Well this is cool. Maybe it will get me up to: Joshua Tree NP, Mojave Nat Preserve, Santa Monica Mountains Nat Rec Area, Channel Islands NP…Haven’t yet activated from any of them amd they are not very far.73 Hal n6jzt
It looks like it will be fun. Here’s wishing for success for everyone who takes part.
I can’t remember if Martyn M1MAJ’s Twitter spot feed is still runnning, but if anyone thinks it would be useful, I have a Twitter bot that can be fired up with no effort. Making it search for any of #ARRL , #ARRL_NPOTA, #HamRadioInParks, #NPS in a SOTA spot and tweeting the spot with a suitable hash tag would be a few minutes work.
This will be a fun program for sure, but note that 10 QSOs are required (yep, ten) - and contacts will need to be uploaded to LoTW to count for NPOTA. There are also suggestions about how to ‘prove’ you were actually in the NP Unit for the activation. Look over the Activator Guide:
There is a place for “Activator Tips” http://www.arrl.org/npota-activator-tips but for SOTA we should be certain to post specific experience information on SOTAWatch summit pages to share with other SOTA Activators that would head to peaks in our footsteps.
Note that the “Spotting” and “Alert” functions at https://npota.arrl.org/index.php requires LoTW registration.
Yes it is, and it seems to work well notwithstanding the less than ideal way it gathers its data.
It has become a little less useful for the purpose for which I wrote it, because Twitter’s SMS delivery seems to have become very unreliable of late (at least, Caroline and I find it so). I don’t know whether they are buying some cheap SMS service with an SLA of “deliver the odd message if we feel like it” but that’s how it seems.
Twitter doesn’t seem to have a viable business model so it could be the SMS delivery is being phased out by the backdoor. i.e. just make it so unusable nobody uses it. The change in the last few years in mobile phone charges in the UK would support that. Most of the packages I’ve seen now come with only a few hundred included minutes but large amounts of mobile data. They all seem to include unlimited SMS (well 1000’s as long as you are not using it for automated messages). However, on the service side, bulk SMS is still moderately costly if you chose a provider you trust! You can buy SMS bulk credit by the millions but as Twitter handles 500million tweets a day, you could run up some big bills!
I can’t remember if your bot includes the comments field from a spot. What I was thinking maybe useful for NPOTA activators/chasers is that SOTA spots get sent to a Twitter feed with the NPOTA hashtags. That way our US SOTA colleagues can play SOTA and use the spotting services and just have a normal activation. Or they can include a NPOTA hash tag and have that tweeted so they get a bigger pileup.
I used to get Aurora Watch tweets sent to me by SMS but they stopped coming through about 6 months ago.
I have recently started using twitter a lot more and would find any SOTA related hash tag very useful
It does, yes, or as much of it as will fit. It will also send another tweet if the comment is changed by an edit (unless the spot is more than 20 minutes old or it would be a duplicate of a recent message).