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Format of SOTA Spots - the errant decimal point - SOTA Cluster does not like it


Hi Andy,

While I don’t need to be told where to put my decimal point, I have had some problems with band designations. For example it seems that I need to use 1240 MHz and not 1296 MHz and 146 MHz and not 144 MHz.

FM seems therefore to have won the day over CW and SSB.

Is there a list that covers this?



We’re talking about spotting Ron. What are you talking about because it’s not spotting?


Yes, I am on topic as I am talking about Spots.

I attempted to send an SMS Spot for 1296 MHz on Saturday AM local and it failed.

Am I right in thinking the Database also ignores 1296 MHz but not 1240 MHz?.

Regardless, where is the info on what is OK?



The SMS spotter doesn’t check the frequency other than ensuring there is only 1 decimal point. You didn’t include one and so it was rejected.


Thanks for checking Andy,

That’s different to spotting on SOTAWatch as no decimal point is required for 1296 MHz there.



I do not have an opinion about a comma being used as a numeric separator being an imperfection or not. All I care about is that Andy’s SMS Gateway will NOT accept it despite what you had indicated in an earlier post.

Now you indicate that the Gateway will not accept a colon as a numeric separator. That is also untrue. It will happily accept it. Are we talking about the same text based SMS Gateway service?

Is there a different one for Italy? For Germany? All with different rules? I only use the MM0FMF Gateway provided by Andy. I have spent quite a bit of time writing a comprehensive spotting manual for it. It would seem that precious few operators have ever had the opportunity to read it - or we are often talking about very different services without properly identifying them - and any similarity to a web based service should not be assumed .

And when Andy challenges or clarifies some wrong ideas, and lets other ones stand completely unchallenged - I become the confused one.

Glenn AB3TQ


Hi Glenn,

Where can I find your Spotting Manual please.



Hi Ron

I sent you an attached copy by email. Here is a link to where it is well hidden on the Reflector.


Hi Glenn,
Thank you for that. I had a read and learned some things I should have known but …
A copy now resides on my hard disc.

Your effort in expanding on Andy’s info is much appreciated and very helpful. It should be available on SOTAWATCH as an easily accessible document, maybe under FAQ.



I must confess to having occasionally input a frequency like 7.033,5 on the SotaWatch site and it happily accepted it! I think most people know what I meant, but I concede that the comma is really superfluous.


73, Walt

Wed 13:56 ON/PA9CW/P on ON/ON-006 - (Posted by PA9CW) 	10126.0 CW

10GHz operation from Belgium.

So what do we do here? It’s probably not 10GHz but if rejected how do you spot 10GHz operation?

Wed 13:41 S56LXN/P on S5/CP-023 - (Posted by S56LXN) 	145.55o fm

OK, so here we have a letter ‘O’ instead of a 0. Reject it as not a number?

In both cases, we humans can apply a bit of context and figure out what was meant and tune a radio to the frequency. Computers require a fair amount of programming to extract 144.550MHz from the second one, it can be done but I got bored and having fixed simple mistakes, I dump the nonsense and put 0.0 on the cluster. It means “go look at what was typed and figure it out yourself.”

Both of these spots were from ops on a hill using a phone and mistakes should be expected. Bring back proper keyboards not this touch rubbish!


Its not rocket science …


145:525 fm

Just spotted…


…and corrected! I do a bit of correcting with my edit facility when not busy - with the current lousy conditions its the nearest I can get to a chase!:wink:


Very useful Brian, shame that after a correction the spot doesn’t then resubmit the spot to the FMF Cluster!

Thank you very much

73 Phil


Ah, I’m not master of the magic that could do that!:grinning: