What is Sota coming to?

What a shame SOTA is deteriorating in CHASER ignorance.
We have been experiencing contest calling whether the chaser can hear the activator or not and constant calling over the activator and the chasers,
have they not been on radio before or understand that when the activator is talking they cant be heard and when they eventually make contact they also have to ask for the call sign of the activator,shame their receiver is not as good as the microphone.
Today I was working Holger and was told to make it short for the 2nd occasion.
I don’t think I am renowned for hogging or ragchewing with the activator but would the lid if he has a call sign like to respond to this topic.
73 Don G0RQL.


Hello Don,

The same sort of thing has happened to me quite a lot recently. If the activator wants to have a conversation they try to but then the usual suspects turn up who ignore or cannot hear that a QSO is in progress. They also don’t understand “summit to summit” only plea from activators. What to do? Not much I suppose.

I doubt if your ‘complainant’ will reply to your post.


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Have planned when finally on Summit one,s self
when another sota comes in’
Will key up and request all stations put the mikes down, hands away from that key bar for sota to sota station to be worked

if they listen be interesting



Good luck with the request as the stations that keep calling because they can’t hear both sides of the conversation will just keep calling regardless.


I’ve never known you to ever hog a contact. It should be up to the activator how long a conversation is not the impatient chasers!



We’re painting an unnecessarily gloomy picture here, when in fact it’s not all that bad. This sort of thing has happened to me, sure, but not nearly as many times as I’ve been calling CQ again and again with no response. Give me the unruly pile-up any day!

You will never solve the problem of competitive chaser pile-up behaviour by trying to educate those chasers online. The only solution is for the activators themselves to improve how they manage their pile-up.

Good luck with the request as the stations that keep calling because they can’t hear both sides of the conversation will just keep calling regardless.

If that happens, just tough it out, and be more stubborn about working only the S2S (or whatever you have called for) than the alligator is about working you! You will win - you are the DX!


Hi Don,

Very sorry to hear you’ve been having some hassle. I have never known your operating to be anything less than exemplary and I for one will always be happy to share a few words with you.

Just been using a slack moment at work to plan the next GM campaign… looking forward to a chat from a few more summits :slight_smile:

73 de Paul G4MD


Absolutely Paul. Well said.
Night night.

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Hi Don

Nil desperandum… Your operating procedures are exemplary and your QSO’s are short, succinct and informative as testified by other activators. It’s always a pleasure to hear your voice when I’m on a cold wet summit with an offer of a spot.

Looking forward to the next qso :slight_smile:

73 Allan GW4VPX

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It is instructive to note down the callsigns of the worst offending chasers and then look them up in the “Roll of Honour”. Some of them have high scores, double supersloth plus. One can see HOW they got these high scores, and how they are determined to climb higher up the table.

This is just the competitive spirit, we are bound to get that sort of thing when the chasers are numbered in the thousands. What is more worrying is that the “band police” are getting involved and there are even instances of people imposing themselves as MCs. This needs to be stamped on, perhaps we should make it known that MCd contacts and activations are not valid for SOTA!



Far more intelligent ways of doing this, and besides they probably; as Carolyn has already said will never hear your carrier !

You can change side bands, that will confuse most Alligators - its like strapping their jaw together with kapton tape ;). ofc you need enough channel space to do that, and on 40m it usually comes at a premium !

OR you could just go into full break in QSK and carry on in a narrow band mode, that should provide enough chaser selectivity in an SSB pileup :smile: !

Depends on the severity, I actually think, compared to some DX pileups SOTA chasing is pretty smooth. I remember when I did the 19 Set activation, I was very impressed actually.
Although I can certainly understand the frustration if someone is accused of waffling !. Its nice to have a chat sometimes, at least from the Activators POV :smiley:.
Plenty of time usually to make QSOs with everyone. Although the Winter makes long stays on summits less practical !


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I agree with Jonathan here, as an activator it’s nice to hear a friendly voice and sometimes have a bit of a rag chew if summit conditions aren’t horrific :wink:

There’s only so many rubber stamp QSO’s you can do before it seems a bit pointless. Saying that I worked 46 stations in 46 minutes from EA8/LA-003 Corona, but managed a few meaningful conversations in-between this and explained what I was doing to a bewildered Spanish couple :smile:

James M0JCQ


Where in the General rules does it say that you cannot have an MC/Net control? I agree that it is undesirable but have been unable to find it in the General Rules.

John G8XTJ

Hi Don - you’ve always been a gent with me mate and as the activator it’s up to me how long I want to spend in QSO with you (as long as I don’t bore you!)

I mostly stick with 2m as you know, because I can’t be bothered with this kind of moronic behaviour which seems prevalent on the HF bands. On 2m people seem to wait their turn, I always try to be polite, thank all for their patience and 99.9% of the time people reciprocate.

Seeing that most contacts on 2m are within my own country and HF includes other nations - would I be right in drawing the conclusion that this appalling behaviour is geographic?? :smile:


That is a respectable opinion, of course, but would you need some recordings about how few people of most of the countries behave?

