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Reflector :: Dealing With Disruptive Operating.

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Post by G8ADD on 22nd December 2012 at 00:26
The Management Team is receiving increasing numbers of complaints from Activators about poor, aggressive
and disruptive operating by a small number of Chasers. Such operating slows down the QSO rate for the Activators, who in general cannot afford to spend too long on a summit, and therefore this has an effect on safety. The Management Team has therefore determined that formal sanctions are necessary to reduce disruptive operating.

Starting immediately, a three stage procedure will be instituted,
analogous to that applied to misuse of the Sotawatch Reflector. On
receipt of a number of complaints about disruptive operating, a
warning will be sent to the operator detailing the operating practices that have attracted complaints, and warning that continuing these practices will result in the application of sanctions.

If the operator persists in disruptive operating, then a temporary
exclusion from SOTA facilities will be imposed. Access to SOTA will be
restored on receipt of an assurance from the operator that these
disruptive practices will cease.

If further complaints are received then the disruptive operator will
receive a permanent exclusion from SOTA and that operators log in the
database will be deleted. No copy of the deleted log will be kept, so all
records of the operators contacts and score will be lost.

On Behalf of the Management Team.
This thread is closed
Post by K1CM on 22nd December 2012 at 15:29
In reply to G8ADD:
Another annoying practice is Chasers who engage Activators in extended QSOs. Time and band conditions limit the number of chasers who can make contact with activators. It is frustrating to listen to a chaser giving his name, QTH and a weather report to an activator while band conditions are rapidly deteriorating. An exchange of calls and signal reports is all that is necessary.
This thread is closed
Post by G3CWI on 22nd December 2012 at 16:55
In reply to K1CM:

In an increasingly banal World it seems sad to discourage having a meaningful conversation; of course this should only be instigated by the activator. Chasers should assume that the activator is hanging on by his/her fingernails unless told otherwise.

73

Richard
G3CWI
This thread is closed
Post by M0XSD on 22nd December 2012 at 18:22
In reply to G3CWI:

I agree Richard, it should be entirely up to the Activator, they are the ones who have made the effort and should be in control.


73,
Colin
M0XSD.
This thread is closed
Post by G4OIG on 22nd December 2012 at 22:50
In reply to M0XSD:

I am also one up for the occasional extended QSO from a summit, particularly at the end of a run of contacts on a band, assuming time and the weather permit. One of the aspects of SOTA that attracted me back in 2006 was the friendliness of the Chasers. When I next went up a summit, there these chaps were again and soon I got to know something about them, just like on 2m AM back in the early 70's.

Quick QSOs might be appropriate on HF CW when a pile up is progress, but it will be a sad day if all of SOTA adopts that method of operating.

73, Gerald G4OIG
This thread is closed
Post by GM4TOE on 22nd December 2012 at 22:59
In reply to K1CM:

The Activator is King - if they want to chat that is their prerogative, if they want to do contest style rubber stamp qso's that is also their choice.

73

Barry GM4TOE
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Post by 2W0GDA on 23rd December 2012 at 00:15
In reply to G3CWI:
Excellently put Richard.

I've had plenty of longish conversations on activations, which I have greatly enjoyed, while lounging in the sunshine on a warm day.

Alternatively I've also been faced with trying to cut someone off when they try to tell me what they are having for dinner, while I am sitting shivering!

73
Gerald
2W0GDA
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Post by N1EU on 23rd December 2012 at 10:38
In reply to G3CWI:
> Chasers should assume that the activator is hanging on
> by his/her fingernails unless told otherwise.
>

Exactly - well said Richard! Or minutes away from frostbite or being blown off the summit . . .

73,
Barry N1EU/W4 - for one more day
(so much for the mid-Nov 10M openings to repeat themselves http://goo.gl/ZrFnk )
This thread is closed
Post by G1FOA on 24th December 2012 at 22:00
In reply to M0XSD:
> In reply to G3CWI:
>
> I agree Richard, it should be entirely up to the Activator, they are
> the ones who have made the effort and should be in control.
>
>
Here here I totally agree but having said that most activators will, if they have a pile-up or even a small queue, tend to keep the QSOs short and work the waiting chasers.

I have on those occassions when things are a bit slow had a half-hour QSO with a chaser especially when that chasers has worked me frequently.

Peter
G1FOA
This thread is closed
Post by MW0UPH on 28th December 2012 at 10:01
In reply to G1FOA:
I agree with Richard ,
It should be up to the activator to decide on the length of qso
It sometimes can be frustrating as a chaser to hear an activator indulging in long qso's when its apparent he/she has a massive pile up .
In this case the activator should have the awareness to move things on.
I'm usually quite patient as a chaser .
But when i hear this kind of activating i just give up and QSY.
Thankfully this doesn't happen too often.
Good luck to all in 2013
Aled
MW0UPH
This thread is closed
Post by M1EYP on 28th December 2012 at 11:46
I disagree Aled. It is up to the chasers to have awareness of the activator's MO, not the other way round. If an activator climbs a mountain and wishes to spend the summit time having four 15 minute ragchews, that is up to him/her.

Of course, in the kind of example you mention, an activator may lose future support from chasers, and might like to bear that in mind, but it is always up to the activator to set out the kind of operating they wish to take place.

I am sure the vast majority would try to work as many as possible as quickly as possible if it is apparent that many are calling. But it remains the activator's decision.

Tom M1EYP
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Post by M0XSD on 28th December 2012 at 14:29
In reply to M1EYP:

I think Tom is spot on there. As a Chaser you are probably even more aware of the extent of the pileup and if so I try to keep the overs short to give the Activator the chance to say 73 & move on but if they want to talk I will let them. There are activators that aren't particularly after hundreds of contacts but prefer fewer interesting QSOs (I would count myself as one of them) and as for losing support of Chasers, I would take that chance myself. Like I said before it is the Activator that has made the effort to climb the Summit, it should be up to them to get what they want out of the Activation.

I am talking as a mainly VHF/UHF activator at the moment but I am starting to build an MST400 40m SSB transceiver with the intention of using it to Activate some of the 'trickier to get VHF/UHF out of WOTA summits' but will of course use it on some SOTAs as well. So once built I might be heard further afield (at least I hope so) from the summits, I'm sure that will change my perspective a little.


73,
Colin
M0XSD.
This thread is closed
Post by G4ISJ on 28th December 2012 at 15:56
Back to the original posting.
I'm sitting here listening to the pile up that OK1NF is running on 7.032.
In the last 5 minutes, I1YDT has sent his call over 100 times in blocks of 4.
(I've tallied them up)
Not only that, but he has been answered twice but is so insistent on calling that he has failed to notice.
Please listen and call once when you actually hear the station you're trying to work....

Pete
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Post by G3VQO on 28th December 2012 at 16:23
In reply to G4ISJ:

Well, the QSO is in his chaser log. It will be interesting to see if the * eventually appears .......
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Post by M0BKV on 28th December 2012 at 16:29
Off topic a little but I'd like to thank Roy-SSH earlier for the polite way he put me right after I had worked DL250COAL when I thought at the time I was working a SOTA station with the normal zoo calling over the top. I did realise after the QSO but in my defence my XYL was telling me that we were going out shopping and so I broke the cardinal sin and didn't listen (to the DX not my wife). Because of that missed Gerald but kept the wife happy.
Anyway thanks Roy anybody else would have said "stupid prat - LISTEN". HI.

This thread is closed
Post by G6TUH on 28th December 2012 at 16:36
> In the last 5 minutes, I1YDT has sent his call over 100 times in
> blocks of 4.
> (I've tallied them up)
> Not only that, but he has been answered twice but is so insistent on
> calling that he has failed to notice.

One of the usual suspects to use a Casablanca phrase....

Mike G6TUH
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Post by G8ADD on 29th December 2012 at 09:44
In reply to thread:

I deleted a post this morning. I understand the frustration generated by these aggressive operators, as a keen chaser I suffer, too! It is very valuable to have the reports on this thread, but try not to be too rude or ribald about the transgressors as that doesn't fit in too well with the rules of the road for this reflector.

So far one operator has received a friendly warning, it looks like another couple will get theirs soon, though I suspect that controlling some of the more unruly pile-ups is a bit of a labour of Hercules!

