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Has it become too easy?


Gosh, these “discussions” on the website seem to get more political by the day!

Frankly I couldn’t care less about ‘awards’. Its nice to know that if I go out on the hills someone will want to have a QSO with me, from their shack - in a house, a garden or on another hill.
And when I look at SOTAwatch I will try to tune in to a shown frequency and hope to be one of the (at least) four that make it a valid activation for the operator, especially if that person is a friend. I have even plugged in a microphone to the KX3 on two occasions in the last six years because I could hear a SSB op was struggling and I know what it feels like in the wind and rain when you’re going numb with cold and will have to pack it in soon without the necessary number of calls in the log. But adding ornaments to the terrible clutter in my shack would be too much!

SOTA is fun. Don’t change it, but remember what the MAIN aim is…


Gives something for people to do though when the sky isn’t working :wink:


Have no fear, Les - collecting any trophy in SOTA is entirely voluntary…
For now!:smiling_imp:


Yep! I earned Mountain Goat and Shack Sloth roughly at the same time - the cost of two glass trophies was off putting and what are you supposed to do with them anyway? They would be meaningless to anybody who does not know about SOTA, frankly if I mention ‘radio’ or ‘SOTA’ in my household, eyes glaze over!

BTW - do you recognise the key in my pic? That key is well loved and looked after :slight_smile:

73, Colin





I nearly commented, but thought it would be regarded as off topic! Great to see it being put to use. But I guess it doesn’t go up hills too often??!


“The SOTA playing field will never be level…”

Hmm, Yes, the whole point, surely!!! Onward and upward…


Precisely my thoughts Colin. However, it was my XYL who persuaded me to get the Mountain Goat trophy as she said that she wanted to see something for the 36,000+ miles traveled, the 305 summits ascended and the not inconsiderable number of weeks of being a SOTA widow. Well, I just had to give in. :wink:

73, Gerald



I think my XYL would see it the other way - I would’t fancy admitting I’d spent a sizeable sum on an ornament!

I haven’t even applied for the certificates as I tried, and ultimately failed, to navigate the SOTA Shop site. Will have another go at some point.


The funny thing was that my XYL actually suggested that I show the trophy to friends when they came round and the subject of the hill walking came up in conversation. I suspect she saw it as some form of justification for all the times that I woke her up at 02:30. Now the doc has changed my BP meds, I am up at that time anyway for a visit to the smallest room! :laughing:


Strangely if you ask people “would you like to pay 10x more tax than you do now for exactly the same return?” they normally answer no.

Or in Apple’s case “well we’ll pay 10x more with no complaint because 10x zero is still zero!” :grin:


I would not change anything.

We have a large variety of chasers and activators. Some work full time, some retired. Some only run SSB and some have high noise levels at their QTH where they chase. Yes a retired CW op with great antennas and low noise level at his QTH might garner 1000 points in under a month.

That does not diminish the effort and thrill of another chaser who took two years to get to the 1000 point level. It is all about the mountain, giving chase and being chased. And improving my skills and making friends.

Wonderful aspect of ham radio and mighty fine people that love radio and the outdoors! Thanks to all that gave birth to SOTA.

John N0EVH


It’s a bit frustrating seeing these people comment on how easy it is to do blank or blank or how anyone can get SS in a few months. Every hobby has people who excel at it and people who work for it with little results. The difference is most often MONEY and TIME. People who have little must work much harder than those who don’t.

If you are arguing that the award is too easy to achieve, then the problem isn’t the award, the problem is you have too much time and money, plain and simple. If you want a challenge, chase SOTA summits with my station, see if you can get 1,000 points "easily’. While working a full time job, planning a wedding, and running a fire department unpaid.

I like SOTA because I can go out and do it when I have free time, and enjoy the radio outdoors. The awards are nice because they are REACHABLE, OBTAINABLE, FAIR goals for the AVERAGE person, or even the slightly below average person. ANYONE WHO TRIED AND PUTS IN AN EFFORT, REGARDLESS OF FINANCIAL SITUATION OR CIRCUMSTANCES, CAN PARTICIPATE AND EARN AN AWARD.

It amazes me that the SOTA community rejects the idea of contesting within the program, yet try to turn it into a competition.

MT, please maintain the current levels for awards. They were created intelligently and fairly, and require no adjustments.


Came to this thread to decide whether I should order the glass once I reach SS, since it’s so much easier than reaching MG. I’ve decided I will order it when the time comes.

I’ve been doing SOTA for about 2 years, and more seriously for about a year. In that time, I’ve gotten 160+ activator points. I never tried very hard to get chaser points, since I didn’t know code and chasing from my home QTH was almost impossible. Since learning CW, I’ve been doing chasing from an occasional temporary setup of my SOTA equipment in the back yard, and from a couple of parks near my office. CW was really the key. In just a few months, I’ve advanced nearly half-way to Shack Sloth.

The points definitely aren’t the entirety of the goal for me - not by a long shot. I mainly like getting up on those mountains and making contacts to far-off places. It just doesn’t get old. And I like chasing because it gives me a chance to practice my CW skills and keeps me on top of any equipment issues that might pop up. It also feels like I’m “giving back” to the SOTA community just a little bit.



Funny, I hadn’t seen this thread but I came to a similar conclusion recently. I’d add that when you’re a flatlander like me, activating isn’t something you get to do every week. Getting on the air and making a contact with someone on a summit is an excellent substitute until the next expedition. As soon as it gets warm enough here to sit outside with my KX2 at lunch while at work, my chaser game is going large.

Joe / N0MAP


I’m a chaser and so is my partner we have both got our shack slough and we are proud of the achievement
so I say if its not broken don’t fix it if the rule on shack sloth was altered would people stop chasing and dus this mean we also get a winter bonus as well and finally no chasers no sota so one cant exist without the other


Yeah, I suppose I’m lucky here, with our nearly year-round sunshine and relative warmth. (SF Bay Area)

73, Rex KE6MT


Not to mention all those sweet summits nearby!


Ah yes, we are blessed by an absolute abundance of terrain!


Just in case this discussion gets long and complicated - there is no chance that the criteria for Shack Sloth or Mountain Goat will be changed.

SOTA has been running now for many years and introducing a change to our core awards would be a non-starter.

There is absolutely no reason why any individual shouldn’t set their own goals and make their personal qualifying level for a trophy greater than the 1000 points currently set for them. I have issued many trophies for Chasers who decided 1000 points was too easy for them and they set a higher level before claiming one; the trophy can be suitably annotated (eg 10k points)

Barry GM4TOE
SOTA Awards Manager