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

Announcement


#1

Just to let you all know that any alerts appearing in the “Spots” for more than a couple of hours ahead will be deleted.

To make it clear, “Spots” indicate the presence of an active or soon to be active station on a summit, with a bit of leeway in that “Spots” can be used to indicate changes in eta or abandoned activations but only on the same day.

“Alerts” indicate intended activations. An abandoned activation should be posted in “Spots” but a rescheduled date/time belongs in “Alerts”.

“Spots” tends to get cluttered with multiple entries for activations. I would ask people to check whether an activation has already been spotted before adding a spot. As SOTA becomes more popular in more countries it gets difficult sometimes to keep up with what is happening without having to cope with multiple entries!

Alerts deleted from “Spots” will be reposted in “Alerts”, we don’t want to lose track of activity!

73

Brian G8ADD


#2

In reply to G8ADD:

Hi Brian

Thanks for some positive action on this issue.

Can I ask you for a definite time window to clarify the situation for everone and to make sure that there are no loopholes for any individual. A couple of hours means different things to different folk and there are those who would play on the difference between BST/UTC. So can we have a crystal clear definition please.

73
Mike GW0DSP


#3

In reply to GW0DSP:

For the moment I will leave it a bit on the fuzzy side, Mike, as it seems to me that there are sometimes circumstances where more than a couple of hours are justified, for instance where the mountain involved is more serious - an important quality not defined in SOTA but clear to mountaineers. If there is evidence of abuse then I shall think again.

73

Brian G8ADD


#4

In reply to G8ADD:

OK Brian, but as with any “fuzzy” rule it will be as much use as an ash tray on a motorbike and will cause nothing but arguements.
Some will be allowed to get away with murder and others won’t, we all know who the culprit/s will be too, be warned, cries of favouritism will be heard!!

73

Mike GW0DSP


#5

In reply to GW0DSP:

Oh, I hope not, Mike, I will use my judgement, and I would hope between friends you would PM me if you think I am being too lax.

73

Brian G8ADD


#6

IMHO. When someone is on the summit its a spot and should be nothing else.

Anything before is an alert…

Quite simple really.

73
Steve


#7

In reply to G8ADD:

I didn’t think it too controversial to place a post in reply to your original post Brian, but I will gladly PM you if you prefer my view not to be heard, for whatever reason.
I sometimes don’t understand that logic, someone posts on the reflector for ALL to see, but I am expected to reply via private email, so only the point of the original poster is viewed, not very fair really Brian.
However, I will gladly PM you later as requested and spell out my concerns.

73

Mike GW0DSP


#8

In reply to GW0DSP:

Sorry, Mike, I was not clear in my reply. What I meant was that if on some future occasion you thought I was being lax in maintaining this rule and showing apparent favouritism you would jog my elbow by PM. It seems better to do it this way since I am clear in my own mind that any apparent favouritism would be accidental, due to just not spotting the problem straight away. I do understand your concerns, and I never wish to stifle debate (though I would rein in acrimony!) I am not so conceited that I would never consider another point of view.

Hope that has cleared matters up.

73

Brian


#9

In reply to G8ADD:

In reply to GW0DSP:

I am not so conceited that I would never consider another point of view.

73

Brian

I know that for certain Brian, check your email.

73

Mike


#10

In reply to GW0DSP:

If I can add my tuppence worth…

The problem comes from the system itself. Many people leave the spot window open in addition to other things. They know the spot window is a real-time view of activations in progress. What we don’t know as activators is how frequently the alert window is checked. So updating an alert close to the alert time may go unnoticed whereas a spot saying “delayed, QRV in 2 hrs” will be seen.

Setting a hard limit for advance spotting comes up against the problem of coverage in hills. The other day I was on the summit of Meall nan Tarmachan at 1044m. I normally switch my phone off when climbing but had forgotten this time. Looking at the phone I had end-stop signal from my provider (3) yet I could not get a data connection nor could I send a text. Non-3g coverage for 3 is provided by Orange, I could see the local orange mast the other side of Loch Tay but I couldn’t roam to it. If you set too short an advance spot time limit you will cause some people to be unable to spot due to lack of coverage within the time window. The limit needs to be a bit fuzzy to allow for this. Interestingly the signal at the normal Tarmachan car park was wavering between 1 and 0 bars yet I could call and browse easily.

I’m not a chaser, so in the end it’s what the chasers want that really matters. Perhaps we need a different spot system which supports spots and real time messages and allow people to filter just what they want. With, of course, a moderator to apply the big stick to abusers of the system. (Don’t you love being able to suggest jobs for other people to implement!)