73

Brian G8ADD
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Post by M1EYP on 29th December 2012 at 10:47
Thanks for getting rid of the unpleasant post Brian.

SOTA, as an institution, is not going to be able to change the bad habits in European amateur radio. We should be quietly pleased that SOTA activations have become much sought after DX, it is a measure of the success of the programme.

Only activators can stop unruly chasers. If as an activator you send a partial like "SP1?", then only respond to SP1 stations that then call. If a particular chaser is continuously calling and causing disruption, never work him just to get rid of him. That will only prove his strategy works and he will keep doing it.

Tom M1EYP
This thread is closed
Post by G4OBK on 29th December 2012 at 11:17
I didn't see the unpleasant post Tom...
Going back to the DL250COAL situation yesterday mentioned by M0BKV (thank's to Roy for putting us all right!) I'm not criticising activators but it should be commonplace to identify with your callsign say at least every third QSO and give the SOTA reference at least every fifth QSO in my opinion.

The best way to escape the LIDS on CW is to listen slightly up or down of your transmit frequency using the RIT or split control. This is what Andy DK7MG/P did today to avoid the QRM caused by the bad operating of one particular Italian station (who I reported to the MT), and it worked.

73 Phil
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Post by MM0FMF on 29th December 2012 at 14:09
In reply to G4OBK:

>to identify with your callsign say at least every third QSO and give the SOTA >reference at least every fifth QSO in my opinion.

It's tips like these I find useful Phil. I've been trying to ensure I send call and ref every 5 QSOs but if you think callsign every 3 is better I'll alter the ratios.

Though it's so long since I've been out I had great difficulty copy callsigns on lcwo.net this morning. Must practice some more before going back on the air!

Andy
MM0FMF
This thread is closed
Post by G8ADD on 29th December 2012 at 15:00
In reply to M1EYP:

Speaking as a Chaser more than an Activator, having just spent several hours of a wet day chasing, I can tell you that it gets frustrating when time and time again you fall prey to the "nice guys come last" syndrome. How often do you hear the guy that made a cheeky call over the Chaser being the next one called in by the Activator, whilst those that rein in their impatience and call at the proper time are still waiting when the propagation changes or the Activator has to QRT? Too often, much too often!

Bad chasing habits are in my opinion as much due to poor activating habits as they are to excessive competitiveness, bad manners or ignorance. The Chasers find that their bad operating pays off - bad operating is successful and thus becomes good operating. AS is said so often, it is up to the Activators, if they are prepared to reward aggressive Chasers then more Chasers will see that there is no profit in being orderly and will copy the aggressors, thus we get absolute b****y chaos as a norm.

I'll say it again, only louder: IF BAD OPERATING IS SUCCESSFUL IT BECOMES GOOD OPERATING!

73

Brian G8ADD
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Post by M1EYP on 29th December 2012 at 19:38
No need to shout Brian!

I too spent a good block of time chasing today. I did not find at any time I was disadvantaged due to operating properly. But if a QRG was particularly busy, I went to chase some other activations then came back to it. Once a frequency was quieter, I found it easier to get in and make the contact.

Most signals were pretty low, so good listening was required, as well as patience waiting for a signal to come back if lost in QSB, rather than calling blind! All chases were on HF, some on SSB and double that amount on CW.

I tend to agree with you, and that was what I was saying above. A good activator, like a good DX station, will set his/her own example and MO, and the result of that will be to have good control of the frequency. I agree that it is when an activator takes stations out of turn, tail-enders for instance, that the discipline of the calling stations deteriorates.

Tom M1EYP
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Post by VA2SG on 30th December 2012 at 12:52
In reply to M1EYP:

I am confident the problem will be resolved when those bad ops will see their SOTA account deleted. Its the only way to get rid of this. Time will tell.

