Will they never learn

Why oh why do some chasers not understand the basis of a successful SOTA contact. Yet again this morning I heard a well known chaser relay the signal report from an activator to another chaser.

For a QSO to be valid the report MUST be heard directly from the activator, NOT relayed by an impatient chaser who slows things down rather than having their desired effect to get a contact with the activator.

Rant over !

73 Victor GI4ONL


That simply won’t do! That is simply not ok!

A report must be received directly.

As an activator, I feel the same way. Sometimes the report gets lost in the qsb… and I no longer hear the station despite asking.

Then I cross out the call sign I wrote down and move on to the next one. Often there is a complete qso a few minutes later when conditions are better again.

What I do like, however, is when a strong chaser points me to a weak /p station.

73 Armin


I’ve had a couple of ‘helpers’ on recent activations. To be fair they haven’t been too intrusive and I just ignore their input - I have to make the direct 2-way contact myself.

I suspect it’s down to confusion between different operating procedures. Some groups operate with a net controller (and if we join such a net we should endeavour to follow their procedures), SOTA does not. I tend not to participate in contests because I can’t be bothered to look up what exchange is expected. At least SOTA welcomes everything from rubber stamp exchanges to rag chews (providing it’s direct comms)


Probably he’s the same one who relayed on my last week’s activation. Considering the fact he didn’t have QSO with me on this activation, he is obviously aware that this is not ok and just prefers to bark into QSOs not giving his call sign.

Is it a bird? A plane? No, it’s Report Relay Man! :laughing:



No they will never learn, for a valid SOTA contact the callsign and report must be heard by the chaser and the activator not relayed by another station.
Likewise with a S2S contact all details must be copied by both stations again not relayed as was the case yet again this morning when probably the same chaser was relaying the callsign who relayed the report earlier.
READ THE RULES, not forgetting we always gave priority to S2S,not the case today? 73 Don.


Very annoying the passing on of reports, voiding the contact unless you both start again and change the report, can be confusing to try to get that across when signals are weak between the originators.

Yes and “jug handle” man was QRV today as well. Just worked Art HB9CEV/P on SZ-002 CW and there he was sending didi dahdah didit several times with no callsign - a guy who cannot listen either… who knows who it was? No clue.

73 Phil

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I fully agree with you Victor. However, IMHO, the use of remote SDRs that today is so widespread, for me it is totally equivalent to relay a signal that you do not hear by yourself. This, which is practiced by so many people, is undetectable. So today habits and customs have degraded in such a way that drawing attention to these aspects is like preaching in the desert. In any case, it is always good to remember what common sense and the rules say what is correct
Antonio, EA4MY


Is there a rule on starting a QSO in one mode and finishing it with another?

Say I have a great lift and then lose the contact before I get a chance to get a report from them. Can they switch to, like, PTT morse or something stupid like that if I can still hear something happening but no discernible voice, or would the entire contact have to be done like that to count?

I have a related question. We know (or should know) that a SOTA contact is valid only if there has been an exchange of callsigns and signal reports. But does the other station need to confirm he/she has received the signal report I sent for the contact to be valid?

I’ll illustrate with a hypothetical example that happens to me occasionally when I’m activating …

g8cpz: qrz?
g3abc: g3abc
g8cpz: g3a?
g3abc: g3abc g3abc 539 539 73 tu k
g8cpz: g3abc gm tks ur 429 429 bk
g8cpz: g3abc 429 429 bk
g8cpz: g3abc?

Usually, the qso ends with both parties sending something like 73 tu e e

But in this case, the other station doesn’t come back even when requested. So, is the contact still valid?

A similar situation occurs when an impatient chaser [usually much stronger than the one I’m in contact with] ‘crashes’ the confirmatory “73 tu” exchange.

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Yes, both stations have to receive the other callsign, their report, and confirmation on both of the other station. A final “73” can be considered a confirmation. This applies to all amateur radio contacts.


Hi Pom, thanks for the clarification. I had assumed this was the case and have been deleting non-confirmatory contacts from my log.

Where an impatient chaser ‘butts in’ prematurely, I always send a ‘cfm’ or ‘r r’ or ‘73’ confirmation including the original chaser’s callsign.

