll struggle hearing your QRP signal so it pays to send their call a few times and also repeat the report…

I’ve recently changed my portable HF transceiver to a KX2 and for the first time when activating SOTA, I have been using full break in on CW, only because it is so good with that particular radio. I can now listen between the dits and dahs - so I’m finding that there are a surprising number of operators who call you blind over the top of your own transmission when you are calling CQ or completing a QSO with a 73 or a TU or sending your callsign. Even allowing for QSB this is probably because the chaser is calling based on what they see on SOTAWatch rather than what they hear in their headphones… I’ve become wise to this now and never go back to them, and risk the pregnant pause of no response because they cannot hear or understand what is happening. Or maybe it is inexperieinced operators or the use of CW reading software that doesn’t work in a pile up situation - I’m not sure. Unfortunately them doing this covers the activators signals up and makes it harder for the chasers who can hear you to know when you are ready to accept their calls.

73 Phil G4OBK

I don’t beieve this is inexperience or computer software that is at fault, as I hear the same thing happening on SSB actiivations as well. Some chasers will start calling before the last over of the previous QSO, hoping to get in first. Others “jump-in” when they hear chasers calling, even if they can’t hear the activator and then keep on calling over the top of the activator, in some hope that the station will magically come up out of the noise!

I am hearing a lot of “part call signs” being given as well. I presume they are trying to make their call sign more “interesting” with the hope that activator will think the call is more distant than it actually is.

This is simply BAD operating practice. Identifying your station with out part of your call sign may in fact be illegal or at least false identification.

73 Ed.

I think we bought our kx2`s at the right time Phil. I see in the new radcom they are now £70 more due to exchange rates. I tried mine in GM only once on 17/15m as they are the only bands I have a bnc terminated antenna, unfortunately the band’s were dead so. I’m still to blood mine on a summit.

Yes, I agree Ed. But they won’t get in if the activator is still transmitting, so it points to not hearing the station and guessing when to call. Partial callsign sending never happens on CW and I think it is a hindrance on SSB. In fact the author of the software I use for logging (Logger 32) specifically requests than anyone operating this way by sending partial callsigns should not be permitted to use the logging program at all. It may be illegal as you say but so is the annoying /QRP suffix as well!

73 Phil

HI Steve

Time to buy a BNC to PL259 adaptor (£2) then or a multisized crimping tool for a BNC (£12) from the usual auction site. Enjoying the KX2, but as you probably also found they take a bit of getting used to when compared to Japanese built stuff. I got one before the Brexit £ drop also, pre FN stock before the price went up. I managed to secure the KXPD2 paddle key at the old price, but it still cost an arm and a leg, as my pre-order was in at the old price, but I only got the key two weeks ago as they could not meet the demand. This is the only Elecraft made accessory I am likely to buy as they are all overpriced, and worse since the £ sank…

The KX2 works well with cheap microphones to. I have a boom-mic headset that cost €5 and a short skype mic with foam cover for £3,both getting good reports. Even the internal mic seems to work well. I haven’t tried the voice keyer yet, but the CW memory keyer is a good 'un.

73 Phil

Ahhh yes - have had several using /QRP to try and get through the pileup, but then to say that they are “only runnng 50W”. Perhaps it is QRP compared to the KW+ stations, but kind of leaves a sour taste in my mouth and the contact generally dissapears from my log for some strange reason…