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General Rules updated


#1

A revised version of the General Rules has now been posted on the SOTA website at http://www.sota.org.uk/docs/SOTA%20General%20Rules%20-%201.14.pdf

Here is a brief explanation of the changes.

Rule 3.1 has been re-worded to bring into line with Rule 3.5 which was itself changed in 2008 to remove the vague “in the immediate vicinity of” from the prohibition of operation from a motor vehicle.

There is an addition to Rule 3.5 that defines the way new survey results for summits are handled. It explains when the summit retains its reference number, and when a new one will be allocated. It also confirms that deleted summit references will not be re-allocated. This merely formalises current practice.

Rule 3.7.1 clause 3 has been simplified. It now states that the final ascent must be non-motorised rather than “person powered”. As well as being better grammatically, it potentially allows a wider selection of non-intrusive, environmentally friendly, methods of access. As SOTA expands into more remote areas, the option of using horses, dogs, camels or elephants as part of the team will become more attractive. The prohibition on motorised access still precludes the use of 4x4s, snowmobiles, chairlifts or helicopters for the final climb.

Rule 3.7.1 clause 13 has had several recent amendments in an attempt to make its intention clear. It was intended to prevent the easy acquisition of “double” points for a single activation of a summit shared between two Associations, as this was deemed unfair. However, the rule has become overly complicated, and there have been several inadvertent breaches over the years. Realistically, the only way to ensure that nobody benefits from such a rule breach would be to program the database software to prevent it. It has been decided that such a change, together with the need to create and maintain an accurate list of shared summits, would create too much of a burden on the MT for what is a fairly infrequent occurrence. The rule has therefore been simplified to allow a shared summit to be activated form more than one Association in a single visit, subject to one simple rule that defines Operating Position.

Rule 3.9 clause 3, which defines the rules for short wave listeners, has been amended to bring it into line with the rules for licensed chasers. This merely formalises current practice.

SOTA Management Team


#2

In reply to G3VQO:

Rule 3.7.1.3 still has the issue of exactly what constitutes “final access”. It would be nice to have this defined, though the variabilities of mountains may mean it has to be by each association.

Rule 3.7.1.4 could maybe do with a bit of clarification. If the Operating Position is within the vertical distance, the straight line to the summit drops below that distance, but a route to the summit exists that does not drop below the vertical distance, that’s a legal position right? (Imagine a C-shaped ridge, all of the ridge within vertical distance of the summit, with the summit at one end of the C and the operator at the other).

Rule 3.7.1.8: Do two persons using two different callsigns but from the same physical equipment count as one station or two?


#3

3.7.1.3. “Final access” is from your car (or whatever other transport) to the summit. It is somewhat vague, but there is an expectation that participants conduct themselves in the proper spirit of the SOTA programme.

3.7.1.4 You are correct. A C-shaped ridge that doesn’t drop more than 25m from the summit (on the ridge) would all be in the AZ.

3.7.1.8 Two.


#4

In reply to M0FFX:

Rule 3.7.1.3: This is probably ultimately undefinable. I see no reason why it should be defined by Association when we have such extreme variability on our doorstep. At one extreme we have summits like Bishop Wilton Wold which I believe can only be activated from a layby, so as a matter of courtesy to the rules perhaps you should operate from the opposite end of the layby to where you have parked! Then there are plateau summits with the AZ measured in square kilometers, there are mountains like Tryfan where it would be impossible to reach the summit without putting hand to rock, and finally the Inaccessible Pinnacle (the “Inn Pin”) which is a full-blown rock climb which sees so much traffic that the holds get a bit more polished every year!

Where access is easy and roads encroach on the AZ or it is possible to reach the vicinity of the summit by 4WD, trail bike or hitching a lift on the farmers tractor, it becomes a matter of personal conscience and trust, just as we trust that an activation takes place from within the AZ of the stated mountain. However, it is good to know that we do have a selection of easier summits which make it possible for the aged, unfit or handicapped to take part.

3.7.1.8: When I got my license, back in the bronze age, it was the station that was licensed and any other ham who used your station had to use your callsign and sign your logbook. It seems clear from BR68 that the callsign is now considered to adhere to the operator rather than the station, so you can legitimately pass the microphone or handy to another ham who will then use it with his own callsign. This is certainly what happens in real life!

73

Brian G8ADD


#5

In reply to G8ADD:
Hi Brian - TW-004 Bishop Wilton Wold.

Not true about the layby. The lane going SSE off the A166 at SE 824567 has a wide verge. So you can park up there, slightly further down the lane and them make your final ascent of about 5 metres on foot to a spot further up the lane adjacent to the hedgerow! Been there, done that and it is about time I went again, hopefully this week. Operation would also be possible on the access road that comes from Malton on the opposite side of the A166 if there is a wide enough spot for parking. Must look at that when I go. The rules could say “people powered from outside the activation zone i.e. 25m below the actual summit” but this would probably rule out the chance of someone with a disability from operating from several easy summits.

73 Phil


#6

In reply to G8ADD:

You are correct Brian

The extract from the Advanced Licence manual regarding someone else using your equipment reads as follows:-

It I necessary to understand exactly what is meant by “Radio Equipment”.
This is the equipment you are using, and identified by your callsign

If someone else is licenced and give their callsign then it is THEIR radio equipment, even though it may be your property. You have no responsibility for them and they are operating under the terms of their own licence’

It follows that ownership of the equipment being used is not relevant; the issue is simply one of the callsign being used in identification.

73
Roy G4SSH


#7

In reply to G4SSH:

Thanks for that confirmation, Roy, one of these days I will purchase the set of three manuals just to keep track of changes in thinking like that!