By the way, everybody here know who we are talking about because they are only 2 or 3... I do not think they recognize themselves.
This thread is closed
Post by M0BKV on 30th December 2012 at 13:43
Just wkd Vic-ONL. after exchange he went on to say something about the strong wind but not sure exactly as the number of callers going over the top of him was amazing. I think as soon as one does it then they all join in without listening. I just can't understand why nobody among the callers (must have been at least 5 very load to me) waited for some indication of what the activator was doing.
Damian M0BKV
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Post by G8ADD on 30th December 2012 at 15:46
In reply to VA2SG:
>
> By the way, everybody here know who we are talking about because they
> are only 2 or 3... I do not think they recognize themselves.

Actually I have ten callsigns on my list, five of which have been reported to me by email and five I have encountered for myself whilst chasing. There are a few more which I consider to be borderline but so far have not been bad enough to actually appear on the list. Two of those, I regret to say, have UK callsigns, but so far I have had no reports of disruptive operating from North America.

Two operators (and no, I won't identify them here) have had initial warnings, from what I heard today another three will follow them soon!

I only mention this so that our put-upon participants will know that the MT is doing what they can to help. Please continue to email me if you experience any particularly bad operating.

HNY

Brian G8ADD
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Post by M0DFA on 30th December 2012 at 19:47
In reply to M0BKV:
> I just can't understand why nobody among the callers (must have been at >least 5 very load to me) waited for some indication of what the activator was >doing.

I have hesitated to contribute to this thread because (as G6DTN) I have committed some of the poor practices as described. However, as the user of a less than optimum antenna system, I would suggest a reason.

There are occasions when I can hear the activator, but not some of the chasers. Therefore I can only hear on side of the QSO. After the exchange of reports, when one may sometimes hear QRZ? on ssb or ? on cw (plus sometimes an activator call and/or summit ref), there is only silence. Is the activator listening to an unheard chaser? Have they gone QRT? Are they waiting for a call? At this point chasers will start calling. I make a plea for activators to note that not all chasers can always hear both sides of a QSO and always call for chasers.

Apologies to any who have been affected by my poor operating skills (activating or chasing) in the past.

BTW, From this thread, there may be cause for the MT to give advice to activators as well as chasers.

Regards, and HNY to all

Dave, G6DTN
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Post by G0VOF on 30th December 2012 at 21:28
In reply to M0DFA:

Hi Dave,

Personally, I tend to frequent those bands that allow both sides of a QSO to be heard, but I do understand your comment.If you can only hear the activator, but not other chasers, then you have no way of avoiding calling at the same time as other chasers.

I do not think that is what this topic was intended to criticize.

Thanks & best 73,

Mark G0VOF
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Post by M1EYP on 30th December 2012 at 22:32
No, the issue is the chasers who CAN hear the other chasers, but CANNOT hear the activator. So when the other chasers start calling, then they start calling as well! So daft it could be a Monty Python sketch!
This thread is closed
Post by GI4ONL on 31st December 2012 at 09:55
In reply to M0BKV:
> Just wkd Vic-ONL. after exchange he went on to say something about the
> strong wind but not sure exactly as the number of callers going over
> the top of him was amazing. I think as soon as one does it then they
> all join in without listening. I just can't understand why nobody
> among the callers (must have been at least 5 very load to me) waited
> for some indication of what the activator was doing.
> Damian M0BKV
>
You are so right Damian, despite trying to explain what was happening, (i.e. I was almost blown off the ledge I was sitting on), several chasers just kept on calling and did not listen - surely when I sent "QRT QRT too windy" twice, it kinda said it all !!
As a keen chaser I fully understand the desire to work an activator. Do these people not have the ability to understand a smaller pile-up equals more chance of a contact, therefore if 1 or 2 attempts aren't heard by the activator, LISTEN & WAIT and also accept that sometimes a QSO may not be possible.

73 & HNY to all the good operators I have worked in 2012.

Victor GI4ONL
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Post by M0CGH on 31st December 2012 at 11:06
In reply to M0DFA:

Dave, I've heard you call me a couple of times on my activations but we've never managed a contact, it would be nice to complete CW QSO.

I'm sure as activators, we are all aware of the fact that chasers probably can't hear each other. This shouldn't be a problem - when the activator is inviting open replies, it's fair game for all.

I've never had an issue with you calling me Dave, so keep at it, don't be discouraged. Sure, sometimes people will make mistakes, we all do, but this is not a big issue. The big issue is chasers that don't listen to or can't hear the activator, as Tom states above - I'm in total agreement with Tom.

