The activators…

7 months into the RDA hunting it’s really interesting to see that there are fairly big company of activators who take not small effort to prepare, hit the roads and visit different areas. Seeing the activation’s’ gallery section of most of the stop locations have difficult surfaces usually next to muddy farming lands which yields not easy rides.

Needed to mention that several teams make extremely long trips like “n x 1000km”. UB5O actually started his 2021 trip (when I started the RDA hunting) in March and finished couple of weeks ago in September. I know about several guys who sleep even in the car during the expeditions, this is real extra effort. I clearly remember when I was young I conducted similar for WRC, it was far from comfortable.

What surprises me that how big signals are produced by this stations without PA and with mobile antennas. If we add that many activators use car batteries only this is even bigger performance. Based on my antennas R7AB, RK3AW makes really booming sigs almost from every stop they make. I guess both of them install real /P antennas so they have some advantages to others but still, s9 is s9.

Other interesting part how well they can receive. Kinda rule of thumb that if I can barely hear them each of them will log me easily. There is big urban noise at my place but using mobile antennas on their side still makes it extraordinary receiving capabilities.

It is really instructive that by now based on the operators’ style the stations can be identified without having their calls sent. Just couple of examples:

  • used frequency like 14066, 14051, 14056, 14043, 7002, 7031, 7034 kHz etc.
  • CW at 36 WPM without any redundant dih or dah makes the pile-up really fast
  • special CW weighting makes the stn really unique
  • sending CW with no or very small pauses between the letters is really special
  • the style of QRS is easy to identify
  • sending the callsign again before TU or 73 is again straight forward trait
  • using QRZ at the end of each contact is valid only for 1 activator

Other interesting and special for almost all stations where I need to call them.

  • UP +1.070 kHz
  • UP +1.510 kHz
  • or even higher
  • what sweep directions the activator makes in case of pile-ups

One of my favorite is R7PKS. Sultan speaks only Russian and took some time for me to prepare the required phonetics to get me logged. By now he confirmed 51 different RDAs, most of them ATNOs from DA, CN, IN and KB. I really enjoy to work with him as even tho I have weak signals he almost always picks me out of the crowd.

Currently this is my top activators list:

Call            RDA
RK3AW       162
RT5D             67
R7AB             60
R2EA             53
R7PKS           51
UB5O            49
RV1CC          43
R4FD            39
UB8S            39
RA3AV         35


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