Other SOTA sites: SOTAwatch | SOTA Home | Database | Video | Photos | Shop | Mapping | FAQs | Facebook | Contact SOTA

Why do they do it?


Come on Andy, you need to buck your ideas up. 21wpm is a bit slow TBH and we’ve all got busy lives. Get some daily practice in for a while and get your speed up to something more appropriate for any self-respecting activator.


When I took my 12wpm test at Trusthorpe (Lincolnshire) in 1982, I asked what speed their usual traffic was. 14wpm the officer advised - I was astounded. Obviously it showed on my face as he said “we only send it once, we don’t send repeats”.


Think the joker who was calling you was running one of those dx programs normally used for chasing IOTA activations.

That is, calls and calls automatically at high speed until the activator sends back a response usually on a split frequency.

Even logs the response electronically.

Probably just tuned in on your frequency, hit the send button and walked away leaving the computer to do its thing.

From time to time have listened to some of the island activations and have heard that going on all the time.

No consideration for a SOTA activator hunched up uncomfortably on the ground in a howling gale trying to decipher incoming calls on a notepad flapping in the wind.


QRS is the polite thing to do for sure. I can only think of one reason off the top to not QRS. I chase quite a bit from the mobile. In traffic it is dangerous to dig down into the 857 menus and QRS. Wish it was just a knob to grab…

So I just stand by and it the chap is getting his Q’s from other callers then all is well.

John N0EVH


I agree Paul, this has all the signs of a keyboard op who doesn’t realise how fast their computer is sending. QRS would not be decoded or understood. The only way of getting rid of them is to qsy. Closing down penalises the other chasers and getting annoyed spoils your activation. I can fully relate to Andy’s frustration and disgust. Ive reacted that way myself at such antics. But it leaves you feeling frustrated.

A voice-only operator who does not recognise QRS would recognise QRM though and maybe by sending words and codes recognisable by a phone operator trying to use a decoder the message might get through. Eg SEND AT MY SPEED. Thats only if you need that contact though.

Sending codes like LID or callsigns like id1ot are also tempting but too subtle and unlikely to work.


In today’s band conditions, simply changing bands gets rid of the lids, at least for a while unless they are really close.


Whilst I activate at 25 wpm, I do try to slow down for a chaser who is clearly below 20 wpm, and I always slow down if someone sends QRS. I chase at 20 wpm, as the activator does not have access to the internet for my callsign. I can’t understand some of the behaviour these days: we’re not major DX stations, so there’s absolutely no need to tail end QSOs or otherwise send over the top of people (not that there is ever any justification for that). It’s just a question of waiting 10-15 minutes for a lull in the traffic. What is also frustrating is the growing amount of DQRM, such as people deliberately calling over RST reports and summit REFs. I remember way back in 2004, someone walking into the bunker in Ripon shaking their head and saying “40 metres is just a rat race”! I’d like to say my experience has disproved them…
Bottom line: please ask me to QRS if you’re not so fast in Morse, no speed is too slow for my log.
73 de OE6FEG


Yo creo que lo de las altas velocidades que realizan algunos operadores en este tipo de eventos podria rayar con algun problema de ego y eso no te hace ser mejor operador de telegrafia, lo que ellos no saben es que las llaves estar preparadas para aguantar un porcentaje de ego y que por encima de ese porcentaje las llaves suelen romperse hi hi. Pero para mi hay problemas mas acuciantes como por ejemplo la mala educacion…personas que entran directamente en una frecuencia sin preguntar si esta ocupada QRL…personas que se ponen un kilociclo por encima o por debajo de la frecuencia que estas trabajando, pero como ellos estan con alta potencia el que tiene que hacer QSY normalmente es la estacion mas humilde…etc…etc…