Just recently there has been an increase in people doing Microwave activations and chases. If you wish to claim any of our Microwave Awards then you need to enter extra information. This is because the awards are based on distance unlike all other SOTA awards.
SOTA Microwave Awards are available for SOTA contacts on 23cms or higher.
If you have a summit to summit QSO, you enter your summit and your QSO partner’s summit. The database knows exactly where both summits are located and can calculate the distance for the award. For all other QSOs, the database will only know the location of the activator, the location of the chaser needs to be entered for every QSO. This data is entered into the comment field in a special format the database will recognise. It is done like this so the database does not interpret your comments about the QSO.
There are 2 formats you can use. One format is where you enter the Maidenhead locator for the chaser and the other is latitude &longitude data. That means the activator enters this information if they want to claim a Microwave Award and also the chaser needs to enter their own location if they want to claim an award. Only the person wanting the award has to enter the location, it will not affect your claim if your QSO partner does not enter any info.
For a Maidenhead locator the format must look like this with no extra punctuation or spaces.
A QSO with someone in Edinburgh would have a locator of %QRA%IO85KW%.
If you don’t know the locator you can use the latitude & longitude of the chaser in this format.
Again someone in Edinburgh would have a lat & long of %QTH%55.94,-3.16%
There are some options on this to specify whether your latitude is North or South and your longitude is East or West. If the latitude is positive then it means North and negative means South. If the longitude is positive it means East and negative means West. Or you can use the letters N, S, E, W after the values.
All of these mean the same thing, you can use any format you like. I would suggest you adopt one format and use that in all entries.
If you add this data to your non-S2S log entries then you will be able to use the database to show the distances for your contacts and see if you can claim any of these awards. Of course, if you do not use them then do not be surprised if Barry, the Awards Manager rejects your order until you have entered the data correctly.
There are probably a million better ways the database could ask you for chaser location data but this is the way I chose as the easiest and quickest to implement that transparently overlays the existing database that has no affect on the vast majority of activators and chasers who have no interest in these SHF and above contacts.