On HF skip comes into play. I hear enough short skip/LOS to be sure that my own countrymen are guilty of this behaviour, too. Ill-mannered and inconsiderate operating seems to be mainly on 20m, 60 and 80 metres is completely gentlemanly, 40 metres can get a bit out of control, but twenty is a complete and utter zoo! The higher bands are not so bad, or possibly they are but the skip is longer so it is less obvious!


the conclusion that this appalling behaviour is endemic?
There, I’ve fixed that for you!

I can remember some rather bad operating at Christmas on 40mSSB. I heard a call ending “golf quebec” and called for “station ending golf quebec” and got 3 or 4 replies including “golf quebec”. I asked again for “only station ending golf quebec”. The same 3 or 4 replied. Only when I said something along the lines of “OK, here’s a new year’s resolution for you all to follow… when I ask for golf quebec I I only want people with golf and quebec in their call to reply”. That did the trick everyone who didn’t have “golf quebec” remained silent so I could work Jonathon 2W0KGQ.

Now perhaps conditions were poor when I was initially targetting my call and they could hear what I was asking for. So why where they calling if they couldn’t hear me? Perhaps conditions improved when I got snotty with those showing poor operating skills and they could hear that. So why were they calling if they couldn’t hear before?

I’ll tell you why… because they are used to getting away with poor operating and not being called out for it. You can call it ignorance, in which case they will learn. Or you can call it arrogance, it which case they will repeat the behaviour. But as one of the stations does this regularly I’m going to put it down to arrogance. This time they were all G calls (G’s not M’s) but the behaviour is endemic.

Poor operating can be moderated by the activator becoming emphatic and running the pileup. I have become stricter now, people calling out of turn are not worked to get rid off them. If I call “golf quebec” you can be damn sure you wont get worked till I’m sure there is no “golf quebec” calling. Persistent offenders are now ignored till the pile-up is worked.


Sorry, John, I missed this.

It doesn’t, of course. But that is no problem - if the SOTA community and the MT agree that it is undesirable then a new provision can be inserted into the GR, and this would be an appropriate time to do it since a major rewrite and clarification of the rules is in progress.


adjective: endemic

(of a disease or condition) regularly found among particular people or in a certain area.
"complacency is endemic in industry today"
    (of an area) in which a particular disease is regularly found.
    "the persistence of infection on pastures in endemic areas"
(of a plant or animal) native or restricted to a certain place.
"a marsupial endemic to north-eastern Australia"

Really just a different word with the same meaning in this connection (or connexion if you prefer Oxford!)

I can answer your rhetorical question: “So why were they calling if they couldn’t hear me?” Obviously they could hear you even if they could not read you or they would not have known when to call, or they called when other people called whilst temporarily unable to hear you. This behaviour makes sense when there is fairly rapid QSB - calling whilst the signal is low in the hope that you will hear and reply and they will hear your reply as the signal comes up again.

The most grimly amusing behaviour is where two (or more) stations call repeatedly, tail-ending each others calls, while underneath them the SOTA station continues working other stations. They are so busy making sure that theirs is the last call heard that they have lost contact with what is happening. This isn’t just frequent on 20m, its normal…or what passes for normal!


Greetings to all
I have followed all the reviews and I cannot but express also my opinion.
We all have “glass ceiling” and, even unintentionally, we all must have committed something inappropriate.
There is no doubt that SOTA had a huge increase, at least as chasers is concerned and, of course, the difficulties arise. More noise, more operators, the same operation time, etc, etc.
The activators have to control better their operations and perhaps use other strategies to minimize the difficulties. For example, I have never seen an activator work split. It will be certainly a plausible measure as it would leave the activator’s frequency clean and be clearly heard (since, usually, its output power is very low and signals are weak). Another possibility is to call by numbers or areas or countries. All that reduce QRM and will always be appreciated by all.
Regarding chasers, there is also much to do. They have to realize that minimum standards are necessary (on behavior, education and operation). I see no need for large pileups. No need to repeat two to three times its callsigns or part. I see no need to extend their suffixes too long to be heard after the remaining shut up. Above all, they must comply with the activator because its operation time is limited and, therefore, precious.
Finally a word addressed to MT. Some of the recorded abuses have directly to do with the raising of points at all costs. Doesn’t matter work this or that summit but score points, with anyone else, how and when. Some days ago when I activated for the first time a summit here in the Azores, there was a station that contacted me 6 times. In different bands and different modes but, even so, what for? I’m flattered by their calls but work me once, possibly on CW and SSB would not be enough? Did you ever think that may be taking the opportunity off another colleague?
Well, pardon me the outburst but, in fact, the matter is relevant "What is Sota coming to?"
73 of CU3AA, Joao

Hello Joao,

" In different bands and different modes but, even so, what for?"

Well quite often I start playing radio by finding any station (not even SOTA) on a particular band and then listen on different antenna and see which antenna hears best - hexbeam, inverted V or vertical. This gives me a good idea of how things are. Then working SOTA I try and work an activator on different bands. If I have already worked the station I wait until the pile up has diminished and work them on the new band. The reports I get inform me as to how each band is behaving in terms of being heard and perhaps activators are interested to know the differences between each band from the same station, same set up etc. etc. but then I am interested in propagation so that may be a strange thing to do. Much easier to get the points and then go and have a coffee or something :wink:

Best wishes