I'm thinking of giving 40m a try again tomorrow - I've been avoiding it of late. I'm fully aware that I'm not a very experienced op, it's a learning curve for me too, at first I found the pile ups on HF CW fun, but now I'm not a fan!

73
Colin, M0CGH
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Post by M0BKV on 31st December 2012 at 11:48
In reply to M0CGH and Dave M0DFA:
"sometimes people will make mistakes, we all do, but this is not a big issue" your sure right there. The number of times when working DX split I forget to switch the 'SPLIT' button on and even worse when finished forget to switch it off - OMG! And with SOTA I sometimes get excited with the adrenaline pumping and transmit when I shouldn't but hopefully not over and over again like so many rude bad mannered chasers not listening.
For activators there is a 'Best Practices for DXpedition Operating' at the DX University web site which doesn't completly agree with SOTA good practice but worth a look.
It's on web page URL:
http://www.dxuniversity.com/showpage.php?id=20&title=Best_Practices_for_DXpedition_Operating
Interesting?
DamianM0BKV
This thread is closed
Post by G4OIG on 31st December 2012 at 13:46

Despite this subject being aired on the reflector for some time now, nothing appears to have changed. When I operated 7MHz CW from Wether Hill GM/SS-147 on Saturday 29th December 2012, I was faced with stations sending their callsigns many times rather than just once. This delayed proceedings for everyone. More or less everyone was netted onto me making it very difficult to pick out a callsign to reply to.

I must say that the excellent operating by Fred DL1FU stood out - he called slightly off frequency, giving his callsign just once. I copied this easily against the monotone barrage of sound and the result was that he got a reply from me straight away. Is it so hard for others to follow this example?

A new tactic that I had to suffer on this activation was being called again by some of those that I had already worked. This presented me with a dilemma - should I work the station a second time in case the first contact was not good (though I was 100% certain it was), should I work them again to shut them up or should I ignore them and put up with the QRM? In the end the only option was to work them again....... but once I have reviewed my log, it may be that neither contact appears on the database.

73, Gerald G4OIG


Postscript: I have decided to enter the first contact made with those that I was obliged to work twice. One of the chasers is new to SOTA and has entered both contacts in the database and so must know of his error.
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Post by MM0FMF on 31st December 2012 at 14:25
In reply to G4OIG:

The MT are trying to make sure that some of the worst offenders are fully aware of how disruptive their chasing is. It does take a little time for us to receive complaints, collate those complaints, email those being accused and get a response. We then need to give those people a period of time to stop chasing the way they do.

Only then will we escalate things and that will mean being locked out of the database. I'm minded to keep their log in the database but not allow their call to appear in the honour roll.

But it takes time to act in a fair way so poor operating will take some time to be made manageable.

We are not afraid to act. We had the unpleasant task of confronting 3 activators this year after receiving many comments that their activations were questionable. Only 1 was prepared to work with us in justify past and future activations. He remains with full access to the programme. So we will take the necessary action if it is required.

Andy
MM0FMF
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Post by HB9AFI on 31st December 2012 at 16:33
In reply to MM0FMF
I found that working split does help to eliminate the problem of guys not hearing my answering; my TX freq (apparently) stays clean!

73 HNY
kurt HB9AFI
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Post by G3CWI on 31st December 2012 at 18:20
Three pleasant activation on 40CW over the last two days. No problems to report: but then again I have never experienced significant problems activating. I must be lucky ;-)

73

Richard
G3CWI


This thread is closed
Post by G4OIG on 31st December 2012 at 19:32
In reply to HB9AFI:

> I found that working split does help.......

I had an idea to do just that Kurt, but 7.032 was in use by OK1DCS/P and a station running an FF ref was on 7.034, so I slotted in the middle and worked single frequency. Having said that, it didn't take much of an offset for Fred to stand out from the crowd.

73, Gerald G4OIG
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Post by M0LEP on 1st January 2013 at 19:03
Chased twice? I'd suspect that QSB took your confirming reply below the chaser's noise floor the first time. Of course, with a longer activation it might just be that the chaser saw a new spot and forgot...

Chasers not hearing each other? Probably happens a lot. I find (as a chaser on SSB HF, anyway) it really really helps if the activator always explicitly invites calls... (Sure, it's not part of everyone's operating style, but making chasers wait for that "QRZ?" is one tool for controlling a pile-up.)

HNY & 73, Rick 5Z4/M0LEP
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Post by G4OIG on 2nd January 2013 at 12:32
In reply to M0LEP:

No Rick, 599 each way and excellent band conditions to-boot. It happened twice during the activation, which I put down to over-enthusiasm, possibly fuelled by Christmas spirit! .... and why log me twice if it was anything other than over-enthusiasm? I hope it will not become a regular feature of SOTA activations.

73, Gerald G4OIG
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Post by M0LEP on 2nd January 2013 at 18:10
In reply to G4OIG:
> No Rick, 599 each way and excellent band conditions to-boot.

Heh. I had a QSO last week with a DX station. At this end his signal was loud and clear, but I'm quite sure my signal wasn't getting to him anything like as clearly, as he struggled to get my callsign straight (I'm guessing at least three or four minutes of back-and-forth before he got it sorted). When he finally got it he said something like "Ah! Five Zulu Four slash Mike Zero Lima Echo Papa! Five Nine!" Comment in my log book says "59? Yeah, right...". ;)

73, Rick 5Z4/M0LEP
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Post by HA5LV on 4th January 2013 at 10:18
In reply to G8ADD:

All we need is keeping on mind this : http://dx-code.org/

HNY Viktor HA5LV
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Post by LA9XSA on 5th January 2013 at 00:51
In reply to G4OBK:
>I'm not criticising activators but it should be commonplace to identify with your callsign say at least every third QSO and give the SOTA reference at least every fifth QSO in my opinion.

Actually, the rules require the callsign of both the chaser and activator to be part of *every* QSO, along with the signal report. Sending your callsign in every third QSO isn't enough as the rules are written. As for the summit reference, it's nice to get it every fifth QSO as you say - depending on how quick the QSOs are coming along of course. (If the going is slow and with some extended conversation, sending the reference in every QSO might be good.)
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Post by G3NYY on 5th January 2013 at 09:33
In reply to LA9XSA:

> Actually, the rules require the callsign of both the chaser and
> activator to be part of *every* QSO, along with the signal report.
> Sending your callsign in every third QSO isn't enough as the rules are
> written.

That is exactly correct ... and I hope the rules will remain so!

That is why, on all my activations, I send my own callsign once per QSO. OK, so it slows things down a little, but I also find it helps to calm down the "feeding frenzy"!

HNY,
Walt (G3NYY)
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Post by VA2SG on 7th January 2013 at 01:28
In reply to G3NYY:

I respect your opinion my colleague but IMHO, sending my call at each exchange won't prevent Mr "you know who" to send his call over another chaser reply. Not sure the topic is understood correctly.

To keep mentionning the DX code of conduct is fine but its a waste of time. This have been mentionned here more then 30 times.

You got this KW who sends always at the wrong time, pretending he does'nt copy enough but answer as soon you send his call... Yeah right.

I found there may be another way to not have to deal with those: in NA: stay on 40.

I noticed the good ol days when it took 30 seconds to chase a summit are over on our side. I think there are a lot of new chasers... and thats a good thing!

But stay on 40 would be very very sad as I like to work you guys over the pound... probably like all the NA activators.

I am confident those 2 or 3 individuals will eventually be out of the game. Its only a matter of time.
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Post by G8ADD on 12th April 2013 at 11:19
In reply to G8ADD:

This topic has been stickied for long enough and is about to be unstickied, so a brief update is in order.

Two operators have been informed that their operating habits are disrupting activations. They appear to have improved their operating. So far thirteen callsigns have been noted as being disruptive but not quite frequently enough to warrant further action as yet. Other callsigns have been noted as occasionally disruptive: they have the benefit of the doubt as accidents can happen, but if their disruptions become more frequent they will go on the watch list.

Information about disruptive operators will be welcome, please contact me by PEM.

73

Brian G8ADD
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