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My reading of this as far as the database is concerned is that you log the mode that you were on at the time, not the mode in which you received the report. So with reference to your example, say you were on SSB and the report came in from the chaser on CW, then log it as SSB. This has happened to me several times. On some occasions I too have moved to CW, in which case it obviously becomes a CW QSO.

There is, of course also the case where you may, for example, work someone on SSB and then immediately on FM on the same band. The change of mode starts a new QSO. I always enter both contacts into the database for the sake of good order.

I have an intimate knowledge of the rules of SOTA, having instigated and taken part in the last revision of the General Rules, but it takes threads like this one to show where the rules could still benefit from some revision.

I have just gone through the rules, and this has confirmed what I suspected from first reading through this thread. It may be considered strange, but in the GR there is actually no explicit prohibition of relaying signal reports. This can be taken to be an oversight, because I doubt that any member of the MT would be in favour of allowing the relaying of signal reports. It could be argued that relaying would be covered by 3.7.3 Code of Conduct, under “The Golden Rule is that all participants are required to operate in a manner that is in keeping with the spirit of the programme.” However, that spirit is almost undefinable, so although we Sotari may decry relaying we cannot say that it actually breaks any rule.

Antonio, EA4MY, also criticises the use of remote SDRs. This, again, is not forbidden in the General Rules. Chasers who use remote SDRs cannot be detected, so it would probably be pointless making a rule against it even if the MT were unified in condemning it - which they aren’t. The arguments for and against the use of remote SDRs have been gone over on this reflector occasionally, the question has not been resolved. I hope that at some future point the MT will agree some protocol to define how remote SDRs and remote chaser stations may be used, but at present the rules do not cover the topic.


Some people never ever learn. They believe they already know all they need and they don’t have an open mind towards the improvement.
Some long licensed hams don’t seem to understand yet the way a radio communication flows, i.e. when I’m transmitting, I’m not receiving and viceversa. I very often find impatient SSB and CW operators talking to me when I finish my TX (transmission) and my rig switches to RX (reception). It may be due to QSB sometimes, but it often is just impatience and incompetence. This causes that the relevant pieces of information in a QSO to be valid, get lost in the doubling.
But, again, some people never learn and we all have to suffer the consequences.



Hey Guru

This is something I’ve been noticing more and more lately.
After I have worked through the row of chasers as an activator and nothing more comes after a qrz?, I start looking for other activators to have S2S.
Now, as an activator with qrp, I am not necessarily the strongest chaser and my /P or S2S call is not heard.
This means for me listen, wait , listen, wait… to catch a gap where I can be heard.
In these moments I can well observe the behaviour you reported. There are chasers who drive phantom qsos, give rapports although they were never called…

It is always interesting to read the section who chased me after entering the data.
It’s great to see who you sometimes had a qso with - and don’t even know about it! :grin:

73 Armin


The complete callsign also must be heard directly from the activator, not relayed by a patient cw skimmer (speeding things up).

I doubt that is the case.

Ham spirit must help here…

73 Karel OK2BWB

AMEN! If the qso fades and you lose the station, just be patient
and wait…condx might get better in a lil while and you make a
good contact.


Simply put, some folks don’t read rules. Even OLD GUYS
There’ not here, so they won’t get the message.
I’m a perpetual chaser and I APPRECIATE Operators who post alerts, even if it’s a spur of the moment expedition and they’re five minutes from the summit. That and a spot provide me with the information I need to pull an Operator out of the noise. Knowing I’m supposed to hear W7W and not JA2 keeps the mind oriented. While others are making contact, I can note the particulars Association Region and Summit, as well as time. If I can’t get that information, the chase isn’t worth it unless I find a better operating position with my HT.
Why I can pull something from a 33 while the Goat is hearing a 5-7, I’ll never know – the magic of radio!

If you want to hear some of the worst operating you’ve heard then there’s ZD7GWM on QO-100 at 10489899.88 MHz at the moment and the goons just keep calling and calling and calling never leaving any time for the ZD7 to reply. It must be really tedious to live in a DX location.

Do you really think he would fare better in SOTA? :sweat_smile:


73 Armin

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