Thanks for the clarification about TW-004, Phil, I’ve never done it myself and am unlikely to, but I’m glad it isn’t as bad as I had heard:-). Fortunately it doesn’t change the point I was making!

73

Brian G8ADD


#8

In reply to G4OBK:

Not true about the layby.

I agree Phil. I have never activated this one from the lay-by - preferring to find a more secluded spot within the AZ.

73

Richard
G3CWI


#9

In reply to G3VQO:

Rule 3.7.1 clause 3 has been simplified. It now states that the final
ascent must be non-motorised rather than “person powered”. As well as
being better grammatically, it potentially allows a wider selection of
non-intrusive, environmentally friendly, methods of access. As SOTA
expands into more remote areas, the option of using horses, dogs,
camels or elephants as part of the team will become more attractive.

Steve M0SGB will be pleased. I recall that he asked about approaches on horses some years ago. I am not aware of much demand to approach on elephants at present…

73

Richard
G3CWI


#10

In reply to G3CWI:

I am not aware of much demand to approach on
elephants at present…

73

Richard
G3CWI

Would slow down the 4x4s and provide good shelter though :wink:
Anyone one got one I can borrow?

Roger G4OWG


#11

In reply to G3CWI:

I am not aware of much demand to approach on elephants at present…

Andy, MM0FMF expressed an interest some time ago here:

http://new.sotawatch.org/reflector.php?topic=1823#14407

…but there seems to be concern as to whether they would pose a problem of heavy deposition or erosion. Although I guess one would offset the other.

73 Marc G0AZS


#12

In reply to G0AZS:

…but there seems to be concern as to whether they would pose a
problem of heavy deposition or erosion. Although I guess one would
offset the other.

Not quite that simple Marc. In upland areas, faecal eutrophication destroys the diversity of the vegetation which obviously impacts on the overall ecosystem. Thus elephants may not be low impact unless you are prepared to clear up after them…

73

Richard
G3CWI


#13

In reply to G3CWI:
Hmm… interesting point Richard. Best to take the “elephant issue” under advisement for the time being then.

73 Marc G0AZS


#14

In reply to G3CWI:
Yes Ric - the question of the lay-by at TW-004 which has been spoken about before on the reflector, got me wondering, about which lay-by. The place marked on the OS map with a blue P for parking and a picnic table is outside of the AZ, but I think there is another lay-by near the tower marked on the map at SE 820569.

As a matter of interest I just spent 15 minutes tracing around btween the 220m and 225m contour line on Memory Map. (I don’t have any fancy terrain software here). TW-004 top is at 246m. The circumference of the activation zone for TW-004 is approximately 17 miles!

If I do get up there later this week I’ll make sure I find a nice sheltered hidey hole in which to erect the pole, well away from the A166.

I’ve actually climbed what was the rusty 90 foot mast shown at SE 834550. We had a DX Cluster packet node there in the 1990s before we all got broadband, and that spot is in woodland within the AZ. In fact I seem to recall that G3ZEM Bob (who is now 5B4AGN) was thinking of buying the house there at Millington Grange at one time, but bought one elsewhere in the end. A great spot for a ham to live. I’ve a feeling that mast has now been scrapped. It was pretty hairy climbing it to fit antenna’s as it had quite a sway on it but I did have a harness on. I do have a liking for heights. At the time we had relocated the VHF/UHF GB7YDX DX Packet Cluster to Barnsley but the only way we could get a reliable path to Scarborough and Ryedale was to put a 70cm node inside what has turned out to be the activation zone of TW-004. That was well before SOTA of course.

73 Phil


#15

In reply to G4OBK:
Phil
The lay bye is directly opposite the tower and reservoirs.
It contains a memorial to a crashed RAF plane.
From: “Fimber: A Little Village with a Big History”
"Arthur Kirby drove the local milk waggon, picking up the milk from the outlying farms before taking it to the railway station. Arthur also lodged with Mrs Midgley at the White House on Fridaythorpe Road. On 7th February 1944, a Halifax bomber was on a training flight from Rufforth Airfield near York. In thick fog, the aircraft crashed at Cot Nab Farm on the top of Garrowby Hill, killing the aircrew, their instructor and Arthur Kirkby as he drove the milk waggon. Sadly, Arthur’s father had also been killed in the First World War and his mother had been relieved when Arthur was declared too old to be called up. It was one of the war’s ironic twists of fate that Arthur had the misfortune to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. A granite memorial was erected at Garrowby in 1994 to commemorate those killed
in the tragic accident."
Good place to park but not activate - too much road noise.

Roger G4OWG edited 17:35


#16

In reply to G4OBK:
Hi Phil

I’m not overly familiar with the area but this indicates the likely extent of the AZ for TW-004 in white.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/28485944@N00/3285313136/

Ignore the outlier to the East, just look at the larger white area. Hopefully this means more to you…hi

73 Marc G0AZS


#17

In reply to G0AZS:

That’s amazing Marc - great software you have there. The shaping is virtually the same that I traced out on the Memory Map. I bet yours took seconds to produce mine took about 20 minutes of fiddling with the mouse to create a route around the contours and then I converted it to a track!

There is a grid square within the AZ that has not been photographed for Geograph so while I am out that way I’ll capture it - to the south east corner of the AZ.

Many Thanks

Phil


#18

In reply to G3CWI:

I am not aware of much demand to approach on elephants at present…

I have been in touch with my father who has connections in the circus business and I might just be able to get some. Anyone one fancy tackling the Alps?

Steve GW7AAV

PS also looking into buying some alpacas.


#19

In reply to GW7AAV:
I was thinking of a camel Steve, but daren’t mention H***s before June :slight_smile:

Roger G4OWG