I know what I want now, that’s to be out in the fresh air climbing a nice hill and playing radio and not stuck in the office for the second day of the weekend doing unpaid overtime. :frowning:

Andy
MM0FMF


#11

In reply to MM0FMF:

I do sympathise, Andy, lovely sunshine here!

Your coverage point was one of the reasons I wanted to allow some leeway.

With regard to the spot system, when things are reasonable I watch the home page which gives the most recent spots and the upcoming alerts, but when spots are coming thick and fast this doesn’t work so well and I go to the old “Spots” which are more compact than the newer “Spots” so easier to keep track of. I sometimes wonder if a more compact format on the home page would allow a few more spots and alerts to stay in view?

73

Brian G8ADD


#12

In reply to MM0FMF:

I’m not a chaser, so in the end it’s what the chasers want that really
matters. Perhaps we need a different spot system which supports spots
and real time messages and allow people to filter just what they want.
With, of course, a moderator to apply the big stick to abusers of the
system. (Don’t you love being able to suggest jobs for other people to
implement!)

Perhaps it’s time to restart the sotachat IRC channel.

I found it be be the most useful alertin tool while out with my mobile…and also entertaining on Sun evenings :slight_smile:

I know there was a problem with the spot-bot…but it must be possible to overcome that…a change of channel name or server?

All the best, Dick
M0EIQ


#13

In reply to MM0FMF:

It seems funny to me, that we spend half the time clumping up and down hills/mountains with radio gear and heavy batteries and then comment on the lack of mobile phone coverage(!).

Ian
G7ADF


#14

In reply to G7ADF:

It is funny. But it does neatly emphasise the ubiquitous and homogenous nature of mobile phone networks. Once I have any connection to my phone then I can communicate to whoever I wish. The problem with radio is that I can communicate with whoever hears me and wishes to talk back and they may not necessarily be who I was hoping to talk to! That difference is what makes playing with radio fun. if it really was as trivial as making a call it would be boring.

We get stuck when we want to have the fun of playing radio and talking to whoever and at the same time use our ‘free-to-use’ radio to perform a specific task such as getting a message back to the shack. Anyone who has tried to maintain a daily sked where the range is such that having the right propagation becomes key knows how hard this is.

Andy
MM0FMF


#15

In reply to G8ADD:

Alerts deleted from “Spots” will be reposted in
"Alerts", we don’t want to lose track of activity!

I was very concerned when I read this posting. When I am away from my home QTY (usually in our touring caravan) I have no access to the internet and can only use Spotlite to indicate an intended activation. This may be several hours, perhaps more, in advance of QRV due to travelling time, calls to be made on the way and ascent time, usually with my wife either ferrying me to a start point or coming to the summit with me.

I was therefore much relieved to read the last sentence of your posting.

With regard to the lack of connectivity from summits, this is something I have experienced several times. It seems that a voice connection is far more robust than text/data. The topic of apparently strong signals but lack of connectivity was aired some time ago - one suggestion was that it was due to exceeding the handshake time between mast and mobile phone.

Regards, Dave, M0DFA/G6DTN


#16

In reply to M0DFA:

What about www.sota.org.uk/Spotlite/alert instead of www.sota.org.uk/Spotlite/spot ?

73 Norby


#17

In reply to G8ADD:

Hi Brian

Can we extend your ruling to the growing number of spots advertising or encouraging the use of remote receivers such as http://websdr.ewi.utwente.nl:8901, the use of such sites to make a sota contact is without doubt against the rules and certainly against the spirit.

73
Mike GW0DSP


#18

In reply to GW0DSP:

Where did Peter ON3WAB’s comment about his spots of UK 60m stations go? I was about to reply and got an error message saying the topic didn’t seem to exist. Now his post has gone.

Andy
MM0FMF


#19

In reply to MM0FMF:

Nothing deleted here, but I noticed that a spot seems to have vanished yesterday judging from the comment on the re-spot, and that wasn’t me either. Is this a bug?

Mike, just got home and noticed the spots you refer to, will think about that for a bit, get back on the subject later. Any other opinions on the subject?

73

Brian G8ADD


#20

In reply to GW0DSP:
For the attention of Brian G8ADD and controllers of SOTAWatch - I agree with Mike and the others - the growing use of this remoting concept is not within the spirit of SOTA and amateur radio, and I for one would not like to think when activating that someone is receiving my signals down their telephone line and claiming chaser points this way. Remoting of HF comms has it’s place in the Governmental and Commercial communications field but not in amateur radio.

As we British say, using this method is “simply not cricket”, so the promotion of this method of “short wave listening” via SOTAWatch should be eradicated.

Phil